Monday, February 28, 2011

'Cultural' Shock?

I'd guess my long 5 years in Auckland had taught me to be a natural bitch (I am a bitch before that but it's aggravated by my stay). Coming back and enrolling to local tertiary institution has opened my eyes to how old-school some lecturers are and how nice Malaysians are. Used to plain speaking aka bitching in class and with friends, I found the students have nothing to say about the system or lecturers. While I respect lecturers very much as they are educating my air-filled head, sharing their vast knowledge, I see a lot of difference in Malaysian lecturers and foreign ones. Believe me, no one is infallible, even lecturers.

For example, most older lecturers are very old-school. They prescribe to 'listen and ask (but the secret message is don't ask, that's considered as talking back and rude)' way of teaching. They somehow 'accidentaly' discourage critical thinking as none of my assignments so far, other than psychology (American-educated lecturer), has any thinking part (like doing a literature review). I love thinking, so the assignments here, to me, are mind-numbing, like repetitive work of sawing the same button on the same top for 10 hours.

I admit I am not a good student, I rebel at everything and I have an idea for everything but hey, that's how I am shaped. I am not fond of spoon-feeding (well, actually I do, but I also love discussion of anything under the sun). Anyway, one of my lecturers was telling about 0-tolerance of plagiarism policy last Friday and not to boast, I'm so used to citations and referencing due to my years in UoA and use of Turnitin, I told him about the 20% cut-off point. And he, this lecturer, refused to listen, saying that every assignment must be 0% when submitted to Turnitin. I mean, come on. Who in this world has his own idea about medical science? All we have is past research and our own research to enhance the knowledge. Do you get it, enhance, not owned!

Another trait of old-school lecturer is the amount of nagging. It reminds me of my mama somehow. The time taken to listen to his nag can be used to study for my previous major fail. Lastly, the old-school lecturers don't believe in professionalism. No sire. Let's announce the whole class's test marks in the class, shall we? While I know and very aware how badly I did in my biochemistry test (not exactly my favourite), but does he need to tell the whole class and announce how 'badly' I did it? Should I ask him a question regarding latest research in medicine or something else medicine-related that he learned 10000 years ago and probably not using now (and dully forgotten)? I'm sure he wouldn't even remember it.

Have some realistic expectations please. While I know he has the best intentions, I know he needs to 'update' his style in approaching students. I finds him tiresome and boring, and sometimes, I get so angry I felt like doing some rude talk backs ^^

Again, I know I am back in Malaysia and the way things are done is majorly different and I have to comply but with my crazy stubborn personality, I found this extremely difficult. I need a complete mind-set alteration. Or a bitching friend, at least ^^


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