Thursday, October 04, 2007

its always about the parents' prejudice!

second day at school. and nothing new to report!

its as if she has always been going to school.

the teachers had asked that i hang around for the first three days, and had anticipated her staying for only half an hour or an hour for the first day. "all children cry" she said.

she walked into school, gave a whoop of joy- almost like a war cry -and waddled in without even a bye to the farewell team.

i sat outside in the damn heat, cursing, trying to read a script a friend had given.

the teacher came out in half an hour and said, you go home, come back at 11! she is fine...

now the second day is over- no tantrums, no surprises...she goes in beaming, comes out beaming.

but when i ask her what she did at school she only tells me about the new things - she does not tell me about rhymes, about puzzles, about games etc... thats a part of her daily routine. she tells me about doing jai (read-prayers), about being made to stand up and sit down-which she finds very amusing.

i know she is finding the experience fun, and being with other children is good for her, and having a world outside that of her parents is very good - but i go back to all my grouses about school!

two year olds praying??? i read the rhyme book -there is a hindu prayer, and some strange secular prayer. what about children who are not hindu? why not one prayer of all the religions common in our country, if prayer is important? or just the strange secular one? or none?

sit and stand, and sit and stand - do you remember it from your school days? have you cracked what learning that imparts?

to add to sanah's tiny list let me add my own deep prejudices:

the only way to score marks is to learn those science definitions by rote! how often was that said, from class four till class ten??? science was seldom about curiosity and wonder- every teacher, in every school i went to, killed the whole experience for me.

maths - the wonder that it can bring to one's life- zero as an abstraction - and building formulas, and problems on that basic abstraction - much like music - but for me - it was a series of steps to learn by rote not explore logic and patterns. i remember one time when in a hurry to complete a complicated sum i skipped a couple of steps to reach the correct answer - i was accused of cheating by my teacher- plain and simple. she gave me a zero because she had no doubt i had copied - oh i did spend a lifetime hating maths!

i was lucky to always get good teachers for history and geography and english and hindi -

i did have a drawing teacher who said that skies could only be blue, hills triangular and streams blue again. somehow he could not spoil it for me the way the science and maths teachers could! i kept on painting orange skies, with multi coloured kites flapping away, pink streams( my logic-if the sky is orange, the water has to reflect a pink-orange) and many other colours. my paint box was evenly worn out!

and then the ever lasting race of marks -i was lucky that my parents were not too swayed by the race- yet the anxiety associated with exams, school, competitions was all encompassing!

a dear friend came back a little concerned about her four year old son - it was sports day at school. he had spent the week excited about it, joining in the practice races etc. but on the day of the races, he refused to participate. just refused. and as the rest of the four year olds nudged each other out of the race towards the finishing line, he sat with his mother, releasing one gas ballon after the other, into the air.

i loved him for it- i told my friend that she had created a very beautiful child and i hope no school ever spoils it for him!

1 comment:

the mad momma said...

ah... i wonder if our parents sent us to school with so many prejudices.