Exams - Tense Present for a Perfect Future?

After a long time there was a decent topic on the "Neeya Naana" Chat show in Vijay TV - Exams and the associated stress. The kids spoke in an exceptionally matured tone and compared to their parents they sounded pretty confident and clear on their thoughts. More than their parents they had a better idea of what they need to do get good marks and more specifically as to what their parents were doing wrong in goading them towards getting more marks. How much ever the parents tried to justify their cause and the reason as to why they are pushing their kids towards marks, it still sounded hollow. It was quite paradoxical. Everyone know the reason behind the pressure and but everyone accepted it as a justifiable pressure, even though it sounded silly. To sound politically correct, they argued for a brief while that every child is unique and not every one can become topper. Still, the yearning for pride, the thought of seeking glory in their kids victory shone brightly on every parents eyes.

So, the nagging question - Who is responsible for this mindset and what causes it. I am not an expert in education. Nor did i get any good marks for that matter :) But i can understand the struggles of an underdog student and the pressure and shame faced by parents of such kids. The discrimination faced by such students in school, where they are herded into the designated section along with other such not so brights. The dreaded "P" word called partiality had ruined many a dream of my class mates i would say. Worse was the case of kids who by nature were demanding on themselves and often compared their performance with others and criticised themselves more so than others. For they were forever short on self confidence and there were very few people around to motivate them. Even their class topper friends would slowly leave their company, brainwashed by their parents. Every government school book carries the slogan that no one should discriminate against caste creed or sect. But the education system and mentality of people running the show does exactly that and more so forces the kids also to adhere to it.

I used to shiver at the thought of exams as a school going kid. Even now the word test or exam sends a slight shock wave from head to toe. But its not as scary as before. I've somehow lost the fear of that dreaded monster. When i think as to how i overcame it, only one thing comes to my mind. Nowadays i dont give a damn as to whether i pass or fail. The results dont bother me anymore. I had stopped comparing my scores with my peers. I dont feel happy when i "outshine" them nor do i feel depressed when i come a cropper. I have learnt to accept my potential and own my responsibility for my performance. In fact as an even better option, i take up only those things which entice me, thrill me to test my skills pitching against the best in business, those which make me happy to go through the rigours of competing, without the fear of failure. I apply the same philosophy even to my table tennis game and more often than not when i dont think about the scoreline, i often end up on the winning side :) Maybe, had i the same mentality and approach towards my studies i would've also topped my class, joined IIT and maybe would've been doing MS in some US university like my fellow class mates. But i would've missed out on all those learnings and pain which shaped my thoughts to spare a smile for those kids also who are not as bright as others. They may not be the best guy or gal in the class. But who knows, somewhere down the years, they might rant their heads off on their blogs to any poor soul bothering to read their posts on what a bad ass they were :)

Comments

RS said…
Gils and bad ass, NO WAY!!!!!

Very meaningful point for discussion and very valid points you've brought out....

Comparison with fellow students begins even earlier, Gils, right from when the child was born. Crawling, walking, talking,.....Coming to think of it, today's parents are a way tooo paranoid. And that began from our generation....I am scared to even think of the next generation.....
Thamizhmaangani said…
what a post man!!! AWESOME!:)))
Kavitha said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheUncanny said…
I know kid who slit his wrist not able to take the exam fever..He supposedly a topper in his school,but his parents kept him pushing too hard, a week before the public exam he did the unthinkable..Thankgod it was his left hand...
Ramesh said…
Superb post gils. Only you can maintain a blog where lovely humour is interspersed with such insight as in this post.

In my view, parents are squarely to blame. They have ridiculous expectations and push the child like crazy. If somebody subjects them to the same pressure and expectations, they would fail miserably.
Anonymous said…
Previously, I used to watch this program... But these days not getting enough time to watch...

nyways, Good topic... and grt pheelings...
ambulisamma said…
Wonderfully put.I guess fittest of the survival is behind all these and parents think higher the mark,highest the fitness factor,so obviously kids are pushed and that is the reason we see suicides after exam results.
Asha said…
Attagasamana post! and i liked the last paragraph. You sound like a winner there, But i seriously can't understand the craze for IIT. I find most present day IIT/IIMs are not able to blend with the present corporate culture, they are intelligent alright but.... like they say they don't need brilliant brains any more they need smart brains.

I too had made a similar post, if you care do read it here.

couldpo=http://shreshar.blogspot.com/2010/03/exam-fearfever.html
Aarti said…
Bad ass? did you actually use that in your post? whoaa.. RESPECT!!

I enjoy that show, especially on such topics... and i have also noticed a change in parents from our times to today.. many of my friends who have kids are chilled out, dont push them or forever breathing down their neck..

heck, my mom still does that to me.. and i HATE it... we have wars cos she keeps 2nd guessing me.. and for my sis, totally diff approach....

As you know, i coudnt care less what my grades were, and what people say about me today- good or bad, bah, doesnt matter.. i am ME... :D
gils said…
@athivasi:
//Coming to think of it, today's parents are a way tooo paranoid.//

ithennamo vaastavam thaan..either they are way too casual or way too worried
gils said…
@mango:

:) loved ur post too..nice writeup it was

@uncanny:

huh!! seriaana psycho va irupaanga pola
gils said…
@thala:

majority of blame parents mela naalum..it wud be unfair to push the entire lot on them i guess. as a kid u spend equal if not more amt of time with teachers in school than with their parents. that being the case..the job of a teacher is much more in shaping up a kid. most of them go with the flow and just teach whats there in the book. rarely u get teachers who mentor kids..COACH them..boost their morale and give them confidence that they are good enough to acheive their dreams. I always believe that..rather than feeding a person..make the person realise his hunger.. get him towards food and allow him to eat on his own is the best option. hmmm..polambarathunaa naal poora polambalam.
gils said…
@anony:

nanri hai

@ambulimaama:

yessungoov.unga oor epdiruku? galataalam overa?

@asha:

:) unga postum padicheenga..sooobera irunthichi :) guess this topic is widespread in blogsville :)
gils said…
@rt:

//Bad ass? did you actually use that in your post? whoaa.. RESPECT!! //

naan romba romba romba...nalla pulla illa...romba nalla pullaikellam naan cehlla pulla illa :)

// my mom still does that to me.. and i HATE it... we have wars cos she keeps 2nd guessing me.. and for my sis, totally diff approach...//

LOL :D neenga inum unga mummyku kozhaannnnnnnnnnnnddddddddhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiii thaaana :D athaan :D LOL :D :D
RamMmm said…
:-) Why should you feel nowadays as to whether you pass or fail? It is all in the mind. :-) :-) There is no denying the fact on the pride a parent feels when their children shine, but then it is like a drug.

I was neither a very bright fellow nor a laggard. Maybe the generic multitude. Reminded me of my SSLC exams when I used to play street cricket as a lark outside on the day of the exams, leading to one of my father's colleagues asking my father if I passed. :-)

Good one.
gils said…
lol :D ungala paathu padicha pullayaaanu ketutaanga pola :d lol :d

Popular posts from this blog

Chennai-28 part 2- boys are back

La la land

Remo - Movie review