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Brain training and the misery of college assignments (2014)

Why I Made An App That Feeds Poor Children. (2015)

How anonymity can make you a better writer (2014)

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College was great, a newly found sense of freedom, new mates, new learnings and while I absolutely loved all of that, I absolutely hated making files, assignments back in the college. This is not to say I was a bad student, was mostly among the top (#humblebrag) and assignments might be a great tool to assess students. However, in Indian schools and colleges, the execution is not upto the mark.

Making assignments often boils down to copying (paraphrasing if you are smart enough) other people’s files and man it hurts my hand just to think about how much copying I had to do the night before the submission dates (like other folks, I hope). Must have written this during one of such night, pissed, trying to prove a point.

Original Title – Submit your files

Brain training games, commercialized and made popular by big companies like Lumosity, Posit Science are quite in trend. Brain training games claim to improve a person’s mental abilities through games. So a game to improve your memory may  revolve around you being able to remember a pattern of shapes, or a game for improving your mental processing will make you answer questions based on text that you read word by word at 300+ plus words per minute speed.

Isn’t it amazing? Play games to improve your memory. You regularly play a game for improving memory averaging a score of 20 today and six months down the lane it moves north of 100. Your memory has improved, right?

This may disappoint you but there are nice chances that the answer to that is no. Brain games are innocuous, so there’s no need to worry,they do make you use your brain, and that’s not harmful at all.

But one question is enough to doubt all the ‘ science’ that is mentioned on science section of all the websites of these popular brain training brands.

‘ Yes, today you might be scoring in 20s and six month later in 100s, but is it improving your memory, or are just getting better at playing the game?’

In our entire school and college time, making files , exam performances are highly emphasised upon. A good student is often supposed to be the one who makes the best files, does the assignment first etc. And the example about brain training games should make us a ponder and reflect upon one question ‘ By making devotional efforts to complete files and assignments, are you becoming a good student, is your acumen regarding a subject increasing or are you just becoming good at making files?’

In fact the whole education system is  so much based on quantitative measures to gauge the quality of students that students are just being trained to raise their quality, follow the system rather than becoming more savant in the subject.

I have no hard feelings against making files, after all who doesn’t enjoy an activity that can be a measure of your productivity, pseudo productivity. After all, listening to music and copying from other files or internet just to fill sheets isn’t a productive activity, is it? This is the way most students does it, I follow this path too more often than not.

It’s hard to count the number of things that we just do, just follow without asking ourselves why we are doing it. It’s not about whether something is good or bad, it’s about why it is the way it is, how it’s beneficial for us, can it help you become a better person than you are today? It’s time you asked a few questions about the activities you do just for the sake of it or for external benefits.
I would have written more but I have an urgent file to submit tomorrow.

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