Thursday, July 26, 2007

Social Development: Importance of "Blowing Water".

It was my first EC P-3 Curriculum Planning lecture cum tute this morning, and I was late! You could say that my lecturer, D. was not too pleased about it with everything that has happened. :-P

I will state that the rest of this entry will be about the maintanence & continuation of relationships, and its important regardless whether with both children, or adults. I had already made a prior appointment with D. after class, and she gave me some feedback which I found difficult to understand. Apart from that, we were going to have a group assessment task which was causing me undue stress from the anticipation of having to work in a group context, as I am the only Asian in class!

Out of desperation, I contacted a mate from Hong Kong, John who has been in Australia for almost 3 years now. We later went for lunch with his "Aussie mom", Mary.

An Aussie Mom is basically an Australian family or couples who volunteer to take on international students and act like their "substitute parents" for the duration of the time the international student is studying at that particular univeresity.

It was interesting to meet Mary, who spoke with an Australian accent, but had almost indistinguishable "asian features". To which I found out that she IS a child of mixed parentage. Ah, that explained it.

Anyways, some of the rare pearls of gem that John, "the man of few words" surprisingly dropped onto my platter among which included are:
  • to learn to "blow water" as the Chinese call it. The english translation for this phrase is "compliment" or "persuade" which I am atrocious at. I must admit that I can be utmost willfully blunt at times (if I am on the opposite end of partiality of a motion which is not my cup of tea.)
  • to learn to compliment and praise people where attention is due.
  • cultivate a relationship with the person in charge. This is regardless of the context. I guess having close contact with the person of position helps a lot when you need support with the implementation of ideas or to have a head-start with a project. :-)
  • John explained that every "head" or the person in position has their own style of looking at things. He said it was good practice to ask this key person for their feedback. This has some play with matters of people relationships. Of course, if the key person had initially given the green light to initiate a project, it would show them in a bad light if they refracted it later, right? This is not only relevant at university, but at home with parents or at work depending on the context.
It is difficult for me to "change" my ways, as I can have the will of a bull, and my temper is just as fiery although I have not red hair. I'd say that learning to "give-and-take" is important in learning how to maintain relationships. It is essential not only as an educator, but modelling to your own children as a way of maintaining peace & harmony at home, especially if there are a few siblings and they start arguing and fighting! Young people or inexperienced people who have such mentors, are able to demonstrate it as "deferred imitation" (ability to recall and act it out) and internalise it as part of their own behaviours.

Having individuals who are well versed in the arts of diplomacy is an asset to every organisation as they help to create calm in the midst of a storm and saves companies losses to threat of a situation which is tense. :-)

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