Why do I suffer through classes I have no interest in? Why do I glue myself to books I’d much rather use as kindling? Why do I try to learn something I can’t possibly find a use for?
The best answer I could come up with to that is “Because it’s curriculum.” The truth is that I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life. So that is why I fill my head with loads of information I “might” get a use for later in life. But why is that necessary? Why can’t school be about finding out what a person is good at? One might say that is what school is about. But is it right to judge everyone equally, when we as individuals are so different?
“Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This is a quote by Albert Einstein, and I sincerely think he had a point.
In school, we get brief presentation of different topics, like history, math and science. Then it’s up to the teacher to present this in a way that makes it interesting for the students. If the teacher fails to do that, it becomes harder for the student to learn.
I think this is where many fail. I know from personal experience that most things are interesting, if presented right. This is what separates a good teacher from an ordinary teacher. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not entirely the teachers fault. Their times are limited, and they only have a brief period of time to present a massive subject. So even if they have a deep passion for what they teach, they might not have the time. My point was, for most normal human beings, it’s extremely hard to learn something utterly uninteresting. This is where the ones with a good memory have an advantage. Then again there is a difference between memorizing and learning.
Let’s go back to the word exam. That word has a special meaning to me after 13 years in school.
Take a moment to yourself and just really taste the word. EXAM. Then try to swallow it. Not easy eh? Can’t you just feel the unpleasant chills going down your back? Or just the unpleasant flashback from when you sat there studying your ass off with sweat and tears, and everything actually just came down to what you were able to cram into your head the night before. Or just rather your printer had a good day or not. However we all go through exams. It’s claimed to be necessary for our evaluation. But is it?
I think Exams only test a limited range of skills. They benefit people who have a good short time memory and those who seem to have an ability to soak up every single word said in class. However the ones that are pretty much struggling to just remember what they eat for dinner, are screwed.
And I honestly got to say after years of experience, that 88% of the final exams will be based on that one lecture you missed, and that one book you didn’t read. It’s also kind of ironic how the exams have a bigger impact on our final evaluation than everything else we did for the whole year.
I’ll admit, it has a lot to do with interest as well. Some may have deep interest in what Stalin had for breakfast, or how many humps a camel has. Others.. Well, not so much.
My conclusion is; People study for exams to get further in life. It’s the only way to get there. They study so they eventually get to study or do something they really like, even if they don’t know what that is yet. It doesn’t matter if they find it interesting or not. Or whose fault it is that it’s not interesting. So they try to memorize their way through it, and hope that someday it might become more interesting. They don’t try to learn, they try to get through it. Passed the exam one day, forgotten the next.