Monday, April 19, 2010

What Can Brown Do For You?

Ignorance is piss. Some incidents really teach you that. This post is not meant to be a complaint or a rant, however, I do believe that sharing this little blurb could be beneficial to at least one person.

So couple days ago I decided to visit my friends Jennifer and Jesse in Plymouth, Indiana. It's about 40 minutes away from lovely Chesterton and who doesn't want to leave town once in a while. So I get on the road and was peacefully driving on Route 30 going East. Half way to Plymouth, about 20 miles out of Valparaiso, the ride was starting to unwind smoothly. I see a police car in the opposite direction about half a mile up and I stayed in my lane and left my cruise on.
About half a mile after following me, the cop puts his lights on. As every good citizen should, I immediately pulled over to the shoulder lane and stopped. He walks out of the car, asks for my license and registration. I had it all on me (thank god). I passed the documents over to him, he looked at it and asked me "Where are you from?"
"Chesterton," I replied.
"No, I mean originally," he continued.
"Oh, yeah, originally I suppose I am from India, as in my roots," I answered.
Mr. Officer seemed confused. He goes, "oh, okay. So do you comfortably speak and understand English? I mean, do you know what I'm saying to you right now?"
hmm... If I answer no, wouldn't that still answer his question?

This incident reminded me of something similar that happened a couple years ago. I was at a bank in Michigan and the teller couldn't look up my account number as I had printed it on the withdrawal sheet. She looked at me and said, "I can't find your account in here. I mean, do you even have a social security number?" Lol.

Ah, the joys of being a minority in America.
By the way, the answer to both of the above questions was YES! JIC someone's still wondering...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Education Revolution Is In Motion...

Babysitting has it's joys. I've been around my 5 and 7 year old niece and nephew lately. It's interesting to see how children learn how to socially interact and associate cultural inferences to what they learn in classrooms and from peers. The important topic of the 'kind of education' comes to mind when evaluating well-roundedness and social intelligence.
Being brought up in both India and the States has brought to my attention the significance of academic versus social intelligence. There is a thorough and distinct difference that exists in ways how children are exposed to new ideas and topics. Granted it is next to impossible to beat years of solid academic foundation, but it is also crucial to note that a well-rounded and multifaceted training technique has its perks and advantages than to just having a sound academic background.
Because the academic base in Western school systems is weak, there are plenty of third party services available to weaker students for help with basic schoolwork and comprehension (i.e. Kumon, Sylvan) . The American education system, however, does an excellent job in providing students the opportunity to excel at sports, music, school government, hobby and social clubs, etc. which in turn leads to creating more opportunities for pupils to grow socially and pursue passionate arenas for expertise.
The Indian school of thought is a little reverse in this aspect. No doubt that the Eastern culture focuses more on the mathematics and sciences, sometimes mixed with rote learning techniques, but in turn the overall populace is much more sound in solid academic principles. However, students lose out on social and passion driven activities that eventually lead to more rounded individuals overall.
With the reverse of the American case in play, third party institutions that provide such skills within the Indian education system are the pillars needed to fill this gap for young students. One such institution is Discover Life based in New Delhi. Working with private as well as public schools, they seek to provide the training and skill set that can be of great asset to youth in today's highly competitive and fast paced industries.
The answer to a perfect education is a complex one and requires restructuring and reprioritizing on several levels of the education sector, but perhaps the first step towards acheiving this ultimate goal is to address the weakest links of the system. A confident and goal-oriented group of young individuals have the power to focus their energy and interest given the right direction through an organized learning experience like Discover Life.
The extra effort that will be required to fulfill the program successfully will in turn be an asset to the participants involved and pave the path for a well prioritized and real world applicable education system in the future.
Having been lucky to experience both, I truly believe that these types of goal-driven and leadership programs are the answer to India's intelligent yet confused student base. Do you get it? A revolution is in motion.