Sunday, October 08, 2006

What Is Wrong With This?

Updated with one comment below, 9.10.2006 1.31pm.
Updated with another comment below, 9.10.2006 4.26pm.

I once put up an email from a prof on my blog, but after talking to a friend, i was advised to take the email down for reasons that the email was sent privately to me and not for the whole world to see. I've since taken that email down from the blog. After that talk with the friend, I'm now very much more careful when putting other people's material up on the blog, but somehow, I can't resist not putting this up.

This is the description from a project work from one of my modules. I think it should be quite public because it was put in the workbin. Drop me a line if you think I should take this down. If I get requests for this to be dropped, this post wil self destruct.

HY2217—War After 1945—Final Assignment: Tutorial Group Projects

Your final assignment is to participate as part of a group in answering a question posed to your tutorial group. Each group will receive a different question, and be divided into subgroups to work on that question. I want you to decide how best to answer it, but I provide below a fair bit of guidance in that area—mainly to cope with the large numbers involved in this exercise. Our very last tutorial session in Week 13 will be devoted to presenting and discussing these projects. All projects relate to the central themes of the module. DO 1 will work on the Cold War, DO 2 on the Korean War, DO 3 on the Vietnam War and DO 5 on the Gulf War. The assignment will include work in tutorial and contributions to the online forum discussion; I will set up separate forums for each tutorial group devoted to these projects. In group work you need to depend on each other and to work together, something I always enforce as well as expect. But I want to leave as many decisions as possible to you, so what you read below will be broad guidance on what to do, less on how. Subgroups will receive a group grade, but I reserve the right to reward people who make extraordinary contributions in quality and quantity by bumping them up a notch.

Group DO 1, Tuesday 10 am tutorial—

Your assignment is to address the following question: Was the Cold War really a war? If so, what was its nature? If not, why not? I want you to do this by examining four themes: Soviet policy; American policy; Proxy wars; Military alliances and nuclear war. And I want you to examine them by drawing as much as you can on published primary sources, especially memoirs. How did the Cold Warriors themselves address this question, and those themes? You can decide for yourselves how to tackle this, I will give you three choices: present a collection of scholarly essays; stage a United Nations Commission of Inquiry, including the examination and testimony of witnesses; select four historical figures and stage a debate between them about this question, one for each theme. Discuss this with me and we will settle it by the tutorial in Week 9. Meanwhile, here are your subgroups:

Group A—Soviet Policy
Ang Pei Ting
Chia Shu Fen
Fu Bojun
Lau Gee Sing
Lim Tse Siang
Noraiha bte. Abdul Rahman

Group B— American Policy
Fahmie bin Ali Abdat
Kumuthan s/o Maderya
Ler Zhi Wei
Long Fuji Edwin
Nurahhifah bte. Amran

Group C—Proxy Wars
Phay Su Hui Francy
Soh Lirong Jennifer
Sung Kok Siong Kenneth
Tan Kia Lih
Teo Shi Hui Rachel
Yeap Mei Yi
Emma Maria Mattson

Group D—Military Alliances and nuclear war
Quah Pei Yin
Soh Wen Qi Rachel
Syed Mohammad bin Syed Mohammed Alkaff
Tan Xuemei
Twohill Edmund Joseph
Ying Feng
William Thurston

Group DO 2, Tuesday 2 pm tutorial—

Your assignment is to address the following question: what was the root cause of the debate between President Truman and General MacArthur over the Korean War? I want you to do this by staging an Impeachment Trial of President Truman, on the grounds that by dismissing MacArthur he violated his oath to protect the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic. I will leave it up to you to decide what issues to examine, and how to do so: whether you want to settle for an exchange of written indictments, rebuttals and commentaries or whether you want to stage a simulation Impeachment Trial in class. Whichever you prefer, I want you to present the following as involved parties: Truman, MacArthur, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Republican Party leadership in the Senate, and the British. Discuss this with me and we will settle it by the tutorial in Week 9. Meanwhile here are your subgroups:

Group A—Investigating Attorneys and Senate Majority Leader
Erzwin Yem
Suriati bte Mohamed Sani
A/P Brian Farrell

Group B—President Truman
Joan Ang
Chia Tet Hong
Goh Soon Chye Gerald
Heng Chye Hwee
Koh Lai Hock Gary

Group C—General MacArthur
Beh Yi Yue Lydia
Emon Mitra
Goh Han-Ming Jasper
Han Siying Cheryl
Hurul Ain bte Muhammad Reni

Group D—Joint Chiefs of Staff
Lai Xiu Min Jessica
Melissa Faye Wu Ming Huey
Ng Ji Lyn Gail
Seah Jian Rui Garrick
Taaouicha Mujahid M’Barek

Group E—Republican Party Leadership in the Senate
Lim Chee Koon
Mohd Abdul Saddiq S/O A H
Ong Shihui
Tan Jian An Alwin
Theepan Prakash S/O Ravintheran

Group F—The British
Teo Guo Yang Alvin
Xue Renyi Christopher
Yang Jianwu
Zhang Weihuang
Melissa Peony Ko Luteng

Group DO 3, Tuesday 4pm tutorial—

Your assignment is to address the following questions: how can feature film help historians study the Vietnam War experience? If someone asks you what one film should they watch in order to consider the nature of the Vietnam War, which one should it be and why? This means you must explain why the film you choose is more important than at least two other relevant films on the list below. Feature films, if done well, can exploit the licence of fiction to do something academics are often less able to do: to make you feel what the history you were studying was like for those who lived it, to help you empathize with the spirit, passions and problems of the time. We are going to test that premise by using feature film to examine four themes: American entanglement in Vietnam—why did they intervene?; the American military in Vietnam—why did they fight as they did? American disengagement from Vietnam—why did they leave and what were the consequences for all concerned? Running through all three is another theme: Vietnamese-American interaction. Your job is to use the films to answer the questions: which theme is the most important for historians, which film best engages it, and why are the other films less useful? You need to watch the following films (I provide this partly arbitrary list because the filmography of the war is massive, and the exercise relies on you all watching the same collection of films and comparing them):
The Quiet American (2002 version)
The Green Berets (1968)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Hamburger Hill (1987)
Flight of the Intruder (1991)
Heaven and Earth (1993)
The first film will be screened in all tutorial groups in Week 7, this coming week. I am arranging times to screen all the others in the Central Library. You may join any of these screenings, which will include a brief commentary, or you may watch them on your own time. We will sort out the details in the tutorial in Week 9, but remember, I am asking you to evaluate these films as tools for historians, not to give me a film critique. Meanwhile here are your subgroups:

Group A—
Cheang Liling Charmaine
Goh Wan Rong
Ho Qian Wen
Lim Wee Kian
Muhammad Aidil bin Ali
Nur-Ashiqin bte. Hasbollah

Group B—
Foo Jiayong Shaun
Heenatimullage Hans Avinder
Leong Kiw Hwee, Eddy
Mohammad Hafiz bin Kusairi
Ng Tze Peng

Group C—
Oon Eng Chee Jason
Tee Hong Sheng Nicholas
Thana Revathi D/O R Nadarajan
Wu Jialin Christina
Yeo Yingda

Group D—
Tan Chi Ming Isaac
Teo Guan Ken Eisen
Wong Ern Ching Ian
Zalikha bte Mis’Ari
Achrat Abi Farraj

Group E—
Yeo Siok Ee
Zerh Cheng Leng
Zhong Mingyuan Rubin
Zhuang Zhijie, Derrick
Brian John Gillette

Group DO 5, Thursday 2pm tutorial—

Your assignment is to address the following question: what did the Gulf War do more to demonstrate, the possibilities or the problems of waging limited war? This requires you to examine the relationship between ends and means. You can choose one of the following approaches to this question: a debate between government leaders and military commanders over whether to respond to the invasion of Iraq by force or not; a debate between government leaders and military commanders over whether to end the war upon the liberation of Kuwait or whether to advance on Baghdad and topple the Hussein regime in Iraq. The first examines the question of whether to wage war at all, the second examines the question of when to stop and why. You may choose to present either in written form or as a simulation in class. We can work out the details in the tutorial in Week 9, while discussing them online beforehand. Regardless, the following roles need to be played: President George Bush and his National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft; General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander-in-Chief Central Command; the government of the United Kingdom; the government of France; the government of the Soviet Union; the government of Saudi Arabia; the government of Israel. Here are your subgroups:

Group A—President and NSA—
Abdul Rahman Bin Osman
Chua Geok Leng
Harris Rusdi Chai
Katharina Kuesters

Group B—General Powell and the JCS—
Chua Jin Xun
Goh Eng Liang
Hoh Wei Jie
Koh Zhongwei Alvin

Group C—General Schwarzkopf and Central Command—
Khairunisa bte Mohamed Yaakob
Li Huanyan
Lim Yan Tyng Ashley
Neo Xiao Yun

Group D—the British government—
Lim Lee Mei
Muhammad Faisal Bin Mahmod
Ng Shu Zheng

Group E—the French government—
Ong Yan Rui
Ravi Dharini
Tan Shi Hui

Group F—the Soviet government—
Phuar Qiu Juan
Sia Kok Boon
Tan Yu Fang Jermine

Group G—The Saudi government—
Valerie Su Qunhui
Wu Mandy
Yip Jian Wei Justin

Group H—The Israeli government—
Victoria King Pey Ching
Yeo Qiao Xin Constance
Zhang Jiexin

There are three things wrong with this list.

One has something to do with me, another has something to do with my group, the third has something to do with my tutorial group. But all three are all affecting only me, so I guess no one else would be affected by this three things that are wrong. Now I'm wondering, so who was it after all? hmm... Wait, I think the question would be, what is his name? damnit...

And hor... I think all my research material now won't be gone to waste. *sarcastically* Was that supposed to be very helpful? kauz...

And and and hor... I was just bringing up this point in my Computing and Society class just yesterday. I know I made a couple of slips here and there in the blog, I think I'll rectify them and edit them when I'm free some time after Thursday when I'll be having three deadlines, but somehow, this post doesn't incriminate me at all. (edit: It's not Thursday yet and I've rectified that problem. There was only a grand total of 2 incriminating evidences left in my trail in my blog. There were only 2 other incriminations from NUS FASS websites, both to do with my SEP one, otherwise, there's no other evidences left online, according to google.) It's a big wonder. hmm... Why ah???

PS: I'd think that only I'd understand what I mean, and why are those three problems found to be "wrong" by me. It's okay... I just needed to let steam out. And I thought it has been quite a while since I blogged. Not that I've nothing to blog, but really, I didn't quite have the time to blog about all those things I want to blog. wahaha~ It's the fault of those three papers!!!

Comment 1: A friend dropped me a line over MSN last night asking if the problem was that I'm the only girl in the group and my group consists of only Chinese. Names can be ambiguous, but I did looked to be the only girl, but I don't see that as a problem. I didn't notice that my group was wholly Chinese which was quite unusual of me since I picked my other group project groups from other modules based on ethnicity. So, since I didn't notice this, it isn't a problem and even if I noticed it, it also won't ever be a problem.

Comment 2: The person who wrote up the above document asked me what was wrong with it. It seems like only I see the problems, okay, it is that only I see the problems. To the general folk, yea... There's absolutely nothing wrong with anything. Anyway, the comment from him was that I was assigned to do the part on Truman was a "favour" to me, and that he wanted to make sure that at least someone in the group that knows about something about Truman. Yea... Reading his memoirs, Truman is an interesting fellow, but then, what interests me has no academic value. That's university education, what that is interesting has no academic value, and what that you learn in university are all stuff you've already known.

I really shouldn't be blogging until after Thursday. sucks... May god let me miraculously complete my essays on time. May god miraculously retract my divine power of the art of procrastination.

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