Ok, so I am a student and I feel that that qualifies me for stating my opinion on this matter. Now out of the safety valve of a graduate degree, I am coming to terms with the world outside and I feel angered. And i feel that most of my education was probably my doing! We all talk about education. Hell, it is a sull fledged industry that is booming by the day. Soon, there will be a university on every block, and they will start awarding degree's for common sense (which is good), to how to walk like a winner! Every course we want, every thing we desire, is supposedly just a mouse click away. Most would say that this is probably the best age to be born for a student. This, after all, is the age of education. The age of opportunities and the age of enlightenment. Or is it?
Everywhere I go, i see more and more confusion. Its silly to limit yourself and its fatal to be confused. The cost for knowledge (yes, theres a price to pay), is sky high, and you are promised all kind of electronic vibes and devices that apparently will merge with your brainwaves, the way they increase the price of the course. Then, theres the society aspect. Till school, we ARE our marksheets, and after school, we become our degree certificate. So there is always the preffered and the deffered. And in a way, they arent really wrong. Landing on the wrong side of the economy is a mistake we pay for. But tell me, where in all this, did we EVER talk about education? Where are we talking about WHY we need education? Sure, we need it so that we can sustain ourselves. Invest in our future earning capacity. But apart from that, why do we need education? Is it to get a fancy tag and social acceptance? Is it to make a gateway into a foriegn locale? Why do we spend a major part of our young lives behind the books, knowing very well that we will land in that place for sure once we are old and physically useless?
The ideal response to this would be, self development. We want to develop intellectually, understand the world and of course learn something that can feed us, and maybe help buy that Mercedes. But mostly, we study, to sculpture our personality and character, to become the kind of independant individuals that are the foundation of any civilized society, the kind of people that the builders of the modern day society had in mind when they crafted these idealistic tenets of civilization. And, to realize the potential that comes with being a human. We study, because thats what humans do. Thats how ou species survives and prospers.
Yet, what part of education involves this? Or rather what part of education that you pay for? For one, all the places that come REMOTELY close to providing students with this kind of an environment where students are given a chance to broaden their vision and perspective, have rigid entry requirements and demand that you be nothing short of a genius. Oh, and that does NOT mean that you should actually be a genius. Just one on the academic records. That, or have highly specific preferrably marketable and understandable skills. Like being a computer prodigy or tennis prodigy is any day better than being just smart. And i have no offense to that. But tell me, if I am your articulate, already perfected, well proven genius, then WHAT THE HELL DO I NEED AN EDUCATION FOR? Sure, my already accomplished self will find contacts and accliam and moolah in your premise, and all i probably had to do was sit hard and study and get a pretty marksheet. But tell me, what part of that required me to be a genius, or even intelligent. I just had to be smart enough to blind myself and just mug up. which is a very important quality in this world, but not necessarily one that these places of education claim to look for.
Educational Institutions are the alma maters for those who wish to know, who SEEK to know. It doesnt require you to have a pretty profile and/or a lot of money. It takes raw talent, and burning desire, two things that they are least interested in. I spent so much time enquiring about universities left right centre, and the one thing that i got to hear was, see, you have talent, but its raw. They need you to have already developed it. I could have agreed to this excuse had it been a future employer or company. I mean of course they want sculptures and not just clay! The companies, businesses and employers are like art galleries. They display the sculptures, no clay. But the educational institutions were supposed to be the sculptors, not the middle men who milk the sculpture and the gallery people! Why do all big institutes look for flashy marksheets, great extra curriculars and loads of moolah only? I mean, agreed they are an easy way of knowing that the student may have talent. But tell me, does it ever occur to them, that a Mark sheet isnt a verdit on the childs intellect, just on his current devotion to the studies. By current devotion to studies I mean, how high they rank in his priorities. If i am probably someone going through some personal issues, scoring straight A's wont exactly be on my agenda. Also, it isnt necessary that ALL students from EVERY part of the planet will have the opportunity to develop themselves completely. HELL, THATS WHY WE ARE COMING TO YOU! And, if my parents already have a truck load of money, why the hell will i waste my time beyond a bachelors degree sitting in a University. God knows that we learn a lot more by travelling and working than we ever can by sitting in a classroom.
What you do get out of current education system though, is friends for a lifetime, and understanding of how people and world function and if you are a management or technical graduate, then a skill to live a life of luxury. Of course this statement is subject to conditions and exceptions. But apart from the technical part of it, where did these alma maters help us? Also, I know from experiance, that a book can be as good or better a teacher, and are way more cheap. So if it really is about making a sound business decision, go for the book.
I am not against education. I think we all need education. But education isnt about teaching us to think like Einstein, or giving us a ground to parade our own skills. Its the one opportunity we get to actually grow and develop ourselves. And there is no bigger deed than that. I dont believe that there are humans who are not interested in self appreciation. We are all constantly trying to live an image we create in our minds as to who we should be. Every kid is born with curiosity, sharpness and a certain ability to understand. We are all born equals and the primary reason why most parents then send their kids to school is in hopes that theur child will develop upon this ability. Then why, after landing in an institute for education, do we become the good, mediocre and dumb students. Why after graduating from the higher halls of learning do we become a success or a failure? And why, after leaving them entirely, we actually start from where we had left as toddlers? Is it all just nature and evolution at play? Or did somewhere, education just really went wrong????
so, i read recently, that Sheryl Crow has posted on her new blog that there should be a limit to the use of toilet paper in a bid to save the environment. while environment and its preservation is a cause i am passionate about, i see this as one of the most useless advices ever! sacrifice basic hygiene for um, saving trees? when you know that your co workers like Paris Hilton and all will make thei dogs write books that will be widely published by cutting these very trees???!!!!!! its rather stupid. while environment seems to be the new 'it' thing on the block, people are fast joining the bandwagon of people supporting this cause.
but in reality, none of them offer any advice on what an individual can do to curb global warming. political initiatives, though far more effective, are places where we will be wasting energy. politicians are usually too near sighted and contrived to come up with anything that has JUST good effects. its the people that you have to take a cause to. an individual is stronger than any ridculous system. all individuals is an undefeated entity. and this is what i wanted to do. i wanted to find out what a normal everyday doctor, day care worker, student or house maid could do to curb global warming. after all, they form a major chunk of the world population, not vain and stupid celebrities who prove time and again that you must have an IQ of below 100 to be famous, and waste their fame championing only those causes that involve visibly deformed little pitiable people.
in a world of nine billion people, time has come that we wake up. so i mailed every organization i could find on the internet, hoping that they would give me pointers on what non environmental activists could do to curb global warming on their part. i got no answer from all of them. like all charitable organizations, they want your money and signature on petitions, but will never tell you anything about the change you must make. ultimately, i used the one resource that is reliable, common sense. global warming is due to high carbon content in atmosphere. while there is nothing i can advice about curbing the CFC's, as AC's and fridge are for our comfort, i do have some pointers, that i am sure can help, and be incorporated in our daily life. and we dont need to go back to stone ages, or compromise on basic hygeine for that. all of these and more, i put to practice in my daily life.
1) TRAVEL BY CYCLE WHENEVER YOU CAN:now, use your common sense. if its 12 o clock and summer and you have temperatures above 30 degree celcius, or you are getting late for exams, you obviously wanna pick up that car or motorcycle. but there are so many places we travel by car that we dont need to. if its a class you gotta attend early in morning or sometime in evening, and if it isnt 40 kms away, then pick up that bicycle. something like back to school thing. you might say that your time would be wasted, but that is a lame and non existant excuse.first off, how much time and money do you spend in gym subscription? or time in front of the television watching pure bullshit. or in front of the computer dating virtual strangers, thinking it makes up for not having a life out of cyber space? it takes 12 mins to travel 5 kms by a car, and 20 by cycle! just 8 mins for 5 kms. plus, you do something for your figure, that no gym can do. Just going to a gym cant give you legs like Gisele Bundchen.... thats a myth they sell their products by. and even if they do, you will have strech marks. cardio is by far the most effective form of exercise, and cycling possibly the only one that strengthens your joints and tones your legs. plus, it increases your stamina, which means you wont loose a race with your great grandfather ( i cant understand how teenagers dont die of embarassment out of that).if you go in gruops, thats even better. also, use cycle for extremely short distances, like a quick ride to the grocery store on the next block. this one a deal, only an exceptionally dumb person will let pass.....
2) TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS WHEN U DONT NEED THEMok, this is an extremely common and annoying habit that even i used to have. it takes concsious action for a month and then you will be habituated. so, turn off the electricity when you dont need it!!!! DO IT!!! you dont need lights at 12 in the noon, or AC in temperate climate. and you know somwthing guys.... if global warming happens any faster, your body will have to acclimatize to much higher temperatures. and you will even get toasted every time you go out in sun. stay out of sun, and your skin will look like an old toilet paper twice used. so, it makes sense to turn them lights off. other thing is, use individual electronic devices. like, dont turn on your comupter just to listen to music. GET A FREAKING IPOD!!! trust me, you will save a lot more on electricity bills than you spend on that damn ipod. just by turning off computers when not actively using them, a normal working office can save 1000000 rs every year in electrcity bills. computers are amazing, but they consume too much electricity.
3) PAPER BAGS, AND DUSTBINSin india, due to administractive apathy, people rarely use the dustbin. USE IT! or throw thrash in someone else's house, so they will come throw theirs in your house. then you will know what kind of a nuisance littering is. another thing is, please stop sticking to plastic. i know its inconveniet, as platic is the most useful material ever invented. but i would take a new approach than the more impractical Ban Plastic one... CONSERVE PLASTIC. use your head, come up with ways to limit the plastic content of your house. use air tight containers as opposed to those million plastic bottles. when you stock water in plastic bottles, you might wanna know that a few good quality ones are better than a 100 odd ones. or just use your coke bottles. ( i know ppl still prefer them over cans). stocking a lot of plastic bottles means more bottles to clean, which if you are a lazy bum, you wont do. this is actually extremely unhyegenic, as even platic, with a little bit of dust ( and the elixir of life water stuck all over it), is a germinating ground. you could be drinking those bacterias and viruses!!!!!also, recycle whenever you can. invest your money on things you can recycle. this will create a market for things that can be recycled and manufacturers wont have a choice but to recycle stuff. consumers control the market, not the other way round like its happening. so, RECYCLE!!!oh, and if you recycle intra house, you might save money and space too. lots of it. take a sunday and just clean your house. look at the things you have that you dont even need!!!! you work your ass off on a college degree and job to earn money that you eventually spend on things you dont even need, that clutter up your lovely house, and frustrate you!!!!!! it doesnt make any sense. so till they make recycling bin as common as public toilets and dustbins...... RECYCLE, inter and intra house.
ok, this is all i have for now. if anyone else has any suggesstions, you are invited to add em on here. look at these.. they are beneficial not just for environment, but for you too. they dont require you to compromise or go back to stone ages or burn to death, all of which are likely to happen if we remain indifferent towards environment. all they require is for you to be proactive and use your head. if you cant do this, you definitely aint saving on any toilet paper either.so GO GREEN!!!! its not an option, its a requirement!
WHY WE NEED HOPE
While there is no dearth of hope in this world, actually, there is quite an economy that operates on selling hope and dreams, and earn big bucks; there are reasons to be skeptical about hope. Why do we need hope? I mean, we all know that while that song about hope, that nice motivational lecture you last attended, that movie you saw, that news report you saw where justice had been delivered finally, are feel good factors with a low shelf life. Then, before you know it, darkness descends again. Stuff happens to people who do no wrong. Psychos turn enemies and friends turn psychos. Another irony about life is that there is this pattern to it. When things are going all right, and you actually start believing that things are as nice as they seem, they suddenly change their color scheme to the exact opposite. While we keep reading about the battle between the wrong and right, the good and the evil, nothing prepares us for the evil present in good, and the wrongs the rights commit. The only resultant that remains, and is actually more faithful than any of these factors, is cynicism. At least doubt is permanent.
Hope on the other hand, is like drugs. It gives you a temporary high, but then, reality strikes and you have to face the consequences. One of my dear friends once said, that hope is a fools weapon. There are times when I almost agree. Look at this world! Everyday, things seem to be getting worse. The crimes against innocent, the crimes on the streets and on the internet. You can’t trust anyone, you can’t depend on anyone. People you know, show sides you would rather not see. All this not only weakens Gods and goods case, but also that of hope. Forgive me for acting the devils advocate, but happiness, trust, virtue, good and God, all disappear when you need them most. Pain and hatred at least stay. You can never predict or claim, that if you are fair to people, they shall be fair with you. That if you do good, you will get good in return. But I can bet that if you do something bad, you shall receive bad. if you kick someone, you can trust them to retaliate. But if you hug someone, you can’t trust them to reciprocate.
It isn’t a comforting thought, but then there is that miniscule element of conformity, and at least that, is something that hope doesn’t have. Cynics say that hope is a pretty good way of spending the time in between two tragedies. Your life may not actually be beautiful, but at least it will seem beautiful. That cynic is me. It makes you question, why do we need hope? So that motion picture industry can earn mega bucks? So that motivational speakers and religious leaders don’t have to go search for new jobs? I mean, if life isn’t going to be fair, why bother with hope and things like that? Why not join the bandwagon and become as indestructible a destroyer as you can. People wont dare hurt you, because they know that you will respond to a slap, with a sword. No one shall mess with you, and if that doesn’t happen, you can pretty much live life your way. I mean, then it can be fair, or blue or orange. After all, when every human being starts keeping a gun in their overcoat, the only way to ensure that you are safe, is to carry a tank and an army. So that any time someone shoots at you, you blast their existence off this planet.
BINGO!! Exactly. Aren’t these gun totters the very people whose menace we try to hope against. I mean, if things just go wrong, if there is a tsunami, you don’t complain much. Its when your friends disappoint you. its when people you don’t even know, come and hurt you for no reason. Its when crime happens. Its when bombs drop from the sky like bird dropping. Its when an indestructible destroyer wannabe comes with a toy tank and pokes you, scaring you into believing it’s a real tank, that you hope. Then, you question hope. Then you question fairness. Then you kill hope and convince yourself that world is not going to be fair. Then, you know that you can be unfair too. Then, you become one of those very people you were trying to thwart. You become exactly what you battled against.
Its ironic, that even though hope seems inconsequential in this battle called life, it seems that it’s the death of hope that starts this battle in the first place. Why do we need hope? To validate fairness? No. fairness isn’t just some pinky sweety concept created by human mind. It is the fulcrum of this planet. It is the conclusion of the experiment called life. Life isn’t fair because you pray everyday so Gods watching and everything. Life is fair, because in this world, nothing is created nor destroyed. What goes around, comes around. Matter and anti matter exist together. When you suck out the space, you will get vacuum. It wont all end. When you forsake your ideals, something in you dies. It wont come alive when you really need yourself. No human being can sleep well with a guilty conscious. If you hurt someone, it will deprive you of sleep, or worst, numb that area in your mind which tells you what you are doing is wrong. Which means, you have committed partial suicide!!! Which is rather foolish.
We don’t need hope to validate fairness. Fairness is probably too profound for us to grasp, because we think that every time someone hits us in face, they will immediately turn back and fall in the ditch. We don’t see that their hand hurts as much as our chin, and somewhere in their mind, something right just disappeared. Then, thinking that hopes waste, and we can slap around, we become the same, and start slapping people. There are others who cry and whine and basically become ultimate destroyers of hope. They are the kinds who tell you, “ whatever you want, you will not get. Whatever you fear and hate, will eventually become your destiny.”
We don’t need hope to live our lives for us. To fight our battles or to make things right. We need hope to keep the boat sailing in storm till its past. We need it to keep us going till life comes full circle, because it will. We need hope, because we have no option. Don’t give it up. Its more precious than you might know. And giving it up, will make things as worst as you envisioned, for all you know.
COPYRIGHT 2007 SHRUTI BHUTADA
Why we do have to make a decision?
Why should we take a stand?
Why take a risk?
Why do we yearn for choices?
Why do we have so many choices?
How do we choose between choices?
Why is life so hard on us sometimes?
Are we hard on ourselves?
Is life difficult?
Or do we make it sound complicated?
At this point in life, I think I am going through a Quarter-life crisis.. And by god! Its a tough phase..
I am lost in thoughts
& yearn for something better..
We all go through this phase.. and trust me, you dont have a choice.. you just have to take a stand.. just have to make a decision.. and by gosh! Its tough.. But, thats life!
-Shifted from Real World Section.
-Posted by Aparna.G
i think we all have experianced a phenomenon in high school that usually, since teachers try to get the lesson across to everybody, even the weakest student, the bright ones usually get bored, feel left out and in extreme conditions try to gain attention by resorting to violent acts. have you even felt that the presence of mediocre students in a class hamper the class development, especially at the cost of those who are brighter and smarter. there was recently a legislation in the united states of america addressing the teachers that they will have to ensure that even the weakest students in a class understand the topic at hand and every resource possible must be employed for the same. it is true that in education, like in everything else, the weakest link plays a huge part. many a times, this causes the smarter kids attention to be dverted. on top of that, it also puts tremendous stress on the weaker students to perform, for all the efforts are being taken for them. we especially see this in India, where in the life of someone who might not be as good academically is made hell by people around them. i mean even for a second it isnt considered if these students actually are interestde in academics. they are also looked down upon to a certain extent. also, the smarter kinds, who have usually understood the topic, get distracted, and usually never take the academic path later on. they either sleep in class or just chatter away or basically create ruckus, feeling that they deserve attention.
while this may or may not change their future paths, it does ensure that all the latent potential in these kids remains just that; latent. i am not trying to say that this system is a monster and is killing intellect. many people will champion going according to the stringest factor rather than the weakest link, i.e, instead of designing a paper that an average student can attempt, design and prepare a curriculum with the assumption of an intelligent student, and not the average or dumbest student, so that the best minds get conditioned in what they were meant for. also, for the evangelists, it makes sense too, as the weaker students wont be pressurized to study extra hard, or to ignore their other interests for a depressing issue of studies. they wont have to wait to graduate high school so that they get enough head space to understand that they might be mediocre academically and might not be the fastest thinkers, but they might have other capabilities which are equally useful. also, Darwin'd principle, which is stated when there is no nice way to explain things. we live in a world where the fittest survive. period.
the current education system, isnt doing much good. we all can agree on that. in a curriculum designed for the average, too much emphasis is placed on understanding and remembering the facts, little emphasis on applying them, and no exphasis on creating your own ideas based on them. when we grow up, we realize that creativity is everything. and remembering is a task a PC can do better than you, so why the hell will anyone bother. also, the people we call good students are basically just dedicated students. it doesnt take brains to ace examinations, for they are not lookign for how much brains you have. no, they designed this exam so that average students could sit it, average being someone who can understand and remember but not apply and create. in such a system, the very weak students get pressurized and the very strong wasted. all that remains is the average.
then again, these are children. shouldnt any educational system, especially one that is going to be judgemental, be executed after they cross a certain age???? for at least in the beginning, the position of equivalence must be there as kids dont know what their true talents are that early. one thing i am extremely sure about though, a society that judges children by their marksheets must collectively be put in an asylum, under the therapy for terminally dumb.
the tone of this topic will offend some people. most people dabble in philosophy thinking that it is just a mental exercise for the wordsmiths. but it is actually the nervous system of the world we live in. your opinions are invited. my sole purpose, as always, is to incite thought, and ask ourselves questions we rarely do. enjoy.
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