Thursday, March 8, 2007

Of David and Goliath…

I happen to watch the making of the movie “300″, and read the reviews and the interviews of the making of the movie in today’s papers; basically a story about how 300 Spartans managed to put up a fight against an army of 1 million Persians. Seems apt that my entry tonight is entitled that then. Anyway, the main thing that somehow caught my eye was whether it IS based on an actual event, or just a figment of the writer’s imagination. Hmmm, can’t remember his name, but it is like ’something’ Miller..why can I remember his last but not first name, because they have the same last name as the famous designer, Herman Miller. Anyway, the papers mentioned that it IS based on an actual event, but it is only mentioned…like in one short paragraph out of the entire article. And given Hollywood’s record of depicting stories on actual events, somehow everything seems so suspect! No mention of its factual occurence was mentioned when I watched the “Making of the movie version” on TV though. Hmmm…strange! Sorry for my somehow piqued appraisal, it is just that I do have enough of the biasness potrayed by the media when it comes to religious concerns.

But enough about movies, let us go on to my other love too, besides my significant other that is, Rugby! The boys played very well last Tuesday, beating ACS Barker in a fairly tough match. Second round of the competition seems to be just as tough if not tougher, with the team being in the same group as other teams, who are just as hungry, if not hungrier, to win the title. Somehow or rather, I just got this feeling that we might just be able to inch our way to the top 4 of the Cups this year, but that is just a hunch! The last time I felt this, which was 2 years ago, the boys lost their matches when they can’t afford to, and managed to get back up again to clinch the Plates! But hey, like what I told some of my colleagues, the ball is oval…indeed it is even more UNPREDICTABLE, both literally and metaphorically speaking. Don’t believe me, try catching a rugby ball in mid-air and letting it bounce ONCE, or even TWICE, and you know what I mean. In fact to up the ante just a teeny weeny little bit, why not have a go at it but this time with 15 testerone-induced and even maybe hormonally-charged boys rushing at you. And then you’ll just know what I REALLY MEAN! :)

Professionally the above title also aptly describes the very situation that I am facing in my professional capacity as a leader. Somewhat, no doubt that I do have passionate, dedicated and professional teachers, who are willing to experiment and try out new ideas and concepts on teaching more effectively, but then the results perhaps have betrayed me for the past year or so. Sometimes I do wrecked my heads, looking at ways, or thinking of things that the team can do to perhaps get us out of the results trough. A lot of perhaps, a lot of trial and error, a lot of…basically trying out ways and methods that best suited for us to get that results that just doesn’t meet us at the right corner. And how is the title best describe this…well perhaps it suit most suitably in terms of our teaching experiences. Having youth, in this case, metaphorically speaking, I do have teachers who are rather “young” in terms of their teaching capacity and experience, can be both a blessing and hmmm…I don’t think I can call it a curse, because I don’t think it is that. Let us just say that perhaps sometimes, this youthfulness do let us down in certain ways. And in this context is how I see sometimes my role is fitting in into the bigger scheme of things. I guess, just like the different stages of group formation (if I am not wrong, there’s like 4 or 5 stages, can’t seem to remember what are they though :) ), my role here not only to ensure that the results would be even better, but I must also be looking at how I can develop their capacity and enrich their teaching capacity too. Like how they put it in the work review form…”Building Capacity and Capability”! Hmmm seems a little difficult when you have rather little or no guidance previously, but I guess things are moving a little better…a little late perhaps, but better late than never.

So how can the small inexperienced “David”ian department like mine is able to stave off ‘attacks’ by the mighty “Goliath”? How can David survive the onslaught of Goliath, armed with only the slings of “youth, inexperience and a greater desire to experiment” I don’t think I do have the answer right away, but I guess being nimble does help! That, and by refocusing my energies and thoughts on what the department has, that others doesn’t. Looking at what the department can offer, that others can’t. Looking at the value-add that the department’s programme can offer, that others can’t. And to see how this value-add, can, within the whole grand scheme of things, be used positively, and synergistically, to eventually get us out of the results trough, and hopefully…no….not hopefully but to eventually, give us the results that we truly deserve.

And with that, let us swing the sling guys. Let us face the might of Goliath and…ye who shall face the might of the giant and prevail, let victory be the sweet taste of thy’s hard labour!