“I can’t do this. This seems to be a problem of class-9 or class-10. I am in class-8”. This is how our conversation started in the interactive camp (kids and their teachers from all over Odisha attend this camp to have fun with Mathematics), which is currently being held in IMA, Bhubaneswar. I was talking to kids who are attending the said camp and a not so shy kid answered exactly as above when I asked them something. I passed my high school exams ten years back. A lot has changed since then, including my memory which mistook something in class-10 to be in class-8. But one thing has not changed at all: my dissent towards the societal standardization.
I hated school as a kid. I loved staying back at home, reading random books, only to be forced by my parents to go. I never understood the idea of sitting as a lame duck all through out the day, listening to stuff, which has been designed by people,apparently for each individual sitting in that room, for years. I wonder, why no one has questioned this till now? The potential of each human brain is infinite. How can someone tell me that you can go no further than triangle inequalities or geometry at the age of fifteen? Why should we believe them?
I often think of this: what if someone told me, you and the kid in the camp that there is no class-8, that there is no end to what you can learn in this particular minute, during the whole day, during this month, in the whole year, in your entire years of existence !! Then there would be no end to what we can learn. There would have been no need for this hypothetical someone to exist for there would be no limitations then. I always believed that limitations are created in our minds. A kid doesn’t know of it until he/she comes across this limitation introduced by the schooling system, the very pillar of societal education.
In the present society, everything is predetermined. The people have a scale in their mind. They constantly buzz my ears with their thoughts of how my beard has exceeded their predetermined length. This is just an example (or might be another way of getting back at them :P). The limitations are in our minds. Something turns out to be as difficult as we perceive it to be. The only thing to learn is that there are no limitations. We must train our minds to think so. This has to be the sole purpose of the teachers and the schools.
While walking out of the interactive camp, I told the kids, there is no class-10. Their teachers looked at me with wide eyes, like I cared. I told them not to impose their limitations on young kids and walked off.