The cycle of me missing out on sleep seems to continue, and is poised to go on till the end of the month (and hopefully resume a bit later in March). It should be worth it, I’m back to being positive and cheery about things after a rough couple of days.
Today’s been a day where I questioned several things about the standards of teaching at Universities – a large portion of which was the result of a Skype call with a friend in America yesterday evening.
He seemed enthused to go to class – not just because the subjects inherently interested him, but because the faculty had meaningful things to say – things you felt were important to your overall growth and development. You just don’t seem to see that a lot over here.
It confuses me that faculty try to ensure that students are quiet in class by telling them to keep quiet, instead of lecturing better. See, from a student’s perspective, and this is rather sad to say, we make the trade-off of what we achieve by listening to you versus what other things we can accomplish while sitting in your class.
Lecturing better is just one way of making us understand that we will fail your paper without your guidance. It’s something that happens abroad – which is why they don’t need attendance requirements for courses. You pay per course, and you end up attending classes because there is NO way you can catch up with a course at the end of the year or semester without going to class.
Our problem is that we learn out of one book. We don’t learn principles. We don’t get readings per week. We don’t have a looped system where we’re forced to read cases and attend class, and be expected to know cases and raise contentions as you discuss them in class.
And I think this is where we need to take blame. We’re really bad college students. And we study for exams. I always thought I wasn’t one of these kids who studied for exams, because I enjoy learning and love studying for fun. Yes, you read that right, I ENJOY studying. Merely because I don’t view it as studying. I look at it all as reading. And it’s fun.
Nobody comes prepared for classes because we’re too busy doing other things.
None of this means that I’m advocating a system that puts more pressure on us. But I feel like there’s an inherent issue with the educational culture here. I find myself sitting in class sometimes, writing notes down diligently, wondering to myself: Will I remember this when I graduate?
And sadly, I find that the answer is no.
At the end of writing this, and as I put my thoughts into flow, I feel like all of this backlash is a convenient way of excusing myself of any responsibility. Which is why I added to my New Years’ Resolutions. I’m going to be spending time reading Law for fun. Outside of my reading, my writing and my mooting.
I think that’s the only way to legitimately ‘learn’. Because I’m not content mugging things up for an exam and writing them in a particular way. I’m not content learning arguments up – I’d like to get creative and figure out what novel arguments you could make, and get them shot down.
That’s what I came to law school for.
Meh. Let’s see if this determination lasts. 575 words in and I’m not sure if it’ll spillover to the 17th at all.
Apart from this general observation regarding education, I got a haircut today. I hate how dependent and hopeless I am when I sit in a barbershop, because that barber decides my fate for the next two weeks at the minimum. I’m very glad I conveniently used the excuse of some important function to explain to him that he could not style my hair.
The net result is that I look the same as I did before I went for a haircut. No Amma, you can’t say that I look better with short hair to smoothen my self-consciousness.
The things having the same hairstyle since you were 2 does to you. Paapa.
Alright, more tomorrow.