Less yada yada, more learning-learning

I am never a fan of planning too many things. In fact, I prefer seeing where Life takes you and moving with it. At the same time I think there is some freedom in structure. If you’re not a silver-spooned child and you want to go travelling India, you need to work to save the money. 

So at the end of 2012 I set myself a five year plan. I made the table on Excel and plotted what I’d like to do for each of the coming five years. This was easier because I’m contractually bound to work for the next few years anyway. For 2013 I was not supposed to study; I was to do investments and fill up my time with other aspects of my life.

Having said that, in fifty minutes I am to write the first two of seven e-Learner exams. Sometimes plans give you the freedom to make changes which suit your life. Oh, and next Thursday I begin my (long-awaited) German course in Cape Town at the German International School in Cape Town. Oh and in a few weeks I begin a course in Ruby on Rails, a software coding program in Ruby the programming language

I have a feeling studying is ingrained in my bones and blood.

Is this such a bad way to divert from plans? Who knows where life will take me: go prove you’re computer literate and you can write software programs in Berlin, Carla. Okay – here are the docs to prove it.

I know that I’m rather excited to make myself marketable while picking up different skills along the way. 

 

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What’s the point of school?

The aged-old question. I’m asking the reason behind high school: that dreaded developmental decade.

Simply, being a teenager is tough. We all know the story; your body changes, parts get bigger sooner than others. Plus you’ve got all this un-channelled energy, new thoughts and questions about your world, coupled with the unbelievable ability to (un)intelligently hold any argument.

THEN. Then, there’s school. Public schooling could have up to one thousand people going through this phase and more. And yet, the State expects this same naturally troubled youth to remember their English assignment, their Geography assignment and nine other subjects’ assignments and deadlines.

I find this unfair. And I’m well out of my teenage years. As unfair as it is, it’s not going to change. The workload and life-load will stay the same. Students will be expected to perform regardless of the happenings of life. If this is the condition teenagers are in, why do we place the added responsibility of school?

I often keep this in mind when I meet my students for their 7th lesson of their day. I remember that I am the 7th voice they’ve heard. I remember that they are tired. I remember that they are just thinking about going home or going to break – just getting out of the classroom. All their unchallenged energy and new questions of their world takes precedence to the poem I’m teaching.

I have to remember this, because if I assume I deserve their attention, just because…I will fail miserably in my lesson.

The point of school? Perhaps this is to teach our youth that at your most vulnerable and confused phase of life, when your body is its strongest, your mind developing and your attitude to this world is being carved – that’s when life throws you the biggest bag of lemons, day in and day out. When you are on your knees, Life sends you an unfairly batch of sand somewhat aimed at your eyes. The point of school? Life isn’t fair. And yet you have to overcome all of it.

Students: take those lemons and have some non-alcoholic tequila.