Tag Archives: Education

How Our Education System Actually Encourages Short Attention Spans

Author’s Note: I’m going to mainly focus on student experiences in India for this. But I think at least some of these examples might apply to the rest of the world too. If not, you have my apologies (and my envy.)


 

It starts at school.

As they get to higher and higher grades, here’s how students are instructed to write exams: “Write a lot. If it’s 5 marks, write more than a page; maybe more than two. By-heart the headings; don’t write your own. And, if possible, by-heart the textbook too.”

 

Blog Post: It starts at school. As they get to higher and higher grades, here's how students are instructed to write exams: "Write a lot. If it's 5 marks, write more than a page; maybe more than two. Byheart the headings; don't write your own. And, if possible, by-heart the textbook too." Basically, students are told to cram facts into their heads in as short a time as possible, and writing sheafs worth of papers in as short a time as possible. In fact (at least, it was true when I was a student) I don't think a single student escaped the experience of -- at least once -- having his or her answer sheet snatched away from them while they were still in mid-write at the end of an exam. Well. Then came college. Here, students aren't limited to textbooks. Instead, they get reference books -- which may only cover half the topics they really need to learn. For the rest, they must scour the college library or the Internet for notes. Plus, they still needed to write as much as possible during exams, regardless of whether the questions only facilitate short answers or not. So again -- like a video game that has the same steps but gets more intense when you reach a higher level -- in college, students have to cram in at least 3 times more information than they ever did in high school; and in a much shorter time too (6 months per semester). As a consequence, to accommodate this new need, students pick up skills like speed-reading and skimming content at top speeds. They figure out that watching a video will let them cover more ground than reading a book. They learn to browse a number of books at once and a number of online sources at once. They learn to pile their daily schedules and just run. Finally, they just get used to doing things fast; to fill in their time all the time, and to produce and do and learn a lot in increasingly short amounts of time. (A lot of the time, they also get used to quantity over quality too.) And then, when they finally graduate . . . those habits stay. The fact that technology and video games are a normal part of everyday life for them has contributed a little, yes. But honestly, with this kind of study-lifestyle, a student's capacity for "patience" and "focus" was already dying anyway. And it's not fair to blame their short attention spans on technology or impatience -- (granted, there are those kinds too, but they're not the only kinds) -- when they were only encouraged to be so with their work when they were still students. Written By A Moody Pen. WOLIWAIS.
Credit: http://thedailycougar.com/2012/09/06/college-students-are-burnt-out/

 

Basically, students are told to cram facts into their heads in as short a time as possible, and to write sheafs worth of papers in as short a time as possible.

 

It starts at school. As they get to higher and higher grades, here's how students are instructed to write exams: "Write a lot. If it's 5 marks, write more than a page; maybe more than two. Byheart the headings; don't write your own. And, if possible, by-heart the textbook too." Basically, students are told to cram facts into their heads in as short a time as possible, and writing sheafs worth of papers in as short a time as possible. In fact (at least, it was true when I was a student) I don't think a single student escaped the experience of -- at least once -- having his or her answer sheet snatched away from them while they were still in mid-write at the end of an exam. Well. Then came college. Here, students aren't limited to textbooks. Instead, they get reference books -- which may only cover half the topics they really need to learn. For the rest, they must scour the college library or the Internet for notes. Plus, they still needed to write as much as possible during exams, regardless of whether the questions only facilitate short answers or not. So again -- like a video game that has the same steps but gets more intense when you reach a higher level -- in college, students have to cram in at least 3 times more information than they ever did in high school; and in a much shorter time too (6 months per semester). As a consequence, to accommodate this new need, students pick up skills like speed-reading and skimming content at top speeds. They figure out that watching a video will let them cover more ground than reading a book. They learn to browse a number of books at once and a number of online sources at once. They learn to pile their daily schedules and just run. Finally, they just get used to doing things fast; to fill in their time all the time, and to produce and do and learn a lot in increasingly short amounts of time. (A lot of the time, they also get used to quantity over quality too.) And then, when they finally graduate . . . those habits stay. The fact that technology and video games are a normal part of everyday life for them has contributed a little, yes. But honestly, with this kind of study-lifestyle, a student's capacity for "patience" and "focus" was already dying anyway. And it's not fair to blame their short attention spans on technology or impatience -- (granted, there are those kinds too, but they're not the only kinds) -- when they were only encouraged to be so with their work when they were still students. Written By A Moody Pen. WOLIWAIS.
Credit: https://www.emaze.com/@ALCQILLR/Stress-In-Our-Life

 

In fact (at least, it was true when I was a student) I don’t think a single student escaped the experience of — at least once — having his or her answer sheet snatched away from them while they were still in mid-write at the end of an exam.

Well. Then came college.

Here, students aren’t limited to textbooks. Instead, they get reference books — which may only cover half the topics they really need to learn (if they’re lucky, that is). For the rest, they must scour the college library or the Internet for notes.

 

Then came college. Here, students aren't limited to textbooks. Instead, they get reference books -- which may only cover half the topics they really need to learn. For the rest, they must scour the college library or the Internet for notes. Plus, they still needed to write as much as possible during exams, regardless of whether the questions only facilitate short answers or not. So again -- like a video game that has the same steps but gets more intense when you reach a higher level -- in college, students have to cram in at least 3 times more information than they ever did in high school; and in a much shorter time too (6 months per semester). As a consequence, to accommodate this new need, students pick up skills like speed-reading and skimming content at top speeds. They figure out that watching a video will let them cover more ground than reading a book. They learn to browse a number of books at once and a number of online sources at once. They learn to pile their daily schedules and just run. Finally, they just get used to doing things fast; to fill in their time all the time, and to produce and do and learn a lot in increasingly short amounts of time. Written By A Moody Pen. WOLIWAIS.
Credit: https://www.cartoonstock.com

 

Plus, they still need to write as much as possible during exams, regardless of whether the questions only facilitate short answers or not.

So again — like a video game that has the same steps but gets more intense when you reach a higher level — in college, students have to cram in at least 3 times more information than they ever did in high school; and in a much shorter time too (there are only 6 months in a semester).

As a consequence, to accommodate this new need, students pick up skills like speed-reading and skimming content at top speeds. They figure out that watching a video will let them cover more ground than reading a book. They learn to browse a number of books at once and a number of online sources at once. They learn to pile their daily schedules and just run.

Then came college. Here, students aren't limited to textbooks. Instead, they get reference books -- which may only cover half the topics they really need to learn. For the rest, they must scour the college library or the Internet for notes. Plus, they still needed to write as much as possible during exams, regardless of whether the questions only facilitate short answers or not. So again -- like a video game that has the same steps but gets more intense when you reach a higher level -- in college, students have to cram in at least 3 times more information than they ever did in high school; and in a much shorter time too (6 months per semester). As a consequence, to accommodate this new need, students pick up skills like speed-reading and skimming content at top speeds. They figure out that watching a video will let them cover more ground than reading a book. They learn to browse a number of books at once and a number of online sources at once. They learn to pile their daily schedules and just run. Finally, they just get used to doing things fast; to fill in their time all the time, and to produce and do and learn a lot in increasingly short amounts of time. Written By A Moody Pen. WOLIWAIS.
Credit: allnurses.com

 

Finally, they just get used to doing things fast; to fill in their time all the time, and to produce and do and learn a lot in increasingly short amounts of time.

(A lot of the time, they also get used to quantity over quality too.)

And then, when they finally graduate . . . those habits stay.

The fact that technology and video games are a normal part of everyday life for them has contributed a little, yes. But honestly, with this kind of study-lifestyle, a student’s capacity for “patience” and “focus” was already dying anyway. And it’s not fair to blame their short attention spans on technology or impatience — (granted, there are those kinds of students/graduates too, but they’re not the only kinds) — when they were only encouraged to be so with their work when they were still students.

.

(Oh, and a comment from a friend made me realize I should mention this:

I wasn’t a poor student in my student-days, and this is not a rant to justify how warped the education system is simply because I couldn’t cut it.

I was actually a very good student who scored pretty well, maintained a rank, and always submitted assignments on time. And I’m a teacher myself now too.

It’s rather because I’m a teacher now, remember what it was like to be a student like that, and still see students being affected this way — and then later being blamed for their short attention spans and lack of focus — that I wanted to write this.

Because success at being a student doesn’t take away from the fact that this kind of study-lifestyle actually messes with your ability to concentrate on one thing for a long time and forces you to get used to constantly shifting your focus. ‘Cause if a student doesn’t adapt this way, it shows in their scores.)

Blog Post: It starts at school. As they get to higher and higher grades, here's how students are instructed to write exams: "Write a lot. If it's 5 marks, write more than a page; maybe more than two. Byheart the headings; don't write your own. And, if possible, by-heart the textbook too." Basically, students are told to cram facts into their heads in as short a time as possible, and writing sheafs worth of papers in as short a time as possible. In fact (at least, it was true when I was a student) I don't think a single student escaped the experience of -- at least once -- having his or her answer sheet snatched away from them while they were still in mid-write at the end of an exam. Well. Then came college. Here, students aren't limited to textbooks. Instead, they get reference books -- which may only cover half the topics they really need to learn. For the rest, they must scour the college library or the Internet for notes. Plus, they still needed to write as much as possible during exams, regardless of whether the questions only facilitate short answers or not. So again -- like a video game that has the same steps but gets more intense when you reach a higher level -- in college, students have to cram in at least 3 times more information than they ever did in high school; and in a much shorter time too (6 months per semester). As a consequence, to accommodate this new need, students pick up skills like speed-reading and skimming content at top speeds. They figure out that watching a video will let them cover more ground than reading a book. They learn to browse a number of books at once and a number of online sources at once. They learn to pile their daily schedules and just run. Finally, they just get used to doing things fast; to fill in their time all the time, and to produce and do and learn a lot in increasingly short amounts of time. (A lot of the time, they also get used to quantity over quality too.) And then, when they finally graduate . . . those habits stay. The fact that technology and video games are a normal part of everyday life for them has contributed a little, yes. But honestly, with this kind of study-lifestyle, a student's capacity for "patience" and "focus" was already dying anyway. And it's not fair to blame their short attention spans on technology or impatience -- (granted, there are those kinds too, but they're not the only kinds) -- when they were only encouraged to be so with their work when they were still students. Written By A Moody Pen.
Credit: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/399553798165731026/

#3D Ad: Take 3 (Not Posted To Combat Writer’s Block This Time)

Hello. This is the final ad in a series of 3 3D animation ads I made for a college-level internship. Now, as proud as I am of them (your first, successful project tends to do that), I also know I’ve been using them as crutches for when writer’s block hits for too long.

Not this time, though. I don’t have writer’s block at the moment. But I don’t want to have the availability of an escape again when it happens (because yes, I know it will happen; when is the only question).

So! Here’s the final one! Possibly the last full-fledged 3D animation project I might ever do too. Even if I never ever forget how to do it. 🙂

 

[Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwhYPcXAbK0]

Oh…and again, you can also find it at Monkey See, Monkey Learn, Monkey Do – My very young (meaning that I set up that blog straight out of college and when “amateur” was the best title I could scrape up) multimedia blog. I might not be as much into practicing or creating multimedia projects as I was before. But I’ll never forget the how’s of it. And I still use those skills in other ways. 😉

 

3D Ad 3 - 3D Animation Screenshot

#3D Ad: Take 2

Hi there. So. Staring at my dusty, neglected dashboard, I felt compelled to put something up. Unfortunately though, despite this compulsion gnawing at me for the past two months, it did nothing to bring forth my muse – and said muse continues to be on vacation in parts currently unknown to me. I have sent out distress signals begging for its return. But unfortunately, it doesn’t seem sympathetic. So I’m guessing it will only return when it’s good and ready.

I can’t really complain though. My muse is just getting even. Getting even for the fact that when it did give me ideas, I was too busy with other stuff to comply. So now it’s gonna take its own sweet time to return.

*Sigh!* What can you do?

So…I’m once again falling back on a method I used when I first started this blog and writer’s block seemed to be my constant companion and had buried any creativity I was even remotely capable of: I am going to use some old content that I’d already prepared and posted elsewhere. 😀 😛

Now, this video that I’m posting was a 3D ad created by yours truly for an internship I’d gotten into during college. And it is part of a series of three 3D ads created with 3DsMax. The first video in the series I’ve already acquainted this blog with. So, without further ado, here’s the second in the series of my 3D-animated ads – a project which I’m possibly ridiculously proud of. (Come on; why else would I post the first video under the title of “Prideful Nostalgia“? Of course, this obsession is probably unhealthy, I admit. But what the hey. 😛 )

[Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tfIZJfdAQ0]

Oh, and you can also find it at Monkey See, Monkey Learn, Monkey Do – My very young (meaning that I set up that blog straight out of college and when “amateur” was the best title I could scrape up) multimedia blog.

3D Animated Ad: 3D Animation by an Amateur Animator and Storyteller

Prideful Nostalgia: My 1st 3D Ad

Everyone has regrets at some point or another. But that ain’t what this post’s about. In fact, it’s about the right opposite: Something that you feel childishly pleased about even years after the fact. And this is one of mine. Voila! The first ad in a set of 3 I’d made during my final year in college, while I was interning:

(Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p0ZcblDs-I )

More than anything else I learnt, I have to say that the lesson that struck me most was why you work in a team when you create full-fledged animation shorts. Me being an utter beginner at the time, and on a time-limit that (I later learned) should have been impossible under the circumstances, certainly didn’t help my situation much. And by the time I finished and submitted the work, I could have easily auditioned for Walking Dead with absolutely no make-up or special effects required. (I leave you to guess which parts I’m talking about. 😛 )

But, all’s well that ends well (and thank God it ended well, ’cause I was ready to skewer myself at the end of it all!). And even though I was sick of it, it was approved of quite highly and helped quiet the cutting voice of self-criticism that had taken tenancy inside my head.

So yes, I had ample reason to be proud of this project and will now unabashedly present it. (Or the first of the set at least — For now. 😉 )

3D Animated Ad: 3D animation by an amateur

Just FYI: “Help” Is Better When It Doesn’t Chase “To”

*No using “to” after the verb “help” in a sentence, please!*

Generally in a sentence, when we use one verb after another, the second verb is written in its “to+infinitive” form.

For example, consider the following sentence:

Ram tried to persuade him.

Here, the verbs “try” and “persuade” are used one after the other. And since “persuade” is the second verb, it is written in the form of “to+infinitive”, that is, it is written as “to persuade”.

This works for all kinds of verbs. But just not when “help” is the first verb.

The word “help” is an auxiliary verb and is a special verb. This means that when you use the word “help”, and it is followed by another verb, you do not need write the second verb in its “to+infinitive” form.

For example:

“Help me find my pen.” is correct.
“Help me to find my pen.” is incorrect.

“Budgets can help save money.” is correct.
“Budgets can help to save money.” is incorrect.

“He helped her look for you.” is correct.
“He helped her to look for you.” is incorrect.

etc.

So don’t put “to” in front of “help” in a sentence; they simply don’t go well together.

Just FYI. Ciao! 😉

Written by a Moody Pen: Chapter 4

 

Written by a Moody Pen

(& Often a Sarcastic Muse)

 

Chapter 4

 

Examinations

 

Examinations!

What a botheration!

Nothing else in life

Can cause such frustration!

 

We, the students,

Are the victims of this brutality,

Which claims to be there

Just to test our mentality.

 

Oh why are you all

So heartless and cruel?

Didn’t your generations

Too endure the same duel?

 

Now please don’t say that it’s all an exaggeration,

’Cause it’ll take a lot more to end this disputation!

* OK, so this is a standard write-up that’s going to be at the beginning of any post that’s from ‘Written by a Moody Pen’. Just to clarify, ‘Written by a Moody Pen’ is my self-published, book/collection of student-age poems. They were written in private at the time and were stingily shown to only a few pairs of eyes. Now, however, I wish to change that. 😉 *

 

A Ramble: Multimedia, Me, and Possibly Something about Self-Discovery……

Now, I really, really, really had the best of intentions when I wrote that last post about writing more regularly. But unfortunately, the day right after that, I went to visit relatives in a place that, frankly, isn’t very supportive of internet connections. And once the stream of cousins and nieces and nephews and all other manner of kin swarmed each other (me included, of course), posting for this blog wasn’t really at the top of my to-do list.

Then, when I was browsing through some old documents a day ago, I found this note that I’d written for my friends a while back. And I simply couldn’t get the thought of putting it up here out of my system.

Now, I’m probably being lazy and taking the easy way out by posting something I’d already written ages ago. But even if I am, the fact that I keep thinking about posting it is the truth. (And the fact that it gives me a ready blogpost to publish is just an accompanying perk.) So, I’m going to ignore those of you (I imagine) reading this with a disapproving look on your face. ’Cause sometimes, escapism is necessary. And it isn’t always a bad thing.

So now I’m going to stop justifying this post and get on with it. As you do. 😉

A Ramble: Multimedia, Me, and Possibly Something about Self-Discovery……

So, finally, here’s my blog ‘Monkey See, Monkey Learn, Monkey Do’, which more or less defines what (and how) designing and multimedia is to me. :3 The link is http://monkeyvmultimediaportfolio.blogspot.in. Now, this blog is completely just for the work I did during 5 years of college, so there’s no focus on writing whatsoever. That aside, those who studied with me – and even some who haven’t, if they have the patience to click on this link and give it a look – will no doubt slip some surprised swears and possibly ready a few rotten tomatoes to fling. No worries. I can’t hear you/them from here, and I’ve already put up a shield to hide behind when the volley hits. :3

 

Monkey See, Monkey Learn, Monkey Do - Screenshot

 

Now, the thing is, I miss writing – a LOT. And learning multimedia has kept me away from it for too long. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the course I chose and its subjects, and I still love multimedia and designing – hence my small, token statement to it in this blog – But the fact is (and now I’m addressing the people on my list who still love and live and work in this field), after seeing the designs and work that some of you have done, I realised (and it took me some time, mind you, to realise it) that I simply don’t have that level of passion for it. Do I love it? Yes. Do I enjoy doing it and learning it? Yes. Can I rave on and on and on about it obsessively once I get started? Oh, good heavens, yes ! But I will probably never eat, sleep, work and live it like some of you have chosen to do. I cannot specialize in it ’cause I enjoy everything and get enamoured by everything about it. I’m happy to listen to someone go on about it for hours. And this feeling sticks whether it’s animation or graphic designing, painting or photography, or anything else related . . . So, picking one and obsessing over that one thing won’t cut it for me – even though I know it’s necessary in this field and I agree. Because, consciously specialising in one thing in it is odd to me . . . And also, the thought about needing to obsess over that one thing forever doesn’t fill me with the joy it would have if I really had the passion for it – The passion someone who loves this through and through would have. In fact, it’s even been downright annoying sometimes when I realised that it kept me away from other things I was passionate enough about . . . But hey, self-discovery is (annoyingly) a loooooooooong process. *Sigh . . . !*

Hence, I have come to the conclusion that, in this particular area, I’ll forever be a “dabbler”. A critic. A conscious observer. And the like. And that’s OK actually. But, like I said, I do enjoy it, and I do think it deserves mention, and hence this blog. It’s a simple thing. But necessary to me. So, I really hope you’ll give it a look and forgive this long ramble. And I hope that you don’t carry along too many tomatoes. (You shouldn’t fling food anyway, guys. It’s wasteful. And have you seen the prices lately?) And since you’ve painstakingly read so far, I’ll save you the trouble of scrolling back up for the link. It is http://monkeyvmultimediaportfolio.blogspot.in. :3

And, in case any of you were wondering about it while or after reading this, let me clarify: No, this isn’t a sad thing. 🙂