July 12, 2009

Return to “innocence”

Yesterday I was out shopping all by myself with a mission to get gifts/souvenirs for S’ parents to give back in India… One of the people on the list was a little girl of 5. And I thought I was fully qualified to deal with what to get her, considering I had been there.. done that and all that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the variety and utility of things available, even for little girls in today’s world. The store I went into was a giant eyesore of pink. Don’t get me wrong.. I am a fan of pink myself.. but think of this as a largely overdone Legally Blonde store. Yeah, not so girl-invoking anymore, right? Anyhow, the crowd there was unbelievable. This store must’ve been all of 300 sqft and every breathable inch was filled with moms and daughters or young giggly teenagers trying on ridiculous wigs or people like me – lost in an ocean of one another with not a clue of what we were looking for. As I scanned the store for something I thought was appropriate for a 5 year old, I caught glimpses of what was considered appropriate in this day and age – makeup (not-so-faux anymore), elaborate hairdo-creating bands (remember the good old days of love-in-tokyos?), actual purses kiddified only by adding cartoon characters on top.

As always, this post isn’t what it was made out to be. My mind wandered into our days of simpler schooling where our textbooks were our bibles. And where we could get the teacher to change our marks/grades, simply by showing proof of the print on the textbook to back up our claims on the answer papers. Fast forward to today. Where the kids are all internet-savvy, not just with Facebook or Myspace but with the whole googling experience as well. Now the evidence to backup any of their claims stretched to astronomical limits. I don’t know how it works in school with this development. But it would make a solid argument to claim that something was true and that one had read it off Wikipedia. That puts an enormous strain on the poor teachers who now had the world wide web to contend with and had to be abreast of all the facts that were and not just the ones mentioned in the now seriously-restricted textbooks. Does anyone have a clue how this works now? Please enlighten me if you do. I would imagine it would be terribly competitive with each person trying to show up the other, particularly if it was a subject they liked. And all of this thought manifested itself while I was in that horribly-crowded store, fishing out a coloring book and jumping the queue to pay for it and get the hell out of there. I only wish I didn’t move in slow-motion further strangling the crowd and the air in that place. Don’t have a clue. However, Good luck teachers.


Gandalf said...

I would *love* to know how you got from love-in-tokyos to textbooks. Very very different and interesting thought process, that.

Gandalf said...

Oh and I wanted to add. I have a little niece in school yet. I don't think the internet has taken the school by storm just yet. It appears that kids are as happy as teachers in restricting knowledge to the textbooks unless they absolutely adore the subject or some. of course, it could just be the one school.

Jaya said...

Gandalf-> Thanks for reporting back. Well I plan to talk to people across schools to see how it has impacted them. As for my thought process, well, everyone is different and my head wanders all possible planes even while I am busy doing something else... part of the reason I probably don't end up giving a 100% to everything. Lol. Thanks for the comment and keep visiting, of course!

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