"A man began to give large doses of cod-liver oil to his Dobberman because he had been told that the stuff was good for dogs. Each day he would hold the head of the protesting dog between his knees, force its jaws open and pour the liquid down its throat.
One day the dog broke lose and spilt the oil on the floor. To the man's great surprise, it returned to lick the spoon. That is when he discovered that what the dog had been fighting was not the oil but his method of administering it."
this is one of the stories from de Mello's "the Prayer of the Frog", the closest approximation to a bible for me, agnostic that i am. was flipping through it when the story caught my eye and realisation dawned that for the past six years or so, i'd been the dog. it's not cod liver oil though, which i don't mind - thanks to early conditioning - but the way education is administered in this country. you do it this way. you better memorise this verbatim. why? never mind why, this is just the way we do things here (read: this was the method i was taught).
it used to be more bearable in pre-u. perhaps because i was not as jaded as i am now, or perhaps because the amount of knowledge i had to master was much less compared to university that it didn't take that much effort and i had the rest of the time to use as i pleased. different kettle of fish now. and all the more sickening because uni should have spelled greater freedom.
even then, the education system of this country is better than what i had before coming here. emigrating to a more advanced neighbouring country at the tender age of fifteen gave me the opportunity to contrast two wholly distinct approaches to education. here is definitely better than there. if i had to do it all over again, i wouldn't change a thing.
but it is ironic that the system that allowed me to stretch and expand has so soon become too stifling. maybe it has something to do with the size of the country, or maybe it is the national obsession for good, quick results. nevermind that they lack depth, we just want the simple, straightforward solution, thank you very much. or maybe the two are related; it's their secret of success. for a tiny, bureaucratic nation, they sure are efficient. so efficient that they started to teach creativity and entrepreneurship in the classroom, once the bigshots decided those qualities are desirable. no, desirability had nothing to do with it. they're necessary for the survival of the nation, that's all.