‘Exam’ining life

As I blankly stared at the opposite wall , struggling to think of ways to kill time at 3 in the morning , I could not help but press the rewind button in my life to what changes had caused me to suddenly become so restless. In the 22 years I have spent on Earth, I was supposed to have acquired a lot of new skills to help me be occupied. However, the past three days have been undoubtedly the most boring 72 hours of my life , second only to the 50 odd matches I have watched  Chelsea FC play.

After deep thought , I realized that this was the first time in my life that I did not write a single examination for  a whole year. Writing examinations has been an integral part of my life, right from ‘peaceful’ first grade, where I wrote about 35 tests a year, to ‘terrorizing’ undergraduate years at IIT  where the number rose to 65. I always thought that I hated examinations, but being away from them for a year has been so difficult for me that I actually miss them. Having been raised up in Nerd-vana( read this to know why), examinations are to me what  a canvas is to a painter – a means of expression. In fact , I missed examinations so much that I searched for online university courses and registered for them – just so that I could study and write examinations. It also occurred to me the only reason that would force me to pursue higher studies would be that they entail an examination  component.Examinations give me a platform to prove my worth , prove what I learnt , something, which no theatre stage, microphone or podium can do .

Does a good education really need  examinations ? All these years, I have thought that the answer to the second question was YES. But, now, as I stand on the other side of the court – as a teacher to 32 students , and make them write exams every week, every month – I wonder whether I still hold those views. I suddenly wonder whether I was actually a victim of the educational system –  addicted to exams and with it the urge to outscore  peers. Is this a value worth passing to my classroom kids ? A big question for me to answer.

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