Another Generation Of Automatons


My son started school this year. Before the academic year began, the principal invited all the parents for “a chat”. Now, I might be the only mother to say this, but this lady’s words annoyed me to no end. She kept emphasizing that the school has rules (obviously) and there are reasons why these rules have been written (I’m sure) and these must be unquestioningly followed.
This was the part that annoyed me. Why unquestioningly? If your rules are so perfect, why are you afraid someone might question them? Why put it in words that are so dictatorial? And at times, quite frankly, ridiculous. Consider this example:
“If your child is sick, write a leave note on the yellow pages of his school diary. Why the yellow pages, and not the blue pages, you ask? Because that’s our rule. Leave letters must be written on yellow pages.”
When my son first brought the diary home, I decided to check its colorful pages, and what rules applied to each. I noted that all pages were yellow. Then why did you even talk about the non-existent blue pages? What are you trying to prove? That your rules are so stringent that at times they don’t even make sense?
I’m not against rules. I question society sometimes, but out of habit, usually follow the rules, and even keep my appointments on time (yes, that’s very un-Indian of me, I know)! But when words like “unquestioningly” appear in front of instructions, I begin to wonder about the insecurity and foolishness of the person making such statements.
That day I realized we’re gonna have another generation of automatons in this world – whose wings will be clipped even before they learn to soar and whose colorful dreams would be replaced by black and white analyses. A lot of parents are gonna disagree with me here, but that day, I wished my son would just learn how to read and write in school and go off in the world and learn things on the way! I’d rather make my son an ambitious free thinker, than a limited in-the-box-thinker.
But unfortunately, unquestionable rules state that my son should be able to recite the multiplication tables backward in front of jealous relatives so that I as a parent can glow with pride and imply, “Oh he’s so much better than your kid.”
Argghhh!

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17 thoughts on “Another Generation Of Automatons

  1. anewlis July 2, 2014 / 8:53 PM

    I immediately got frustrated just in reading your post! LOL Anytime someone says something like 'unquestioningly' you know there are to be lots of questions! And obviously other parents HAVE questioned the rules, thus the principals speech. And you should! Our sole job as a parent is to take care of our kids. If something doesn't sound right, you better believe I'm gonna question it! Now I'm all heated! LOL It goes without saying but, you do what's best for your son. Period.

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  2. Issac Thomas July 3, 2014 / 8:43 AM

    Yeah really the rules of school are quite annoying…:-P

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  3. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder July 4, 2014 / 8:58 PM

    The school authorities like the things in this way.. it's a pity that we parent fail to raise our voice. Your son has just started so this is just the trailer…aage aage dekho kya kya hota hain.. #experience_speaks_here…

    Like

  4. Keirthana July 7, 2014 / 3:34 PM

    OMG! If this is the state in which today's generation grows up, no wonder they lose their innocence and sense of exploring so soon 😦 Really sad that this happens. I wish that things had been the way they were before all this technology kicked in. As backward in technology advancement as we may have been, we never lost that freedom and passion so early.

    Cheers,
    Keirthana 🙂

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  5. Sreesha Divakaran July 13, 2014 / 10:48 AM

    Yes, 'unquestionably' is a weak and stupid word, IMO. Someone who does not have the courage to answer logical questions would say something of the sort.

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  6. Sreesha Divakaran July 13, 2014 / 10:49 AM

    Not always. I have no issues with good rules (like punctuality, for instance). But the way it was put across was absolutely wrong and that's what I had a problem with.

    Like

  7. Sreesha Divakaran July 13, 2014 / 10:51 AM

    We had curiosity and imagination as kids and we had rights to question things or at least clear our doubts. This, on the other hand is just… well. :S

    Like

  8. Anita July 15, 2014 / 3:20 PM

    Even I share your views, Sreesha!
    I wonder what is my child learning in school & how nice it would be if nature was the teacher…
    The movie Taare Zameen Par shows how the child learns so much outside & how he wants to be creative & paint….but no, society wants engineers & doctors…

    Like

  9. Sreesha Divakaran July 16, 2014 / 1:49 PM

    Engineer and doctor! The words that destroyed my life! (as I've written in a previous post). My son's school is so strange that they don't allow parents to enter the premises unless there's a PTA meet or something. I get worried sometimes!

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  10. Jyotsna Bhatia July 16, 2014 / 7:20 PM

    This is the Sreesha Divakaran styled post. Somebody who doesn't take things unquestioningly. I wish your son goes on to become all that you wrote above. And with a mother like you, he is sure to be one. Lots of love to you and your kiddo 🙂

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  11. Sreesha Divakaran July 17, 2014 / 7:30 PM

    I do hope he doesn't abide by all the rules (I'm saying this despite being his mother!) Some things are to be explored by going out there! But in school, often there's so much pressure from teachers and stuff. He too will live and learn! 😀

    Like

  12. the little princess June 1, 2015 / 6:57 PM

    Totally agree with you! And in spite of that when I wake up tomorrow morning I will again go about everything 'unquestioningly'!

    Like

  13. Parul June 2, 2015 / 7:09 AM

    That must have been so irritating. There has to be some explanation about the silly rules. How is the lady doing now? 😉

    Like

  14. Sreesha Divakaran June 2, 2015 / 1:03 PM

    Every school has rules, and must have them too. But really, wtf is “unquestioningly”!
    The lady quit. One fine day they sent a note in the yellow-paged school calendar that she is retiring with immediate effect. Let's see what happens this year!

    Like

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