Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why It Is Important To Attend Lectures

We are in an engineering college and its our common tendency to bunk lectures. For a long time I couldn't figure out why is it important to go to lectures, so I continued my bunking. Following are some rationales that motivates us to not attend lectures:
  1. If we can score well enough in exams just by preparing in one night out, then why.
  2. Why not give our valuable time to things that are, we consider, more important.
  3. If we bunk lectures, its assumed to be cool within our student community, good for a youth, then why.
  4. When somebody else is preparing notes and we can use them in the way we wish to, then why.
  5. If we don't understand something then there are hell lot of intelligent and dedicated people around us to help.
Well, now I have something that motivates me to attend lectures, all, in fact even those which are not in the academic curriculum and even not related to my academic interests and here it is.
Consider following situations:
  1. Somebody said, we learn more by experiencing it than just knowing it.
  2. If you tell a child to stay away from something than he's more eager for it.
  3. If you tell somebody that climbing this rock is very dangerous, and if it were me to whom you are telling then I'll definitely try it because I consider myself more efficient into this than others, but while doing this if I myself find it dangerous than only I'll agree with you.
  4. When you are thirsty, pouring water on your body does not help, you have to swallow it into your throat.
Lets give a thought to the above described issues:

Superficiality does not work, it has to be believed from deep inside to be useful. Suppose you want to learn something, you approached somebody and he taught you the technique, you are very impressed because he was very effective and easy to understand (now you only know it but don't believe from inside), but now to use it to its full extent and to get full benefit out of it, you have to practice it so that you can get enough fluency while using it. Now what does this practice do, you are just repeating the same task like an idiot while you already know it, ain't you? But what the practice do behind the scene, it makes the technique sink into our subconscious, somehow our brain recognizes the pattern and just use it the next time we do it. But if we don't practice it, every time we do it, we have to extract the technique from our memory (recall it), process it for the current situation and then use it, and it takes hell lot of time and mistakes. Instead, what practice do is to make a template ready for us, which we can use anytime with a little modifications, if necessary, it gives efficiency and grace.

Now coming back to lecture thing, when we prepare for exams in previous night, it's superficial, you'll remember it for a day or two and still you will probably crack the exam, provided that exam doesn't require a lot of scary concepts. But if you would've attended lectures, even passively, you'd have been aware of a lots of issues involved and possible remedies that a single night can not reveal. Further, if you don't understand what the instructor is telling even than, the various issues he raises, or unknowingly comes out of his mouth (if prof is dumb) will make your mind to relate various things and it will make your understanding clearer. This happens because the subject taught in lectures in continuously fed into your mind with slight variations each time (just as we practice the same technique repeatedly, in previous paragraph) and the concept starts sinking into our subconscious without our knowledge.

Think about it, in your own way.

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