Update (November 2012): I feel this post deserves an explanation. This was written when I was 16, and it tends to be a time when many people tend to be angry and pissed off. I was also going through personal health issues that may have made me feel doubly miserable. Regardless, what happened I think is that a lot of the bile spilled onto this.
Sometime earlier this year, I was going through old blog posts in my archive and I felt bad about this. I didn’t feel as angry any more and I felt bad about leaving this impression of the school when I have both good and bad memories of the place. But I think hiding away those feelings, hiding away what I felt at the time is the wrong way of dealing with it. So I’m republishing this, unedited, but at the same time I also urge you to not take this as gospel truth. I had a terrific time in this school. There were teachers and friends there I’m in touch with this day who made me what I am. In the end, it all comes down to the people that you know.
Some comments from Georgeans:
- “…no comments….” (Most common, can’t they say anything more after so many years with them? :P)
- “….hai! Mera bhai!!!!….” (I’d call this person a bother though, not a brother)
- “…always trying to impress the teachers…appearing friendly in front of them…but berating them behind their backs…although you’re right in saying that some teachers were really not good…” (The part about me is totally false, but I report impartially; the other part is true. Honest. ;) )
- “…don’t stay in this school…upto 10th it’s fine…senior faculty is not that good…go to some other school…” (Certain staff members; threaten me as much as you want, I won’t tell their names)
- “…you are someone who tries to be himself and has his own set of ideas and principles to stick to…..you don’t like others intervening in your matters unless they have something rational to say….you hate rote-learners and the people who regurgitate just what is taught by the teachers in class and those who don’t have their own creativity or sense of discrimination…” (Now THAT’S what I say is a COMMENT. Hang on, I need to jot this down, it comes useful in those user profiles I have to occasionally fill up.)
To tell you the truth, the title is a bit incorrect, because I’ll be talking about everything, not only my academic life. In case you wondering what “St. George’s School, Alaknanda, New Delhi” is (that’s the ‘official’ way they refer to it), it’s my old school. I already am accustomed to calling it my ‘former school’ (or my ‘ex’, hahahaha), I spent about 12 years here, from nursery to class 10, and I’m happy to able to get rid of it at last. Maybe two years ago, I wouldn’t have said this but the only thing constant about me is change, and change my views did.
To begin with, a short background first. Owned by the Muthoot Group, the school suffers from the fact that the owner is the principal scenario, where every staff member is afraid of speaking up, even for the school’s welfare. Established in 1962 by VC George, the current principal is Sara George, with M George Muthoot as the chairman. The school is named after the patron saint of England, a figure in Christian myth. Located in the south Delhi locality of Alaknanda, it hogs about six acres of land, a part of which is ‘affectionately’ referred to by the students as ‘the desert’.
Enough talk of management already, more will come later. The school is from nursery to class 12, with about 3000 students on its rolls and a staff of about 150 teachers. The school is not well-known by any standards, despite getting the opportunity for much coverage (erm, I have a role in this). The fact that it IS remembered for though is to flout holiday norms (a very important fact of life) and keeping the school open on a national holiday in 2003, for which its affiliation was revoked; they got much media coverage and the affiliation was later restored by the government keeping in mind the welfare of the students. A dubious record, that.
The school has recently upgraded the infrastructure for the junior wing, and has also added a whole new block senior wing with more (and better, I hear) classrooms. In that sense, it may leave quite a large section of Delhi schools behind, those which don’t matter much, mostly. You could say I was very ‘patriotic’ in the junior section, if I can use that term here. I can’t tell how good or bad they were, I hadn’t put serious thought into the fact at that time that someday, I might want to review them. The school follows a huge eight house system, which you’ll be inducted into in class 1, the houses being named after various Indian revolutionaries (if you’re so eager to know, Azad, Bose, Gandhi, Nehru, Patel [mine], Shastri, Tagore & Tilak). So upto class 5, I’d say SGS was good in a sense, with a nice focus on extra-curricular activities (ECA). I’m thankful to them for atleast bringing to me this wonderful ECA thing and encouraging me in it.
Lemme skip to the final bits. Classes 6 to 8 were uneventful, except that I won a few quiz contests (ahem; and included the Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest 2004 too – I was the Delhi city champion, Rockie of this blog was my partner), a few science olympiads (AIR 42, AIR 72, …), a few cyber olympiads (AIR 50, ….), a few math olympiads (AIR, oh forget it), some debates, quite a few science symposiums, essays, drawing competitions (I vomit at their name); the usual stuff.
Class 9th. Hmmm. When I started to get a feeling something wasn’t right. Was it because I gave up my chance to join DPS RKP then? I have no idea. Maybe it is that I somehow felt the teaching standards decline. But it was a good year for me, I got rank 20 in JSTS, and……oh forget it. But then started the first signs of discontent; although I was highly attached to my school by the beginning of the year (I gave the DPS RKP class 9 entrance exam barely a few days after coming back from the CBQC shooting; naturally, I was proud of my achievement, and ‘my school gave me this opportunity’ mindset [pah, big deal, ‘sending me’, huh], so that time I was adamant about not leaving; plus I had the second round of National Science Olympiad to attend) , by the end, I wasn’t so sure.
Then came class 10th. Another nice year – lotsa quizzes and other ECA, the high point being me being crowned the national champion at the CBSE Intel Science Quiz (I’d like to thank my inspiration, Marvin the Paranoid Android…), and other quizzes and competitions won too. And yet, now I felt even more bitter (dunno the reason) about my school. I did not like the academic going-ons of the year – no biology teacher for a few months (the new teacher was unpopular among the students, but I didn’t share their views), no physics teacher for an even longer period of time (the one earlier was EXCELLENT, and I liked her teaching style, etc, but, she left). To cover up, after a long period of time, they gave extra classes to an existing teacher, who was, frankly, overburdened. She was popular though, and yet the students quietly complained about things being rushed through, syllabus not being completed and such things. Also I’d like to add that she should have paid more attention to the academics of the students, rather than open gossip (at times) and lame remarks (baseless ones) about certain students. The students (including me) did not like one other teacher too, but I’ll leave that for now.
So it was a year when I was highly dissatisfied, in school that is. The Inner Voice grew louder and louder about abandoning a sinking ship before it was too late. The dissatisfaction and all got me pretty depressed (diagnosed), and I’m really thankful to a particular teacher who helped me through that period. That period certainly affected my performance in school, but she really helped me through then and I just can’t think up enough words to thank her with. You have NO IDEA about the turmoil I went through, and how much effort it took me to reclaim myself from the abyss.
With her help, and other teachers, I started off with my board preparations, which didn’t catch steam until a month before. Which is when I tried my best to stick to the language described in the prescribed textbooks, yet without compromising my own creativity, my creative freedom, which I value a lot. It also meant long hours of study, and solving 5-6 model test papers on a daily basis, but I did it (somehow, phew). Thanks to ‘The Teacher’ (reminds anybody of Dan Brown, Robert Langdon, Sir Leigh…) who helped me, I was in a much more confident state to attempt the exam. I did well, reasonably
, if it was not for a rotten CBSE system, it’d have been better. And also because of the lousy management of a little something called DPS RKP, which didn’t find me suitable enough. Incidentally, the principal of the same school, on an earlier occasion, talking about her quiz club students, had publicly stated that it was horrible that such bright students did not get into good colleges because of ridiculously high cutoffs and no consideration for ECA, which should not happen in an ideal education system; and that DPS RKP is committed not to promote that kind of a system. And yet, ‘going against their own ideology’, they refused to recognize my ECA achievements and rejected many students who are otherwise FAR BETTER than the 95%-and-above Rote Learners’ Inc category (that’s not to say there are no really talented students in that bracket, but they generally aren’t). This, dear readers, is THE definition of hypocrisy.
Now, I look forward to being a Dipsite. I hope to flourish, and reach even higher levels of achievement there. It’ll surely change me, for good I hope. But if you notice a change of tone and perspective in subsequent posts, you know the reason then, put it down all on the ‘Dipsite effect’.
As an ex-student of St. George’s School, I only have a few things to say. Keep even better teachers, and Georgeans will achieve more. And to Georgeans, just try harder, and you people (some of you that is…ok, forget it now) have the potential to achieve a lot.
Buhbye, all Georgeans, staff, teachers, management everyone! I hope you’ll stay in touch with me (and I hope my contacts list never grows so large that I have to delete you; just kidding)! It’s been an eventful 12 years for me at St. George’s School, many happy moments, some sad; but the best things in life come to an end some day. Am I counting these among my best? Can’t say yet! But one thing is assured, I will never forget these years!
P.S. – This post has taken me an astonishingly long time to come up with. I never thought it’d be that hard. Longest time I’ve taken for a post yet. And a burden off my shoulders! To any person mentioned here, I really mean what I say here, whether it’s mean or not. You are welcome to leave your comments here though.