Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Straw that broke the Camel's Back.

After reading the previous post I feel so privileged that I was given co-authorship of this blog.
First off, hats off to Vyaas for his cynical(yet harshly accurate) view of events in the academic world.
Bro, lets put some things in perspective. THIS IS INDIA! A country where students are judged by marks,Gpa,Cgpa,Averages,tenth score, twelfth score and how far their parents are involved with the underworld mafia(read influence and extortion of seats for dumb assholes vying for that engineering or medical seat). Students are NOT judged by character,humanitarianism,extra curricular activities, real passion and dedication for the subject(with reference to your Youtube angular momentum video)and for thinking outside the box.

The lecturers or the poor excuse for a lecturer( usually the latter) have an antiquated (to say the fucking least) idea about how things should be carried out. Real in-your-face-bitch! physics/chemistry/biology takes a backseat for PowerPoint shows with oodles of spinning text, revolving pics and background applause for every slide transition. Not to mention that annoying Vrooom sound when a piece of text drags itself across the screen. And after all that hullabaloo a simple "THANK YOU" slide with no effects whatsoever. I mean, WTF? As any self respecting student will attest:the thank you slide is the most important slide of all. It tells people that even when presented with a formidable 126 slides, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyways I digress as usual. I would like to compare our current education system with the Bush administration. Tired old politics with no intent to change things from the current standpoint. A system that rots from the inside. A system that effectively churns out thousands of students whose fundamentals are so poor and who hate their subject;I wonder how the University planned to unleash them unto the unwary world. Antiquated policies and ideas of what is termed acceptable methodologies of tutelage and what isn't. Its time for change. We know that. But how can the students reform the system that is so unwilling and yielding to change? How do we tame the mighty wild stallion that is unwilling to be reined? Addressing this question, even if we are powerless to do anything, is the first step of a thousand mile journey. But I believe (and I'm a pessimist at heart) that this situation is hard to address let alone resolve.

For that we need to encourage students to realize that studies is just not memorizing values and formulae and blindly stating that Feynman is their role model (although Albert Einstein and Newton came a close second). We should help them bring out the real zeal and enthusiasm for their subject(may it be biology or physics or maths).
William Butler Yeats said "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire". Yet with the current stateboard syllabus,I'm sure Yeats is turning in his grave as I'm typing this.

Obama said and I quote "We are on our own, and have only our own reason and our judgment to rely on." So even though I was an advocate of system reform, I don't see it happening anytime soon. All we can do is be as enthusiastic about the subject as possible and hope the spirit catches on in all our fellow students. Till then we are at the mercy of the Congress, the BJP and the culmination of all political parties that showcase a popular television actor(DMK, AIADMK,Govinda,Sanjay Dutt.....) and their bureaucratic ways.

P.s I'm sure any lecturer will think Occam's Razor ("entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem") is probably the alternative to Gillete or 7 O'Clock.. As I said I've lost faith in the education system.
Even a Biology student like myself knows that momentum is a vector. Angular momentum? Hello? Doesn't that just scream out "Vector"? Plus momentum is a product of mass and velocity. Since Velocity is involved shouldn't the product also be a vector?(correct me if I'm wrong).


Vyaas said...

(tear filled eyes)

vigneshjvn said...

Couldn't agree with you more! There's no end to the bitching Indian lecturers, maybe it would change with time (fingers crossed).
And on the vector note, well a product of two vectors could be a scalar quantity, but even an eighth grader knows mass isn't a vector.