Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Road Not Taken.

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

So I want to talk about that article taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Australian Federal Government has recently proposed to pass a legislation which bans and censors certain material and sites on the internet. From experimental tests, it has shown than the filters are able to be bypassed. I don't understand why Australia is all of a sudden wanting to establish the "Great Firewall of Australia" as it has been coined. The most technical literate would be able to bypass the filters set by ISPs easily. Australia is in my opinion, denying citizens the right to movement in the cyber world and be able to "seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Having compulsory filtering of internet sites and material is clearly denying information to the Australian public, no matter how controversial it is. We all have our own established opinions on what is right and wrong, our own moral and ethical code and for the Federal Government to intervene and interfere with our freedom is unacceptable behaviour.

Since it can be bypassed, I don't know why the government is still pushing for the legislation to be passes through parliament even with critiques. I think Australia is making a very wrong move in "protecting" the Australian civilians by having censorship on information, denying knowledge and education of the outside world.

I thought Australia was a free country if not the best. I am now having second thoughts. What happened to democracy?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gin and Tonic.

In Australia, they are considering about raising the legal drinking age to 21. Personally, I don't have too much of a problem with that. I only drink at functions and events. I am responsible and will never go over the top with alcohol. But the problem is not me.

The problem is society.

I can already picture protests and rebellions by teenagers against the government, with a heightened spark in crime rates which may include theft and robbery of alcohol and fraudulent identification. I cannot see the piece of legislation working. I only see it failing once it starts to kick in. The police may be able to catch and target certain people, but people will think of new and clever ways of getting alcohol.

Maybe I am wrong and it will work. But once enough teenage people get jailed, will the government realise the legislation is only causing more crime instead of better education of the matter.

We shall wait.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Lesson About Life.

I have decided to take this time and dedicate this blog post to my high school teachers, especially the ones who I have become quite attached to during my HSC year.

First of all, to Ms. M. West. She has been the most kind-hearted teacher outside classroom hours, always giving us treats during exams and cakes during class lessons as a random act of kindness (She is strict when it's actually time to work). I really appreciate her dedication towards providing me with great knowledge on Economics, something which I am able to take away and apply it to my life as I open the paper each morning. I will not forget those lessons where I have been imbecilic and chatted away to my friends because I found the lesson boring. Mind you, I didn't like the writing aspect. I like the discussion aspect, even though I never usually discussed anything. Probably just me trying to get out of work. Nonetheless, she still continued to press me to work harder and study, to get the marks. I eventually did and I thank you Ms. West for the patience you have also put into me.

Secondly, to Mr. T. Petrohilos. I must say, he has a wonderful sense of humour. Mathematical humour that is. He looks old but his heart and spirit is young. He is lively, entertaining (it's maths), and very committed to his work. I have too many past HSC Trials and past HSC papers that I don't know what to do with them. Nobody burns maths! It's too full of the wisdom and knowledge in numbers. Thank you to sir who really showed the class he cared about our future and even surprised our class with pizzas and soft drinks one day. That was definitely memorable. Maths is something I must do because I don't know what else to do if I didn't do maths. I will be taking maths with me everywhere. It is inevitable, from mortgage calculations (loan repayments) to interest rates (compound interest) and even when I throw a few dollars around on the Casino tables (probability).

Thirdly, Mr. B. White. One of the people I admire for possessing such a phenomenal brain. I still don't understand how he is able to pick up any text and analyse it critically on the spot. I nickname him the walking encyclopedia. He possesses an enormous amount of information and is able to retain them. How he does it still baffles me. But what he did teach me is to try and develop a large vocabulary as well as how to write better essays. Even though it was primarily just reading and analysing, the concept was interesting to try and grasp. It took me a while before I finally understood what "Navigating the Global" was all about. It has been a very interesting experience together, constantly learning new things and appreciating the dedication he put into improving my essays and story.

Next, Mr. A. Shipp. He is the law. The one who taught me about how Australia and the world operated in terms of the legal system and the consequences if broken. I guess we all fear the law, but then again, we never fear it in other aspects. He has become more than a teacher, but a friend. He has treated me and the rest of the class with warmth and gratitude, leaving us with more than just class work to ponder until the next lesson. He is a great motivator and inspiring teacher with plenty of quotes to keep us entertained. I love philosophy and thought so he has provided me with hours and days of thought on some topics. He is passionate about what he teaches and does it with style. Will be missing this chap.

I have certainly saved the best till last. For obvious reasons.

Ms. C. Ansoul. I couldn't write everything I wanted to write about her on the yearbook so I will attempt to readdress that here. She is my favourite teacher (still is) and has been for the last six years. No lesson with her is a boring one, even when she is in a bad mood (cause unknown). There is some sort of aura around her which brings fun, enjoyment and interaction to every English lesson. There is talk, jokes and my all time favourite, stories about her youth, her teenage years (her crushes) and her travelling experiences. There is still so much to learn, but the time is up. Wish it passed more slowly. Her sense of humour is terrific (but there are some that get on her nerves). She loves to crack jokes (and only SOME laugh WITH her), and show off her interpretive dancing skills. Well, we still haven't seen any yet to be honest. I am disappointed. She has provided me with knowledge and skill on how to organise (or how NOT to organise) a classroom lesson. The method of her teaching is especially something I admire and wish to adopt: controlling a class with no effort. I thank her for all the work she put into improving my English (being my second language) and with few words spoken, told me how hopeless my creative stories are. Let's admit it, my stories are beyond confusing.

To all my teachers: Thank you once again. I appreciate the kindness you have placed thus. You are my idols.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tranquility and Disaster.

Music is the very essence of my life. Without music, I would not feel complete because it would not define who I am. But not any music. The music which is the melody of my life, the tune of my heart and the bridges of my personality is classical music.

The very complexity and texture of classical music is what draws me to how rich and full of meaning and emotions. Different instruments placed together, played at different pitches and rhythms express completely different feelings that touch my very spine.

I think it's a shame that classical music is starting to get lost in the sea of today's generational change. With the rise of rock, hip hop, rap, techno and all that jazz, classical music is become less and less valued. I think classical music is a great source of inspiration for those that do understand it. For those that don't, one could attempt to try and understand how beautiful it is by analysing the components of the piece, or you could just sit back, relax and enjoy the tune flow right through your body as you imagine yourself in the setting of the tune.

Classical music is dying a slow death. There will always be a few people who would nourish and embrace classical music into their lives, but as each new generation comes into society, all the other music genres will precede classical music. No longer would you occasionally see people dancing to "The Blue Danube" or "Swan Lake" or even "1812 Overture". Even Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" or the "Swanee River Boogie" would be great dance pieces. Not in today's society.

But apart from the stereotypical classical music of violins, pianos, harps, trombones and flutes, there are other new emerging improvisational instruments which I am greatly intrigued by.

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Magic Crystal Brain.

We are all mind readers and psychics. You may not know this but think back to the last time you were going to say or ask someone something. What tends to happen is that you imagine what their answer is going to be and make a prediction and from that prediction, your decide whether the question is worth asking or what you had to say is worth saying.

Interesting isn't it?

But then the mistakes appear.

I am a person who "needs to see the world". I have been stuck for years in my tiny little shell, too reluctant and too shy to come out. I tend to picture the entire conversation before I even approach the person and analyse each response. But when theory turns into practice, I am left to improvise. I guess that I made mistakes and so forth and I'm sure I'm not the only person out there.

I learned my lesson that I should openly communicate to people and speak with them instead of trying to read what they are thinking and regretting later that it never happened. Sometimes the truth hurts, but the truth is better than never knowing.