Saturday, 20 November 2010

When the Tables Turn: When Children Become Adults...

I find this fact very interesting, and also very painful.

When a couple has a baby, they give everything they can to that child (does not apply to abandoned, unwanted children, of course). They will often sacrifice if it means that their child would get something better. And that love knows no boundaries because parents will do that for years, and for more than one child, in many cases.

But then that child grows up, and that child is in their teens or young adulthood, and now, the parent becomes somewhat a burden. I mean, how many times do you hear things like "oh, my mum is such a pain", or "I hate my dad"?

I find this particular culture very disturbing.

When I went home for the summer, I was super happy.

And everyone was happy I got to go home (because last summer I didn't and I was a little miserable having to study throughout summer); but for some reason, they seemed to think it would be a little awkward or something...

Cause I had people ask me: "How was it like having to live with your parents again?"

Me: "Great!"

Them: "Oh...Really? I would hate having to live with my parents again"...

So I can understand that when you're used to so much freedom and being able to do what you want and come home when you want; I don't, however, understand why it should be viewed as something negative...

I can also understand that some people have not-nice relationships with their parents, of course, but is it a norm?

I volunteer in the hospital and I meet so many old people who just don't have somebody. They will tell you they have children, but their children don't visit them in the hospital because they're too busy. They won't even call in some cases because they don't want to disturb or burden the child!

It strikes me as weird.

I know these children now have their own families, but what about the person whom without you might not have these families???

When a child is admitted into the hospital, the parent will drop everything and go. But when a parent is admitted, children don't seem to feel the same...need.

It strikes me as weird that many parents feel the love and need to provide everything for their child (not the abandoned ones, of course), but children don't often reciprocate that love and need when the parents grow old.

At the very least, don't they feel a sense of...duty?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Independently-driven and Mentorship-based Education...

I have been neglecting this blog again. It just happens I am now going to two different campuses in two different towns (same university) and my workload has been a little high.

This year has been interesting because although there's a lot of work, it's work that is very unstructured. I am in charge of most of my own planning and work-management because the number of hours I put in is less...monitored.

While my professors recommend and/or require I work a certain number of hours, I don't actually have someone breathing down my neck. I was however, warned, that if I decide to slack off, I would pay for it later because I won't have work to hand in and I will be pulling all-month'ers at the end of the year.

Pretty cool, although very new territory.

My work in the lab at the other campus has been interesting. It requires a one-half hour commute and it really cracks the whip because I need to be up at 5.30 am for my bus at 7 am (I take the 5.20 pm bus home), but I've been enjoying it.

Learning a lot more about children and behavioural observation, which is very interesting! I didn't realise how much the time I spend with children in general will help me in this course because it certainly makes me notice things about children that I am sure I would have missed otherwise. I'm pretty excited because we're going into schools in the region for language-based testing soon!

Basically, this year is pretty different from my previous years. I am conducting my own research for my thesis, am part of my professors' research for other stuff, and am doing a lot more hands-on work. A few people have voiced their surprise about how come I'm writing a thesis when I'm not doing a masters, but yes, the system here is a little different. Having said that, not everyone chooses to write a thesis and most graduate without. And my volunteer work has certainly helped shaped my school work and vice versa.

I guess you can say education, at this point, is quite independently-driven. However, as the thesis coordinator has said, it is also the highest level of mentorship the department offers on an undergraduate level. Because at no point of your undergraduate degree do you get to work one-on-one with a faculty member, create your own project, and see your own results!

I'm liking this year!