Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Screw CORS

***warning: vulgarities rampant***

Every semester, without fail, I'd curse CORS to burn in hell for eternity. But usually, I'd only curse CORS during the bidding for tutorials. I seldom had problems with my bidding for modules, simply because for the past four semesters, I've been living within the confines of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Yes, I've never taken any module that requires me to go to any other faculty. But of course, due to the workings of the fucking education system in the dictatorial land of Singapore where the National University is a lackey of, I've to do stupid kanina stuff called GEMs (General Education Modules) and Breadths (otherwise known as cross faculty modules).

When I was young, in primary school, we were taught English, Chinese, Mathematics and Science. Those were the founations of everything we were forced to learn in secondary school. In seconday one and two, we were forced to do a wide range of fucking bloody modules of English, Higher Chinese, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Literature, Art, Home Economics, Design and Technology (and I'm not so sure if there were others). It's crap. I see no fucking use of stuff like Art and Home Economics and Design and Technology in my future life. But it was compulsory. Every kanasai week, we had to squat in that fucking studio/kitchen doing this I bloody hate. The teachers said that it was only for two years. We are allowed to choose what we want to study when we advance to secondary three.

Abso-fucking-lutely a big piece of crap lie. Fucking shit. Students are always stuffed up the ears with lies propogated by the government via the mindless mouths of the teachers. Burn in hell.

In seconday three, my compulsory subjects consisted of English, Higher Chinese, Mathematics D, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry. Biology is optional, which I obviously kill me I also won't take. And I had to take two subjects out of English Literature, Chinese Literature, History, Geography. This is something I really don't understand. Based on propaganda in Singapore, I thought that students were encouraged to be more creative, but how come schools only allow for subject combinations like triple science-double humanities, and not double science-triple humanities? In fact, it's almost near to impossible to any student to do three humanities subjects. So much for creativity. Stifled Singapore and its myopic education system only allows for mindless science-y stuff and not creative individual freedom of expression which humanities aim to promote. I ended up choosing to do History and Geography. I'd have liked to do English Literature too. Really, the teachers who said that we can do things we like to do in lower secondary as all bullshit. I was forced to undergo two years of hell with Physics which i utterly detested like how much I hate Arsenal (okay, I didn't hate Arsenal when I was 14, it's just an analogy now).

My teachers knew my utter distaste for the Mathematics and Science, and assured me that things will get better when I advance to JC, meaning I can dispose of Science totally and concentrate on the humanities. Right now, I guess JC was theoretically the best times of my academic life.

In JC, I chose to do (other than General Paper and AO Chinese) English Literature, Mathematics C, History and Economics. SO much so for my fucking illusion that I can do whatever I want in JC. History and Geography is a taboo combination according to almost (but not all) JCs. What the fuck??? And Mathematics C is compulsory unless you either take AO Mathematics or drop that subject and do only three subjects. So with this, I had to trudge on my pathetic life and a student with absolutely no freedom at all. But I guess, school life is a microcosm of real life living in Singapore, all those apparent choices offered which makes no sense at all can be translated to real life as I soon found out. As an older person now, I found out that although we so called have a freedom of speech, out freedom is limited, just like we have the freedom of choices of subjects we can do, our freedom is limited to that few subjects offered, our freedom of speech is limited to the few topics we are legally allowed, like the debate on who is a better singer and which is the better band, we can vote for them and the results is 100% based on our votes, press coverage for all candidates is equal, but it's the total opposite for other stuff like politics. We aren't given the same treatment for more serious stuff like General Elections. Downright crap!

In JC, I slowly developed the love of European History. Previously, I only wanted to focus on my drama and theatre stuff, but JC opened up my view on History. I think that's the only good that developed out of my whole educational life. The teachers once again assured me that once I graduate from JC and enter University, I can devote all my time on European History. With that, I did all I could to try to pass the subjects I've no love or interest in just so that I can make it to University. It did not take me long to realise that teachers are all liars.

Just upon graduation, the Mathematics teacher remarked to the whole class that he was very sure that at some point in our university life, we'd have to deal with Mathematics again. A stab in the chest for me. The General Paper teacher said that if we did not score above a certain grade for GP, we'd have to do English in University. And that was only the start of the disappointments that was to come.

When I first entered University, I realised that there was such things called "University requirements" and "Faculty requirements". In short, for a lowly Arts student like myself, we have to fulfill some stupid things before we can graduate, and these stupid things are not related to my major at all. As a University student, I'm required to complete 2 GEMs, 2 (4, for honours) Breadths, 1 SS (Singapore Studies) module. And as an Arts student, I need to complete 4 Exposure modules outside my major, 7 UEs (%, if you do double major). So much for the lies that I can do what I want to do in University.

General Education Modules.
They are supposed to widen one's knowledge of the world, but something in NUS CORS system make me hate them that if GEMs were alive, I'd slice them to bits, cook them, ad sell them to people and force everyone to eat them up and puke them out. In short, it's crap in the simplest form of organism, if it were alive.

They are worse than GEMs. Breaths are labelled as things outside one's faculty. Really, if I want to do anything outside my faculty, wouldn't I already have went to the other faculty instead? The people who thought up this cross faculty this is really an asshole with no brains man. The reason that I'm in Arts is because I'd die in the other faculties, and yet I'm supposed to die based on this thing called "University requirement". FUCK!!! A little bit about myself, when applying for Universities, we have this form which required us to fill in 8 choices of which University, which faculty we wanted to go. Of the 8 blanks, I only filled in one choice. Do or die, it's NUS FASS, no back up, no anything. I did that only for one reason, I cannot see myself in any other faculty. And yet "University requirements" require me to venture out. GO EAT SHIT.

Singapore Studies.
This is a requirement by our dictatorial government of Singapore, hoping that by doing forcing students to do an academic subject on Singapore we'd have more love and knowledge of our country. Crap. Skewed illusions. It only generates more despise for the country that I thought I once might have love. (Really, recent moves by out Ministry of Communications really disappointed me to the blackhole.)

We can't just do any exposures we want, we have to do one from "Humanities", one from "Social Sciences", one from "Asian Studies" and one more from anywhere. Yes, we are in Arts and Social Sciences, but really, we are there only because we want to do our major, and not participate in everything from FASS. I hate the social sciences, I abso-fucking-lutely am unable to do anything regarding social sciences, and yet, my faculty, the faculty that I trust in, is forcing me to die. Asian studies is just crap la. I'm not a European Studies major for nothing lor, and the faculty requires me to do something 6000 miles different from my choice of major.

Unrestricted Electives. Anything outside your major. If anyone wants to major in something, it means that we want to do something and forget about the other nitty gritties of education. And yet, we are forced to do something outside our major. Really, if I've an interest in something, why would I want to do something I've no interest in? This makes no sense at all.

In my past four semesters, I went about the requirements, by carefully choosing what I want to do. My UEs are filled with History modules, which I've chosen to be Farrell modules (military history modules, Farrell is now like becoming a brand of modules, hahaha~). My exposures were Political science for social science, which I think comes the closest to looking like a humanities module. My SS module was Politics of Southeast Asia, which allowed me not to do about Singapore at all. Yes, little mention of Singapore in it because the focus was on the other bigger countries, thank goodness.

In the past four semesters, I haven't done any GEMs or Breadths. I was procrastinating. Finally in my third year, and after accumulating General Account points, I went to bid for one GEM and one Breadth this semester. I chose my GEM and Breadth based on recommendations and friend introductions. And I still am not able to do the module I want to do.

Complementary Health and Medicine. Since semester 1, I've been wanting to do it, but in sem 1 I hadn't enough points, sem 3 (it's only offered in odd sems) timetable clash, sem 5 time table clash again, I think there's jus something against the Arts students. chao cheebye.

In the end, today, I placed this bidding.

Today is only the first day of bidding and crap, bidding is this high already. There's a high chance with my vast number of points that I'll not get the module sia. Next, WHO THE KANINA ACTUALLY HAVE 2053 points IN HIS GENERAL ACCOUNT???

Really, there's something very wrong with our current system of module allocation. I say this because I'm fresh back from my exchange programme with the University of Freiburg where module allocation is only for Proseminars, for other types of modules, as long as you want to do it you can do it. Even if there's no place in the lecture hall, you can sit on the floor. And even for the Proseminars, it's a choice, you choose three and you get one module, as long as you place three modules you'd want to do, you'll get one of them you like, and not end up as a broke person in terms of bid points like where i'm heading towards.

After screaming over the phone and sending half a dozen of angry messages to the poor soul I vented my anger on, I seached for a couple of alternatives which I might have to do when bidding goes crazy. Thanks to I don't know what kind of karma I have cultivated, all halfway decent modules all clash with my current three modules. What the fuck??? I only have three modules okay, and everything's clashing with what I want to do. The Complementary Medicine is but one of it, I went through five possible other modules and they all clash. KANASAI!!!

All this, and remember, I'm already a year three student. If I don't do honours, I'm supposed to be graduating next year. I think I've now to extend one semester so that I can have more bid points sia. FUCK, where did that 2053 person get his/her bid points from??? Bah~ And next semester I'll still have to do another GEM and Breadth somemore. Where can I get the bid points from???

Screw CORS.


Anonymous said...

yeah screw CORS, big time.

Rinoa said...

CORS isn't exactly the best system around, I grant you that, but it works nonetheless. Basic demand and supply, and it reflects a bit of real life - that it isn't always fair. Learn to deal with it, lest you become a VERY disillusioned girl later in life.

Also, think again about having to do breaths and GEMs, and the foundations that were 'forced' upon us in primary and secondary school. What kind of graduate can we be, if we don't even know basic math and science? I don't really like Breadths like you, but the option of S/U is there. Is it reasonable to ask a Arts undergrad to have at least a C in a science module? Yes, I think it is.

I know you know what I've trying to say. Perhaps this entry was written to vent your frustations. In any case, all I hope this comment does is when you read it, either when your temper has dissolved or later in future, you will remember that you weren't always this frustated at the education system in Singapore; that despite its downs, it has its ups too.

Take care.

h u i said...

hey babe
this came a little late i guess.
but the nus bidding system really...
anyway i just thank God ntu doesn't have this kind of thing.. and that i manage to get all the modules i need and want each sem.
chill girl~
i still love you =)