death by paper cut

{March 3, 2006}   TGIF

i’ve been here for a month now, but it doesn’t seem that long at all. the first week of uni is over. my time table is all settled, tutorial and lecture venues all located. routine is about to set in.

3 out of my 4 modules that i’m taking this semester revolved around postmodernist theories. it really is a challenge to anchor into this theme because postmodernism is defined by the indefinable in most parts.

i’ve seen the range of tutors and lectures. some i totally discredit, some i stand in awe of their achievement. for instance, the head of art history is a art historian as well as an art critic, contributor to various established journals, senior curator and even an artist who has had several solo exhibitions. this guy knows what he’s talking about. our tutorials are well defined, and succinctly delivered.

on the other hand, the postmodern module with the school of creative arts does not list the weekly topics because the lecturer likes it that way. tutorials are free flowing discussions about the week’s lecture with no specific instructional objectives. which means that there are no course reading and no lecture outlines. some students are more than happy with this arrangement. fortunately for me, the readings for the other 2 postmodern modules supplants this elusive one. i’ve also managed to chose presentation and essay topics from different modules to overlap in its sub-topic – simulacrum.

some tutors and lectures look and dress like students themselves, its hard to distinguish some of them.

this will be my last carefree weekend. i have noted all the assignment deadlines for the semester and they’re looming in the horizon. however i am eager to sink my teeth into these meaty concepts to reach equilibrium.

my 4th and non-postmodern module is equally engaging: invention asian traditions. there is even one week dedicated to discussing Singapore: Inventing Singapore, Nationalism and Ethnicity. no other country has been singled out for discussion. what makes the situation more interesting is that i am the only singaporean in the tutorial.

in fact, i am probably the only singaporean in all my tutorials. sometimes, the only chinese. so what’s it like being in the minority? i don’t feel alienated in anyway since everyone speaks english. in fact i feel alienated more frequently in singapore whenever i’m in non-english speaking environments. dissecting that is another module altogether.


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