Enter the Worlds

“There’re so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones.”

I love this song from Dire Straits. Just thinking of this song at the start of the new year and of what worlds I will enter and what worlds I will create. Ever since I started teaching General Paper intensively, I have been intrigued by the beauty of the English language, with all its technical details of pronouns, adverbs and split infinitives – a world which I have never entered with such force and excitement before. And starting last month, I took up the offer to tutor two boys in O-Level Maths; as I revised on my differentiation and integration, I entered, or rather re-entered, a world which I thought I had left behind and forgotten. But it is incredibly interesting to revisit an old, familiar landscape of knowledge from the past and use it again. And then when I pick up my history book on Tudor England at night, I get transported into yet another world…

And through this, I have come to realise that I enjoy the flirtations with many different worlds at the same time: history, part-time lecturing, GP, tutoring, Maths, running a business – I need to do many different things together. At the same time. Like a juggler with his eye on the many balls in his hands, up in the air, and all those in between.

Speaking of worlds, you would notice that the title of this blog entry is adapted from Avatar. I have watched the show, and although many reviews speak of the underlying ‘green’ theme in the movie, my historian’s mind actually picked up what I felt was a closer analogy: colonialism.  A technologically superior people intruding upon a group of natives who have to fight guns and bombs with spears and arrows to protect their homeland from exploitation of their precious resources in the gound. Sounds familiar? It seems to me more a leaf taken from the history books than a cautionary tale about the future. Perhaps lessons learnt from the past need to be remade into something else?


~ by irwin on January 7, 2010.

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