Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wake up call

      After 14 years of school and six years of college, I woke up this morning at 6 for the only purpose of reading. Not 'studying', or mugging up Physics definitions or trying to find my way through a calculus problem only to finally end up staring at the wall opposite that suddenly seemed far more interesting than any of the information in print. Back then my early morning trysts with existence would start out as an elaborately laid out plan of how exactly I would spend each minute toiling over earning that extra point in the exams so I could be a state topper. This morning I started out with practically no plan and ended up enjoying my reading session like never before. Perhaps the absence of an examination system breathing down my neck or the absence of submission deadlines (even my library has no reading deadlines! How awesome is that? :) ) has finally set me free. 

                 The pretty early morning picture I painted mirrored the ones I managed to create in school, one that succeeded in atleast giving others around me, the illusion of serious study. Except, today I was surrounded -  by Jeffrey Eugenides and Georgette Heyer on one side, a few debut authors on the other, Salman Rushdie knocking on my laptop screen from the inside and Fredereick Neitzsche waving at me from my Kindle, along with a couple of other geniuses. Unlike those years of academic rut, I didn't find the attendance overwhelming, rather happily flitted about from one to another, reading a few pages of each and marking down observations. It was a well earned bout of relief from trying to sketch the insides of a mitochondrion, even while explaining to myself why DC is better then AC or attempting to understand how Tamil poetry whitewashes over polygamy. 

                Over the years, I have cribbed about the education system and how even to this day, it does not achieve much with the majority of us beyond teaching the art of learning by rote. Institutional Education throughout time, in my opinion, has only been an attempt at control over chaos. It wouldn't bode well with the politics of the human mind, if most of the world was composed of free thinkers would it? These systems are akin to anaesthetics, I would say. Each of us metabolize anaesthetics over different times, meaning, some of us wake up early. To what and how, is what makes us who we are. 

               To cut a long write up short, education does not happen inside text books. It happens via everything else outside it, what we simply call life. If there is one and one thing only that I am thankful for, with respect to the system, it is for teaching me to read and write. The mechanics of it, not the 'how you are supposed to' part. For it is that ability that opened up my heart and mind to what I love the most. 

              Waking up early to read a bunch of books and write about how each one matters. 

How about you? Did the system put you to sleep or are you amongst the ones that managed to wake up? Drop in a comment. Let's discuss :)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article and appropriate for the current times too. I say it is appropriate, for the fact that people are questioning the concept of "Education" itself. I dropped out of school after my tenth standard, because I felt that I could learn more about life and educate myself better this way. I can say that for me, it was a great experience, I pursued what I loved and was happy doing it. If that could be called waking up and being successful, I guess I am. This is my opinion though. Let's see what other's have to share. :-) Cheers, Prem