Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Princely Education




Whenever there is a show that depicts a royal court (regardless of whether it is one of the dynasties in China or a European court), I am always intrigued by the education of the princes. A commonality between all these shows is that the princes are always groomed to be polymaths. From languages to literature to history to martial arts to horse riding and archery, there is a great amount of pressure on the princes to do it all. While it is debatable as to how truthful these depictions are, one thing is for sure - I want a princely education.

A princely education would be a more accurate manifestation of an 'all-rounded education'. The education that most of us are having now is very academic driven with the whole day being packed with several subjects. Most school children are required to be alert for up to 6 hours as they try to absorb as much information as they can in order to get a good grade. They are not developed physically or artistically save for a couple of hours per week which is, to put it bluntly, utterly pathetic. All these rough estimates do not take into account whatever commitments they might have outside and the preparatory work they have to do before class starts.

While I am glad to be in university which affords some degree of flexibility as compared to the scenario above, it is really not much better as even though I am dealing with fewer subjects, the preparatory and actual work leaves me no time to pursue other interests. Those interests are pursued at the expense of one's personal time with friends and family. The sad part of it is that most information I have learnt throughout the semester would have been lost by the time the next one begins. So why am I spending so much time to cram information that I would not be able to retain just to get the good grade. Most people would say, and rightly so, that it is the process of education that would award you the much needed skills that would prove useful and the information is secondary in some respects. I do agree with that sentiment but there should still be a better balance compared to what it is now.

So if I were the sole planner of my own education without having to fulfill arbitrary requirements of any sort, what would my day look like? Here goes:

With 24 hours a day,

8 hours: Sleep

2 hours : Dance  / Music

4 hours: Study (2 subjects a day)

2 hours: Reading

2 hours: Writing (blogging or creative endeavours)

6 hours: Personal time for eating, bathing and hanging out with friends

While it does not look much, such a typical day would render me more educated than what I am now. This is mainly due to the fact that not only am I constantly training myself in all areas, the fact that I only need to focus for 4 hours when studying. This would definitely be a more productive session than toiling endlessly only to forget everything a couple of months later.

Unfortunately, I am not a prince. And this would only serve as a dream to be locked and kept away.