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Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Office: The After-Lunch Files

In My Files on April 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I am sitting on an oddly shaped table with my laptop a little higher than comfortable and my head tilted to the left. This position will probably give me a sore neck and a head ache in sometime. If there is one thing I want to change about offices it is their tables and chairs. Both must be made adjustable.

*stares at the empty soft-board*

My body seems to have conveniently exceeded the normal oxygen consumption level used for digestion. And it is making me feel really drowsy. Even the bright pink building walls, outside my window, are unable to shock me to normalcy. I am trying to hide my yawns. I am alternating between resting my head on the desk and staring into blank spaces.

*yawns*

It’s been eleven days since my last post. My sense of humour is taking a little walk. Alright, a long walk. Alright, maybe you believe I didn’t have one to begin with.

*stares at the screen*

This post has no purpose. It’s a random rant of a droopy human being. I am sure you sound worse in this state, especially after overeating. I had considered inserting time stamps to describe my hourly journey toward recovery.

 “Thursday 21 April 2011 12.30pm I am watching the pigeons get entertained by the rotating fans of the air conditioners. I see two dusty toilet commodes on the first floor balcony of the neighbouring office building. My analysis of the layout of the building and their common balcony tells me that the commodes are right outside the toilet. Two floors above that, I see a well connected flush. I fail to imagine what wonders a flush placed outside the toilet can do.”

The write up was beginning to sound like an excerpt from A Prison Diary, so, I dropped it.

I think I have more-or-less recovered from the trauma. I’d like to get back to work.

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New Age Education

In Education on April 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

 

There has been a little shift in the mindset today. You are encouraged to take up jobs that you are “passionate” about. You are encouraged to pursue your hobbies or fields that you have an aptitude for or “love”. We believe it will do us good. But, whom are we kidding? You can’t be a dancer who enjoys dancing. You need to be an expert at it. You can’t be average at your own hobbies, you need to constantly improve, compete and excel at it. Some may enjoy the challenge, most won’t. So, following your passion doesn’t really make the journey easier or eradicate pressures and stress. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether you are a dancer or an engineer.

Now that we are here and most of us are chasing the same things, we can probably make the journey more interesting. For that we need to begin with education. We need just enough education to regulate ourselves efficiently and ensure that we cannot be fooled. We need to make life an honest system.

I’ve made a list of things that (IMO) are a must in our education system.

  1. Early education should be free and standardized.
    There should be no such thing as ‘Top 10 Universities’. It should be “normal” to have knowledge (awareness). I am, however, not sure how this will be achieved.
  2. We need to make a student’s grade independent of an individual’s mood swings and opinions.
    Today, a student’s grade is the result of his/her teacher’s temperament. We’ve had our share of good and bad teachers and we have several tales to tell about what they did wrong. What we need now is an army of unbiased, loving, understanding human beings teamed with child psychologists to handle young minds and their parents. 
  3. We need to eradicate the grade system.
    Our aim should be to ensure that once a student walks out of the class, he knows, understands and is capable of applying all that he has learned. This way we shift the responsibility to the teachers and release the unnecessary pressure on students.
  4. We need to replace labour with fun.
    I look at education as child labour. The kids learn nothing and they earn nothing. We say that children must enjoy their childhood but this can only be done if we replace labour with fun and on-the-job learning.  It is also important to understand that there is nothing wrong with a child working. We broadcast working as ‘not done by kids’ which, I guess, eventually leads to most adults hating their jobs.
  5. We need an Open Classroom Policy
    A student must have the liberty to walk into any classroom, anytime and learn any subject he wishes to learn. If he wants to improvise, he must be given enough support to do so. How this will be executed needs to be looked into.

I’ve made a list of things that (IMO) an individual must develop or learn in their school life.

  1. A student must develop a healthy attitude towards money.
    This can be developed by providing good, basic financial education- saving, investing, accounting and regulating money. This involves knowledge of basic mathematics. If he gets the money right, half his life is sorted.
  2. A student must know his/her body.
    Here, I am not talking about the number of bones and detailed analysis of hormones. It’s about explaining the body and the way it functions in the simplest language possible.
    Let’s face it, our health education is limited to ‘eat good food’, nutrition charts, and exercise. Our sex education alerts women that it is time to wear sanitary napkins, describes copulation is scientific terms and sometimes encourages men to wear condoms.
    It is time to understand one’s body as a whole. At the same time it is important to understand that this cannot be explained with jargons. We must understand why our body functions the way it does and what can go wrong by citing real life examples- visual analysis of healthy and crippled organs. If you’ve seen The Dr. Oz Show, you will know exactly what I mean.
    My point is you may not know which side the liver is situated but you need to know how you can ruin it.
  3. A student must know the laws and the law makers.
    Since our aim is to be aware and develop an honest society, you need to know the people who run it and you need to know your rights. If you know the rules, you can bend them, modify them, and break them to upgrade your system. If you can’t be fooled to begin with, you don’t have to take to the streets with candles each time a man, forced by circumstances, takes an extreme step to fix the system.
  4. A student must have basic knowledge about technology, medicine and farming.
    The aim is to make one’s survival independent of money. You must know how to generate energy, grow your own food and know about natural medicines such as basic foods and herbs that can cure your ailments and cleanse your system. In other words, you shouldn’t have to pay for simple, basic information on how to run your home or pay visits to doctors who earn commissions out of prescribing unnecessary pills to you.
  5. A student must learn about defense and safety.
    We’ve already entered the era where diseases and mishaps are common and where streets can kill. Considering help will not arrive on time, worse still, never arrive, you must know how to keep yourself safe and deal with emergencies. In other words, taking Scouts and Guides more seriously.

     

By mid-school a child will have learned everything needed for survival. He can simultaneously pursue his interests and follow his passion. This way he doesn’t have to study complex mathematics, technology, medicine, literature, business or complicated dance moves for that matter, just to run a family but study just for the thrill of learning. This does not mean he will not crave luxury but it will at least ensure that he does not die of starvation, a cardiac arrest or poverty. He won’t be fooled by advertisers if he knows about natural skin bleaching agents. He won’t be fooled by politicians if he knows what he wants and what he can have. He will know how to make money work for him.