The Realm of Knowledge
A Village of Possibilities
9 min read
In a classroom, 90% of us have been there and experienced every aspect of it. For me, 35 hours of my week are devoted to school. That's almost 30% of the working days from the week spent in school, and this is excluding the travel time which, for me is 2 hours a day ( to and from ). So in total, around 26% of my whole week is gone in school.
Now the real question to ask yourself is:
Is it worth it?
Most people have already asked this question themselves before but discarded it soon after. Going to school or any form of institution is a norm. Most of us usually don't get a choice to choose whether we want to go to school or not.
I am at this point in life where I'm capable of asking this question to myself. And this question is what inspired me to write today's blog.
All those sleepless nights and early mornings seem like a pain, don't they? Even though we get used to it but still, the pressure of those assignments, exams, and assignments all over again keeps us awake. But to define schools just by judging this aspect of it would be foolishness.
Most of the friends I made are from my school and who knows how many of them I wouldn't have made if not for waking up at 5:00 AM and taking that bus. In such a diverse place like an institution, you will find every type of person. From ranging from that frontbencher who wants to make out most of his life and has his whole future planned out, to that ludicrous person who is unaffected by any worry in life. Even though I have switched between countless schools, everywhere I went, I met new people and had a chance to encounter them. Nowadays with quick access to social media platforms and online meeting platforms, we have a chance to meet people who even the name we might not be aware of. But this wasn't the case back in the day, the major way through people met other people was through school. And wherever there are people, there is an exchange of ideas.
I once asked my friend why can't we just study or learn by staying at home. I mean the answer is quite obvious which is: you won't because there would be nobody to scold you for not getting good marks in an assignment or reading that paragraph from a textbook because the next day the professor will ask questions from it. But really, imagine if that wasn't the case. Imagine if a person had the will to study, why then must he bother going to school when he can spend quality time studying at home? You can find answers to most of your doubts from online sources these days then what's the point of going to school? The answer to this is, well, if not for school, how else will you get quality discussions? In a class, you aren't the only person listening to the teacher, there are 30+ people including you who are. And if not for every single one of them, at least a few will have a thing or two to share. And this is what makes it worth it. The exchange of ideas which takes place is at an enormous level.
I recently ordered a pair of noise-canceling earplugs because the distraction in class was intolerable. I wasn't able to concentrate on a single thing. And this is too one of the reasons why most people don't prefer to come to this so-called "Second Home". Whenever I get down to study in a free period, I get asked my classmates questions like, "Are you studying right now?" or like "C'mon, the exams are still two months away, why must you bother now?". And most of us, just after hearing that, keep our pens down, close our notebooks and join them. Human nature is much more brittle than anyone can imagine. My Hindi sir once said that it would take 10 good things in a day to make up for that one comment from a critic. We are like sugars or salts. Both of them have unique tastes. Most of us try to be like one another, thinking things like how cool is that other guy. But honestly, it's so important to agree to disagree. Sometimes, you just have to explain to the other guy why you are doing "x". And this too plays a great role in our school life. Most of us keep shut whenever such a question is presented to us but just speak up! If the other person persists then just ignore it. The importance of speaking up is immense. If you don't present your views then there is no way for the other guy to know your point of view.
Now as for the noise-canceling earplugs, well, I haven't tested them yet but once I do, I'll be sure to write about my experience.
Just as answering is important, questioning is equally and maybe more important than the former. Questioning is the key to opening new doors for anyone. And in class, you will find many of those. And this too is necessary. Most of us back down for reasons like, what if the question is too stupid? Or perhaps we just save it in a corner of our brain thinking that we'll go home and search it up on Google. And I too have fallen victim to this, I refused to ask any questions wondering how the others might react. I know, it makes me sound stupid but it's an issue. We tend to think people notice us more than they do. And this is called the Spotlight Effect.
Honestly, 80% of the time we are thinking about ourselves. But really, just forget about the reputation and ask, you never know the contents of the answer. The school is often blamed for the loss of creativity in the students. And this is something I can vouch for. The following graph represents the drop in outbox thinking among students:
People lost most of their creativity right after passing 2nd grade! In Stolen Focus Johann Hari presented an example to showcase the restrictions put forward by the school. In the 1950s, in a small town in Washington State, a teacher named Mr. Smith called a boy's parents complaining that he used to daydream during class. And we all know that it is one of the worst things we can do at school but hear me out. A few years later, that same boy made a breakthrough on that very topic of daydreaming. That boy was Marcus Raichle, who now is a well-known Neurologist.
I do not mean to encourage daydreaming but it is the restrictions faced by us students which make the drop of creativity even lower. And some of these restrictions maybe even unintentional. The constant burden of subjects can be hard to handle sometimes. My history teacher once mockingly asked me and my class that surely we guys couldn't be much busier than the President of the US right? Well, it sure is an interesting topic to research about.
While the school does provide us with basic knowledge about economics and money, it doesn't truly give us financial literacy. And this is just an example. For that, we would need to take commerce in +2 and so on. And this goes for everything. The climate situation as of now is too severe to turn a blind away from. And the first and foremost way to tackle this is to provide knowledge about the situation. What Robert Kiyosaki, in my opinion, meant when he said: "Your education begins when you leave school. Not when you are in school" is the fact that we can't gain much experience when we are in school. True, we can join clubs and other organizations but still the main thing we would first do is learn about the situation.
I was interested in a MUN club. But it all felt hopeless at the start because I sort of thought our school wouldn't perform such sort of a thing. I went out to ask my Principal about this and his words amazed me. It turns out that a MUN is hosted by my school! And it is indeed at a large scale. I kept wondering how I did not know about it. The same goes for a friend of mine. He asked his school's principal about it and it turned out that a MUN was hosted last year by his friend's sister whom even I personally know. I always marked my school as more academic-based rather than the one that would participate in some Debate competitions or anything of sorts. It turns out, I was again wrong. My school has hosted, as of now, over 75 programs. These numbers astonished me when I heard them. It took me a while to figure out why this was the case. In my opinion, the main reason for this is the failure of spreading notice about these activities to all the students. Some people whom I discussed MUN with, were completely unaware of it even though they were there in the school since grade 1!
I once heard someone say that you must always participate in every single dance happening in the school. And I agree, what doors of opportunities might open if you give any form of activity a try is unknown.
A school is indeed a village of possibilities. It is termed an educational institute but it is much more than that and only a student can understand it. It is like a simulation of life, the pressure and the need for management of time, the social skills we must have, the friends we make, and the ideas we exchange. These things remain within us throughout our lives. It is like our first step into the world, and the world is true of cosmic proportions.
Now to answer the question I originally asked myself. There are multiple ways of looking at this. Some people might see the side of the school which excludes us from things like a chance to experience and enhances more than one career, the lack of financial literacy, tests, and exams which forces mugging up, etc. And some might look at it as an opportunity to build a personality by being resilient and other things mentioned in the blog. Honestly, to answer this in a Yes or No format would be a deep mistake but all I can say is, that literacy and intelligence, whether you obtain them from a school or somewhere else, is the most important thing to survive in this world of abusers and abuse.
Overall, honestly, a school's a nice place to be at.
To end this blog, I'd like to share a "poem" if you want to call it that way, well you can be the judge:
I had a ball
that was not tall
but also not small.
I got it from a mall,
it couldn’t crawl.
I’d bounce it off the wall
It’s lost, LOL
Give me a call
If you find my ball
Cuz’ this is going
On THE WALL (no cap)
Credits: A Classmate of Mine
Well, you are right to find it cheesy (I was in the same boat ) but this is exactly what makes it fun. Although I didn't contribute to the making of this masterpiece, I sure know of the joy experienced by my other classmates during that one free period.