Last stage of learning new

“Tomorrow is the last date. You listen to me? Tomorrow is the last freaking date ”
My friend who owns a French coaching institute told me.
This last date he was referring was the date of last batch starting of the season. I had a long desire to learn French. In fact all of the languages possible, but the things didn’t work well for me. Studying a new language after tiresome daily office work haunted me. But the other side of me wanted to learn all of it.

“Not this time Sudeep, I got no time” I replied slowly.
I knew he would be furious. This was the third time now that I have asked him to book a seat for me in the batch and then leaving it at the last moment.

“You’re just impossible man. “ He seemed to show no concern this time. Maybe he was accustomed with that.

“Any way I’m leaving now. Can you pick up my daughter from Sheetal aunty’s home?” he asked.

“Sure. But what she’s got to do with Sheetal Aunty. Didn’t she use to work as a maid at your home? And she lives all alone past the town”. I triggered a rapid fire round with him.

He didn’t answer me properly and left to work.
I went to pick up Sneha. She’s a very sweet girl.

“Why do daddy always drop you here with aunty? ” I asked her while driving back home. She didn’t reply. I asked her again.

“ Because I want to meet her. Promise me that you won’t tell dad. ” That interested me. I mean what would a tiny 3rd grade girl would have to keep secrets from her dad.
“I promise. Tell me why Sneha” I asked.
“ 10 more chocolates please” she said, “ a fair deal, no?”
I chuckled. “I’ll get you 20.”
“ Dad thinks I come here after school every Friday and Saturday.” She looked up into my eyes and said.
I raised my eyebrows demanding further explanation.
“ But I bunk school every Friday and Saturday and come here, to spend more time with her.” She said hesitantly.

I wasn’t shocked at this. Kids normally do stuff and hide from parents. I acted like it wasn’t a big deal to bunk school to make her comfortable and not to frighten her.

“Oh that’s fine sweetheart. I used to bunk school as well. I didn’t like school as well like you.” I said.
“ But I like school. I like books, I like maths, I like science. I love being there.”
“Then why do you bunk the school? “ I asked.
“ I come here to teach aunty. She is my student and she calls me little teacher ” she smiled proudly.
I smiled back and said, “ So little teacher, what do you teach her?”
“ Every thing they teach me in class. Aunty is so poor that she can’t go to school and she has to work as well, so I teach her everything. I bunk school and she bunks her work. She is learning English so fast. She wrote one letter for her son as well.”

“Where does her son live?” I asked.

“I don’t know. She says he lives with god. Do you know where does god live?”

“ No, I don’t know.” I said.

“What has she written in it ?” I couldn’t hold my curiosity and asked after a while of silent drive.
“She thanks him in the letter. I am going to deliver it for her when I meet him.” she said.

We didn’t talk about her after that. I dropped her home and came back to work. But I couldn’t get this conversation out of my mind.
How selfless a little girl can be?
And we, we are all obsessed with ourselves.
Her only student was five times her age, but still it didn’t matter at all when sharing knowledge. You could be a teacher, teach someone who needs it, teach someone something valuable, not just studies, but a way to live a better life.
And when you have to learn, you learn even without resources. Will Power is enough.


“The Rat Race” & education system generating sheeps!!

The whole system revolves around grades, “The rat race” is what I call it.
Here I’m writing an incident that happened with my friend in IIT Delhi. He had shared this on quora.
Now next words by him

“A recent personal experience: Major Thesis Project. First entire department was given a classic lecture on how we should follow our interests, do research in areas of our choice, talk to professors. Then the announcement was made of not allowing the project to be conducted in any other institute or even another department (including Computer Science@ IITD). And then the list of projects was released as a result of student’s discussion with faculty members. And ALAS! Next it is announced projects will be “allocated on the basis of GPA”. Made a complete joke of research interests as people with higher GPA who hadn’t spoken took the projects which seemed to be lucrative on their CVs, and the ones who had actually spoken were left hunting desperately to pick ‘just something’ to complete their degree”.

Yes IITs allot research work to only those who scores good mark!!! Albert Einstein was not good in school studies that doesn’t mean that he was not intelligent. Students with low marks can excel in many things in life. They can be good scientists. But GPA is the only thing here to measure one’s intelligence!!

Now I’m talking here more about Rat Race.
A significant fraction of the top-creed folks try to get admission in Top universities of USA. They do go a ridiculously long way to achieve some of these goals to the point of insanity (eg., race one another along corridors to be able to get a seat in the very first row of the next classroom).

Folks are going super-aggressively competitive and in all honesty, the passion for learning itself is getting destroyed. This is very disappointing to me. It is possible that a lot of folks change their perspective towards learning as they step into universities and institutions abroad, but when it comes to India, it is all just a survival-game culturally.
There are many ways of managing higher grade without knowing the subject. Certain courses are termed “chill courses” and professors “chill professors” for the grading is lenient in these courses. What it often means is cram notes one day before, do the tutorial and you would be in a good position to get a 9-10 grade. This is a widely used method to increase grades, even if the appeal of the course is zero to the student. The student who rather opts for courses which appeal to him loses out comparatively on grades as here input:output ratio is much worse. The choice therefore lies with this student on how long he can abstain from the rat-race. Lower grades don’t just mean bad interns, bad jobs- it also has other downsides (mentioned in ‘Administration’). Once he takes the hard decision of doing such shitty courses, the analytical ability of the mind goes on a constant decline. It’s a bad feeling I would say.

The whole IIT Education system is based on RG giri. RG giri is something that is used for selfish students who actively try to screw you. (Like one my friend was who used to study daily for 5-6 was disturbing others on the day before exam.!!¡¡¡)

Now I’m talking more about academics.
The curriculum is reduced, yes, but leaves out important stuff. Humanities education is almost absent. There aren’t too many courses or course methodologies that would inculcate critical thinking, analysis and expression, argumentation and logic. We are so down into the ‘objective’ rabbit hole, that we have practically no course where people can practise some extent of technical or descriptive writing. Listen to an average IITian trying to argue about something and you’d notice lack of all the above. The fact that all this curriculum is decided by professors who are all engineers themselves often makes this a positive-feedback problem.

Well thanks for reading. I am not blaming IITs but blaming Indian education system. I am writing this and doing all these stuff to improve IITs and Indian education system.