Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

Sometimes we are pushed to one, some times we make a conscious one- but we all make choices. Everyday.

The day starts with the most important one. What do I pack today for my kids' lunch? At 6 o'clock in the morning, when admittedly I'm not at my best, I often make the wrong choice. The result? The lunch boxes come home with the food barely eaten. Apparently nobody eats rotis and vegetables anymore in the class. The super cool moms have graduated to making pastas and pizzas. I, being old fashioned and 'uncool' still persist on packing rather orthodox meals. Decisions. Do I make something nutritious and hope hunger would compel them to eat it? Or do I make something tasty but junk just to make sure they have something in their stomach?

Then later, do I laze around with a cup of tea and read the newspaper? (Which I badly want to) or do I go for my yoga/walk/pranayam routine which I badly do not want to? That is a tough one indeed!

Sometimes the decisions are fun. Which place to go to this summer? An ancient city or a modern one? Glam and glitz or quaint and serene? Mountains? Beaches? Architecture? We argue, discuss and finally come to a conclusion. This time, looks like an old civilization would win over everything else.

Do I go and meet my cousin and stay with her for the weekend or do I stay at home and help my younger daughter to study for her exam on Monday? The cousin has come from abroad and I get to meet her only once a year. The exams happen all the time. So the cousin wins. And the daughter gets 90 in the exam. She usually gets 100. So was that a wise decision or a stupid one? I think a wise one. Quite a few don't agree.

The older one will be appearing for her all important class 10 exams next year March. Like all typical Indian parents, we too are feeling the pressure. The boards are almost here. How many hours is she studying? Is she still watching T.V.? Is she studying at least 6 hours a day? Have you got the last 10 years question papers? Is she solving them? Science, Arts or Commerce? Has she made a decision yet?

The latest to join the bandwagon is the IB curriculum. The schools are wooing all the students to join this prestigious board. Apparently this board has the best methodology and offers the students a shot at world's best universities. The schools are inviting the parents of class 10 students for a presentation. The fees are too high. Around Rs 6 to 10 lakhs a year. But what is a little money compared to your precious ones? Think about their bright future. Never mind the fact that the curriculum is rigorous and not many students perform well enough to get into an Ivy League college. So decision time once again. Continue in the same school? Transfer her to CBSE? What about the junior colleges? Though that would mean changing over to the State board which many consider slightly inferior.

So what decision do we make about that? My daughter is not one of those highly motivated, super brilliant, overly ambitious teen. She is just a normal 15 year old who deserves to have a decent enough education without feeling the constant pressure to do well. We talk to other parents and read about all the possible systems. We discuss with the current students of all the boards. Hopefully, the decision regarding her education will be based upon her needs and not what others expect her to choose.

And if I've not blogged lately, there is a reason. My electricity bill hit the roof last month. And I've been thinking, do I continue to be a net addict? Surf, Facebook, Google and blog? Or do I save electricity?

Life is tough sometimes.

26 comments:

Scribbler said...

I'm first! :)

Decisions..all the time and most of the times the tougher ones come our way,sigh ! But that's the way of life,no?

I think what you put in the last is a must while taking the decision..what she needs is what she should chose not what others are expecting or doing...after all we all are different and our future is based on our present decisions !

Scribbler said...

oh and electricity bill? Can you cut down on something else rather than blogging ? ;) selfish me you see...want to read your posts so keep them coming :)

Rachna said...

Very aptly said, tough decisions we are faced with at every moment in our life. I totally empathize with you -- that happens to me when planning meals and putting things in my kids tiffins. Luckily, my kids finish their tiffin boxes, I am lucky that they are less fussy, and they do not yet have anyone bringing pizzas, though sometimes I pack pasta too :).

Studies -- classic dilemma again. I think your decisions seem pretty sound to me.

Sandhya said...

Oh, god, when I was reading your post, I wondered at myself at how I crossed this stage...decision making in each and every step and have to still continue doing it! Children's education is the toughest decision making programme. So many advices are given without asking and we always are doubtful about what to do and the children too are indecisive. Then if something goes wrong, then we start discussing 'we should have done like this, like that', etc.! Never ending problem!

ZB said...

until about a month i had zilch clue about schools and their fees....It came as a shock to know that my sis-n-law had her daughter get into DPS( delhi.P.S in Bangalore) nursery by paying 2 lakhs donation and yearly fee of around 1 lakh......whats happening, i think i have lived so long outside India that the place has become an alien land..... I think education has become largely unaffordable in India- here in this place i live, and of International standards with European, Indian and other teachers, its much less than i would pay in an international school....and 6-10 lakhs for some board for a year?Thats ridiculously expensive.....though,I know not all may agree.

I think we were lucky to have studied in Army school with World class education at almost zero fee. I remember my fee/term( 3 months) was Rs.15 till class 9....

But i think we dont have to APE super rich by sending our children to such expensive schools to become spoilt brats...And state syllabus is tougher and of much better quality(and standard) than CBSE, at least in Kerala.

ZB said...

And class 10 is indeed a big deal for parents, if not for children....all the best

Ishita said...

Wait a minute. Who said that I'm not one of the over-ambitious super brilliant teen? It's just that my super brilliance and ambition does apply to the field of academics and cleaning the bed. Everything else I do, I'm great at.

Jyothi said...

Ishita is right. Its her decision to make. I hope I can say the same thing to myself when Rahul's turn comes.(I am eating my nails) Paying a lot for education, according to me is not the right thing to do. At least not during high school. College makes or breaks a life, so yeah that would be a tough choice. I know my kids will take up science, its "what after that" which is a question mark!

Life is tough,SOMETIMES??????

Nikita Banerjee said...

WOw so many decisions to be made! Oh...I think you were right about meeting your cousin! Exams come all the time!

I studied with the SSC board and it sucks. But I don't think a board's curriculum will decide what your kid is going to be like. If the kid 'wants' to learn, then education becomes a different ball game altogether. The thirst, the curiosity for knowledge is everything.

And please don't go by those hoity-toity schools. My nephew is 5 and they pay a lakh for his kindergarten. What are they teaching that is so expensive?

IRFANUDDIN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IRFANUDDIN said...

i know Some persons, who are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions....isn't it interesting...:-P

wordsndreamz said...

Decisions! Am I glad that I don't have to worry about daughter's lunches any more! They provide a nutritious, balanced lunch at school and they even keep an eye on whether the children are eating veggies!

As for school fees- I get so worried when I hear all that.. And the different curriculum.. I wonder why ICSE/CBSE isn't good enough anymore? And how does it work when it comes to admissions into colleges and stuff.

dr.antony said...

It is good you have choices.
There are so many out there who do not have choices,they just suffer life.
Is it a joke about the electricity bill?

PURN!MA said...

tough choice last one! :)

Renu said...

Now I realised that I am free of so much tension now:)

Aparna said...

Scribbler, there are some tough decisions ahead of us. And yes, if you notice, I have started using the net pretty sparingly now!

Rachna, your kids are indeed gems. My younger one is a fussy eater and she troubles me to no end.

Sandhya, I am waiting for the day when I will not have to make these decisions again!

ZB, education is a State subject and unfortunately all states in India have different patterns and syllabus. Maharashtra board is comparatively easier. The best schools in Mumbai follow the ICSE pattern. There are very good schools in India still who do not charge a bomb and impart a decent education. Unfortunately we think the more pricey the schools, the better they are.

Ishita, :)

Jyothi, I agree with you. I'd rather pay that much money and send her to Harvard. What use are these schools? They are full of these rich snooty brats.

Nikita, these pricey schools do not have anything special. We parents are fools. And more and more schools in Mumbai have started introducing the IB curriculum, rather than revamping the old syllabus. It is crazy.

Irfanuddin, that is funny!

Wordsndreamz, after more than 10 years of observing different syllabus and teaching methodology, I personally feel CBSE is quite good. My daughter was in a CBSE school in Delhi. She changed over to ICSE when we shifted to Mumbai. Some state boards are also good, like the West Bengal one, but it is very tough and competitive.

Dr.Antony I think we always have a choice, no matter what circumstances. And about the electricity bill, I am absolutely serious!

Purnima, the last one is a killer!

Renu, you are lucky indeed!

Alka Gurha said...

I am new on your blog..Absolutely identify with your thoughts..

Onkar said...

True. Life is all about choices.

Destiny's child... said...

Hmm...decisions everyday! The process begins right from childhood. Should I cry for the toy or should I behave good to get it as a prize, should I study for my exam or should I go out and play? and so on...

I hope you take a decision that's good for her and which makes her happy..

rama said...

Well. I would say concentrate on your self, and enjoy life, the children are quite capable of making their own decisions, your worrying would be of no help. I would say stay away from parents who are more paranoid then their children, they will confuse you like anything.
This is from a mother who had two children, and both of them have made their own choices and both of them have chosen well.
In my life i have never been to any parent teachers meet or ever met the principal except during admissions, nor ever had anything to do with all these irritating nerdy mothers.
Let go and see the results it would be very good.

IRFANUDDIN said...

plz hav a look on my new post... RADIA FRIENDLY MEDIA.... give ur views.

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A said...

I can answer last question - continue to be on internet. Computers don't consume too much electricity. If you are not net, you will spend time shopping i.e. more money.

Bikramjit said...

always difficult to make a decision especially the ones that effect a lot of people or our future .. and i ma very bad at those ...

I guess its common with a lot of people ....

Bikram's

blunt edges said...

Ok that's it! I don't wanna be a parent!

Dropping here after an awfully long time. So, hoping u wouldn't think "Blunt Edges who?" :)

IRFANUDDIN said...

"TIME TO FOCUS NOW".... My new post is there for you... plz have a look and give ur views...
Regards.....

http://irfanurs.blogspot.com

Sujatha said...

A word of advice from the other side of the pond here:

My son is in the 11th grade IB in the US, and has been in IB classrooms since grade 1. It's a methodology that is best started in the early grades and then culminates in a couple of years of really hard work in the 11th and 12th years. That's not to say that a good ICSE/CBSE student will find the transition difficult but the main difference in the way the IB is taught is the large amount of self-driven learning, critical thinking and writing that is required ( I studied ISC, continuation of ICSE, but that was many years ago).
If you are comfortable with Ishita learning to work on her own, and having to spend a lot of her time on it, you might want to give the IB a try, especially if you are considering undergrad school outside India. If on the other hand, she is going to stay in India for undergrad, it may not be such a big deal.