A Sociological Empath

NUS Sociology Module Reading Lists

Exam’s over; time to burn those notes!

A liberating experience surely, unless you have gone fully digital. Somehow sending bytes into recycle bins does not provide the same catharsis. But why do we want this release? Is this a rebuke of our education system? Is that a commentary on the modern appropriation of knowledge for the instrumental rationality of our productivity drives?

If so, I implore you to redirect your vengeance. Knowledge is worth keeping and passing on. And in Sociology (and Anthropology), the knowledge you gain is especially worth keeping and passing on. Their insights speak to individuals finding places within societies. Isn’t that what we do everyday, all our lives?

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Social Deviant: Dabbing Physics Teacher in Singapore

Textbook that’s heavy.
Paper that’s light.
Now, paper on top of textbook; let’s try this.
One, two – and three!

Plop goes the textbook – and paper. Pop goes my heart, because the Physics teacher then does something none of my ex-teachers are likely to have done… heck, most students couldn’t have done it either with his self-assuredness.

He dabs.

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A Sociological Empath

What Color Is Your Parachute of Life?

Forget the job-seeking guide; here is a job-performing guide. A guide to reclaim the colors in the career of our lives. A career defined by paid work and shadow work, by schooling and deschooling. A deschooling that involves replacing common sense with your own unique sense. A sense that stems from the realization that society is not an abstract we can detach from, but a reality we have to live through.

Developing your unique sense is a work of sociological imagination. You need to see your selves as colored by cultures, from the contested politics to the accepted social norms. You need to understand that just as the environment affects your health, your health – physical, mental, existential – also affects your environment. You need to then turn this reflexivity into curiosity and agency, to brighten the colors of your society.

Life is difficult, I know. But life is the job we must perform, whether we like it or not. If you avoid working your selves through knowledge, experience, and introspection, you will lose your job one day and realize you have never lived.

Time is limited; it is. Efficiency is necessary for us to function, whether we like it or not. So I have put myself in digital shoes and opted for a more componental approach. Not only are my posts short enough to digest between work and lunch, they are also served in delectable colors to meet your specific appetites:

Orange [mains]: Musing/Observing/Reading
Pink [starters]: Quotes/Quizzes/Resources
Green [desserts]: Music/Arts/Travel + Translations
Blue [buffets]: Social Initiatives/Activists + Op-Eds

Why don’t I match the text colors with the words? Well, it’s because we are conditioned to see the world in black-and-white. It is up to each individual to perceive the colors in everyday life. Only then can we discover that every individual is an assembly of colors, whether we like them or not. Only then can we realize the vibrant colors hiding in our own selves.

If you believe that life is worth working on, then join me in this refreshing journey of reimagining everyday life. For latest posts, follow by email below. For monthly curated themes, follow on Facebook. For SG photos, follow on Instagram. For sociology quotes, follow on Twitter. For showing love, share my posts to those you love whichever media you prefer.

So, what color is your parachute? Well, no one has to pick a single color for their parachutes. But everyone has to design their own parachutes. May we survive the winds and enjoy the sails.

More Imagination Starters
Smart Casual: What Do You Want to Be?
Finding A Fit: Should I be a Conformist or Deviant?
Repository: How to Gain Knowledge?