Updated : August 6, 2019
- MD and PhD
- Musical Instruments
- National Language Center
- Parts of Speech
- Political Science
During our younger days, we studied Basic Mathematics in English as well as Burmese.
The authors include U Thon, Daw Hla Kunt, and U Pan Yi. Some are based on (or translations of English texts) such as Workman.
In Primary School and Middle School we studied
(a) Ganan Thin Char (Arithmetic)
(b) Ek Khaya Thin Char (Algebra)
(c) Gair Aw Me Hta Ree (Geometry)
In the old Government examinations, Mathematics examination is taken as two papers : Thin Char (Tit) and Thin Char (Hnit).
For some time, the HSF and Matriculation offered Additional Mathematics.
For our Matriculation, we took Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. They seemed easy to Mathematical Geniuses like Min Oo (Kenneth), who had studied Calculus.
Rangoon University used to offer Double Maths (Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics) and Triple Maths (Pure, Applied and Statistics). Most early sayas were experts in Pure Mathematics.
Some Professors in the USA view Mathematics as
(a) Continuous Mathematics
(b) Discrete Mathematics.
Professor Donald Knuth of Stanford University taught a course called “Concrete Mathematics” with topics from Continuous and Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science students. His teaching assistants published a book based on the course.
With the advent of computers, “Computational Mathematics” became a discipline.
MD and PhD
MD may stand for Doctor of Medicine.
MD may stand for Managing Director.
MD may stand for Maryland, a State in the USA.
Ph.D stands for Doctorate in Philosophy., where Phil means “love of” and Sophy means “wisdom”.
Some medical doctors have MD and PhD.
Barry Paw (GBNF), son of Saya U Htin Paw (EE58), is an MD, PhD. He passed away on a plane from a flight from Australia to the USA.
Win May (Winsome Ba Thike, MEHS61) is an MD, PhD. She is a Full Professor at USC (University of Southern California).
Hla Yee Yee (MEHS61) is an MD, PhD. She retired as full professor at International Medical University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Dr. Nyunt Wai commented that Message should be more important than Messenger (e.g. media, format).
Keynote speakers also emphasize on the importance of Message. What is the key take away from the Keynote Speech? Videos, slides, humor … are entertaining, but without a memorable idea to act upon, a speech is usually not memorable.
Story Telling is powerful, informative, aspiring, educational, and entertaining. Books, movies, music, arts, history, archaeology, … leverage the art of Story Telling. Thanks to my Thin Sayas, Myin Sayas and Kyar Sayas for helping me learn and develop the art of Story Telling.
There is a book called “Naked Presentation”.
Dr. Nyunt Wai wrote :
Misuse or overuse of technology has led to a saying, “power corrupts, and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely”.
U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76) wrote :
That’s true to some extent. I used to work for a VP who limited no more then one page of PowerPoint in any meetings as presenters/people spent more effort on it than actual discussions.
Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint wrote :
One Sayadaw said about younger monks. He said, “The younger generation do three things: pariyati, paripatie, and now pari- putti i.e using FB.”
Methodist was founded as a “revival” movement of the Church of England.
Methodist became a Protestant Denomination, and spread world wide.
Burma had three kinds of Methodist Churches and schools: (a) English Methodist (b) Burmese Methodist (c) Chinese Methodist
MEHS stands for Methodist English High School. MEHS was rebuilt after the War with the donation from the American Methodists.
MEHSA is an alumni association. The web site used to have a “validation process” to vet members.
ASSK attended MEHS before she left Burma to accompany her Ambassador mother. She is seen in the group photo.
Photo : Dr. Richard Yu Khin (MEHS 61)
(1) For a certain period, the Mingun Bell weighing 55555 viss was the largest functioning ringing bell in the world. Young Burmese remember the weight of the bell with the mnemonic “Min Phyu Hman Hman Pyaw”.
One viss equals 3.6 pounds.
(2) U Narada (Mingun Jetavana Sayadaw) is credited for the revival of Vipassana (Insight) Meditation in Burma. Mahasi Sayada and Taung Pu Lu Sayadaw are two of his disciples.
(3) U Vicittasarabhivamsa (Mingun Tipitaka Sayadaw) is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his memory feats. He is the first to be awarded “Guardian & Treasurer of the Tipitaka”.
At the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Kaba Aye, Sayadaw recited and elaborated on Vinaya (Monastic rules of conduct), Sutta (Discourses) and Abhidhamma (Ultimate Reality).
A Physical Model is usually a scaled down version of a real-life entity.
In our younger days, some schools and universities had Aero-modeling clubs. Ko Eddie (Edward Teoh, M64) helped run the Aero-modeling club.
A Mathematical Model is a representation of an idea, concept, theory using Mathematics. It could be a simple equation (e.g. F = ma), a system of equations (linear, non-linear, differential, partial differential, …) or much more.
A Computational Model leverages the power of computers. Many traditional subjects now have Computational aspect (or branch). Example : Computational Biology
- Probabilistic Model
- Stochastic Model
- Simulation Model (e.g. Discrete Event Simulation)
- Neural Networks
- Econometric Model
Benjamin Franklin said, “Two things are certain. Death and Taxes.”
Men are mortal. Some tried ways and means (e.g. via Alchemy) to have long life and perhaps become immortal.
Actuarial Tables are used in the Insurance Industry. They are based on the Life Expectancy.
Infant Mortality rates were relatively high before the progress of Medical Research and Health Care.
Daw Nyein (Physics) lived over a hundred years.
U Num Kok (C) passed away in 2018 at the tender age of 98.
U Ba Toke is currently the most senior among the RIT sayas and sayamas. He is a Phwa Bet Taw of Rangoon University and the First Rangoon University Students Strike in December 1920.
U Ohn Khine (M70) reports the GBNF list of the 1st BE Intake of 64 (aka the Class of 70). It has 90+ members. Ko Peter Pe (swimming and water polo) was among the earliest. Ko Cho Aye and Ko Aye Win Kyaw passed away in 2018.
U Aung Min (M69) reports the GBNF list of the Class of 69. It has 80+ members. Ko Khin Maung Nyo was among the earliest. Ko Nay Win, Ko Chit Tin, Ko Myint Thein (Kabar) and Ko Tin Myint (John Lee) passed away in the past years. The mortality rate of 25% (or so) is quite high. Some have medical problems.
The Class of IM 67 (with Dr. “Leslie” Saw Naing as the recorder) could track only 17 or so deaths from the class.
The Class of IM 94 has 40 or so as GBNF.
Every morning when I wake up, I feel happy that I am alive and well. I am not an Optimist or a Pessimist. I am a Realist. I am thankful that I have a reasonably good health and memory to pay back to my beloved Motherland, my Alma Mater, my ancestors, my mentors, and all to whom I owe gratitude. Thanks to the readers who enjoy my posts and also share them to their friends and families.
The Burmese classify musical instruments as
- Tha Yay
- Let Khoke
Myanmar Saing Waing has Jazz as a distant cousin. They perform extemporaneously.
Myanmar Dobat is often performed in Thingyan and at Ah Hlu.
Philharmonic orchestras have various sections. They include
During our younger days, most pop bands had
- Lead guitar (e.g. John Lennon)
- Rhythm guitar (e.g. George Harrison)
- Bass guitar (e.g. Paul McCartney)
- Drums (e.g. Ringo Starr)
Some musicians play multiple instruments. Examples :
Paul McCartney plays the Bass guitar and sometimes plays the piano.
George Harrison plays the Rhythm guitar and plays the sitar.
U Aunt Gyi usually plays the Accordion, but he sometimes also plays the piano and the guitar. At the Farmers’ Market, I have seen musicians playing two instruments (harmonica & guitar) at the same time.
Some bands play special guitars. They include
- Double stringed guitar (with twelve strings)
- Steel guitar
- Hawaiian guitar
A String Quartet may consist of
Visiting bands and musicians
During our younger days, several foreign bands and musicians visited Burma. They include :
- Benny Goodman (saxophone) and his band
- Duke Ellington and his band
- 13th US Air Force band
- US musicians (via the Cultural Exchange Program)
The Synthesizer can simulate many musical instruments.
MIDI stands for Musical Instruments Digital Interface, Composition and play back of musical instruments can be done with the aid of MIDI.
National Language Center
- There is a NLC (National Language Center) at the University of Maryland (College Park), USA.
- It used to provide free (or limited) access to Federal employees and eligible educators to study languages (e.g. French, Chinese, Arabic).
- For a number of years, it chose from among the languages used by minorities to add introductory level courses to its library.
- One year NLC chose to develop listening and reading comprehension for basic Burmese. NLC sent request to Burmese associations to help with the project.
- I was accepted to be the Language Advisor for the Burmese project.
- The listening comprehension consists of broadcasts (e.g. “Win Pe Lwai Eik”).
- The reading comprehension consists of short articles (e.g. Ayotha Pyinnya Wun U Po Kyar).
- Specific fonts and browsers were needed to read the script for the Listening and Reading Comprehension.
- An English translation is provided. My task was to ensure the quality (e.g. correctness of the translation)
- Exercises were provided
- As a contributor to the project, I had access to LangNet
- NLC no longer offers free access. Individuals and groups can subscribe to NLC’s courses for nominal fees.
Neikban is the Burmese term for Nibanna (in Pali) and Nirvana (in Sanscrit). It is rendered as “Liberation” or “Enlightenment”.
It is the pen name of my beloved spouse. She wrote articles for the Dhammananda Newsletter. I have re-posted some of them.
Some volunteers for Dhamma activities also call themselves “Neikban Zaw”.
Some associations for Dhamma activities may be called “Neikban Zaw Ah Phwe”.
News may stand for the four directions : North, East, West and South
News may be formal or informal.
In the early days, News Agencies served as a source for newspapers and radio. Reuters, AP, UPI are some of the agencies.
In our younger days, there were Morning newspapers, Evening newspapers and Weekly newspapers.
The newspapers were printed in batches. The early batches were dispatched to other cities via car or rail. The later batches were usually given to distributors. Some newspapers reserve space on the front page to print “Breaking News”.
Newspapers employ reporters or correspondents for the Local and Regional News. There may be student reporters, sports reporters and ad-hoc reporters.
Newspapers usually print corrections the following day, but some people might not take time to read such corrections. Unethical journalists may rush to report news (without fact checking).
After the Coup d’etat, there were changes.
- NAB (News Agency Burma) was established to control the dissemination of news. The English Section editors compile the news from the news agencies. The Burmese Section editors compile the local news. They selectively translate the foreign news into Burmese.
- Four old newspapers were continued as government newspapers. Two new newspapers were established. “Loke Tha Pyithu Nay Zin” was headed by Shwe Oo Daung. “Working People’s Daily” (WPD) was headed by U Khin Maung Latt.
- Censorship grew over the years.
CNN (Cable News Network) was one of the early TV stations with emphasis on news. Its sister station HLN (Headline News) ran 30-minute segments of the “current” news.
The Internet and smart devices forced the demise of several newspapers.
In our younger days, Opal was a decent car. But, when one calls someone “Opal” (or “O Pei”), then one is “obsolete” (good to be ignored for getting old).
There is T.O. (Technical Obsolescence). Some artifacts can be found only in museums, antique fairs, and die-hard collectors.
Some technologies are disruptive.
Many automobile workers lost their jobs when robotics (and the related fields) gradually displaced them. Those, who did not have alternate skills, were hit hard.
Touch typists and secretaries found that their skills have been marginalized by the word processors, voice-activated systems and similar advanced tools.
I might not have a reasonably good memory and a hobby of “connecting the dots” of seemingly diverse topics if I had access to the wonderful world of Internet, AI, and Gaming.
Slates, Chalk & Talk, Logarithm tables, Slide rules, Multiplication tables (up to 16), Grammar books, Pronouncing Dictionaries, and most now hard-to-find artifacts trained us “remember” (not rote learning per se, but using visualization and tricks).
T.O. required me to unlearn some old skills, and to learn new “latest and the greatest” skills.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion. e.g. Social media is good for getting contact with lost friends, but not good for use in research papers.
Some newspapers have Op-Ed (Opinion and Editorial). e.g. There may be two competing opinions of DST (Daylight Savings Time) : one for and one against.
An opinion may not be true. It may have biases and unintentional errors.
One should not react to an unfavorable opinion. e.g. Names may not be a hobby for everyone.
One should take whatever is relevant in the opinion. Then, optionally, one should respond (e.g. which parts are relevant, and which parts are not).
The following are examples of incorrect assessments by experts.
- “Joe Montana cannot be an efficient Quarterback, because he does not have the structure, strength and finesse.” Joe went on to win four Superbowl, and entered the Football Hall of Fame.
- “Apple Music and Apple Computers are two different fields. There need not be confusion with Apple in their names and products.” The judge for the Trade Mark suit could not see deep into the future. The Beatles songs (owned by Apple Music) are played in iPod (owned by Apple Computers).
- “The Long Jump record at Mexico City Olympics will not be broken at other places (with lower altitudes).”
- Bob Beamon’s leap beat the existing Olympic and World Records by a wide margin, and was considered a “fluke” (partly aided by the rarefied atmosphere). The record was broken by Carl Lewis (who won the Long Jump at four Olympics).
Cheiro (Count Louis Hammond) popularized Palmistry with his readings of the rich and the famous, and his writings on Palmistry and Numerology. He classified seven personality types based on the structure of the hand. He also covered the major lines and signs.
There are several books on Palmistry by European, Indian and Burmese writers.
U Sein Win (C69, GBNF) was an amateur but proficient palmist. He had several discussions with a professional palmist. They tied the knot.
Saya San-da-ra was a famous Palmist in his days.
San Zarni Bo was suspended from his studies due to his antics (during a Union Day celebration, and during a Minister’s visit to RIT). He elected to study Palmistry …
Saya U Aung Zaw (UCC) wrote about his uncle Bogalay U Kywe and his predictions.
Saya U Myo Win (M/Ag65, GBNF) told some of his students that he would find a better pasture abroad (according to the lines and signs on his palm).
Parts of Speech
In our younger days, we were taught that there are eight parts of speech in the English language.
A noun is a name of a person, place, thing, or concept. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Proper noun (b) Common noun (c) Collective noun (d) Abstract noun.
A verb usually describes an action or a process. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Transitive verb (b) Intransitive verb.
Instead of repeating a noun several times, we may use Pronouns. A Pronoun stands for a Noun. Grammar books will give classification such as (a) Person (b) Number of a Pronoun.
When we speak, the “first” person is the one who speaks. The “second” person is the one being spoken two. The “third” person is some other being referenced.
If there is only one person, we say it is singular. If there is more than one, we say it is plural.
In English, the term “You” may be both singular and plural.
There are Modifiers. An Adjective usually modifies a Noun or Pronoun. An Adverb usually modifies a Verb.
There are Connectors. A Conjunction (such as And or But) connects two parts of a Sentence (which is constructed using the parts of speech, and makes “complete sense”.) A Preposition adds information such as position (e.g. in, on, upon, under) and time (e.g. before, after).
There are words to express Mood (e.g. surprise). They are also called Exclamation or an Interjection.
There are two techniques : Synthesis (combining the parts of speech) and Analysis (breaking down into the parts of speech).
I was surprised when I first learned that the Pali language has only four parts of speech.
We did not have to study Political Science at school. Some of our juniors had to study Political Science.
U Nyein Aung
- He taught Political Science at RIT.
- He was invited to SPZP-2007 in Singapore.
- He was surprised when I mentioned that I had read his articles written in a Veda magazine.
- One of his pen names was “Aung Nyein Oo (or U)”, which is the reverse of his real name.
- He also wrote as “Saya Beda”. He studies and practices astrology, palmistry, numerology, and Tarot cards.
- He also said, “Since you know a lot about people and their names, you should try working for projects that can benefit by your skills.”
U Tha Din
He taught Political Science at RIT.
He is a close friend of Aye Ko, a member of RUBC.
I met him at a SPZP-2012.
U Khin Aung Bo
- He is a B.Ed.
- He was recruited to teach Political Science.
- He is the President of MARB (Myanmar Astro Research Bureau).
Several Burmese studied Economics at LSE.
LSE is known as the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Ideologies and Theories
- There are several Ideologies and Theories.
- None of them are perfect.
- The choice of “Burmese Way to Socialism” had dire consequences on the nation and citizens (who are not “First Class”).
Conventional wisdom says, “Practice makes perfect.” Unconventional wisdom says, “Perfect practice makes perfect.”
In our Matriculation class, Brother Clementian — former Brother Director who continued teaching — gave a weekly one-hour Mathematics test on Saturdays. We had to answer three questions. With the practice, most of us did well in the examination where we had to answer six questions in three hours. It was an example of “Perfect practice makes perfect.” He would hand out the answer papers on Monday. He would call those who did not do well to a special session after school.
To paraphrase Horowitz (a famous pianist) :
“If I do not practice for a day, only I will know. If I do not practice for three days, my mom will know. If I do not practice for a week my audience will know.”
There are several practice sessions before the event (e.g. Entertainment at SPZP). There may even be a Full Dress Rehearsal (final practice).
Giving a reasonably good “Prepared Speech” requires practice, but the practice should not involve “blind” repetition. One should try to remember the main points and the transitions.
Practice helps a good athlete to become a great athlete.
Ko Richard Yu Khin (MEHS61) wrote about the tough practice sessions given by Mr. Matsuda for ten selected Burmese swimmers. They had to swim five 50 yard sprints with one minute interval. He helped Tin Maung Ni shine in Burma and beyond.
Habits are easy to form. Bad habits are not easy to break. With patience and practice, we can “modify” and “substitute” the bad components in the habit with good ones. The triggers may remain the same, but good actions can yield satisfactory results.
I spent a lot of time playing the Solitaire Card Games. I received a sense of gratification with the awards : Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Perfect.
I stopped playing Solitaire and spent more time writing and sharing my knowledge and experience via Trivia Posts. I now receive a sense of gratification with the “kind words” by my readers.
Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (SPHS60) wrote :
And why do qualified doctors keep on “practicing”?
An Adjective of Quality answers the question of “What kind of?”
QA may stand for Quality Assurance. SQA may stand for Software Quality of Assurance. QOS may stand for Quality of Service. QE may stand for Quality Engineering.
Many do not want to live too long without a good Quality of Life.
Air Pollution (with bad Quality) may be correlated to Lung Diseases.
There are Nine Qualities of Buddha (the Enlightened One). There are Six Qualities of Dhamma (Teachings of the Buddha). There are Nine Qualities of Sangha (Holy Order of the monks).
In our younger days, we rely on Bartlett’s “Book of familiar quotations”.
If people do not check the source, they may misquote or attribute a quote to the wrong person.
For example, many believe that Sherlock Holmes said, “Elementary, my dear Watson”. It is not true.
In the class book, the following are quoted the most
- Anon. (for anonymous)
I do not remember the authors of the following quotes. Provide feedback if you know them.
- You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
- Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.
- Worry is like sand in an oyster. A little produces a pearl. Too much kills the animal.
Rhyme (or Kar Yan) is an essential element of Poetry.
In most English poems, the end of specific lines rhyme. Some Burmese will call them “Ah Pyin Kar Yan” (Outer Rhymes).
Common patterns include :
- A B A B (where the first and third lines rhyme & the second and fourth lines rhyme).
- A B B A (where the first and fourth lines rhyme & the second and third lines rhyme).
I received “The Rhyming Dictionary” for taking part in the Debate held by RIT English Association. Saya Des Rodgers, Saya Sao Kan Gyi, and Saya U Khin were the judges. I gave the book to Ashin Ananda (Laureate Poet).
Most Burmese poems use the “Ah Twin Kar Yan” (Inner Rhyme).
o o o x
o o x o
o x o o
x o o y
o o y o
The first rhyme (say x) starts with the final (say 4th) position in the first line. It then moves to one earlier position (say 3rd) in the second line. The Kar Yan moves until it hits the first position.
As an option, a second rhyme (say y) can be started in the line where the first rhyme ended.
Some poets have their opinions and preferences. They do not strictly follow the rhyming rules. A few tend to use rhymes sparsely or not at all claiming that rhythm and ideas are sufficient ingredients of a Kabyar (poem).
Dr. Nyunt Wai noticed that moderate use of Kar Yan is acceptable, but excessive use of Kar Yan can transform a verse or poem into “Ah Kar Ah Yan” (secondary).