I have this conversation with the moms at the kid’s school. Not even a 5 minutes conversation but it brought me deep.
We were talking about how stiff the teachers are. They’re so stuck in the text book. So whatever the kid’s answers it has to be the exact words with the text books. Text book is their life guidance. Outside of that… Wrong!
They were talking so passionately on how wrong that is. That education shouldn’t be stuck with the text books coz life doesn’t defined by some text books. I agree with them. Tooooootally!
Since I got the impression of they’re having the same vision as I do, I started to tell them about Al’s science exam. There’s one asking the kids to mention 3 plastic products in the bathroom. Al was mentioning Gayung (we Indonesian use some kind of a small bucket to bath, majority of Indonesian bath not shower).
Tooth brush and glass.
The teacher didn’t give a full score coz apparently glass isn’t in the text book. I messaged the teacher and I took a picture of the kid’s bathroom sink that we always have a glass for each kids for them to brush their teeth. The teacher then give a full score.
It happens a lot in education in Indonesia. How many times do we take bath in a day? Text book says, 2 times a day. My kids bath 3 times a day. Before school (morning), after school, before bed (evening). How about that?
And the moms started to talk about Indonesian standard, how things are non negotiable coz we’re Indonesian. When it’s 2 times and it should be 2. And so on and so on.
Apparently I was wrong thinking that they have the same vision as me. So, they still think text book is mandatory, but when it comes to their kids they should bend it a little but not to other kids. Oh well…
Yes there’s a standard for everything. But some things or some people don’t go by standard. Text book is a standard or I would say the minimum standard. As long as it doesn’t go below standard or come off far way the lane, I would expect that it should be okay. If the teachers don’t understand the answer then ask the kids and let them explain the reason why they give such answers. Except for math of course, this can also be bend by some geniuses. Not me. So I’m not gonna talk about it.
This is why Indonesian are so ‘slow’ in a way of mental development. We don’t get to reason out with the teachers and have our own answers, our own logics, our own minds. We have to memorize the text books and stick to it, spending hours of hours trying to put those words into our brain without understanding the meaning. Without really knowing what the subject is.
This is why, after school, we Indonesian tend to follow the line. The same line as of millions of other Indonesian. We are not used to go outside the line. To think outside the box. We don’t get to understand that there are millions of other opportunities outside the line, outside the ordinary, outside the box. Coz we are taught to stay in the box. Where people from other countries are crawling up, eager to reach the top and take the leap to see what’s on the other side. Living the challenge.
Indonesian are so scared to let their mind do wonders coz they’re so afraid of being ‘wrong’, to be the outcast. We are taught to stay and aware of our ‘weaknesses’ and do nothing about it, coz that’s what the society expect you to do. Coz that’s what Indonesian do.
I’m not talking about rebellion. I’m talking about breaking through.
Indonesian students are so afraid to ask or say an opinion to the teachers if they don’t understand or wanted to express their thought toward something they were learning about. Coz that’s not normal. When you ask, you will look like an idiot. When you try to express a thought, you will be considered rude. There are no two way conversations in the class.
Look at the most famous man breaking through the ordinary. Shakespeare, Bill Gates, Bach, Picasso, Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, etc. They are all breaking the standards.
And me? I’m Indonesian. I am what I’m talking about. I am soooooooo guilty of not giving my kids to express their thought coz I will take that as a rebellion. They should do what I say, exactly how I wanted them to do, and they shouldn’t say a word. I am fully aware of the molding in my mental and I’m working very hard on it.
It’s not what I want my kids to be so I need to set myself as an example. They need a model. They need someone to teach them how to break through. How to lead and not follow. To encourage them to face the challenge instead of running away from it. I want them to crawl out. I want them to wonder away from our ‘standard’.
It is hard. I know. I’ve lived it. How I broke everything my family set me to be. How I run towards the challenge. Coz I set myself above the standard. Aside from what my situation is right now, I stepped outside the box, and it was the best decision of life.
What you are is what you choose to be. So if you’re in a state of something ‘bad’ it’s purely because of your ‘bad’ decisions. For you to know, it is not permanent. Start making better decisions and you will see that things are going your way. Nothing is too late.