If you haven't spotted them yet, you're either one of them (which I realised only too late, that there's a very high probability of almost everyone being one of them) or you're still blissfully unaware, like I used to be. But facts are facts- people outrageously lie about their lives, especially academically, in India, and that is a huge contribution to what makes our education system so unfulfilled. Really, I think that is one of the primary reasons my education has really strayed far away from the wholesome path.
Honestly, there are three things that make for a great education in a great university...
1) Great students (and this is Numero Uno)
2) Great opportunity
3) Great faculty.
However, great faculty play a primary role in bringing out great students, so it gets sort of confusing as to where faculty really come in. Be assured that they are really important though.
However, Indian Kids seem to have got it all wrong. Sometimes you can't blame them- there's intense competition for very few seats in virtually any course that you wish to take- heck, its easier doing an undergraduate degree in Harvard than getting into IIT, and I've heard enough and more people tell me that it is easier to get into Wharton or Harvard (if you're blessed with work experience) than IIM. And going by the way CAT is, I can certainly see why.
But there's a vast difference between Indian students and lets say, American, or British (or any student community worldwide, for that matter.) The difference is this- Indian students just don't know or rather, don't want to adopt a win-win strategy. They work on "Every man for himself". Actually I'd prefer to call it "Every liar for himself."
So instead of forming proactive study groups (which is, by the way one of the top five things students do when they join college), Indian students wade through waters on their own, and they much prefer lying to their batchmates. What that is going to accomplish, I really have no idea and I probably never will. I mean, sure..we're all competing with each other but let's face it..since we never help each other, we never really learn. Ever. This is like doing a degree through correspondence. What's the point of going to an environment that's so close minded..academically, you only gain large lumps of disconnected, disfigured, mugged up pot-pourri.
That sort of explains why even after three whole years of doing a degree, many people don't know as much as they should.
There are people who help, learn, work together. There really are. But this constitutes a miniature section of the madding crowd. The rest would rather lie. If you ask me, its ridiculous. Why play down the work you do? That makes you sound like a fool who doesn't deserve what he's got. It only takes credit away from you. Worse, it makes you look like you're a cheat.
If I can pull together a couple of hours of serious work, I'm usually so happy about it that I go screaming it out from the rooftops. I don't want to hide behind some door and slog it out quiet and alone, and be treated with surprise when I accomplish something. I know I don't want people to say.."Oh, when was she even working for this? I didn't know she was that smart." I know I don't want people to say.."Oh she's a liar..she says she's out shopping but she's actually being two faced and studying."
People don't want to admit they work because it makes them look nerdy. It makes them look focussed, smart, boring.
I hope people are smart enough to realise how stupid the previous sentence was. Trust me on this, smart is all you've got working in life for you. Stupid people are even worse than smart ones. Studies have shown that Most people would rather date someone smart who's headed somewhere in life, and shows it, than someone who's a fool who discounts the worth of a good steady head.
Don't ever be incapable of intelligent conversation, really.
What I don't get is how People actually are out all the time, like they claim to be, sleeping, chilling, yadda yadda yadda and they still do better than the ones who worked and said they did. Does that mean they actually worked without telling anyone (How stupid) or their brains are genuinely better equipped (How unfair). Either way, its weird. I'm really sick of people lying all the time. "No, I don't know how to do that, really" and ta-da! They actually do, and it shows.
I swear, if I know how to do something I'll gladly teach someone before a test, just so I can prove how oh-so-smart I really am.
Anyway, everyone wants a good success story, folks. If you're ever successful, its nice for you to be able to tell people what you did to get there instead of "I did nothing really". Its not being modest, It's being stupid. People can look through you now. I know I can.
For those of you who've been honest, and helpful to your peers, I hope you continue making the education scene here a better place to be in. For those of you who don't...You know when you lie. You think being selfish and self-obsessed is the way to go.
That way won't stretch out very far.
I sure hope it doesn't anyway. Be assured that you don't have any positive chi on your side, anyway.
This was not written because of any particular instance. But do an engineering degree here and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008