I remember when I was in middle school, during 8th grade, I hit upon the biggest moment in life. I fell in love.
I used to be a test machine, just writing essays and scoring high just so I could appear smart to my fellow peers. It just felt great being smart and being able to subtly show off to my own classmates. This was basically who I was. Apparently, I was trapped in my own prison that I created for myself. I was unaware of the things going on outside my prison.
But that day I fell in love, the greatest moment in my school career happened. I fell in love, with literature. I suddenly realized what literature really meant. It wasn’t about grammar, it wasn’t about writing analysis, it was about explaining an event in an artistic way. I had looked beyond the superficialness and seen the great beauty of the inner core. It was just so beautiful.
Sadly, most students nowadays are stuck in the same sort of prison that I was stuck in. They just learn for grades. They don’t learn out from their own will. I mean, take an example of an arranged marriage. Why does the girl oblige to marry his husband? Because her parents and her culture said so. This is opposed to when the girl chooses her husband out of her own free will. The former is out of obligation, the latter is out of true love. Right now, the relationship between the subjects learned at school and the students is the former. Only very few are in the latter.
I was very furious about this. I noticed a pattern in whenever there was a math test that day, people started discussing about math. Whenever there wasn’t, they would just start going back on damn Facebook or doing all those shitty things. Where was this love? Was I and a few other friends the only people who discussed about math when there was no test?
It was just that they didn’t conform to my ideal vision of a perfect school. In this perfect school, everybody philosophizes and debates about various academic things- maybe in a sense like the School of Athens. They do this at all times, regardless of tests. And just like the ancient Greek philosophers, they do it because they love it. Because they truly love it.
This sacred love between subject and learner, sadly, is rare nowadays. The blame- parents. Parents are always emphasizing on going to a good college and getting a good job. They sorta make it seem as if THAT is the goal of life. And because parents are forcing their children to learn and score high, suddenly the chances of any of them loving the subject vanishes.
What I call for is for a society or an educational system that promotes this love between subject and learner. Think about how geniuses like Einstein or Beethoven came about- it was this love between themselves and their profession. Why else would they go great depths to make their fabulous discoveries or their wunderkind compositions? In fact, this love can make students better students, because out of this love, they would go beyond the things at school and into their own area of learning.
Many women reformers advocate for less arranged marriages and more marriages out of will. Why can’t this happen in the educational realm? If it does, we can make the school place into a truly happier place.