With all respects to my teachers in school, I still can’t explain how bored I was going to school and sitting through the classes. Except of course a malayalam class by Mr. Waheed in my 5th grade who told us stories from hindu mythology. Even at that age I liked the fact that he being a muslim passionately taught us stories of Rama and Krishna and interestingly this was in Dubai where I studied at that time.
One of my most hated class was an english class where the teacher taught us poetry, he made sure that poetry was the most boring subject in the world. He made us believe that poetry is all about organizing words so it follows a pre defined set of rules, the poets heart and emotions went totally missing. I have never seen a more ruthless rape of poetic words. I still wonder if he ever read a poetry and said ‘WoW’.
Respects to him because he was doing his job the way he knew, It was simple ignorance of what kids love to know and the lack of understanding the beauty of poetry (may be he was forced to teach it , thanks to our education system) and never would it have been a lack of the heart for teaching. I am not belittling you sir, for I love poetry today, I write them and I have also published a book now. But we should both acknowledge the fact that ignorance lurks in the corridors of these temples of knowledge always ready to pounce on creativity that fails to walk as per the rules.
I fearfully still remember my fights with my text books, unfinished class notes, undone home works, misunderstood explanations, those dreaded questions and my over dramatized and creative answers. I lovingly remember my window seat in the class and its view of the outside life, my longing to get out of the cage and a ringmaster spotting me for looking out and then making me a total fool in front of my class.
I am even more alarmed and scared when I think of my kid’s education because after all this uninterrupted disinterest in formal education I passed my school with above average grades and got into a premium engineering institute in India and came out of that also and my grades still will not tell you if I liked sitting in my classes or not (unless you were my teacher or class mate or college mate or parent). But I love my college, I am honored to have studied there and even today people look at me and give credit just because I spend four years in that great institute, all credit goes to the teachers and administration having to keep up with wrecks like me.
But all through my life and formal education it was never real learning for me, it was a damn process that I was pushed into. But the sad part is that I also have to owe where I am today to that very education process I detest and that is what concerns me. While accepting and giving lot of credit to my formal education and institutions I studied, why do I have to openly and honestly say that classes were boring. Is it only my problem or do many of the people who studied with me also feel so.
I think there is much more taught in schools that just the books and I think the system of education with all its inefficiencies taught me a lot about life and how to look at it. All my teachers might not have made my classes all that entertaining, but they have definitely taught me much outside the books that I can understand much better today. Though I say my learning started when my formal education ended, I would go ahead and credit that also to my teachers because every single teacher of mine had an uncompromising thirst for knowledge both acquiring and imparting it. Yet I say classes were always boring for me. I always connected with my teachers, but failed to connect with the text books, the words in them and the process. But you can be proud that your efforts have not failed you, better late than never; today I love learning, I love educating myself and I love knowing more about the world around me and all the credit goes to your perseverance to drill into me the only truth that matters “learning never ends”
I also feel that every school should be taught how kids would love to sit in the classes and go to school. And I am happy that there is progress as today I see my daughter telling me that she enjoys her school and that she loves poetry and loves to learn history and that she is excited that today she has a science class. I don’t even remember if I ever wished to discuss my class coming back home.
To all my teachers; I love you all!