“Every year, I enter my class and ask the students, how many of them are studying what they truly want. Not a single one raises their hands. It’s depressing to see so many young, fun, and bright students go to waste. I’ve never seen anything quite like it elsewhere, this abuse of talent.
Previously, I had this student who was really into fashion. It was obviously more than a hobby. I’m not a person who is easily impressed, but when I saw the sketches he/she made, I was completely blown away. And then I asked what he/she was studying – Mechanical Engineering.
Singapore has an incredible talent pool, but this is not reflective in her accomplishments. Somehow Singapore has yet to produce a company like Apple or Google. I used to think that someone will figure out how to maximize the talents here, but I’m not so sure now.”
“Perhaps after this generation passes?”
“Okay, say I ask an average Singaporean how many children they’d want, how would they reply?”
“Well, taking into account the high and increasing cost of living, 2 should be a nice number. A boy and a girl. No more.”
“You see, you Singaporeans are so rational. You don’t get such responses elsewhere. When the next generation takes over, it can go both ways. You either force your ambitions upon your 1.2 children because you didn’t get to live it, or you’d be wiser. You know how it’s like to give up your dreams, and you’d be damned if you did the same to your children.
Another thing that bothers me is that you don’t hear much original stuff from the bands here. Most groups sing covers of more popular hits. Back home, ‘cover bands’ are considered second grade to the bands who write and sing their own music. One will be quite ashamed to say that they’re part of a cover band.
Also, the last time we had one of these concerts (Supernova), my colleague and I were quite astonished that the queue for free beer was shorter than the cotton candy. I mean, seriously, cotton candy?”
- Patrick, NUS Professor