Crossing out the future?

Very recently, I saw a document which had a lot of things crossed out by a lot of signs similar to “X”.This reminded me of my days at school.

Me and Mr. X were very good friends back then. It was my teachers who introduced me to X. Every exam, be it the puny unit tests or the first semester exams or the second semester exams or the final exams, my answer sheets were inevitably decorated by X, in bright red color.It was becoming irritating. Good thing I did not have a hammer back then.

I have no idea why my teachers had such a penchant for giving me the X. Every parent teacher meeting, I would be fearful of what lies ahead. My teachers would without fail compare me to the most brilliant person in the class and go on to explain in great detail that I am on the path to be a minger if I did not know my Akbar from Asoka, or my trigonometry from algebra. They would rile up my parents as well who would give me a real dose for the next few days, also giving me the example of the most brilliant boy the teacher had mentioned.

I spent 12 years of my school life trying to come to terms with algebra, trignometry, mensuration, balancing chemical equations and the flora and fauna of the town of Chichister.

I had always maintained that none of what is taught in school will not be useful to me in life. And I was told that I was a tool for thinking that, because I will only get a job if I could tell some really complicated formulas in algebra. Well, I loved the games periods! Cricket and soccer!

How correct was I. And my God, how wrong were the so called experienced teachers who were always telling me that I am an utter idiot and all my answers in the exam were wrong.

Trust me, if my teachers had their way, they would’ve air-lifted me and ensured that I get dropped right over the war torn central Beirut.

I got through my masters without any clue about algebra. I also get a job, in the interview for which they did not ask me anything taught in history or mathematics or chemistry or biology or geography. They asked me about what I liked and about Gadgets and technology- the two things that I love.

No teacher would’ve taught me technology even if I had begged that I will not reproduce from my genetic pool ever. No teacher ever taught me how to survive in the corporate world. No teacher ever taught me the art of reviewing a gadget. No teacher ever taught me how to develop and maintain contacts. No teacher ever taught me to socialize. No teacher ever taught me the art of earning, spending and saving money.

All they tried to drill into my hard skull was how to balance a chemical equation.

Today, I have a job. I love it. And best of all, I don’t need to balance equations or solve complicated algebra problems. And there are a million other people who would be feeling the same way today, tomorrow, and till the end of time.

I am not saying that my teachers were daft. They are very knowledgeable creatures. They really do know their stuff, and deserve the utmost of respect. But I wish someone would teach them how to find out what a kid really wants, and nurture him according to that. Don’t torture him with stuff which will be useless to him. Don’t teach him stuff which will make him hate school. Don’t teach him stuff which will make him sick to his stomach with disgust. Rather, teach him what he really wants to know.

Something interesting. What would you like to study? Raise your hands, children.

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About Vishal Mathur

Geek by day, heavy sleeper by night!

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