on schooling

Initially I thought this would be a long entry, but the more I think about it the less I have to say. Maybe because I’ve already said it, or maybe this will be a long entry. These are only the first few sentences. Also, these are again random thoughts in disarray.

What is it about school that bothers me? Do I need to be bothered about it? I think if I wasn’t bothered, I’d be insane. Or maybe I’m insane because I’m bothered.

In our “Leadership and Thinking Skills” course, I enjoyed the content but I think that there was a gap or a disconnect in the way it was being taught by the professors and how it was being absorbed by the students. I find that the students don’t speak up when they disagree with something. They are afraid of something. Maybe they’re afraid of looking foolish in front of the rest of the class? Afraid of disagreeing with the professors? Afraid of being wrong? I’m not sure what it is exactly, but the schooling environment does very little to discourage this fear. This is how you produce “yes men” or “yes women”. People who will walk out into the work force and say “yes boss” because it makes them look good and leads to that promotion, instead of considering the proper consequences of saying “yes boss”. I don’t want to be a “yes man” unless I agree.

But this isn’t a problem that is related to this specific course, it’s a larger issue about the state of education. I don’t pretend to know any solutions, I can just state what I find problematic.

I would like to think that it’s not just me who sees certain absurdities. I know it’s not. It’s foolish and self-righteous/holier-then-thou to assume that we are unique in what we go through. We are not unique.

There was this one point in class where I called out a professor on this concept of using metaphors and how well they apply in certain situations. Whether I was right or wrong is irrelevant, the point is that I brought it up, and in the end the professor gave us a cop out answer. Which is a shame. But during the break, a bunch of students came up to me and told me they were thinking the exact same thing and were glad that I spoke up. I’d like it if they spoke up as well.

If people speak up more, it allows the professors to realize that students don’t understand what they’re saying. It allows the professors to rethink what they’re saying, and perhaps present it in a different manner, or reiterate and correct what the students are thinking. This way we don’t have education based on assumptions. Students don’t have to cry and complain only after they get their marks back (because, you know, that matters so much). If you disagree with something conceptually, please bloody hell say it! I don’t say things because I like hearing the sound of my fucking voice, I actually give a damn and a half.

It’s easy not to say things and I understand. There’s a flow and we’re all part of it. It’s uncomfortable to go against the grain. I get it. You put your head down, slug through your courses, get your degree and you’re out. It’s done. You needn’t be bothered.

I choose to be bothered while I’m in the system. I don’t want to play this grading game. I’m not part of any competition. I’m not aiming for any prizes. There is no grand design and there is no cheering crowd at the finish line. There should be more to school than resume padding.

Maybe I’m mistaken in my interpretation of things. Maybe I have it all wrong. I know there’s still ways to go before I get a broader understanding of things. But I expect better, from myself and from the university.

But I am also a problem to myself. I don’t have myself figured out enough. My thoughts aren’t fleshed out properly. I’m stuck somewhere and I’m not sure where. My mindset is not that of a working person and is not that of a student. And even if I’m able to adopt either or both, I’m still not sure if I can solve the problem that I am to myself.

If time has taught me anything it is that I lack discipline. If I am to accomplish anything, in school or at work or in “life”, I need to regain a certain sense of discipline and focus. I don’t have this right now. Even with work and school, with this exhaustion and with this supposed “lack of time”, I’m not as good as I can be. Sometimes it is, but other times good enough simply isn’t.

So I’ll try and start the new semester with renewed focus and see how long it takes me to tumble down.

No, I didn’t say everything I wanted to say, and this entry is not as long as I thought it would be. Consider yourself spared.

3 thoughts on “on schooling”

  1. Believe me! its not good to be very focus, organized, disciplined etc etc…

    Saala zindagi ka maza khatam ho jata hai

    Per Allama Iqbal

    Achha hai dil ke paas rahe paasbane-aqal
    magar kabhi kabhi isse tanha bhi chor de

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