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Lions and Mice

April 23, 2009

Today in my Leading Teams class, the teacher revealed that his TA had been doing a tally on how many times each of us spoke in class in the last few weeks. The data showed that, while a couple of us were ‘Lions’ , meaning people who talk a lot (perhaps too much), 3 of us were the mice, meaning people who speak very little. And turned out, I was one of the mice. So the teacher asked me how we can make mice speak more often, and at that moment, I could only think of one solution–“smaller groups”–and so that’s what I said. But it got me thinking, why am I one of the mice? I believe some of us in this group have experienced this before as well. I guess I rarely speak up in class because it takes me a while to formulate something sensible for an answer to a question, so either by the time I have something insightful to say the class has already moved on to another discussion, or I am too distracted by what the others are saying that I can’t really concentrate on formulating an answer. But of coz’, sometimes I just don’t have a clue.  The US edu system encourages students to be lions, while the UK system lets students be mice. I’m not sure if the former is necessarily better than the latter. With a classroom of mice, at least the only one who’s doing the talking (the lecturer) usually speaks something of substance and the mice hopefully learn something. With a classroom full of lions, it’s often just a bunch of junks that have probably not been processed by the brains at all flying out of different mouths and at the end no one really takes home any useful idea. Anyway, I’m not upset for being called a mouse. I still prefer to be a mouse rather than an idiot speaking just for the sake of it. I will just conclude: I don’t like lectures and I don’t like class discussions, so neither the UK nor the US system is going to be appealing to me, I’m just done with studying =P Let me out of here. Let me work now.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Miah permalink*
    April 24, 2009 12:29 am

    I am so mice.

    I guess we all want to be the mice who (or which), avoid silly comments but every so often strike the point so well that we stun the class to absolute silence at -273C.

    I do anyway.

    But my question is, why “lion” and “mouse”? I am quite sure lions don’t talk often (I am excluding Simba in this argument) and mice speak their squeaky language all the time.

    • denisesiu permalink*
      April 24, 2009 12:32 am

      I guess it’s ‘lion’ because lions have big mouths and roar loudly and ‘mice’ because mice just go ‘jip jip jip’ softly. Well, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

  2. HTY permalink
    April 24, 2009 10:31 am

    I used to be a super small mice, and I was very intimidating by the US students who kept talking. Then I found out that they really just say whatever is on their mind. I’m still not a lion, and I don’t think I ever will be, but I like to think of myself a rat (slightly larger than mice), I speak up only when I feel strongly about something, or I have a stinging question I really want to ask, or I strongly disagree with someone, or I think one of the lions is making an outrageously bullcrap statement.

  3. April 24, 2009 9:01 pm

    I am always one of the mice.
    I totally agree with you – “With a classroom full of lions, it’s often just a bunch of junks that have probably not been processed by the brains at all flying out of different mouths and at the end no one really takes home any useful idea.”

    You said UK encourages mice. I thought HK encourages even more mice. From my experience, UK students already speak too much. And I always wanted them to stop because I think they are actually “blowing water”, nothing of substance! And in fact, I want to learn from the lecturers, not the classmates unless they are really making sense, but this seldom happens.

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