Tuesday, July 1, 2008

think with hands

I missed my bus today. I reached the bus stop on time. ISRO aunty told me that the bus has gone but she was not sure if it was mine. Of course! It was mine. All other CTS buses take the flyover. Mine alone goes via Domlur Shanti Sagar. I called Smitha and we decided to take an auto. ISRO aunty asked me if I am an engineer.
I nodded and smiled. She said, “It is very difficult for working women to get to the bus stop on time”. I agreed. Though I never experienced the hurry myself, I can feel how it must be. Wake up early in the morning, make breakfast and lunch, pack lunch, get children ready for school and then run to the bus stop which is across the road, only about a minute away but get out of bed one minute late and your day goes for a toss! I know working women in Bombay cut vegetables sitting in the local train on their way back home. I can never imagine that kind of physical and mental stress though! Talking of physical stress, my thoughts go back to that conversation with Priya. Her nephew is not interested in joining mechanical engineering. All elders in the family apparently suggested that studying mechanical engineering is a very convenient way of shaping his future. His options after grad studies are multiple. Sounds good yeah! I wonder why I never opted for something like mechanical or chemical. My brother was keen on Computer Engineering too. I understand from a very learned person I know that innovation is not field specific but has got to do with ability to think. He believes that a child should be taught how to think and implement rather than made to read and recite. I asked him the question, “What do you expect a child to innovate?” he asked in turn, “What do you want to innovate?” I said, “I do not know. I need to think”. He said, “That is what I am trying to say. I want them to learn to think. Give a child six things and ask him to fit them into a box capable of holding four such things. He will come up with an answer. You will be amazed how simple it is and how it never occurred to you, supposedly a successful software engineer!” Makes sense, doesn’t it? If kids today are made to come up with solutions to seemingly simple problems, they learn to think. Well! They will commit mistakes. But they have ample time to rectify them between the age of five and twenty. That is called work experience. Then, let us go about teaching them syntax of Java, C ++ etc and induct them into SOA :) For all we know, they were up to SOA and something else way ahead all the while and we never noticed!