I read this and I felt disbelief and a sense of outrageousness.
The blurb tells the methods of a 17 year old who got 10As in his SPM; of how he thought Facebook was a waste of time (which the editor decided to highlight by titling it) and how he especially didn't register to take the Mandarin paper to ensure he got straight As.
People on Facebook are dissing him because as a Chinese, he didn't take the Mandarin exam and had the gall to announce this on a national Chinese newspaper, no less.
I knew what I felt -- disbelief and outrageousness. But I started questioning why I felt this way.
All Mandarin paper taking students know the likelihood of scoring a high distinction, much less a distinction, is a difficult task, especially if you're the kind of person who doesn't use Mandarin very often. So, if I had to risk my CGPA to sit for a Mandarin paper and this Chinese speaking dude didn't have to and proudly announces this in a Chinese newspaper, well, that would tick me off.
I could say that it might have been a sense of betrayal when he said I "especially didn't register to take the Mandarin paper to ensure I got straight As" (note: this is my translation of it).
But if you take the emotions out of the equation, that's a pretty damn good strategy to ensure you get the best possible score you could out of the exams. Having an extra A doesn't make a difference when you're competing for a scholarship against a whole country of students who didn't have to take an extra subject. Why not level the playing field by dropping it?
I find that knowing the reason behind things helps me understand it.
Now that I've understood and not ticked off any more, he just looks like a real big nerd.
I mean, I'M a nerd but shit, he's a bigger nerd.