Thursday, March 27, 2014
LOST AND FOUND IN K
LOST AND FOUND IN K
This is about how Kelly College helped me find myself when I was the biggest rebel without a clue!
I was raised in the city of Karachi, Pakistan, where there is still to this date a social segregation within its citizens that obnoxiously stands out like a zit on your forehead in your prom photograph! I was an only child that was 14 going on 40 where I knew it all, I had done it all, I had seen it all, travelled over 30+ countries and had everything charged to the bank of dad which was withdrawal only 24 hours a day 365 days of the year!
I loved my school as being an only child is difficult but my popularity ended my world came crashing down and I got no more birthday party invitations when in Class 5 Mrs. Parvez my class teacher got upset at me for wanting to go to the toilet for the 3rd time told me in front of my entire class that I was an “achoot” (untouchable) and she considered me to be a social outcast and a reject because I was adopted! After that no kids wanted to sit with me after that date and I ate lunch alone. Society in Pakistan is so politically correct that it executes you before it condemns you before it judges you before it allows you to defend yourself! In certain circles of the social wolf pack either you’re in or you’re out!
As I had no friends anymore I defied the norms of society and did not make an effort to blend in with the kids and was very opinionated and lost the love for being a team player. I proudly stayed at the bottom of my class in my own world of rhetoric! Kids came to me as I was super aggressive to the point of being violent so I was considered to be a bad ass! One day after I got into a tiff where I went Al Capone on some guy 3 grades higher than me I was called to the principal’s office to be caned! After caning me Colin Wrigley told me that I had not changed at all and never would. Somehow rather than crying I laughingly pointed to him and said “By the looks of your Brown Suit you haven’t either and never will also!” I guess that was the last straw that broke the camel’s back because Colin Wrigley called my dad and told him to remove me from the school or he would expel me!
I was declared as one of those kids who would never make it life & KGS was indifferent about seeing me go because they had a lot of other daddies that were important that took up their time! As no one missed me at KGS or even said good bye I was relieved that the nightmare of being a Gaymarian was over! I lived for the moment and my parent prayed for their sanity so I was sent to Kelly College in Tavistock Devon!
When a kid of 14 went away in the 80’s it was hard on everyone and there was fear somewhere of something but NOT in me! I was happy to be leaving Pakistan and all the clicks. All I could think of when I was on that British Airways flight going to Heathrow was thank god I don’t have to deal with my parents after they meet those aunties who made me the topic of every coffee party on what I had done wrong! Also I found out something else that was very weird! When the news spread that daddy was sending me to England a lot of kids became friends suddenly before I left – I assumed it was because they thought that my dad had struck oil or something!
I had been to Great Britain many times before and all over it but as I made the 5 hour journey from London to Plymouth and then Tavistock I realized one thing – I was free! I learned on my first day at Kelly that I was free to be who I was and could become what I wanted to be! It was remarkable that after my first term I was at the top of my class and an outstanding student in some subjects! I realized that I did so well because Kelly College taught me that it was ok to think for myself. I was taught via an integrated method where there is active involvement in learning where there ia a hands on approach to experiencing an education unlike in Pakistan where it all depends upon who can inwardly digest and photocopy the entire works of Shakespeare in the mind for a 90 minute exam without understanding the meaning behind the prose.
I realized that in KGS children were trained to be robots inr an amalgamation of Animal Farm where some animals were more equal than the others and any radical or non-conformed way of thinking was dealt with harshly by the entire structure that one might call a school. To me it seemed that I had left a socialistic Stalin Regime and somehow landed in a Lennon performance in the middle of Woodstock!
Kelly is not great because of the teachers that it hires or the activities it has. To be in Kelly is to experience a fantastic culture where you can become whatever you choose to do so and that too be damn good at it! At Kelly the student community is one of the best things that it has to offer that is supported by firm principles of education beyond ones wildest dreams! There is a saying “if you love something set it free… if it comes back to you it’s meant to be!” Today I am lucky to be one person who is able to sleep a very peaceful sleep despite the country he lives in because I found myself at Kelly!
I have written this post not to humiliate an organization after many years but because education has become a business! Parents do not have or cannot afford the cost of the time required to be with their kids and mentor and tutor then as a dual income is desperately required to survive today. Also in the 80’s there was almost no debt in society which is very predominant today that affects your personal & family life immensely! If you are going to send your child to a school then you MUST make sure that you do not go for a brand name and understand the cultural values that you want in your child that you can afford to pay for right now and for which they will have to pay for after you are gone!
You need to start from the beginning because today if you are a parent and write with your right hand you will never be able to change that habit or school of thought once it is burnt into your soul! Ask yourself if you are doing the right thing because when I was a child I hated parents day as I would get hell after that meeting my parents had with the teachers. Today the culture has changed where in a parents teacher meeting the teachers get yelled at for everything and after that the kid gets a new iPhone! Think about it!
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