Table Manners

There is the introvert, and there is the extrovert.  But there are also those who are plain nasty. 


This evening, a friend of mine invited another friend to join us for dinner.  I like meeting new friends so I was pretty excited about it. 

I soon discover that this new friend is a doctor.  I don't have many doctor friends so I was really looking forward to meeting this new friend.  However, I soon found out that this new friend really lacked any table manner/social skills.  This new friend knew how to talk... not talkative, but not quiet either.  However, the things that this new friend talked about were not really topics or issues which would earn you 'true' friends.  The things which this new friend talked about ranged between being a doctor, a lecturer at two different schools, upcoming trips to Hua Hin and Samed at 5-star hotels, other doctors who come for advice, stalkers, collagen, vegetarianism, and finally, the previous life of being a San Franciscan.  By the third topic, I was already chatting with another friend on Line. 


Later, in the BTS, I began wondering what may have caused this dislike for those who boast/talk about themselves.  Perhaps why I felt turned-off was not so much of the seemingly boastful nature, but because of my insecurities about myself - something which I discovered that very afternoon, and felt really ashamed of.  I don't know, maybe a new resolution for 2013 - get rid of insecurities! 

 

Equal Education for All?

At a global scale, the education sector has seen an increase in enrollment.  Yes, we rejoice at the number of people wanting to be educated, but is this the reality of what goes on within the four walls of the classroom.  Recent events have actually given me the opportunity to verify my doubts. 


In a university in Bangkok, a group of about 60 students huddle inside one classroom.  This is the second section of an intercultural communications course.  Right from the beginning, it seems that nobody is paying any attention to the teacher.  Everyone is busy, touching-up their make-up, updating their Facebook status/instagram/twitter/everypossiblesocialnetworkingplatforms.  There are several exceptions though.  Right at the front, some random locals with all of the non-local students have taken their seats - ready to learn.  Looking at this group, I feel sorry.  I am apprehensive as to whether or not they will be able to take away anything from this type of learning environment. 

The teacher tries to quiet them down, to no avail.  One of the local students who was sitting in front actually shouted at the class to shut-up.  This worked for a couple of minutes, then the rest of the class continued its chatter.  The noise is becoming unbearable, to the point where the teacher resorted to using a very loud microphone.  At least the teacher's voice now overpowers the students'.  This, though, doesn't stop the students from talking. 

Now, it is funny because where these students are studying is one of the expensive "premier" schools in Bangkok.  What's disappointing is that instead of building its reputation as a school where knowledge is creatively imparted and absorbed and applied, the standards are dumbed down.  Why?  There is hearsay saying that a lot of "rich" kids who didn't quite make it in their secondary education because they don't need to worry because their future is practically okay come here just to have a variety of environment.  You know, one cannot stay in the mall for too long.   I am not sure if there is passion anywhere at all.  Everyone seemed to be interested only in the facade they build.  Don't they know that intellect lies in what is on the inside? Instead of the pretty face they carry?

I personally think these people are not qualified for such high-level education.  It's really disturbing to see people who do not value education getting one.