Typical Issues Faced by Students in School and Life

Dr. Ali started the talk by mentioning that it was always interesting to do activities that to listen to a lecture. He then mentioned how he became an Engineer. He said that in school the students were given a particular stream depending on their marks they scored in that subject. Hence a student who was interested in Mathematics but had scored good marks in Science was asked to take up engineering instead of Commerce. And the Science group students had Biology which was taught by a Professor who was very strict and knew very little about his students, but was very good with the subject. As a result when the students were given a choice to take up a combination with or without Biology many students took up Engineering which did not include Biology.

Topic: Typical issues faces by students in school and life
Place: Global Engineering Marathon
Date: 26 Feb 2011
Number of students present: about 120 students of different age groups from various schools 

Dr. Ali also mentioned that many of his classmates who had graduated as Metallurgical Engineering had gone to become completely different from what they had studied. One of the classmate's had enrolled into the Police Department. Another person was the Chairman of the National Film Corporation and one was the Principal of an International School. And another person was the Think tank of BJP.

He mentioned that the present generation had much more facilities when compared to the older generation. And asked them how many of them had heard the term of “Imaginer”, a few students raised their hands. Imaginer was a person who had a very good imagination and was a good engineer too. Walt Disney which was known for its unique rides and entertainment had started to face a unique problem. Whenever a new ride was decided they had the design department to do the programs and rides and this was next sent to manufacturing department. The manufacturing department faced problems to convert this idea into a real ride, as they were not very confident if they can build the particular ride. The rides had to be completely safe and the security of the visitors was give the priority. So when a particular design came to the manufacturing department they would first look into safety aspect, i.e. they would see if a seat can be fixed properly or a nut and bolt are placed safely etc. And when safety was a priority the designs were either rejected or they had to be modified in a very large manner. So Walt Disney came out with a solution for this and said that they would visit the major Engineering college and selected only those students who were good at imagination and also excelled in engineering, so that they can be good at designing as well as they would know if it can be transformed into reality.

India is a land that has numerous choices and being a citizen of this country we have the opportunity to explore various fields. As Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam had mentioned that India would become the Super power in this world, he was not talking about nuclear power, he was talking about the Man-power and India has abundance of this. But to know these areas one will have to give up the heard mentality.

Next Dr. Ali asked the students “Who had their ambition of becoming rich and successful?”  some students raised their hands. Then Dr. Ali mentioned that he saw three categories of students in the hall. One group of students who raised their hands immediately after the question was asked were the ones who knew what they were aiming for. The second category of students were the ones who did not raise their hands. This maybe because they did not feel money was important, or being rich was not their ambition. This was also alright because they knew what they wanted. But there was the third category of students who were not sure whether to raise their hands or not, they were very confused and were worried if their friends would feel bad if they raised their hands. This was the set of students who had a heard mentality. They are people who do things only because the others were doing the same things. They are the ones who do not thinks for themselves, they only follow others like how sheep go in herd.

For example if there are about 200 sheep and the Shepard ties a sheep and pulls it along with him all the others blindly follow that sheep. If you happen to ask the last sheep in the herd as to why he is following the herd even though he has not been tied or pulled along, the sheep would only say that he is only following the herd because all the others are following him. Some people also function the same manner. They take a certain path only because all the others are going that way. They do not want to understand if it would be beneficial to them or not, they will not even know if they like what they have chosen.

God has made each human being to be different and a technical marvel created by him to show this is that he gave every single person different finger lines. No two people including twins have the same fingers prints, this goes only to show that God has made everyone with different qualities and abilities. God has carved each one of us separately because he wants us to do something different.  And we do have that capacity but tend to turn a blind eye on them.

There was a short story narrated by Dr. Ali. Before this he told the students that whoever knew the answer for the question asked at the end of this story should only raise their hand. Giving this instruction he started the story: One day there is a fatal accident of a two wheeler in which a father and his son were traveling. The father died on the spot and the son is seriously injured. People gathered around the horrific scene and saw that the boy was still alive. They rushed him to the nearest Hospital where the Doctor informed them that the boy cannot be rescued. The people pleaded to the Doctor, so the doctor replied that to rescue the boy an operation has to performed which can be done only by a Neuro-surgeon, they did not have such a surgeon in the Hospital and hence the boy could not be saved. One person from the crowd said that there were a few guests in his neighborhood and one among them is a Neuro-surgeon. So they decided to contact that surgeon and ask for help. When asked upon the surgeon agreed to perform the operation and and went to the Hospital. When the surgeon entered the operation theater and was ready to operate, saw the face of the boy and said “ Oh God, I will not be able to perform the operation on him. He is my son”. Dr. Ali asked the students how this was possible and how could the surgeon say that it was the surgeon's son. 10-15 students raised their hands and Dr. Ali asked the last student who raised his hand to answer and he gave the correct answer that the Neuro-surgeon was the mother of the child. Dr. Ali mentioned why the others were not able to given this correct answer, because they did not know how to think out of the box. There are only two people who can say that this is my child one is father and the other is mother. He had clearly mentioned that father had died in the accident so it should be the mother. It was such a simple thing, but still they could not answer, this is because all were thinking that the surgeon was a man.

Keep open the idea of exploring various possibilities. Look within yourself and understand where you are heading towards, analyze whether it is the correct direction that you are taking and always remember that to be out standing you need to think out of the box. Through this everyone can achieve something big in life.

Dr. Ali ended the talk be wishing the students Good Luck for their future.

- Report by Jyothi Chandran

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