Archive for November 6th, 2004

when I was a student…

High school in Greece was fucked up. To get to a university you need to pass exams. So far, so good. But thing is that instead of basing the questions and answers to the intellect of the student, and make the student *think*, they expect him/her to simply remember book pages of where the answer lies and copy it to the test WORD BY WORD.

There are people who simply can remember large amounts of information in their minds, but that does NOT make them intelligent. It shouldn’t make them eligible to go to a university (especially for science topics), although in Greece they do.

I was always against this form of student evaluation. I was in fact one of the good students in my class, always. But sometimes I would on PURPOSE use my OWN words to answer tests even if I might ending up getting lower scores. Being true to myself is important.

In fact, I remember once that one of the questions in a history test was about what WE think about the French revolution, and NOT what the book says. Needless to say that ALL the “good” students of my class got worse scores, and I got the BEST score out of the three classes that the test was upon: 19 out of 20 (among 80 people). My teacher said that this was the biggest score she ever gave for such a test. I always try to evaluate situations and find “causes” to these situations instead of just using the well established “truth”, I am a thinker. I am also extremely resourceful. In other words, I find my way around.

What’s really pissing me off though is that when some Greeks are going to read this blog post they are simply going to say: “you say all this because you are bitter that you didn’t get into a university yourself”. I answer to these people: BOLLOCKS. I never even tried to get to a freaking greek university, I would NEVER sit down and learn a book word by word. It would take away my personality, it would make me a fucking DRONE. And I am not a drone, in fact, I am the most opinionated person in the world, as most people already know. 😉

Even if I had to relive it all again, I would still be against “papagalia” (that’s how it’s called in Greece the word by word memorization of whole books).

Greece kills its children by having such a system. Because all the fucking idiots get to get into the free universities (which give easy governmental jobs later in their lives), and so they end up work for the government, while the truly intelligent people become housewives, electricians, plumbers or macdonalds service people. This is not to say that many intelligent people don’t end up in the unis, but a large number of them who also pass the exams are just not intelligent. I’d say that half of them, or maybe 2/3s, were stupid drones with no opinion of their own or any understanding of the world. At least that was the situation back in the early ’90s, although I don’t expect anything to have changed since then.

Thankfully, I went to college, went to Germany, then UK, now USA. In UK I became an IT professional earning good money. But most of these “intelligent” people who never got to study in a university or college and stayed back in Greece, became nothing. I know of a friend of mine who was 5 times as intelligent than all the rest of us in our class put together, and she ended up being a housewife with 4 kids. Somewhat sad. Sad not for her (she has a great family), but sad for Greece’s future, giving its future to people with large hard drives in their heads instead of those with faster CPUs and better algorithms.