Relatively recently, the educational ministry of Finland dedicated itself to eradicating exams.

I took a lot of exams once. In Art I got the highest category in the country. In every other subject I got an A or an A+. But I got a B in electronics. Ars-Artis in Latin – it means the right placement of things; that is the root meaning in the Ancient Greek. Electronics is a child of thermodynamics. My teachers were gifted but they lacked a deeper imagination. Hence my grade. You can’t fault the student for myopic teachers of important matters. He can but apply their confusion, until he sees beyond it.

And I took one other subject. In English in every assignment I got an A or above. It was an exam marked by course work. It was a 2 year course. Every assignment I handed in got an A or above. In one year I had passed a two year course with flying colors. What could the teacher do with me? No one else fit my category. She said: “Nathan, why don’t you study Media Studies in the library on your own? You have aced this class in half the time. You are the first to do that. But you can’t improve on your grade as you have already excelled as much as one can.”

So I studied media studies alone in the library. For a year. It was kind of boring for me as there was no dialogue with a teacher or a physical force or an element of nature involved. I flunked the class. I got the point. Of media studies. And studying alone. You have to want to know the depths of a subject to be fully dedicated. You can’t fake that.

Still, in light of all of the above, the education minister of Finland is smart. A friend of mine sort out his friendship. Smart move.

© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry

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