Geniuses in the Wild

An argument with a friend had be angrily declaring that schools are intellectual lobotomies and are turning a country with a rich heritage into the world’s backend, and then into nothing. My views on our education system are no secret, but I am no enemy of knowledge.

I see the school system as a process of creating templatized people. “Masses” of literate people who can be put to work. Schools don’t create geniuses. Geniuses found in schools are not the product of that school’s education. They are the product of their own innovation that they managed to do in spite of spending time and energy on school.

Some examples off the top of my head.

Expelled/rejected from school/institution:

  1. Mobashshir Sarwar – India’s youngest RTI activist
  2. Alan Moore – talented artist, famous for illustrating comics.
  3. Vybz Kartel – Jamaican dancehall artist, songwriter and businessman.
  4. Peter D. Ouspensky – Russian esotericist
  5. Karl Marx – German philosopher
  6. Albert Einstein – inventor, physicist
  7. Charles Darwin – theory of evolution and other scientific studies
  8. Steven Spielberg – need he be introduced? Perhaps to the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television – they refused him admission three times.
  9. Michael Jordon – rejected from his high school basketball team
  10. Dhondo Keshav Karve – 19th Century Indian reformer for women’s welfare

Did badly in School/hated school:

  1. Isaac Newton – mathematician and physicist
  2. Thomas Edison – inventor, remember the light bulb?
  3. Winston Churchill – Nobel Prize winner, twice elected Prime Minister of UK
  4. Dick Cheney – became vice president of US
  5. Robert Sternberg – psychologist, President of the American Psychological Association.
  6. Charles Schultz – Peanuts comic strip [couldn’t get any of his comic strips published in school yearbook]
  7. Ludwig van Beethoven – violinist, composer [including 5 symphonies after becoming deaf]
  8. Elvis Presley – singer, musician [also failed to impress music teacher]
  9. Rudyard Kipling – Nobel Prize winner, poet, novelist of Jungle Book fame.
  10. George Orwell – English novelist and journalist of “Animal Farm” fame

Dropped out or otherwise rejected formal education:

  1. Anand Bakshi – Bollywood lyricist
  2. Helen – dancer, actress
  3. Bill Gates – Microsoft founder
  4. Walt Disney – cartoonist
  5. Abraham Lincoln – 16th President of US [attended school in brief spurts on and off.]
  6. Lata Mangeshkar – singer
  7. Sir Jamshetji Jejeebhoy – Parsi philanthropist, merchant, Sir J J Institute of Applied Art, Sir J J College of Architecture, Sir J J School of Art are named after him.
  8. Charlie Chaplin – actor [he went to a workhouse at age 7 – school of hardships 🙁 ]
  9. Rabindranath Tagore – Bengali polymath, transformed regional literature and music, author of Geetanjali, founder of Shantiniketan
  10. Swami Dayanand Saraswati – Founder of DAV public schools

In other words, it is okay for your child to have more purposeful interests than school 😉

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