When am I going to use this?  I don’t see the point in doing these pointless drills!

I recall my Son asking me this question when he was repeatedly asked to solve some complex math problems day-in and day-out.  This was during his 10th grade.  I had then redirected him to his Math teacher as I felt I was not competent to answer his question as I myself had these questions when I was his age.

His math teacher was not as convincing in her answer and was no different from mine.  Her answer went something like “I know this is boring and seems very dull at the moment, but you must remember you might someday need it.  You wouldn’t know yet which career you are going to choose so you might not see the relevance of all these drills.  You might go into a profession where it will be really necessary one day and then you cannot be under-prepared can you?”

The answer was not satisfying and convincing enough for my son went about this agonizing path with utter lack of motivation.

I must say that most teachers do not know how to respond to such a question.  Either they lie, which even they know or they avoid a direct and clear answer, expecting that the child’s doubt will one day resolve itself if by chance he encounters a profession where he will need those skills.

You all by now know that you have only a few thousands who are really making use of integrals, or division of polynomials.  This is not just a case with a subject like math.  It is also of many other subjects of which the child will carry a doubt.

The fact that my son lived with such questions was confirmed when he asked me a similar question when he was in his Med school.  He asked me wondering why he needs to learn about subjects like orthopedics, ENT, Surgery during his under-grad days when those are mostly specialist subjects you take up while you pursue your post-grad.

This time I was wise and better prepared to respond.  I said “you have to take these subjects as similar to what weight training and calisthenics are to a game of football.  If you really want to be a player at the competitive level, you got to do these boring drills repetitively and find them pointless at times.  You won’t see football players running around with truck tires tied to their waist while playing football do you?  Neither do you find them placing traffic cones in the middle of the field and running zig zag between them.  You do see however that as a player you will use strength, speed and flexibility which you have gained by doing those boring drills, week after week to keep you fit and healthy to play the game at the highest level.”

“You see, even if you play the game just for fun, you will enjoy the game much more when you are able to run fast, dodge past defenders and tackle well if you are fit”.

When you practice these boring drills, you will find that you gain a deeper understanding of your body, health and the mental strength aspects of your life.

There are so many residual benefits of learning each subject that a teacher must be aware of.  You would do a world of good to your students and children if you could provide answers which makes sense.  I think that’s the case with math as well.  Many students which includes me, were left wondering why I need to learn calculus, theorems, integrals, polynomials where all what I needed was to add, multiply, divide and subtract in life.

Which are the boring drills which you have been living with? 

Have you ever thought of their residual benefits?

What will be your answer to your kids, students and anyone who has such a question?

Published by Sree

Professional Profile Founder and Bibliotherapist thecriticaldialogue.com 2016 - to present As a bibliotherapist, I use thecriticaldialogue.com as a medium of storytelling or the reading of specific texts for the purpose of healing and personal transformation. Co-founder and Partner Equinox Consultants 1995 - to present I have over 30 years of experience in the field of Sales, Sales Management, Human Resource Optimization and OD. As a Co-founder and Partner at Equinox, I oversee business development and client partnership apart from facilitating developmental initiatives through assessments, training and executive coaching. As a trainer I have in the last 20 years, co-facilitated and trained over 400,000 professionals at senior, middle and junior management levels, for diverse industry segments. I have special interest in Leadership and Team development, especially facilitating personal transformation through coaching. I thrive when I see large groups and enjoy facilitating large group training interventions using Equinox’s unique and powerful Large Scale Interactive Process tools and methods. I rely on my strengths of making the training highly impacting and enjoyable experience for participating groups. I have facilitated training in organizations like Reserve Bank of India, SEBI, SVP National Police Academy, SBI, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell, Deloitte, Genpact, Wells Fargo, Citibank to name a few. As an assessor At Equinox, I help facilitate the design, development and deployment of assessment tools which help individuals and businesses in augmenting their performance development efforts. I have co-created and developed Equinox’s powerful high performance tool and framework, the S.T.A.R™ Model and related assessment (for Leadership, Coaching, Team and Individuals). Also, actively involved in partnering 360 deployment for our clients who demand more than just training. I am a Certified Reflector Big Five Consultant (A Level ‘B’ Psychometric instrument) As a consultant I help clients optimize human resources by engaging with them with end-to-end transformational solutions. Starting from role and competency mapping, profiling, assessing and creating developmental actions and facilitated coaching and training, I partner client initiatives which guarantee results. I have co-created Equinox’s very own Human Resource Optimization model the S.T.A.R™. As a person I am passionate about social-upliftment and work closely with institutions helping the destitute children and the girl child. Through Equinox’s ‘Build a Life’ program, I also contribute in a small way in making a difference to this world. I like adventures and the risks which go with it. I have been an active sports person, having played hockey at the national level with distinction. I like writing on philosophy and life in general. My links: http://www..equinox.co.in and Twitter: @sreekumar_india View more posts

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Exit mobile version