Answer this! During those school years, haven’t there been times when you must have thought, “I just can’t wait to leave school and get out into the world!”? The world – A place you believed everything would just fall into place and life would blossom like that fresh rose in your garden. Have you never told yourself while looking into the mirror, “I’m going to climb that ladder of success and wave the golden flag from high up in the sky. Because here I am, equipped with THE most powerful weapon; that weapon which I’ve been sharpening and mastering for the past 12 years – an ‘education’.”
All those 9 am to 3 pm school days sitting in the front seat of the class attentively, so as to not miss any of those precious words my teachers say. Taking down notes, underlining and color coding important sections, weekends rushing between the best tuition teachers and entrance coaching classes, shelves crammed with the thickest guide books and latest sample questionnaires, the daily glasses of Bournvita I drank, to help me grow smarter and reach an IQ where Einstein would hang his head down in shame! Studying under candle light not because of the lack of electricity but just because the newspapers wrote about a poor boy who did and scored 93% – And I thought that would motivate me! Days ruined because I lost that one mark which prevented me from being CLASS FIRST (Oh! The utter shame and disgrace!). And finally, the medals and hard earned certificates which at last got me the report card that said “PASSED WITH DISTINCTION”!
YIPPEEEE HERE I AM WORLD, I AM READY FOR YOU!! BRING IT ON!!
And bring it on it does like a huge splash of puddle water on my beautiful innocent face. Something you were not prepared for or taught about all your blooming years, “REALITY.”!!
The reality, that from now on, you are on your own. From now on life is your teacher. No classrooms, no walls, no report cards or pats on your back. No medals! You want it, you go get it. Nothing comes in a silver platter anymore and you know what’s worse? There are another 10 million like you running their own race, wanting the same things that you want.
How I struggled with differentiations and integrations and those frequent nights when the neighbors wake up hearing the repeating algebraic formulas a+b2=2ab=2cd*4bd (or something of the sort) like a mantra. Futile.
Bernoulli’s theorem, Boyle’s law, Ohms law and Charles law are just names of my ex-boyfriends now.
All I can really remember from lessons learned on World War 1, The Battle of Waterloo, the battles of Panipat, The Boston Tea Party, Huna invasions, Battle of Plassey, treaties signed and resigned, the French, the British – allies…enemies…… – is that Columbus got it wrong, sailed across an entire ocean and thought he reached INDIA. (POOR MATH BROTHER …!)
English poems read and recited passionately did not help my stammering when I wanted to declare my love to all those handsome hunks who other girls snagged away right in front of me year after year..
Learning how an amoeba reproduced surely did not come to my aid when it was my turn. Even when we excitedly reached animal reproduction all we were taught was that a whole bunch of sperms would go in and the egg would select only one lucky sperm and BOOM! After nine months, lo and behold – A baby. I remember my biology teacher answering an inquisitive boy’s question of, “but how does it actually happen as ‘It just happens.’!!!
So then again the whole process had to be learned from Google and other unmentionable sites and some amazing friends who were willing to clarify my doubts. (I take this opportunity to thank them on behalf of my future children)
What’s left of 3 years of French is ‘Bon jour’ and ‘Parle vous France?’ after which anything further asked would be met with a constipated face.. Or now, was it ‘Parlez-vous français’?!
Learning bharathnatyam did not help me when I had to go for parties and visit clubs. Synchronized dancing also did not come to my aid when I had my drunken friends doing moves where judges would have banged their heads on the table.
Economics, social studies and knowledge about democracy and finance management has not helped my feelings when I see my account balance or reading the newspaper about various political parties, elections, corruption, uneducated leaders strikes and bandhs. After 50 years of freedom the ‘rural’ and the ‘urban’ still remains the rural and the urban and the poverty line has decided to stay put.
Twelve years of education did NOT teach me that there are more types of people than just plain good and bad. Twelve years of school did not teach me how to handle a heart break, a cheating boyfriend, spoiled relationships and the death of a friend. The very famous saying, ‘First impressions are the best impressions’ has been disproved more than once now.
I was not taught how to hold on to my values and principles and morale despite the invariable pressures of life – Deadlines, unpaid bills, families to take care of, troublesome bosses, back-stabbing colleagues, people who will do anything and say anything to get what they want. Seen it all survived it all. Now, after a full circle, I realize that the only true people you can rely on are your family and friends.
Reality check! What I did not learn in twelve years, reality taught me in two. REALITY BITES!
So is schooling preparing you for the reality??
I leave it to you to decide.