Dumb about Geog

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Agricultural Game

The game was somewhat enjoyable , and it triggered many vital learning points even from the standpoint of an adult and a trainee teacher.

Hailing from a background of Political Science, I was keen to make my role as realistic as possible. Here's my analysis of the game and what i tried to do

1)Starting the game empty handed with a great degree of autonomy and a large amount of contacts, it is small wonder that the Government official turned to "under-table" methods of making material gains . He even resorted to being a promoter for the farm cartel (JPC ; JAclyn, Pearl, Clifton)in return for a commision.

Robert Dahl , a political scientist,defines the meaning of power succintly in the following sentence , " Power is defined as the ability to make someone perform an action he would otherwise not have done (given the liberty to choose)" , hence ;

2)The industry and the banking sector actually overpowered the president. It is they who dictate the direction the economy was heading. Not the president. THe function of the president is only as s state symbol and his decisions were very much based on the "advise" of the banking sector and the industry.

3)The fiscal arm (the banking industry)of the government actually overpowered all the other forces in the Urban sector. They had the financial backing and hence the power to influence the "direction" and "actions" of the all the activities, and hence the economy.

4)At a later stage, I have decided to take control into my own hands, misusing the authority entrusted onto me... I realised that the largest farm producers were too powerful and the banking sector managed to collude with them and both these parties actually "DICTATED" (in capital letters) , the economy , for their own selfish gains. The banking sector was able to ensure a steady stream of rice supply at favourable rates . On the other hand, the JPC ( Jaclyn, Pearl, Cliffton) farm cartel were able to ensure that they have a ready buyer for their produce all the time.

I actually tried to collude with the industry to grab hold of the "smaller" land parcels from the farmers.
There are several ways to grab hold of the small land parcels

By raising taxes to exorbitant levels, since the "smaller landholders" are not able to sell away their yields (as they were not able to compete with the favourable prices that JPC cartel provide) , they would be forced to give up their land.

By offering the small landholders jobs in the urban sector. They are to be persuaded to leave their farming lifelihood since they are not able to compete with the cartels, so whats the point struggling and suffering without recognisable material gains?

In the event of resistance by the smaller landholders, they are to be "arrested" by the government. The state's military forces shall be used.The usage of weapons shall not be discouraged. Use whatever level of force necessary. (REcall the movie "Black Hawk Down")

Getting land was a very important goal for me and the industry as in the "simple economy" that we are in , besides money , land and "industrial resources" was the other engines of the economy. Since , we could not have control of the money supply in the economy , we could make do with whatever is within our posession to ensure our own material gains...

Together , with the upply of high yielding varieties, fertiliser and water pump
and possibly other agricultural innovations that the "idustry" has , we will be able to practise intensive farming and overtake the amount of produce the extensive farmers, i.e , the JPC cartel is producing.

One of the traders even claimed that he had rice supply from India and was able to provide rice at far cheaper rates . I personally colluded with him in order to bring down the cartel and turn the workings of the economy towards my favour.

Given enough time , with sufficient craftand deceit, i am sure that I will be successful in forming another cartel with the industry , and possibly overthrow the arrangement by JPC cartel and the banking sector by means of manipulating with agricultural resource prices and restricting its supply to them .

Hehe folks , thats how the "real politics" function...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A million thanks

Hi Ken , Pearl , Clifton and Emmanuel , thanks for your constructive comments ! I will use them to finetune my lesson on "Settlements" which will also be used for the "LEARNT" project for PED 513 . Thanks a lot yeah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Adeline's Microteaching

Basically my entry this week is based my role as an observer for Adeline's Microteaching .

Plus Points

-She has a cool head . Despite having "ridiculous" remarks thrown at her during class discussions and upon discovering the drawing on the whiteboard , she maintains her composure . This sort of quietens the adrenaline rush experienced by the student in the desire for mischief .

-She has a friendly nature , she smiles a lot . Even the most fatigued student can be reenergised just by smiling at them .

-She tried to divide her attention equally to both groups during the discussion .

Negative Points

-Though Adeline tried to divide her attention equally to both groups , there was a student who was left in the dark , i.e Vanessa

-hmm , she fidget a little bit in the beginning and forgot to switch back all the lights .

Interesting stuff to learn...

-hmmm , what kind of effect would there be had she given the students the chance to browse through the worksheet before the video ?

-honestly , i don't know how to deal with the situation myself , but the students seem to feel that Singapore is the opposite o fwhat is portrayed in the video .

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Yeah , i forgot to share with all of you something which i encountered during the "school experience" . I actually encountered a male student with ADHD ( attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) during one of the secondary two literature lessons that I observe . The class was having group discussions on the plot of Romeo and Juliet . The boy looked normal enough and i did not expect him to be under any form of anomaly. He kept on moving from group to group as he could not click with anyone one of them especially the boys' . Finally , a group which consist mainly of girls coaxed him to join their group . Even then he was only physically present within the group , that is , he did not contribute anything and i am not sure whether he was not paying attention to the conversations within the group or he probably did not know how to contribute .

There was no sense of overt ridicule made on him by the classmates . However , if he was ridiculed and if he could not find a group which is willing to accept him , how should the teacher aid him bearing in mind that the class that I was attached to was technically HYPERACTIVE . Can anyone share his/her opinions ?

Anyway , regarding the micro teaching under the tutelage of Pearl , Sukhairan was actually playing the role of a child with ADHD. I was contemplating with him on who is to play the role but we somehow decided that he will play the role and I will be his buddy who understands his behaviour and tries to calm him all the time everytime he gets into a problem. As you can see , it was quite disruptive for the progress of the class . How should a new teacher tackle a student with ADHD in a tactful manner which does not hurt his feelings?

I know that our chances of encountering such students is very rare . Although Ken has touched on a little on this issue a couple of weeks ago , but since we had an "ADHD" student for Pearl's microteaching , it would be timely to touch on this issue again .

Sunday, September 19, 2004

school experience

Hi everyone , so how did yr school experience go? I am quite grateful that I managed to get very experienced teachers as my "mentors" . In addition , even teachers who were not my "mentors" and those who do not share the same teaching subjects as I do were keen to share their knowledge with me . Well , some may feel that 1 week is a good eye opener to the realities of teaching , but I feel that nothing beats the years of experience that senior teachers have . Well , to conclude , nothing comes without a price though ... We had to sacrifice 1 week of holiday.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Micro Teaching

Hi people , I hope that you have all "enjoyed" the micro teaching stuff. Well , if enjoyment is not the right word , maybe "get a realistic feel" would be a better term . I believe that some of you might find me irritating , but what I am doing is just to add a realistic feel to these sessions . I am a different kind of non-ideal student each day so be prepared for surprises . Oh yes , i got a feeling that my lesson will definitely be a difficult one ...