18 Mar 2024

Making Parents Happy

It’s been almost 4-5+ years since I started feeling negative about the Indian Education System and the structure the Indian govt has for engineering colleges to be specific.

I thought of starting to build a team for managing and organizing regular monthly meetups in my city as a continuation of SolapurFOSS. We wanted new volunteers because I and a couple of my classmates (4 of us) organized and tried running SolapurFOSS smoothly but now we’re on the verge of exiting the college as it’s our 3 year and the last semester. I started taking sessions in my college about Linux etc. That day I felt we needed to start again so we thought of getting some volunteers and teaching them what “volunteering” is.

We got a young fresh out of school (10th std) girl who was willing to volunteer and learn. My biggest concern while taking someone as a volunteer is always about how they are at expressing themselves and their thoughts. I always wanted a team with whom I could discuss real-world problems and frustrations which we share in common. I honestly feel I don’t fail miserably but yes I do fail in doing that. But I don’t see a problem with that. This wasn’t naturally built inside me as well, slow and steady when I started observing what was going around me. It started building inside me, which I started sharing with others.

While getting someone as a volunteer I try seeing three things in them:

  1. How are they in behavior (this has mattered to me a lot and to all of us at FOSS United)
  2. How much they are interested in technology in general (not just FOSS).
  3. Are they ambitious

Recently, I asked the new volunteer about what they do in their day-to-day life and asked if she is interested in reading books. She replied “Syllabus k alawa kabhi kuchh dusra nahi padha”. I felt triggered and my sudden reaction was “Yet another doomed human being”. I love this drama and having controversial debates with those who are more towards marks even when knowing that they don’t know how to solve or do real-world stuff. Many students in college these days, know that they are doomed but they just wear the mask that they don’t understand and continue to run behind marks to get into the top college with dumb teachers just for a fucking placement.

Later, I asked them what they studied so much for and what they gained so big by getting 90%+ in exams. I heard this reply from them “Because it makes parents happy”. And I was like, “Wow this girl is way too doomed and fooled”. This was the third time I heard a student saying “Marks make my parents happy”.

Even about my parents, I don’t understand what’s so important to get the most marks and the best college. At the end of the day if the student has a higher percentage but still has to go through the training period to do real work how will that even make sense? It felt like that girl did not have taste in any other thing other than “satisfying her parents”. I know that as an heir we have to do good things which they are happy about but that certainly needs to be “marks and percentage” right?

The happiness gained by marks is way too temporary for every parent because of human nature. Assuming You get 92%, they’ll be happy with 92% for only a specific time after the results, but after 10 or 20 days, it’s reset. They’re more behind making you get 95%. This is what we call “improving and scaling with time” but there’s no state of “satisfaction” or “fun” here. It’s just like a reset button for them and then for you.

Recently, students have stopped seeing themselves in the long run. What I mean by longer run is nowhere related to programming for passing Aptitude tests, or getting the best college in your city and then the best placement on the Campus. I feel that one student who on the first day of college can visualize what’s going to happen in the next 4 years properly is going to make it successfully and way out in a decent way.

In the end, I only want to tell those kids who want to make “parents happy” by giving them marks that you are making them “happy” for only a “shorter period” of course there are some exceptional ones, but “majority” is an important word.