Monday, September 8, 2008

Student Psychology

(cartoon from the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to calculus)

In the beginning of the second year of pre-university, most students do the easiest thing they are allowed to do for the year—they set up a goal. It is a fairly simple thing to do: to say something like “Father, I’ll get a 90% in the final exams because I am going to study five hours everyday!” But the student discovers, much to his dismay, that the individual who authored his physics textbook fancies writing in a forgotten dialect that he is unable to comprehend.
“Not my fault I didn’t understand! The textbook is too complex!” he whines, conveniently blaming the defective book for all his agony. Just as he is about to sneak out of his bedroom, his mother spots him,
“Why are you not studying?”
“I can’t understand the textbook, ma. It’s so horribly written! It has a ton of mistakes, printing errors. I don’t know why I bought Bosco publications, I should have gone for MES publications. Studying is a serious business!”

The next day morning, the student’s (study) table is cluttered with stacks of newly bought textbooks, homework helpers, logarithmic tables, CET and COMED-K guides. The student intuitively realizes that there is no other excuse—his life and bookshelf are now crammed with these things.

Now, only the student is aware of the bitter truth that most of the books he has bought (which is the only thing in the world that his parents are willing to spend an infinite amount of money on) are unworthy of his interest and attention, and that they mean very little to his colourful life, a greater part of which includes eating pani-puri from a roadside stand and zooming away on a bike. The initial plan is abandoned, and those books which treasure all the wisdom of the world are now free to collect dust on his clumsy bookshelf. In the end, the student has just enough time to go over the textbook he detested in the first place, and prepare for the final exam. When Second PU finally concludes, the student views this as an appropriate time to dispose of these unwanted things and he now rushes to the paper waalla to exchange them for worthier rewards like money (which will be spent on the in the noble past-time of eating pani-puri from the roadside stand.) Some strange teenagers even pass on ‘knowledge’ in the form of careworn textbooks as legacies to their favorite siblings with the safe presumption that their books will be made use of. After the second year concludes admirably fast, the student assumes the powerful title of a sagely and wise creature, someone from whom the so-called “juniors” can draw inspiration from. They view him with awe-stuck wonder, and faithfulness as he shares his invaluable information with them. He is now the guide, the person with answers. And what does he tell his juniors?
“Look, there is nothing like setting up a goal, like I did. I promised myself that I would study 5 hours a day. And I was determined enough to follow my dreams. I referred all the study guides I could, I revised atleast 7 times. Don’t ignore your textbooks, they treasure all the wisdom in the world.”
The others are left to prospect how much of truth there is in these words.


narendra shenoy said...


Just someone said...

Interesting... :)

Just someone said...

Thank you for stopping by... I had been following your writing, chanced upon it through blogrolls... you are doing a really great job! extremely talented... hope you don'tind me stopping by your way occasionally:)

take care,

Mysore Madhu said...

Time changes but the attitude continues. The process described by you is exactly how it was about 30 years back. Only change was the target was not 90% but distinction > 75% would do :)

Joy said...

Welcome to the Anything Agatha Challenge, Lakshmi! I'm so glad you are joining us! Don't forget to come back and link your reviews! Happy Reading! :)

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Mr. Shenoy: Thankyee, sir, n do come back!
Just someone: Yup, ur blog was as interesting as ever too!!! And i wouldn't mind u lingering here for all of eternity, really!! Do stay for tea! :-) Thanks for yout comment!
Mr. Madhu: I guess all that is becomause of extreme compition nowadays! Anyway, thanks for deciding to follow my blog!
Joy: Well, thank you! Seriously, will write back with reviews almost every other day! :-)

kavya said...

hey lakshmi,
you are doing a great job!!!!!!
I am really inspired by your words.
From now I am going to promise myself to study for 5 hours.I am really going to practice them for more than 7 times!!!!!!!!

Please continue doing this
with love,

Kadalabal said...

nice one it is true students plan so many things right from day one soon after their I PUC exams when their tuition starts those who join even tuition gurus advise in parents meeting it the efforts that is required just coming to tuition how famous it can be will not fetch marks your commitment and rigors study only will yield results
every day oaths are taken and broken
promised to mother made and broken all this happens but if one takes it seriously on studies they will achieve hard work and dedication will never ever let u down


Deepti said...

hey, fun yaar!!!
ill promise that i am not the serious'senior' and vow never to be in his position!!!!!
this resolution is going to be easy!

Swarna said...

That was a great read, and I was smiling all the way.

kavya said...

hey lakshmi,

when will you post your next blog.
I really waiting for it
Since ,most of them are students who read your blog i would suggest you to write the blog which is in favor of students and advice students to focus on their students!!!!!!!!!! which inspires students like sabitha mam's......... and previous one


Praveen G K said...

cool.. this particular blog post i had read a long time back on my reader, but when I came to post a comment on the site, it had just vanished...

Anyways, nice post as always :-)

Shakunthala said...

It was really fun!!..But it is also the fact which happens with many of the students...:P..Its de same tendency till de student life is ended up finally...;)..