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College Education

Lessons on lessons

Come June, the one question school-finishing students fret over is, what college to choose. Usually it is a highly tricky decision, as many colleges do not seem to have quality canteens. Imagine going for three or four years to an institution that doesn’t have the facilities to serve quality kitchadi.

Ha! Ha! as ever I am kidding. No college student ever likes kitchadi actually.  The point is college education is demanding, especially on the question what stream to choose: Science or Arts. Guys usually solve this tricky point of debate by opting for the course their girl friends go to.  But there may be many guys out there without girl friends. Usually such fellows are also without any idea about what they are studying.  It is to their benefit that the following is written. I am qualified to teach them as I also don’t have a clue as to what I am writing.

Science:  (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology and other subjects that bore people to distraction)

Mathematics, as the name makes it abundantly clear, is all about, well, we don’t know. Because as far as we are concerned ‘mathematics’ doesn’t even remotely come close to meaning anything.
From time immemorial it has been a popular subject among students for being a strong reason in developing in them a deep aversion for formal learning. Weren’t it for maths, many students may have stayed within the confines of college education and wasted their life. But thanks to maths there is a strong reason for them to choose their own way and become hugely successful.
For young students, it is always a toss up between their parents and the maths teacher as to whom they hate the most. Usually, the maths teacher wins, mainly due to integral and differential calculus, a part of mathematics that I believe was invented by the teaching community to take it out on the students.
Maths involves learning stuff like Sin2q and Cos2q , which are handy things to prove not all things in life have to have a reason and relevance. In the maths class students will spend considerable time understanding why sin2q + Cos2q = 1. This is taught to help inculcate in students the scientific temperament of asking ‘so what’.
Formulas like sin2q + Cos2q = 1 also help the students develop a vibrant sense of humour by making them to think up crass jokes on maths masters for teaching them (students) stuff like sin2q + Cos2q = 1. Those who major in maths usually make it big in jobs that involve logic, reasoning and precision, such as teaching sin2q + Cos2q = 1 to people who will find no need for them in all their lives.
Physics and Chemistry are kind of inseparable twins and share many things in common, including the same teacher in many educational institutions. Since chemistry and physics are just a door apart, schools and colleges generally usher in the scientific revolution of allowing the physics teacher to double up for a few days as the chemistry master should the latter go on a long leave.
There are any number of inventions from the field of physics and chemistry. But the pride of place in this long roster must go to practicals, invented for doling out marks in easy subsidies to the students.
Physics and chemistry also involve lab classes, which are the main reason for increasing attendance at morning shows in nearby cinema halls.
Physics and chemistry deal with occupation of space and matter, and no wonder that who major in these subjects make it big as clerks and officers in the government, where the main job is to occupy physical space and put their hard-learned science to good use, like wondering whether the tea they drank was boiled at temperature measured on Fahrenheit or Celsius scale. High-ranking officials think on the Kelvin scale.
Botany and Zoology share an uncanny relationship for being subjects wherein everyday things and beings are given names and symbols that defy human comprehension. For instance, to the zoologists elephant, belonging to the family of Gomphotheriidae, is a five-toed pachyderm that can also be called a proboscidean. Botanists aren’t far behind. For them, onions are bulbs that can be called Allium cepa.
Of course there is a strong scientific reason for botanists and zoologists to think up such queer names for everyday things: They have far too much of free time on their hands. To put in pure scientific terms: They have nothing else to do.
Arts: (Literature, History, Journalism and other subjects that people are no longer interested in)
Literature is important to the evolution of human beings and emergence of civil society and offers an agreeable counterpoint to the belief that all life has to be precise and logical.
Literature actually involves saying imagined things like the previous paragraph. Literature is nothing but packing a lie with incomprehensible things: Lie + ‘teratur’ = Literature. When the lies and falsehoods reach a new high, poetry flows.
Literature also proves that science and scientists alone don’t bore the heck out of this world. For every Leibnitz and Pascal there is an equal and opposite Shakespeare and James Joyce driving a legion of students into the cafeteria and cinema hall. Those majoring in literature have good scope in jobs that involve creativity and imagination, like psephology, economics and statistics.
History has been thoughtfully included in the curriculum with the larger idea of proving that arithmetic and numbers are all bunkum. History at the core involves memorizing that the 100 Year war was fought for 116 years. Louis XI did not follow to the throne Louis X.
The importance of history cannot be overstated in our education system as it allows students to fill in reams and reams of paper with neither the examiner having a clue as to what is written nor the student having a notion as to what he is penning about. This is the beauty of history and that is why many top politicians think they are good at it. That is why it was possible for Jawaharlal Nehru to pen a huge tome on it when it actuality he was supposed to be running the affairs of this country.
Journalism involves, in parts, thinking up all the balderdash that you read above. It beats our imagination that anyone would still be interested in journalism.