I watch the teacher drone as he writes down what looks more like ancient undecipherable hieroglyphs than differential calculus, on the board. I try to stifle a yawn, but fail miserably. It comes out wide, leaving my eye slightly watered. I am bored. Point blank.
I try to concentrate. I try really hard but it’s not working. I try to think of how hard my parents are working to keep me in school hoping the thoughts of their hardwork will dispel some of the sudden jadedness that has embraced me for the past two semesters. That doesn’t work either.
Simply put, I am tired of school.
I know it’s not just me. Looking around, I find some of my class mates fiddling with their phones, while some are outright snoozing. The rest however are concentrated, or appear to be concentrated on the on-going lecture. Whatever the case, I envy them.
I don’t understand why I started to feel this way, but it is probably because I have a year left. I think a part of me is not ready to face the cruel reality for graduates. I have friends who have graduated years ago and have no jobs. Those that do have jobs are too qualified for the job, but they settle for it because it’s paying. They learn nothing new, nothing exciting.
Sighing, I adjust on my seat and stare through the board,and my mind wanders off again.
I really don’t think the teachers cares if we understand or not, but is more fixated on finishing his curriculum. I think it is why they wait till the end of the lecture before asking if the students have any questions because they know the students will be in a hurry to leave, and won’t want to ask many questions. I think the teachers can feel it too, the students getting tired. I feel our carelessness radiates in our shallow but lengthy research papers, in the low turnout in classes, in our ability to be in class but not in class. I think they can feel it so much that it has started to affect their care for if we understand or not. I think they know now we are just going to cram our notes, pass the exams, and get excellent grades for learning nothing. I think they feel most of us are just in for the grades, and degrees.
I think about how the media has also contributed to my new state. How they keep shoving headlines in our faces that showcase some dropout, uneducated entertainer or CEO’s nine figures paycheck. But seriously, why is this news? As if the discouragement students get from taking and failing tests, juggling multiple projects, and taking stressful courses isn’t enough, then the media brings that to the fore. Is it their way of derisively saying we students are wasting our time?
I remember my first year when my grades were superb. I needed my parents to be proud of me, and also vied for a scholarship. I had some class mates then who did pretty badly in class, and due to my, and i’m certain a lot of my other classmates poor judgement, I thought they weren’t smart. I was fortunate to become close to some of these students, and I realized how way off my judgement was. They are actually pretty smart, but not in the way of having time to read theory and apply it in an exam. They have their own curriculum they follow, they learn what they want to learn, and are good at it. I remember when I found out, and how chagrined I was, and how depleted I felt. My grades were way better than theirs but they knew things that I had not even begun to think of learning. Point blank, for the first time I was not so proud of my good grades. Out of curiosity, I had to ask them why their intellect did not reflect in their grades. I remember one’s haunting reply, as he smiled:
To be honest, I’m just in school for the degree. It’s a process I have to go through to, unfortunately, be recognized by some of the hot shot companies I intend to work for. I know getting good grades would give me a better chance, but I believe when they see the things I’ve done outside academics, they’ll be impressed. And if they don’t get accept it, I’ll simply start my own company, and in a matter of years, steal their customers(he grins briefly but his face takes a sudden serious look). School doesn’t give you the time to really learn and absorb what you’re being taught properly. You have to learn so many courses at once, that before you start to take an interest, course works come up, projects, then exams. At one point, you find yourself just wanting to pass without even learning much; pining for GPAs rather than the knowledge. I can’t do that, It’s pathetic.
His reply may not have been the most logical, but did have some element of truth. I wish I had never asked him, because unbeknownst to me, that reply had planted a seed. Gradually and unintentionally, I stopped focusing too much on my grades. And as the years rolled by, I got tired of school all together. I can’t understand how it happened, but it did.
The sudden bustling noise of chairs scraping against the floor interrupt my thoughts. The lecture has ended and students are already packing their items to leave. I wonder why I even attend the lectures if I don’t pay attention, but I have to admit lecture times are oddly when I have the time to think – of things other than the lecture, ofcourse.
I stand up, and stretch my weary muscles. I hope I am able to go through my final year before I think of quitting all together.
As I walk to the doorway, I stop short and look at the mathematical scribbles on the board. A section labelled ‘Assignment due tomorrow’ grabs my attention, as it is outlined with a square surrounding it…
Like what the hell?! how can I do what I don’t even understand?!
I probably should have paid some attention to the lecture.
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