Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How my school made me what I am!

Remember that very special day, the first day of school, that day when you first step out from your house, into an unknown world, a more disciplined world? Though, we do not realize it then, it is one of the most important days of our lives. Some embrace this day with open arms, as a symbol of adventure and fun and then there are others who cringe at the thought of straying away from their parents' protection. What none of us realize then, is the fact that this day defines our existence as a civilized individual. Once you step into school, your life is never the same. Every day is a learning experience, every step a rendezvous with your destiny. And that is why, school to me, is the key to any person's life map. 

A school does not just give you knowledge, but educates you on the wisdom to apply the knowledge appropriately. Every person cherishes their school days the most and looks back with fondness. It is the time of life where you are free as a bird and you are encouraged to explore and embrace life. It has been 10 years, since, I parted ways with my school, but it is a part of me that demarcates every step I venture into the school of life. I grew up with the school and it was equally pleasurable to see the school grow with us, getting new classrooms, winning national accolades, and basically making us proud to be part of this great institution. It has been 25 years, this wonderful school came into existence, and I couldn't be happier to know that it is growing leaps and bounds. Even though, I can't be a part of the festivities,  I can at least share my happiness with many of my fellow school mates, who feel the same way. So, just recounting a few reasons why my school's Foundation Day means so much and why I want to celebrate the existence of this establishment.

1. Entered a child, exited an individual
When you start school, you are already a little person, with traits that define you, but it is the school, the teachers, the principal, the help, who carve who you could be. They have the capacity to encourage the good, and eliminate the bad. If you think of it, unless you got stars for being neat, or got sent to the corner for being dishonest, how would you even know what was right and wrong. Small gestures that changed our lives took birth in school. Not that parents don't teach the same, but there is something about teachers, and getting either appreciated or reprimanded in public that had a larger effect. The qualities that you pick up over the years, makes you the person you are. So, if I get a good employee evaluation and it says, "Meticulous, sincere and honest", I have my school to thank for it.



2. Home away from home
An extension of the previous point, school is where you spend most of the time of your formative years. If  there is a place children are as comfortable as being home, it is only school. The sense of routine, of seeing the same faces everyday, of being greeted by the same cheerful teacher, is what gives a sense of family to your experience at school. How many of you remember standing up for your classmates in a squabble with children from another grade? I do, not only the standing up part, but also feeling proud for being able to help out your class. And like family, you also gradually learn that you don't always have to be extremely fond of everyone in the family, but just staying connected, being civil and being there for each other is enough. This is the place where I learnt the basics of social living.

3. Found a career
Although a school gives you much more than just formal education, it does eventually direct you to your career goal in life. In the 12 years that I was at this wonderful school, I changed my aspirations many times, but it is the right kind of exposure and open discussions with teachers that helped me realize what I was passionate about. Hosting radio talk shows, book reports, debates, elocution, poetry writing contests, one creative venture at a time, pointed me towards the most satisfying experience of being able to write, and  to freelance for magazines and dailies. It was also the same school that taught me that I need not follow the norms and just pick one profession. My Biology teacher was encouraging me to pursue a career using one of my favorite subjects, and she was the one to make me realize that I could balance both my loves at the same time. Securing highest marks in both of my favorites, just made it more clear; I did not have to give up one for the other, but just take the best of both. So, today if I am able to claim that I am a Microbiologist and can  write technical articles with credibility, it is because my teachers knew what was right for me and pushed me to challenge myself.

4. Love for sports
I can only thank my school for having a great Physical Education program. As much as studying was important, there wasn't a lack of physical activities to keep us up and running. I still feel that there are many more options for the students now, but we were still given the best possible, at that time. The reason I can claim to be active today, is only because early on in life, I was introduced to the pleasures derived from the adrenalin rush, only playing a sport can bring, Today, I know that the adrenalin releases endorphins which gives you a sense of pleasure, but back then it was just a part of school curriculum. And I am thankful to all my physical education instructors to not only have taught me how great it feels to enjoy the sun and put your limbs to good use, but also for the great lessons in team work, leadership skills, sportsmanship spirit and mutual respect. I can't say I am really good at one particular sport, but those lessons push me to set out on new adventures in the form of camping, hiking, horse-back riding, scuba diving and many more.

5. Well-rounded personality 
As goes with sports, the 'trying my hand' at different art forms like drama, dance, music, arts and craft, has opened my life to fulfilling experiences. The reason Greeks valued the Arts so much was because they thought it made for a well-rested, more satisfied and healthy clan. Arts as an expression of the mind and soul has really been my reprieve on a lot of occasions and the reason for me being able to state that I am a well-rounded personality, on my personal statements. Finding solace in books and making wonderful friends with the characters is also thanks to the wonderful library system of our school. Science fairs, study tours and other interactive ways to embrace knowledge has helped me be a better teacher, today too.

6. Friends for life
Something I am eternally thankful to our school is for the opportunity to forge wonderful friendships. The home away from home, that school is, life's closest confidantes are found here. There was never a more exciting time than to embark on new beginnings and to simply grow up, with friends who had so much to share. You not only shared your triumphs and downfalls, you shared those wonderful moments of life that are cherished forever. You went on picnics, enjoyed socials and disclosed dreams and aspirations. School is where I found my most loyal, kind and generous supporters, and I can only hope that my friends could say the same about me. And it is again teachers and the school who inculcate the necessity of finding great friends in life, by assigning study partners, making us share our benches and basically teaching us a lesson in having an open mind. It is at this time in life, that friends are the whole and sole of your life, and you never find stronger bonds than the ones created then, and for some like me, you also might find a future life partner in your study partner!

7. Responsible citizen
Establishing community work societies and groups was one of the best things that our school could have done. Though as young children, who think planting a tree is a waste and don't realize the significance; as grown-ups today, we realize it was one of those lessons whose importance you learn later on in life. Leading by example and donating a certain percentage of the salary towards the Kargil Fund, our teachers made an indelible impression and imparted a lesson no book could have taught. It was then that we were encouraged to send letters of appreciation to our soldiers on the front, and to this day, there is no action I feel prouder of. Irrespective of whether it did reach in time or not, there is nothing that makes me feel good about being human and being there for others. Hats off to our educators, to have pushed us to be reliable and dependable citizens, who one day, would give back to the society, by helping one cause or the other.


8. Cultural Values
The soon to become extinct cultural values, though not part of the curriculum was also included in our journey as a student. I remember forming a single file queue and walking to the post office, with hand-made cards for parents on Diwali, Christmas, etc. Till date, I can never forget the value being imbibed in us to be thankful and appreciative of wonderful parents who worked hard to give us life's big and small pleasures. With the same fervor, we would also participate in celebrations for major festivals. It still amazes me as to how tactfully our teachers got us interested in the wonderful fables and tales behind each tradition, and that is something that long after, we still relate to that occasion. And of course, to top it, who could forget the delicious sweet boxes distributed to celebrate such occasions. Relevant or not, in the process of celebrating Diwali, Christmas and Id, we learnt a lot about culture and history and the acceptance of each religion for what it is.

9. Sense of Belonging
To say the least, my school gave me a sense of belonging, and along the years, if there is one thing that I have realized is important for a self-image, is being attached to a group, a clan, an institution, something you can call your own. Being the social animals that we are, it is pleasing to bond with people over a common piece of history, and what better thread than the place that harbored you for the most significant part of life. Being successful doesn't matter as much, if there is no one you can make proud. My school has given me that motivation to do well in life, to make it as proud, as I am of it. 

There are uncountable ways my school affected me, but these are the ones that made me who I am, and as thankful as I am for being a part of this magnificent school, I couldn't be grateful enough to my parents, for making the right choice for me. My school turned 25 this year on July 12th, and I can only wish that wonderful citizens bring back the laurels for this school as alumni and create a place for this institution in the pages of history!

P.S. My thoughts are echoed by the most memorable song School Chale Hum!, that I woke up to everyday, before going to school. And no other movie could explain better the friendships in school than Shala.

6 comments:

  1. lovely...this post made me nostalgic:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Panchali Di... I am happy my post good achieve that effect and make you reminisce the good old days :)

      Delete
  2. This is really awsome and i love that.. This is very unique thing you put on that post.. Thanks for sharing... read review

    ReplyDelete
  3. I personally disagree with this.
    1. That reward and punishment system robbed me of my self-assurance. I now need to be told how I'm doing to accept my work.
    2. As a child, I felt more comfortable in the middle of Walmart without mmy parents than I did at school.
    3. My school just made me more confused about what I wanted to do with my life
    4. My school's PE classes were boring and humiliating. I still cring at the word "sport".
    5. In class, I could only explore my interests in ways my teachers saw fit. Most of my interests grew at home, where they weren't limited.
    6. A. I've wanted to slap a vast majority of my classmates while I was in school.
    6. B. I've met many great friends outside of school.
    7. I've learned most of my morals from my parents. I've never done anything to learn morals at school.
    8. If any child tried to be part ofany culture other than what was popular, they would be bullied by their peers.
    9. I've always felt alone among the crowds at school, like an outsider.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I personally disagree with this.
    1. That reward and punishment system robbed me of my self-assurance. I now need to be told how I'm doing to accept my work.
    2. As a child, I felt more comfortable in the middle of Walmart without mmy parents than I did at school.
    3. My school just made me more confused about what I wanted to do with my life
    4. My school's PE classes were boring and humiliating. I still cring at the word "sport".
    5. In class, I could only explore my interests in ways my teachers saw fit. Most of my interests grew at home, where they weren't limited.
    6. A. I've wanted to slap a vast majority of my classmates while I was in school.
    6. B. I've met many great friends outside of school.
    7. I've learned most of my morals from my parents. I've never done anything to learn morals at school.
    8. If any child tried to be part ofany culture other than what was popular, they would be bullied by their peers.
    9. I've always felt alone among the crowds at school, like an outsider.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I personally disagree with this.
    1. That reward and punishment system robbed me of my self-assurance. I now need to be told how I'm doing to accept my work.
    2. As a child, I felt more comfortable in the middle of Walmart without mmy parents than I did at school.
    3. My school just made me more confused about what I wanted to do with my life
    4. My school's PE classes were boring and humiliating. I still cring at the word "sport".
    5. In class, I could only explore my interests in ways my teachers saw fit. Most of my interests grew at home, where they weren't limited.
    6. A. I've wanted to slap a vast majority of my classmates while I was in school.
    6. B. I've met many great friends outside of school.
    7. I've learned most of my morals from my parents. I've never done anything to learn morals at school.
    8. If any child tried to be part ofany culture other than what was popular, they would be bullied by their peers.
    9. I've always felt alone among the crowds at school, like an outsider.

    ReplyDelete

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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