Sunday, April 15, 2012

Conversation with (another) K

Riding in the T (Metro) from Kendall to Harvard Square I met an Indian student who walked up to me. I will call him "K". 

"Hi, I enjoyed your talk on education this week. I was there."
"Thanks. What do you do?"
"I am a PhD student at MIT"
"What's your area?"
"When do your complete it it?"
Smiles. "That's a difficult question to answer. I have been here 3 years." Changes topics: "You said you were looking for people did you find any?"
"Yes. I have interviewed about six. Its difficult to find people for creative roles in India"
Then he spoke : "You know I am from IIT Mumbai. A topper from IIT. In my last term there I was very self-satisfied and used to lecture people on how to manage their career. I came here and realized there is no correlation between grades and your creative relationship with a subject. I met people with lower grades or 'raw intellect' but who could really stretch their mind and look at a problem from all sides. I could not do that. I had terrible work and thinking habits. It was emotionally hurtful to acknowledge to myself that this was the truth about me."
"Many people don't realize this in a lifetime. Whats your dream?
"I want to be a teacher. I love science. I want students to have a really creative relationship with science."

We had reached Harvard Square.


  1. I love this! I didn't know it was possible to have such a deep conversation in such a short time!

  2. Something about our education system... I find myself going to some of the subjects to re discover how they really apply to the world around us.