At the preliminary rounds, it was still easy to tell the teams apart.. the good ones from the mediocre. At this level, I was expecting a more level playing ground but it's not so. One could still predict which teams would make it to the finals... In a field with so many players, actually only very few teams measure up. The 'cream' is always a small percentage and it is shown to be true here too in a field made up of the best from all the states cos the best of the best still are few. There's still the top of the cream to go... 8)
Increasingly, I notice that boys tend to suffer more from overconfidence and that their team work is not as cohesive as the girls'. Girls are more focused, boys seem to feel that they are in control when they feel they are at an advantageous position, which they very often actually aren't. Their teamwork wasn't so good... maybe it has to do with the boys not having better honed communicative skills, which means they don't communicate that well with each other to build that sort of team work... or just each one wanted to outshine each other. Could be one or all these reasons... or could be girls are simply getting better now.
Today's educational system seems to suit the girls more. The boys are on the losing end. The discipline and rigours required seem a little harder coming to them as they seem, still, to be stuck in that 'caveman-era-mindset'. A caveman thrives more on instinct than on intelligence.... he reacts rather than take action. And it has this domino effect cos once a 'caveman' shows up in one member, the rest of the 'cavemen' will also show up in his team members... and because of that, the primitive mind takes over while the intelligent one shuts down... this is what I think I am seeing in many of the boys I teach now... and also a bit of it in today's debate. The caveman has the conviction and confidence but lacks the ability to apply... and the girls seem to be doing better at adapting and applying in this area. Changes in the society has brought progress to the girls! LOL!
But today's experience is refreshing to see cos it indicates that we still have such young people who can be pitted against each other, articulate their views and square it out within the short time. And since I felt it was too good of an opportunity to miss, I took Son and TH along. Sanctioned 'skip-school'.
The JPN should have invited more students to watch the debate right from the preliminary rounds to the finals... it would have been a good learning experience. Debates in halls void of 'outsiders' save for the debators and officials were missed opportunities for our students. Such kind of activities which stimulate the intellect would be good exposure to the students. Such a pity!
For those who want to know the past winners, etc... Andrew Loh has a good set of records. Check it out.