I Wonder

on Sunday, 17 January 2010
The first poem of the new literature syllabus in high school, form 1 now belongs  to Jeannie Kirby. Bye bye Shakespeare, your (Life's a) Brief Candle is indeed brief.

I Wonder is a poem filled with a toddler's worldly questions and seemingly relevant inquiries about what is surrounding him (ahem... in Jeannie's case, her). If you've read Chicks or Kittens, this is an exemplification of how important it is to emphasise curiosity, bewilderment or trying to become not bewildered. The very first thing appearing in our Form 1 literature materials is the propagation to our students - the sense of wonder.

Why is it now, do you suppose,
That dad won't tell me if he knows?

These 2 last lines in the poem prompts students to question the facts that are around them and require them to obtain information in myriads of places. Of course, in it's very literal meaning, a toddler would ask his/her parents everything and anything at all - that being his only source of information. This poem highlights that it is often that that source of information does not provide for the individual enough answers or the ones that are being sought after.

The semantics behind this poem is about the wonders of the world and eventually leading towards the idea of God and God being the almighty creator and the reason behind certain phenomenons. This comes naturally when the students are trying to figure out the answers to the imposed questions. When I teach this poem to my students, instead on emphasising about that which comes very naturally, I emphasise a lot about questioning. I emphasised a lot about how I abhor students who do not question and ponder about their surroundings. Even worse if they wonder and question them but do not seek to find out more about it which is what I call being a nitwit and completely complacent of being uninformed. This, if not curbed at the very beginning of 13 years of age will surely develop into a nitwit trend of not wanting to know more. Therefore, creating a horde of zombies by the time they are 17.

We have the materials. We have wonderful materials. Well, maybe not all of it are wonderful. I refuse to believe that with the current availability of such good materials, why is it then that our students do not reflect the beautiful potential of the materials and literature that we are giving them? Why is it that the students are not pouring out their heart and soul when learning such insightful texts? Is it an accepted situation whereby students look at the texts, see words, see sentences, and do not want to know the beautiful semantics that it contains?


How will they learn such materials, if the texts are not provided to them? I wonder, I wonder, I wonder...


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