Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Trials and Tribulations of Tuition

Really, what is the opposite of disillusionment?

Back in high school, crushed between the insurmountable expectations of our hopeful parents and the contemptible judgement of our sneering peers, we all tend to develop extremely skewed views of our teenage selves. Only with the benefit of some time and distance do we realize that most of our insecurities about ourselves were all for naught.

That - and coming face to face with the acne-ridden distraught teenagers of today.

I used to think that I needed to be more driven, more focused, more ambitious, more... well, everything especially when it came to my academic studies. Even in my already relatively packed co-curricular activities, I kept wondering if I was doing quite enough to buff up my curriculum vitae. Even though short of joining a club or society that miraculously convened on a Sunday evening, I doubt I could find the time!

Looking back, I needn't have worried too much.

How foolish I was. Judging by the sadly mediocre students coming to Charming Calvin for extra tuition, I might be quite as terrifyingly kiasu as Paris Geller.

The students at Gradgrind are quite an interesting lot. Not only are some of them unsure of what subjects they would be taking for the exams, they don't particularly see any need to prepare at all. So what if they are flunking half the subjects in school?

Or if they don't even know the first thing about algebra?

A handful in upper secondary can't even do a simple times table sum without the help of a calculator. For someone whose knowledge of mathematics is already less than stellar, that's really horrifying.

Of course their less than knowledgeable, terribly enabling parents aren't helping much.

Parent : Oh, he will go for tuition classes when he needs them.
Paul : Isn't he flunking most of his subjects? 
Parent : Well I think so. 
Paul : Think so? You don't know how he's doing in school?
Parent : Umm... not great I guess? 
Paul : Interesting.
Parent : He will ask for tuition if he feels like it. Anyway he's headed for college.
Paul : Doesn't mean he can afford to fail. He'll still need a bare minimum to enter.

Seriously I doubt he will ever ask for tuition. And better start scraping together cash for that college trust fund since he's gonna need it! That's even if he manages to get the bare minimal pass - which seems pretty unlikely with the feeble effort he has put in.

Of course if you looked as hot as Pietro Boselli, you would have other options for a career. But even this handsome fellow studied really, really hard!

Look, I know academics isn't for everyone. Burying your head in a tedious textbook for half the evening when you could be out partying drunk with your friends isn't all that easy. Especially when you feel the rewards reaped aren't all that much. But at least give it a college try rather than surrendering so easily to lethargic apathy.


Anonymous Esq. said...

The part where some of them can't do the timetables mentally is very true. I've seen it myself when I was in Sabah for some community work. And you are totally correct about the parents being enablers with regards to their children's apathy towards studies.

Jaded Jeremy said...

" But at least give it a college try rather than surrendering so easily to lethargic apathy. " Yup, agreed.