Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Name-Calling

It's pretty annoying when your friends in front of the class call your name with sarcastic look on their faces posting questions to you, as if you were not listening to the whole presentation of them. The name-calling is really unethical to me, in fact it is stated in "Things to avoid during public speaking." Well of course we want people to listen to what we are saying, aite? But we are not supposed to get the attention by humiliating other people so that they will listen. We don't force people to listen to what we are saying instead, people should be listening by their own will. And to me, the presenters should respect the audience. That's how I view name-calling.
This week, there were a few presenters that pointed out people, assuming that the people that they called were not giving their attention to the presentations, including me. And it annoyed me, honestly. If you think it was meant to be a joke, let me tell you, it is not funny anyway. To me, the presenters do not have the right to humiliate the friends, as it can affect ones credibility. Would you be happy if you were laughed by your friends because you was not able to answer questions? Would you? I would not. I never will. Some of the presenters without a tinge of guilt were saying things like "Yes A, can you hear what Z was saying just now? I saw you were talking to your friends" and "I was thinking to ask this question to K because she is lost." What the hell? I mean WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? To judge your audience and humiliate them in such way. You are presenting your ideas and works of your own interest not things of our interest. Those are your passion, not ours. And we were there, giving cooperation and support to you, to listen to you with full of patience and then you treated us like trash? It makes me sick and feel forced to come to class to listen to presentations when things like this started to happen. (And should I mention that the people who name-called other people were talking to their friends too when other people were presenting. So what do you expect? )
I rarely sit at the back of the class but sometimes I do sit at the back, intentionally, to get how it feels like being the "back-ventures". Being the "back-venture" enables me to see the whole class and honestly, I think most presenters had wrongly interpreted the level of attention given. I can hear some of my friends were actually discussing of the topic when suddenly the presenters call their name as if they were bullshitting in class in contrast with people who pretended to listen attentively but they were actually doing something else, like completing their homeworks but they made it as if they were taking notes. I feel pity to those people who were giving their attention (including myself) and think critically of the presentations but somehow were wrongly interpreted by the presenters.
Let me give you my side of the story (there are always two sides of story, aite?) I was sitting at the back one day when there was a presentation. Then my friend showed me of the progress of our project and so I was having a quick glance through the paper when suddenly the presenter called my friend and ask her questions of what was presented because the presenter thought that we were not listening. (Though the presenter did not call my name, I was offended too because my friend was talking to me.) I helped my friend by giving her answers and they were all correct. We actually gave attention of what they were presenting in front, it's just that sometimes things pop-up into mind and there exists an urge to discuss it immediately, and so, we were talking, and the things that we discuss are still within the field of the topic discussed in front and it does not mean that we neglect the whole presentation. Considering the fact that I am an auditory learner, I am able to repeat back what you were saying though I was sitting at the back, I remind you. (unless if you have spoken too softly or I was really not listening la kan, obviously.)
To me, only the teacher deserves the right to call up the students' name because he or she is the teacher, not the presenter to call upon names. Teachers are of higher education level, teachers are of higher status and teachers are people who are in the position of directing, teaching, lecturing and educating people and so, they have the right to keep the class in control and to me, they also have the right to point out people to answer questions, to order students to shut up and listen. We students do have equal level in terms of status and education level, so it is inappropriate to act as if you are more superior to your friends. We should not opt for name-calling as people might be offended and simply lose interest to listen to us. If I were to present my work, I wish people would listen to me willingly and I will try my best to avoid name-calling, I would opt for a more general and leisure style of posting questions, like asking class in general. I will be asking quetions like "Can someone name me the factors that I had mentioned just now?" and pick only the volunteers to answer my questions or ask the class whether they are following me or not with phrases like "Got it, everyone?" without mentioning any name. I wish not to torture my friends and not to humiliate them as it brings us to nowhere, it would not bring us to betterment (at least not to me) because I am aware that we people have different world views over things. Maybe you treat name-calling as a joke but it is not to me. Can you see how it differs between one to another? I am not saying that I am perfect, that all I did were right but I believe that we were taught to respect others since we were born and we should make it into practice, should not we?
I am fully aware that issues like name-calling can give both positive and negative impacts towards students if I am to be a teacher in future and it is frightening and torturing me. Some students may perceive it in a positive way in the sense that they were noticed by the teacher; they like to receive such attention and once you call up their names, they will be giving more attention to you but some students like me, who hate to be called, where I prefer to volunteer rather than to be called especially when I am not ready, I am not willing, and I have hesitations to share of my thoughts or something, and the teacher calls me, and I was forced to answer then I was not able to answer, it's really discouraging and humiliating. That is one of my million reasons of refusing to make teaching as my profession. Being a judgmental person like me gives me disadvantage in the sense that it is hard for me to let go things that were done to me. I will judge people out of the hard times they were giving to me and the perception remains until they clean it back by doing good things to me. Just imagine if I have to teach difficult students like me (yes, I am difficult.) and I accidently said something that I should not be saying, and she happens to remember me as a bad teacher for her entire life eventually and she will be sticking to the perception. Just imagine. I do not want to be perceived as a monsterous teacher, I do not want to spoil my students. Maybe I was not meant to be in this field. But I am taking this course that requires me to teach, at least for my internship next two semesters. What should I do now? (Again, I complicate things.)
[ p/s: It's holy Friday and by the time I am writing this note, I am not offended anymore by the presenters as some of them have sent appologies to me. We are all human-being who make mistakes. I myself am not excluded. To err is human, to forgive divine. So, I would like to appologize too for harsh words that I've thrown in this post. I was writing out of my emotion and dissatisfaction. My bad. No more hard feelings OK :) But I am still going against name-calling, if and only if you happen to forget. ]

9 comments:

Esteban said...

I used to do that in class. but I called out only my closest friends, for eg. my housemates.

and of course, they would do the same to me during their turn to present. no hard feelings though as we know each other perfectly. ;)

moQ a said...

syahirah!kamu nampaknya sangat tensennn..


jalan-jalan jommm...
rindu kamu lah...

fareHana said...

Kak shiro, actually i felt the same way. I think it’s very degrading to do that esp to your friends of the same age and level. It’s not the right way to make people pay attention to u. It’s humiliating, disrespecting. That’s not how u teach respect.

SyAhiRah LaLAla said...

Esteban: oh the context is totally different in here. but name-calling is really unethical in public speaking you know. it's a fact. but if your audience are fine with it, there should not be a problem then :)

moq a: ye,,saya agak stress. jom jom. bilakah? saya on sajek :D terima kasih untuk nasi lemak yang kamu belanja itu. ianya sangat sedap,,yummy2! thanks adik *big hug*

farehana: i thot i was the only one to have this uneasy feeling inside because others seem not to bother. i was making tight face last time (if u notice) huhu. kesian kot kat orang yang dikenakan. and hopefully there will be no more name-calling la lepas ni kan *pray hard*

fitriah said...

saye pun sangat tidak bersetuju dengan name-calling itu.
it is very humiliating especially when we do not able to answer their question. definitely it will effect the lecturer's perspectives towards us..am i rite?



p/s: but for me, name-calling is ACCEPTABLE for those who always talking during the presentation and always sleepy!!serves them rite!muahahahaha(*evil laf*)

The Chromatic Design.. said...

hye syaira...

from ur long revelation, i can c dat u r not satisfied w d name-calling thingy in a class..

hurm..i stil remember d time i learn pedagogy (i think we both learn d same thing rite), i was told dat it is unethical to call student's name to answer d question unless u post d question first..

in a positive thinking, if u call name first, every students in d classroom will be alert bcoz they assume dat they will b d next person...n d person who has a bad luck will definitely have to 100% focus on d question that the teacher will ask...hurm...

however in a negative way, calling name first will make students afraid n feel uncomfortable with d teacher..this will psychologically affect d students...

presenters in ur class might not learn all dis...perhaps they called name first was to show authority or power..so, dun really bother abt dat..jz remember, people wont listen 2 d presentation if it's boring..but if it's interesting, unintentionally audience will listen to them =)

Qasiyh said...

Waah...
gile melampau heh...
in my college selalunya audience yg hentam speaker...

Syarifah Nur Athirah said...

bad speakers....
huhu..

listeners will listen if their talks are interesting. who wants to listen to bored,crap things?

surprise when it happened among TeSL students..Hello! Don't we learn that for almost every semester???
To be exact, during the 3rd sem, we have Public Speaking course? aite???

Stupid lamb..

SyAhiRah LaLAla said...

fitriah: i am going against name-calling by all means *rolling eyes*

the chromatic design: yes. it is unethical. and it always be, to me.

qasiyh: oh gila ganas audience kolej u adik. hehs. sini pun ada jugak audience cemtu. but all these while, i am sticking to a stand that i will try my best not to give hard times to people. but i will not hesitate to proceed, giving hard times to those ppl who give me hard times. yes, i am revengeful.

syarifah athirah: yeah, u're rite. mungkin mereka terlupa kot. uhh~~