School Captain’s thought of the week

Hello everyone, hope all is well with you and your family.

As we gradually adjust to life under lockdown, the novelty of learning from home may be wearing thin. We’ve found ourselves settling into new daily routines. In the morning, instead of hurrying out of the house carrying bags of books and sports kits, we absent-mindedly wake our computers and log on to Zoom lessons; at lunchtime, instead of rushing to the school dining hall and chatting to friends in the queue, we make the lethargic walk towards the dining room, perhaps exchanging fewer and fewer words with others. Confined to our homes, the lack of social interaction makes it easy for our minds to blank and creativity to stagnate.

I did a calculation today. In a normal year, we spend about 35 hours per week and 38 weeks at school, so that’s over 1,300 hours of schooling per year. 1,300 hours to be surrounded by peers and teachers, to enjoy a variety of activities and to be inspired as well as to inspire others. At present, given the less interactive nature of distance learning, it is easy for these hours to flow away and the cycle of the day to repeat itself into a mundane routine. If we simply go through the motions of attending Zoom lessons, reading textbooks, finishing homework without engagement and curiosity, then the true meaning of education maybe lost. Of course, getting the homework done on time and getting good grades in tests are important, but as W.B. Yeats put it, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

If the lockdown has somewhat dampened that fire being kindled throughout the years, then perhaps it’s time to inject more energy into our study life. Let’s drop the passive mindset and activate our inner passion and curiosity. Go beyond the mere participation of a Zoom lesson, ask questions and think of the implications of what we are learning. Read books with an inquisitive heart and digest the true meaning behind the words. Set up or join a society to share your thoughts and prepare to be inspired and challenged. By actively immersing ourselves into our learning, using every opportunity to explore broadly and think deeply, we can enrich our lives and be surrounded by those with great minds. In time, it will be up to us to come up with new ideas and principals, improve the lives of others and make the world better than we found it. When that time comes, an open and active mindset will be a key to great success.

Author: Jimmy Yuan