Monday, December 8, 2008

Would you rather be a novel or a poem?

Now that is the question! Or at least it is of you're applying to Oxford. If you're applying to Cambridge it's What would you do if you were a magpie?. That one is kind of stupid but I get where they're going with it. They want to find out if students can think outside the box. Sadly I'm not so sure all these brilliant applicants can pass this test question. I know that I was the ultimate nerd back in the day. Of course you all knew this, I am, after all, a chemist. Give me a pocket protector and wrap tape across the bridge of my glasses I became a card carrying member of the nerds r us gang when I voluntarily chose my degree right? So when the teacher gave me an assignment in high school I carried it out to a "T" and got it done and in on time. Out of the box? No I don't think so. And it's not like I was the dumb kid, no no, I was just all about following the rules. In school, don't ask about the social scene, remember I was the goth. My hair changed color sometimes 3 times a week and the outfits? Not real So Cal and the only box it could be in was a coffin.

But these poor students, I mean they work their asses off to be inside the box where the teachers and the system wants them. Then they get all the way up to these prestigious schools and it's "Wait no, do a 180 and give us exactly what we never wanted from you, think for yourself and do it now." WTF? I know, there's probably no 'wrong' answer to these questions but how jacked is this new trendy thing?
Here, and I quote from the article:
"Many students will have a body of knowledge, and they may be expected to be trusted on that in the interview. What we want to do is take them beyond that point and get them to start thinking for themselves."
Yeah that's GREAT but that is exactly opposite of what you've trained, beaten, ingrained into centuries of students. CENTURIES of students. And you want to change the rules during their interview to Oxford or Cambridge (or Oxbridge as they call it there, damn Brits)? Man is that cruel and unusual punishment or what? Now they listed 2 questions that I just loved and think should be asked before graduating said schools personally:
"Instead of politicians, why don't we let the managers of Ikea run the country?"
and my fav
"How would you poison someone without the police finding out?"

1 comment:

Susie said...

I wonder if they teach actual thinking in Great Britain though. I agree they've pretty much stopped teaching it here in the states, but they used to do it to a certain extent, at least more than now. Admittedly, though, college is where students really start to learn that, so if you can't get into college b/c you don't already know how to do that, then how are you ever going to learn it? Catch-22. But I think these questions are a cool idea, though I probably wouldn't be able to come up with a good enough answer, were it me. Maybe the admissions people just want some cheap entertainment!