But first, some other news...
At Chulalongkorn University as guest viola principal of the university symphony.
Like in this picture, I like halls with history. Penang Free School Hall too, which is built on the inverted design of the hull of a ship, (though I occasionally confuse this with the inverted design of the inside of a whiskey bottle, for whatever reason). I would like to take pictures of the Free School Hall, if it wasn't always locked - it wasn't always this way. I recall that when I was younger the hall was open during school hours... probably because there were always activities going on there, unlike with fears today of taking up school hours with co-curricular activities, bla bla bla.
Teng and I are doing the ping pong blog thing discussing tuition, which is different from the ones I'm waived from paying in the US (heh heh... and *whew* :P). Anyway, with tuition, I'm sort of viewing things from a more aerial perspective... the larger view for me includes:
1. Hey, the birds don't poop at this altitude, they wait till they can aim better.
2. School isn't entirely about academics. This is the problem with having an exam, (SPM, STPM, O-Levels, A-Alevels, have your pick) as the mark of the completion of one's level of education instead of the concept of a high school diploma which can at least be decorated or revoked by one's attitude.
3. Neither is it about co-curricular activities either. Fooling around can be entirely educational if it's fooling around with school spirit. I can easily say that for those who visit the school again and again, it's nothing to do with chalk and blackboards. Though the bent chairs constitute a different issue.
4. Tuition is certainly more about academics, but if it's also alternative socialization that one can't get because you need a tag that looks like a nuclear radiation warning sign to get out of the classroom, so be it, thou goest with my best wishes.
5. Some people, during my time anyway, registered for "famous" tuitions just because right before the practical exams (lab work, Paper 3) the "tips" (aka leaks) were reliable - which most of these people would keep for themselves, naturally, and not even out the playing field by letting anyone else know - talk about buying an "education". I learned then that there is a difference between being qualified and being certified.
6. Yes, tuition is for those with means. Right now it is possible to make up for the inadequacies of public schools with hard work, instead of tuition. The day tuition becomes necessary is the day we know public schools don't even give the very minimum necessary for one to find his/her way with hard work, and that day will be a very dark day indeed.
7. Hey, birds pee and poop at the same time!
School, as a concept that happens either in school the building or in tuition, shouldn't be all about classrooms. It should be about halls too. Good ones. With history. And that doesn't mean just old ones - it means keeping them open for history to walk by.