27 Oktober 2016

making sense instead

"well, personally.. i will take the fault down to here... does that make sense?"
"ah, oui.. tu as raison."

part of our life growing up, big part, was about learning. we've learned something even since we were little kids. we learned to walk, to speak, to run, and finally we have that thing called formal education.

i grow up in indonesia. i started having formal education since i was... 3, i guess? and finished my undergrad at 21, so 18 years of my life have been spent learning with indonesian way of learning. but to be fair, i'll skip the first 14 years as i have no comparison nor references about what i did during pre-school, elementary, junio high, and high school. so, universities only.

my undergrad life in bandung.... is not quite different with what i have in high school. formal education-wise, of course. we've been told to give 'right' answers, learning what is 'true,' etc. etc. we did repetitive tasks with, well, kind of repetitive issues as well. and we're all afraid. we're afraid to be wrong, afraid to ask things, even worse, afraid to admit that we don't know.

sad isn't it?

this, ladies and gentlemen, was what i was facing back in my master's degree. i was too afraid to say "i don't know," i was too afraid to raise my hand in classes/tutorials, so i didn't move. even if i did, i was so far away from my colleagues. until one day i realized, i need to go somewhere, and i need to be faster.

so i struggled and tried to improve my french to a level where i can say to myself "okay that i didn't get" instead of "wtf i didn't get anything that he was saying." it was also a level where i could finally argue with my colleagues, that what i was working on was not much far from what they were. and just when i got to that level, there was a saying that keeps running to my head: "tu as raison."

if you translate it literally, it would mean "you have a reason." but, in french, "tu as raison" is actually an expression which means "you are right." so in french, you can only be right if you have a reason. and that makes perfect sense.

now i study in the uk, and i still take classes with some master's students. they are like me about 2 years ago. afraid to tell themselves "i don't know" and much slower than the other colleagues, as far as i am concern. me, i am already in the level where i can raise my hands and ask question whenever i feel like it, and again, there's a repetitive expression that are told by both the lecturer and the assistants a.k.a. demonstrators: "does that make sense?"

so again, they are not telling us what is "right," they are trying to have a conversation with us. instead of telling you "this one is true, other than this would be fault" they try to talk to you, giving you their ideas, see if you agree, and if everybody's happy, than that makes sense. funny isn't it?

this was what i've been missing throughout my undergrad. especially that crazy first year. my God how did i ever survive. point is, what if we stop separating the truth from the false? what if we start conversations first rather than telling people what you think is true?

we might have a better place to stay :)

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