Exams finally got over yesterday and my Second year BA is officially oh-ver! That is assuming I am passing in all subjects(definitely happening) , not with flying colours though.. but whatever.
I must admit that although we make such a big deal about exams, arts is definitely not as difficult as an engineering , medical or CA course.Atleast its so until the Second year. I remember ranting to my friend Bing* about how I had to study 110 pages of a pathetic text book for my Foundation Course exam the next day.And in response I got to hear quite a lot of grumbling as he 110 pages in very small font was the size of one chapter in his engineering text book.But again , Foundation Course is not even a real subject.
So yes, arts definitely has made me quite laid back.Photo-copying notes a few days before the exam, not buying the text book at all, and watching the movie version of a novel one day before the exam(yes , quite a fiasco that one) are all part of my course.
Lately I have been finding my course to be quite irritating.i don’t regret the subjects I chose- economics, english literature and statistics.Infact, I love them.But often I feel strangulated by the fact that I can’t choose my course content, drop and pick subjects as per my wish and do a more wide variety of subjects. For instance, if I could choose subjects from across different streams I would even have selected physics and geology and dance as my subjects. But it is not to be. 😦
Actually, I am even against the idea of exams and One conversation with a very frustrated John Y made me even more critical of the examination system. Leaving out entrance exams, most exams till our college level only test the left side of our brain.I’ll elaborate.The leftt side of the brain is responsible for the analytical, methodical,quantitative and memory skills. While the right side pf the brain performs the functions of feeling, imagining and perceiving.So while some people are adept with their left brain others use their right more.These exams test only the left side of our brain ,leaving the poor right brain users in a sorry state.And the result of the examination is a number which is stamped onto us ,that runs the risk of deciding the trajectory of our entire life.
Instead, we could just have a system in which students could choose their subjects across streams, drop a subject they dint like and not lose a year, select the course content, lecture timings, choose their own projects and manner of assessment.All this is happening in universities abroad.And although a handful of colleges have made some progress towards creating such student friendly systems, majority of the students are unfortunate.
But the good news is that my generations growing up and hopefully we will bring the change.
By the way, Kapil Sibal , the Indian union HRD Minister seems to be taking a lot of positive steps towards creating this healthy environment for education.So cheers to that!