Back whenever I was a teacher trainer for a company with Indonesian English teachers, I used to ask them what they thought was the hardest English language structure to teach. I would cover up their expected answer on the whiteboard, ready to expose it when they answered 'conditionals', the 'what if' sentences.
It wasn't the structure of the two-clause sentence that was the problem so much as the understanding of the purpose and meaning..
For example, I once asked a public class what they would have bought if I'd given them $1,000 the previous week. One young business executive said that he couldn't answer the question. When I asked him why, he answered, "But you didn't give me $1,000."
Good grammar, but the concept of every condition having a consequence eluded him.
In Indonesia, it is very much a matter of fatalism in the absence of a meaningful education and a moral leadership. The politicians by and large are amoral, carving up commissions in order to pay off the debts owed to the political parties they supposedly represent, debts accrued during their elections. If they are the supposed leaders of the country, then it is little wonder that their followers, citizens, have sheep-like characteristics, a herd mentality with its evasion of personal responsibility.GJ
and wife Jenny Q.
, and Oigal of Greenstump
have tales of firing local employees who hadn't thought about the consequences of their actions, and certainly had no notion about not shitting in their own nests.
We're regularly informed that jobs will be lost if we don't change our lifestyles. Others say that jobs will be lost if we do change our lifestyles.All over the world, protesters are engaged in a heroic battle with reality. They block roads, picket fuel depots, throw missiles and turn over cars in an effort to hold it at bay. The oil is running out and governments, they insist, must do something about it.
So writes George Monbiot
who goes on to rant against those self-centred fishermen the world over who are depleting the oceans of their fish stocks in order to keep food on their tables today, not bothering with the notion that their overfishing will mean that no-one will have fish on their tables tomorrow.
This country is far from being the only country with a bewildered populace. Shallow lives are spent wishing for the unattainable, consumerables that can only be obtained by stealing or by borrowing from usurers.
Let me be clear about one thing: the current high price of oil is a good thing
. I'm also glad that because of the servicing of BP Java's gas terminal Jakarta is going to suffer rotating power cuts, and the problems in providing coal to other power stations means that not only will less fossil fuel be used up, but folk may start practicing energy savings because they have to.
The high price of fuel will make folk think twice about using private transport, as is already happening in the States
, although it's debatable whether local authorities such as Jakarta City Hall will have the gumption to lay on more public transport.
If only half the cash received by politicians and bureaucrats in order to bypass by-laws was used to run public education campaigns, such as the Hemat Energi, Hemat Biaya
TV and billboard campaign run in the latter years of the Suharto era, and the political élite were not seen to be so hypocritical, then life would be better for us all.
And if not for us, at least that would guarantee a future for our children.