Respect #1

Well, I thought I will be writing more about this topic in the future so I had to number the title!

Anyways… What is respect to you?

There are many forms of respect of course, but today I’m gonna discuss about this: Acting with due regard to the feelings, wishes and rights of others. 

I shall just lay down a typical and simple example, which most of us know. I invited you to a party and you rejected simply because you feel socially awkward. I am just going to respect your decision no matter what your reason was. I can attempt to convince you, but in due regard to your feelings, wishes and rights, I am definitely not going to force you, turn nasty or threaten you with our friendship. This is what I termed Respect #1. Your decision deserves my respect because I laid it out to you as a choice and it is your freedom to choose. I have no rights to make you feel uncomfortable because both of us are stakeholders in this relationship.

Coming to my main point, I had an 8am seminar class today. I am always sleepy in 8am classes except for this module, because it is very interactive and the content is interesting. There came to a part of the lesson where we had to do a small role-play: An egoistic manager versus his superior in a mock performance review. One representative from a team had to act in a role and there were two pairs of similar roles-plays. That sums up to 2 teams sending two managers and 2 teams sending two superiors. I was acting in the first pair, as the manager. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be as I just said what was on my mind (no script provided). When it was the second pair’s turn, one team sent out a manager…… That’s it? That’s it!

Where was the “superior”? Which team was supposed to send out a representative? Our professor smiled at the team who was supposed to send out a representative and asked if any of them would like to come out. They looked back at her with a blank face. The class turned silent.

“Psychic girl, would you like to come and try?” My professor said in a motherly tone.

Psychic girl looked at her and turned to her group mates, left and right, apparently using telepathy to communicate.

“What-is-your-problem boy, how about you?”

What-is-your-problem boy shook his head with a slight sheepish smile.

“Angmoh guy, do you want to try?”

Angmoh guy said no.

“Is there any reason why you don’t want to come and try? Is it because shy?” Prof still spoke in a motherly fashion calmly.

Silence….. The whole class was freaking stunned at the heroic act of this group. I meant rebellious, well… A few tried to break the tension by calling out the names of others.

The second role-playing ‘manager’ was left sitting alone on one of the seats placed for this activity and the atmosphere was SO AWKWARD. Luckily, prof managed to salvage the situation by asking what she could have done differently as compared to me. So we did not have a second role-playing activity.

Back to my topic, the attitude of this group showed a total disregard for the feelings and rights of my professor. What the fuck is wrong with them right? I seriously cannot stand this kind of attitude! The prof had been very nice to us all along and her lessons are always interesting. Is this how you treat her? I don’t give a flying fuck whether your team dynamics is good or bad. I don’t care if you don’t like your team members and haven’t been discussing about the activity for the past 10 minutes she had given us. I don’t want to know whether you all had selected someone to represent the group and he chickened out at the last minute. As an individual, all of them had failed to demonstrate proper respect to an educator. That was her lesson and she had every right to conduct it the way she wanted. It was not as if the role-playing will cause your head to roll, or give you an emotional trauma. Who the fuck are you to reject the prof’s repeated calls and disrupt her well-planned lesson? You are nobody, in a classroom of 30 students.

As students of the class, they are the stakeholders of the atmosphere in the classroom. They are the stakeholders of this classroom relationship. They did not show us due respect by avoiding the activity outright, and by making everything so difficult. They did not even open their gold-taped mouth to explain themselves, acting like little mermaids who lost their voices to some imaginary Ursula in the seminar room. I thought that exchange students, especially Caucasians will be more vocal and willing to participate in activities. I thought wrong. I was so disappointed in them. This module is called HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT for a fucking reason. You learn how to manage people. Now if you cannot even manage yourself and your own team, please just drop the module. You are just wasting your time, and ours too, which leads me to talk about the essence of education. So what if someone is highly educated, has achieved top grades and is very experienced? So what if you are year 4 and majoring in marketing and management? So what if you are double-degree? This small little act has shown how narrow-minded and emotionally immature you are. How are you going to succeed in life, I wonder.

Another flaw of the Singapore education system. What is respect?

(I used “they”, “you” and “someone” interchangeably but I meant the group in general)

I can’t believe I actually witnessed such immaturity in university. Joke.

-Chun Kiat

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One thought on “Respect #1

  1. Pingback: NUS Modules Review Roundup from the Net

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