Sunday, 16 June 2013

Why can't kids fail?

Ashwini brought back her test results over the weekend. I saw that and I thought of how my test results were. Mine was really simple. You either scored, passed or failed. And when you actually wrote rubbish, you failed. There is such a thing as failure and none of us wanted that. When I brought my results back home, and if there was a "F" in there, in red, I better get prepared for some really good smacking (actually smacking was far from good). Thankfully, there weren't many of those in my time.

But kids in New Zealand have four types of grading - "Developing", "Achieved", "Merit" or "Excellence". And Anil's college has a similar four scale result but the "Developing" is replaced by "Not Achieved". How weird is that? Why can't you fail? What does "Developing" actually mean? Isn't "Not Achieved" simply a fail? Why is it so difficult to say that you have failed?

We had that debate here once before and parents felt that saying a child has failed is not good for his or her morale and the use of "Developing" and "Not Achieved" is far less harmful. Parents need to face up to the fact that people WILL fail in life. There are no two ways about it. If they don't know what failure is like when they are a child, how would they be able to accept failure when they grow up? We need to prepare kids to face the real world out there. A world that has no mercy and will tell it like it is - no sugar coating.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Has it been 3 years?

I can't believe it has been three years since I wrote my last post on this blog. It just dawned on me how much has changed since then. For my children, both Anil and Ashwini have now gone to college. When I mean gone they have actually left the house. How strange it was when they left and the house suddenly felt so quiet. We always said the kids were noisy but when they have left is when you realise the noise was actually music. Anil still has about three and a half years of school left and wants to be a soldier when he grows up. Ashwini still has over four years of schooling and is not sure if she wants to be an interior designer, a chef or a lawyer.

As for Vera, the kids leaving have given her the time she deserves for herself. She has given all of her time minding the kids and not to mention the dog and now she finally has some time for herself. She has decided to go back to school and finish what she has always wanted.

I had a lot going on. I met with a serious accident about two years ago that left me in a wheel chair for awhile. With the help of doctors and physiotherapists, I managed to walk again. I am still recovering and doctors tell me I still have a few more years to go before fully recovering (fingers crossed). My dad passed away also two years ago. Although my dad and I were not really close, we had a bond. He has been the greatest dad anyone can have. I have learnt a lot from him and hope one day, my son will feel the same about me.

While I was writing this, I thought about the value of time. I wanted this blog to be a record of our lives and that our kids can share with their kids, so on and so forth. But  I have lost three years of our lives. No matter what I did or much money I had, I could never get it back. Interestingly, I have this little card on my desk at work that reads something like this "There are only 24 hours a day in everyone's lives. It doesn't matter if you are the King or a beggar. So make the most of it while you can". Probably not those exact words.