Friday, April 9, 2010

Freedom of Speech

According to the passive-aggressive-always-in-need-of-donation-by-making-you-feel-bad-getting-information-for-free Wikipedia, freedom of speech is:

The freedom to speak without censorship and/or limitation. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech".

Does our country practice freedom of speech?  I ran into this article about how qualified it is in Malaysia, and I couldn't agree more with this quote:

A friend remarked: “Freedom of speech? Of course we have it in Malaysia! You can say anything you want in your speech. Its your freedom after your speech that is in question!”

But the issue that I'd like to focus on is the freedom of speech of teachers.

After the deep shit that I had to go through a couple of days ago, it got me thinking.

Have I lost my right to speak after I have signed those bloody documents, 6 years ago?

As you all know, I like to speak my mind here, and by the looks of my writing style, my blog is definitely NOT student/parent/dinosaur teacher friendly.

Hence, the complaint.  I unintentionally made history.  Being the first in my cohort to be called to the principal's office, in less than 6 weeks on the job.

Only in 6 weeks on the job, I received my first letter of complaint.  Now that's one story I can tell my grandchildren, and they'll know how epic their nana is; groggy and sans teeth.

Anyway, back to my present hot self. 

This issue got me thinking.

Maybe I SHOULD NOT be a teacher anyway.  Maybe I am NOT THE RIGHT person for this saintly, virtuous and righteous job.  I am not an angel and I don't make a good role model.

I'm beginning to love the job, but when I thought of quitting it due to the inability to measure up to be the person society expects me to kinda suck.  And to think that if I continue to be a teacher and leave my old wicked ways behind, which is, moi... I just want to bury myself alive.

All I want to be is just a teacher who kicks ass in her lessons, and students can actually learn something in class.  I will try my best to keep the profanities away in CLASS, because any dumbfuck would know it's inappropriate.  But I can't keep up with the goody-two-shoes facade outside the school or in cyberspace.

It's tiring to be fake and all smiley to senior teachers who'd just ignore your greetings, and being all nice and virtuous in class.  I'm getting laugh lines 'coz of that.  And it just feels good to swear my ass out once I'm out of the school compound.

The best advice I got was to clean up the expletives in my writing.  But don't these profanities make me?  And show my true feelings?  Okay, compare these two sentences:

  1. I'm selling my printer 'coz I don't want to lug that heavy thing that always causes me printing trouble back home.
  2. I'm selling my printer 'coz I don't want to lug that motherfucker back home.
Pray, tell me, which sentence is more concise and reflects my true feelings towards my printer?

And if I do need to clean up my act, I'd have to change my blog name to Absolutely Not Wicked - Please Ignore, Unless You Want Your Eyes To Bleed From Reading Ridiculously Nice Stories About People and School And Learn How To Be Extremely Polite To People.

So what I'm saying is, if I decided to clean up my act, I'd die inside 'coz I won't be able to express my true feelings.  I'd have to sugar coat it till you readers die of word diabetes.

So yeah, I'm in a dilemma now.

My problem is somehow not a big deal anymore (yet - till my practical is truly over then I'll know that I'm safe for sure).  But I know this issue will crop up again, at some point in my life.  Probably the first month of my first posting? Who knows? I AM epic after all.  And this time, I'd be in deeper shit because I am a staff in the school, and a full fledged teacher.  I am excused now 'coz I'm only a newbie and I won't be in my current school for long.

I would have to make a choice.

Be Amanda, the Awesome Wicked Blogger, or be Miss Amanda, the Awesome but Good Righteous Teacher.

It seems like I can't be both.

But a fellow teacher, Master Mervyn inspired me to be both anyway.

So I just found out what I can do.

Yes, I will clean up my profanities, but not now - someday.  Maybe when I have children already? (GAH!).  I will try my best to be as expressive minus the fucking profane words though.

So for the time being, having a disclaimer is my best bet:

Do not assume that you know everything there is to know about a writer simply because you read their weblog on a regular basis. Any judgements you make will be based on the information they have provided you about themselves, which is probably vague, incomplete or embellished. Whatever opinion you form on them as people, or their life as a whole, is probably best kept to yourself. Remember, you are the reader

The internet is a place that encourages free and creative expression, and as in any environment where people are given this freedom, conflict may arise. If an author uses language or materials that offend you, leave. Contacting the person or their isp, demanding they remove the content or change their ways is absurd because you are viewing their content of your own free will by visiting their site. Simply stop going there and you won't have to see whatever it is you don't like about the site. An obvious exception to this would be if someone were providing illegal materials, in which case it would be appropriate to complain to their isp or contact authorities.

I can now respond to overbearing parents/principal/dinosaur teachers, and save my ass from being sued for 'misconduct'.

Me likey.

And once my practical's over, this blog will be open for public.  

I'd really like to make money from the Google ads. *hinting*


Lizeewong said...

Well said!

Your grandchildren will be very proud of you hehehe.

Amanda Christine Wong said...


Kelvin said...

I want a grandma like u lol~ Just be urself.

Amanda Christine Wong said...

i will be kelvin! :D

MeMeR said...

as long as you know I am a loyal reader of you site,no worry gal!!

Susane said...

Maybe u can try nuffnang, almost similar like google ad,got few of people i know use nuffnang to earn $$..ur blog got potential to make $$.i mean after ur blog open to public:)