Deep reading

I went to engineering college. Like many others my age, back then, I didn’t think much about what I wanted to do. Just went with the flow. I ended up being admitted into a decent college and so I settled for it. Very soon, I realised that it wasn’t my cup of tea and that would doubtless reflect on my grades. Imagine the consistency – in the first year, I was ranked 49 out of around 500 students. By the time I graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering 4 years later, I remained on rank 49. Only this time, it was out of a cohort of 51 students. And the two others, had failed the course of study!

Yet, my friends would be surprised to note that I would spend a lot of time in the library. “How do you spend so much time in the library, and still manage to fail your course?”, one would ask. It is well nigh possible that someone was struggling, and I did know kids like that in college. In my case though, I would be reading just about everything else – from literature to philosophy – than the textbooks I was supposed to be studying. In some senses it was my initial days of reading long drawn texts.With time, I had lost out on reading. I am not able to pinpoint on the reasons, but that’s just how it was.

A few years back, I felt the need to engage with educational theory in a deeper manner. I had enrolled for a Masters programme in Elementary Education. Looking back now, it resurfaced my fondness for deep reading. Some of the papers that we were supposed to read, particularly in Philosophy of Education and Sociology of Education, were particularly abstruse. I would struggle with them, read them over and over again, until I could make some sense of it at least partially. And I remember the distinct feeling of rejoining in the victory of having made sense of a complex subject.

The course was quite demanding. Although designed for working professionals and therefore something that one had to devote oneself to part-time, it did pose to be extremely challenging. The two semesters that I had completed of it, had taken significant time and effort on my part, and all while I was working at EZV. It is another matter, that I finally dropped out of it, because I had to make a choice . I realised I wasn’t doing justice to both work and academics at the same time. Call it my incapability. Despite this, looking back, I am grateful to EZV for having afforded me the time and money to actually take up such a course of study. It showed me a new and interesting facet of life – of humanities education, but also helped me discover an interesting aspect of me – of wanting to read deeply and make sense of complex ideas.

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