So the newest JC in Singapore is going to be called Eunoia JC. You can be forgiven if you haven’t seen the word before, let alone know how to pronounce it. And if the word is Greek to you… well… you’d be correct. The word, “eunoia” is Greek, meaning “well mind” and “beautiful thinking”. Not “beautiful mind”, mind you, so don’t get your hopes up that the JC will produce Nobel laureates in Economics. Oh… and how is it pronounced? Like this.
But you know ah… in Singapore… most Singaporeans not that ang moh pai one la. So you know ah… most Singaporeans probably won’t be able to pronounce it correctly… So… you know ah… very soon most Singaporeans will just call it You-Know-Ah JC. Which will make for some very funny conversations. Such as:
“Ah boy, where you want to go?” the taxi driver asked.
Ah boy: “You know ah JC”
Taxi driver: “Yes yes, I know you are JC student… Uncle can see from your uniform, but where you want to go?”
Ah boy: “You know ah, JC la!”
Taxi driver: “Trying to be funny is it?!”
Ah boy gets kicked off the cab and is late for school.
“Ah girl, which JC you going next year ah?” asked third aunt
Ah girl: “You know ah, JC”
Third aunt: “Yes yes, I know you going JC, but which one?”
Ah girl: “You know ah, JC la!”
Third aunt: “Ah girl ah, why you so rude! Don’t want tell then don’t tell la!”
Ah girl gets no ang pows from third aunt for Chinese New Year that year.
I heard on the news just now that Acting Minister Ng Chee Meng said, at the ceremony where he announced the name of the new JC about creating value, something that it is about defining and solving problems, as well as finding opportunities before they are clear and apparent. But that can only really happen if our students aren’t simply drilled in tackling the A-Levels, where the problems are almost always well-defined. Unfortunately, I think that the overriding obsession of schools and students in Singapore is still in tackling standardised national examinations. Let’s hope that Eunoia JC will really be able to help its students be better able to create value. Otherwise students may go from eunoia before A-Levels to ennui after A-Levels.
[Featured image: temporary site of Eunoia JC at Mount Sinai. Photo by Hani Amin from CNA website]