Friday, June 19, 2009


I recently watched Never Been Kissed on TV. It got me thinking about a few things.

The movie is about this reporter, Josie, who gets an undercover assignment which involves going to high school and writing about what the kids that age are like, what their dreams, aspirations, fears and hopes are. She ends up travelling on a path of self discovery and finding out that kids are still the same. High school is still the same as it was when she was there the first time. There are the ones who care about being the most popular kids in school. Josie rediscovers just how shallow popularity actually is. Then there are the kids whom the others know as the nerds or the 'brains.' She now knows, and explains to the kids, that when you go out into the real world, it won't matter how popular you were or whether or not you were captain of the baseball team. What matters is that you know who you are, and believe in yourself.

My mother teaches senior secondary school students. She would often give me the test papers that she had marked to total up. When she started doing that, I was in middle school. At that time, whenever somebody's total added up to less than the passing cut off, I would feel sorry for the person and dwell on the thought for a while before returning the paper to the pile. But later on, when I finished school and went to college, I realised that it didn't matter if you failed in your half yearly examination in school. I mean, obviously a kid should not cultivate that attitude while still in school, because if kids start thinking that it doesn't matter, they will stop trying. But what I mean is, if you flunk one exam, it's okay, as long as you make up for it in the other exams and don't lose a school year. When you go out and look for means for building a career for yourself, who's going to ask you what kind of score you had on your pre-board exams? And, I've seen, even the really bright students goof up once in a while. Or maybe some teachers expect too much out of their students. I've come across that sort of teacher in school and also in college. I've seen brilliant students who occasionally flunked an exam or two. In my school, going to the next higher class depended on a weighted mean of your scores on all the little and big tests throughout the year, not just the final exam. So you could actually fail the final exam and still be promoted. I always liked that system.

Life does teach us not to sweat the small stuff, doesn't it?

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