Tag Archive | facts

On school education

What started as my innocent question as a regular comment on a post – whether international schools (read : schools with international standards and not international in the name) are affordable by upper middle class people? in India turned out to be sequence of more or less like an opinionated discussion based on certain facts that both of us know.

You can find where it all started here (My response was to last two paragraphs of the post).Lead to post of Pepper’s opinions based on certain facts here, that lead me to present my points of why I think that way and started explaining by giving some insights. The comment is still in moderation, but I think, you my dear readers might find it interesting to read, as I really spent quite some time in composing those thoughts with some research and conversation with a friend of mine.

All this will make sense, if you read the entirety of the thoughts posted in the links shared above, then only, does this response fit in the dialogue. Also, I am not a very strongly opinionated person, I change my opinions based on facts and what we currently have and can do versus what it is to be ideal, I prefer an open ended conversation on the same.

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Here was my response:

Thanks Pepper – I appreciate the thoughtfulness you put in your response – your perspective is always very interesting!

Your points are very agreeable – there are many low-quality government schools. The government should spend a larger percentage of money than it does on education, and in a more effective manner. Equal opportunity is generally accepted as a worthwhile goal.

I think I made a lot of points and maybe spread myself too thin. I think my main points should have been
1) Education is important for many, but it’s not right for everyone
2) There’s lots of non-traditional educational opportunities outside of school
3) There are limited resources that shouldn’t necessarily be diverted to education

I’ll start with the third point. You are 100% correct that there are low quality teachers and many of them are underpaid, especially considering how important they are to society. However, where are we going to get these high quality teachers that you are looking for? I think that you, with your thirst for knowledge, might be a great and inspirational teacher! However, if we take you out of your leadership position at your company, then the company might be worse off, people may lose jobs, and children will have a hard time thinking about school when there basic financial necessities are not met. Similarly, should we take doctors out of hospitals or disease researchers out of labs to teach basic skills? Kids will find it hard to study when they are ill. You can call education a fundamental right – what about clean drinking water, green energy, food, shelter etc.? There are many things we can agree are good, but we cannot say one thing is a “fundamental right” and prioritize it for free – prioritizing one initiative comes at the cost of all these other great initiatives unfortunately :-/

For my second point, I am still firm in my point regarding learning different trades, skills, etc. For us, we may have benefited professionally and personally from a well-rounded education at top schools. However, there are many people who will not benefit from school as much as they will from learning a trade, because it will result in better financial results for that person. By teaching a child classical philosophy, we might be stealing a child’s opportunity to learn farming or metal-smithing, which could deprive them of earning potential in the future. I understand your point that education should not be judged solely on practical application for making money. However, financial freedom is necessary to entertain the possibility of lifelong learning. A beggar cannot afford an internet connection to read the news or read Wikipedia. A person struggling to put food on the table will not read textbooks at night for leisure.

Finally, this leads me to my first point. Education is not right for everyone.

To take it a step further, some education is poisonous. Let’s take a simple Social Studies / History example (and most people might agree that history is an important subject, since “if you don’t pay attention to history, you are doomed to repeat it”). Let’s take the specific example of WWI. What was the cause of WWI? Most educated people would answer immediately “The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the series of alliances between the European powers that caused a domino effect”. This falls apart at the earliest question. Is anyone really THAT popular that their death would cause a world war? The notion is ridiculous. Someone who knows history will have all these particular facts that explain all the Western wars, be it this dictator here or that extremist ideology there. In this case, the uneducated person is at an advantage – they can see “hey – the Americans and Europeans are a warlike people that always seem to be fighting and killing”. They won’t say “There’s Stalin here, Pol Pot there, Saddam in that instance, etc.” Education in this case is the trees that block the view of the forest.

However, a more benign example is exactly as stated in my earlier point about useful skills – if kids are spending their time considering our great philosophical quandaries, they are losing time that could be spent on developing marketable skills. Even worse, if a subject they deem boring is forced on them, they might grow to hate school in general. Even though I think that Calculus is a key skill that should be taught to all children, I’m sure many kids would hate going to the class despite its importance in engineering and science.

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In this whole process of writing this response, I found my self doing more work for a blog than was required, trying to explain what I think and how I perceive, although, this has been an interesting topic to chat about and getting different perspectives,  I am also aware that we discussing this topic on the internet will not solve the real problem. This topic is debatable and can go back and forth as long as possible and we end up agreeing on some and agree to disagree on some other points.

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Blood Horoscopes

huh.. would you even think that your traits are determined based not only on the month you were born in but also depending on the blood group you have… well of course good and bad.

Blood Groups
(source: Google images)

As part of Blood Drive program in our organisation, one of my friend ended up donating his blood. His was O +ve, and I was… So far under the assumption that O+ is a an universal donor until I found out some very interesting facts that differentiates various blood groups.

Here is the Conversation:

so you have two blood proteins that are in some people but not in others
If you have one or the other, you’ll be either A or B
If you have both, you’re AB
If you have neither, you’re O
Actually, there’s a third one
If you have it, you’re +
Otherwise, you’re –
So, if you’re A+, you have 2 of the proteins
If you’re O-, you have none of the proteins
If you are missing some and someone gives it to you, then the donated blood will be rejected by your body
O+ can’t get blood from A or B blood types
But O+ can be given to anyone that’s +
and O- people can  give blood to anyone, they can only receive from O-
O-  is Universal Donor
AB+ is Universal Receiver
And also, he pointed out that blood horoscopes are most prevalent in Japanese culture. (my thoughts: I doubt if they still do )
Do you want to know what your traits are based on the blood group?
So, go ahead and share what your personality is like? Mine is Type O …And hey, please never ask me to donate the blood.. I have a scarcity of Iron and have to eat lots of Greens.. yeah i know.. but do I have a choice? .
and I am not really defined by what they have listed out there.. !
Go ahead and share yours.
Happy Blood Horoscoping.
PS:  Horoscoping word doesn’t exist…totally made up. Nor the blood horoscope classification apply.. it was a made up by one of the Japanese person who got insulted by an westerner travelling  Japan at that time. I read this somewhere just this evening and can’t seem to find the supporting link. There is another version of the story (here), but you can always google it away.

Fun facts about living in New York

NYC – Citi that Never Sleeps

My Job demands me to relocate quite frequently and that gave me an opportunity to live  in multiple cities of United States ..and New York is the one that is having (rather holding) me the longest. I would like to share some fun facts that are soooo unique to NYC.

Fun facts goes here:

1. Citi Never Sleeps – 24 hrs round the clock, you’ll see people at any given time . I came alone home at 1 AM via public transportation.. no kidding, I find it is the safest place to travel at any time in nights.No wonder it has such a caption (actually that is a caption of Citibank but gets applied to NYC). Also called as Big Apple (I still wonder why it’s called by that name.. I have no justification..If you do know.. appreciate your reasoning)

2. Diversity -People are diversified and you’ll see the whole world right here in this 13 mi Manhattan.. I have met people from countries that I have never heard of (oh I meant, I never heard not that they do not exist)

3.Sky Scrappers everywhere.. Forest made of Concrete.. although in east-coast, seasons change but you’ll see no difference in the color of this concrete jungle.

4. Amazing Opportunities – oh yea, you can be what ever you want to . Well, you see people who show off their talents in trains and in subways and make some quick bucks for their living while stepping their foot into the career they wanted to make of. And you can simply do anything and everything you dreamed of. You can explore your interests/hobbies and meet like minded people.

5. Best Metro system 24×7 -I mean, I am talking about commute via buses and trains yeah yeah.. public transportation, subways are bit dirty though, well with such a huge population that is expected.

6. Expensive living and *conditions apply*: Well the living costs are high, you really have to pay quite a ransom for a small apartment. I have been in different states in United States, New York City  is the only place I’ve seen where one need to pay ” one months rent towards Broker Fees” even for renting an apartment. Air Conditioner and Microwave are NOT provided, You have even buy and fix window blinds, and some times you need get your own carpet and fix it. I find all these weird for one reason that It was never this tough at any place I’ve lived so far.

7. Crowded: Not only people, even the buildings are. If you ever happen to get into subway between 7 am and 9 am, You will be standing almost at the footsteps of a bus and you might not be able to squeeze in the trains unless you board the train at the very beginning. Yes, I am equally surprised and excited that… even in United States people have to stand and ride in public transportation for longggggggg hours. Yes, on the average people who work in NYC travel at least an hour to 2 hours…no kidding.

8. Public Parks: You think they are free, to use tennis courts, swimming pools or use any other amenities..you need to take membership and pay for it. Yes the fees are minimal but YOU Still need to pay for it. Well could be part of a maintenance fee for such a huge population and less land.

9. Swimming pools in Gym: It’s very hard to find a gym with swimming pool in it. Ofcourse Place constraints. and Gym memberships are very expensive.

10. Food ..this is the best place on the earth for variety of food cuisines. You find everything from .. eeks.. I can’t just list all the countries but say on the world map, from east to west and from south to North, diagnolly , tangentially, parabollically.. you will find the breadth of cuisines ..specially in Manhattan Midtown and downtown.

11. Competitive Spirit: On the average people born and brought up in NYC are much smarter (well in United States only..), Survival of the fittest applies here.. (some law in physics) , more competition , more choices ..certainly more smart people.

12. Fashion: Great fashion sense, New Yorkers dress well ! They have amazing fashion sense. I think people from paris, France are probably have more fashion sense than new yorkers. Well I am not sooo sure about it.. may be U could answer this. But definitely, great styles.

13. Education: There are best universities and schools for every thing, although driven by financial industry everywhere, it is a great place for other things as well. May be not, IOWA has best SAT scores across the country..!

14. Events: There is one or the other event happening in reachable distance within NYC that is most likely open to public.

15. Bars: For all the people out there.. as much as I wanted NYC to have the best bars, but I guess the Hoboken, New Jersey stands out.. This place has best bars in the world and it’s just 15 mins away from Penn Station, New York (take a path and make a ride).

As much as I want my brain to recollect facts ..it seems to be very tired to think even a bit further.  It had such a long long day today and needs some rest. It says it will take this up some other time.

And , before I end..as much fun and exciting it is to live in NYC, it equally gives Strain and Stress.

Welcome to NYC. Definitely a great place to live, Visiting does not give you real fun unless you live here.. It is a worthwhile experience. What are you thinking, If you ever get a chance to live in NYC even for a month… take it up!

Hope this gave you some not-so-mentioned-insights-about-NYC.  (I am too lazy to even proof read).