Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Idiot and The Educated

My sincere apologies to The Idiot.
The Educated might give me a look…one that reads “Seriously! Do you need to do this?”

Education is a bag full of books. Education is weekly tests, unit tests and term tests.
Ask 10 random students on any random street why they are studying. 8 will tell you that a good education ensures a good job. The other 2 might grow up to be Research Fellows in reputed Institutions!

I am not a Research Fellow. Maybe, I could have been…but I am not. We will shoot off an altogether different tangent if we followed this train of thoughts now.
Let’s just get to the point.

The IT professional has a pretty stereotype life. System, code editor, outlook, coffee, occasional text from that guy or girl you are dating, periodically checking the groups put on mute to see if something exciting is lined up for the weekend. That’s it. Some 9.5-10 hours of such randomness and you are done for the day. If you are lucky to have a manager who believes in the minimum working hours policy, you may get to go home early.
Home is equally monotonous. Food, sleep, book, phone, sleep some more. If you are interested in cooking…add one more item to the aforementioned list.
Three years of a lifestyle as sedentary as this and you are sure to turn into the much hyped and over publicized Idiot.
My sincere apologies to The Idiot. Again.

All the Oh-so-important things that these universities and colleges make us cram into our heads during the semesters and all those industrial trainings, certifications and whatever-whatevers that we do to fill up our semester breaks…all of it…all of it…just leads us to the abyss called professional life.
You are so doomed to turn into an Idiot the moment you step into it.

Being a Bachelor in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering, I currently hold the position of a Software Engineer. Irony? No. That’s how it works here!
I have forgotten how a Push-Pull amplifier works. I have absolutely no memory of Control Systems and Circuit Theory. I vaguely remember something called Bode Plot and Laplace.
So what is it that I know?
I know how to google. I know how to read and understand codes…in whatever language it may be. I know how to pretend that I know everything. I know which error message means what and exactly what will make the error vanish. Oh yes, did I mention, I can manage my juniors, assign tasks to them and get the same completed. I can also politely battle with vendors/clients and come out victorious at the end of the day.
Wow! That did make me feel like I was filling up the annual appraisal form.
Doesn’t Appraisal rhyme with Hike!! I like the effect!

The specifics that I had studied in school are long lost.
I still remember certain facts and pointers. Like, Khudiram was the first martyr of the Struggle for India’s Independence. I remember Iltutmish, he founded the Delhi Sultanate. I also remember a reference to the Slave Dynasty. Nothing more…nothing less.
Charlemagne was this French King who united most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages. There was some reference to France and Germany as well. That’s the most that I remember about him from School anyway.
The Nile basin, Thames…Ukraine…which crop grows where and what are the ideal conditions for growing the same. I have no memory whatsoever.
I dreaded Chemistry. Carbon spooked me out totally. Versatile indeed!
I remember the little fellas…Periplaneta americana and Bufo melanostictus. The names fascinated me. But my interest ended there. Of course, I remember very little about them. Heart partitions, some exoskeletons, endoskeletons and external appendages.
That was school for me.

And then there’s Physics. The love of my life.
One of the reasons why I took up Engineering was Physics.
But how much have I progressed in it since I became a Software Engineer? Blaaaah.
Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle and the inherent desire to just sleep during weekends and off days.

That makes me an Idiot. Once educated, now dumb.

I do feel like going back to some School for further education. Like an MS in Physics or Economics. I am good with Data and Analytics. I could Major on that.

Education is a strange phenomenon. It teaches you 12000 things of which most students remember just 0.25% or less …which is close to some 30 or so odd things. These things will mostly be those that somehow stood out…something that affected you in some way…you may have some memory associated with it…something completely random perhaps. In most cases people remember nothing worthwhile.

23 years of life devoted to Academics and all you remember are things personal to you and what appealed to you. Wow!

Life is an irony in itself and so is education. What remains intact is perhaps our sense of not knowing something. That is persistent…all through life. Take it either ways…knowledge is vast and you cannot know everything…or…I learnt a lot of irrelevant things of which I remember nothing.

So tell me. Which one are you… The Idiot or The Educated?
Come on…be honest!

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