Long before blogging became popular written diaries were very common. During my teenage life I used to keep a diary where i wrote about everything and anything that I thought were worth documentating for future remembrance. I moved places many times from Sabah then UK then Sabah then UK, Sabah, UK.. and sadly as a result managed to lose all of my diaries as well as my fossil collections taken during geology field trips. I remember writing down hundreds of song lyrics, painstakingly copied while listening to the song in my cassette player – pausing, writing, listening, rewind, pausing, writing, listening, rewind and on and on… it could take half a day just to get a full song lyrics.. and some turn out really funny because I didn’t know what words were sang because of the accent of the singers. As a result of all that time listening to music, songs, copying… i became so good at identifying songs and could tell what song it was just from the first musical note!!
Fast forward more than twenty years later, things are so different. I just google the name of a song I like and I get the lyrics in an instant.. including the music and sometimes with the music video. I can opt to print the lyrics or save them digitally. I still love listening to all sorts of music and songs.. but have not reached the level of listening that I used to have years ago. Some new songs stay with me for a few months, a couple of years but eventually I forget the lyrics and even the tune. However, those songs I listened to years ago remain fresh in my head.. and when there is a remix of that song I know exactly where it is different.
It makes me wonder how much my children can retain with regard to all the amazing amount of available information, songs, music that are around them and available online. I imagine the flow of information whizzing by in my mind, staying there just for a fleeting moment, no permanency because new information are waiting to replace it. It makes a lot of things complicated because of the lack of permanency of information. It gives me headache just thinking about it. No wonder a lot of children nowadays are so agitated most of the time. The school teachers tell them one fact based on the syllabus, the tv tells them a different version of that fact, the internet yet another version. The children can get very confused.. which information to believe, trust.. which are real? Truth?
My daughter reads a lot and likes to research online on science. In her examination she will apply her knowledge gained from all the readings that she did. However, it goes beyond what is taught in her school. Since she did not strictly followed the answer to science questions based on her school syllabus, she is penalised with lower marks. She becomes demotivated and confused because as far as she is concern her answer seems feasible and correct! Sometimes it is hard for me to explain to her why her answer is ‘not correct’.. sigh… I don’t think my parents had that problem last time. Any question pertaining to science or maths and we are directed to refer to our school text books… and that’s that!
Talking about the past and present, I read recently about George Orwell starting a blog. I loved reading the satirical book ‘Animal Farm’ by the author. I was so surprised to hear that he started a blog recently because I thought the writer died long time ago! I discovered later that the blog actually is made up of postings of extracts from Orwells diary beginning in year 1938 to 1942. The blog started in August 2008 and I suppose will end four years later. I am excited about the whole idea of getting to know Orwell ‘up close and personal’ via his daily posting of his diary. Do check it out here!
I wonder what sort of things I wrote in my diaries long time ago….