Saturday, July 20, 2019

Estremera: Values, life learnings - Part 2

Spiders Web

IN REGULAR schools where incentives were designed to produce winners among children, the system has already been warped by time and the corrupt mind.

It is not unusual for art teachers to be the one conceptualizing and creating the art pieces to be entered in competitions. The student is there as a dummy. You can sense this by the level of dismay, the bitterness of the adviser/coach when the child loses. That is because, it is actually the adviser/coach who was judged and found unworthy.

A school that is sustained by voluntary service cannot select the best teachers as they have just enough funds to sustain the school operations and house and feed their scholars. Thus, many of their teachers are there to earn the big points given when a teacher volunteers for this type of school. It's about what they can get not what they want to give.

Among them was a teacher with a doctorate who taught statistics to the group of children who come from remote places. Not one student passed the exam. The teacher was furious, she stormed off, leaving the administration puzzling over why the children failed.

A group of visiting engineers who are very good with numbers volunteered their time to check on the problem.

The verdict: it was the exam that was found wanting.

It was asking about the probabilities of getting a Royal Flush in a Poker game. It was asking for the likelihood of winning in Last Two. It was asking about things that the children do not even have any idea about, and worse, the questions were introducing vices. The teacher who has a doctorate and who stormed out in disgust of her students actually planted the seeds of vice, and taught nothing else.

When the team of nerdy engineers revised the questions requiring the same computations and answers but using items familiar to the children of remote farms -- like this sow and this boar getting this number of combinations -- the children passed. The teacher with the doctorate was the one who failed.

Preparing for a new day just after breakfast, our leader said: Okay guys, who's going to use the bathroom.

One of the team, a senior college student replied: I think they still need to fetch water.

I glared at him and said: You are supposed to fetch your own!

The night before, as we arrived at our sleeping quarter in an organic farm in this remote village, I asked if there's a pail and went to the flowing water source to fetch water for my night's bath. It came automatically. I didn't look for anyone to fetch me water, I asked for a pail.

There lies the difference between movers and slackers, game changers and the run-of-the-mill. It all starts from the little things that you impart and do.


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