Talk about a subject that you used to dislike, but have an interest in it now
– What subject is it?
– Why didn’t you like it?
– Why are you interested in it now?
I’d like to talk about learning German at high school. We had the option to choose French or German, I chose French I think everyone chose it, and because my surname ends in W, I think I was at the end of the list and so ended up having to do German.
I disliked it for quite a few reasons, firstly I was forced to study it, secondly I disliked the sound of the language, and finally, all my friends were in the French class. I was silly though because I ended up studying it for about 5 years and did the bare minimum each year.
I really regret not putting in any serious effort, I can remember bits and bobs now, like the days of the week and certain phrases. I memorised how to say “I am an only child”, this way the teacher would stop asking me questions about my family. Incidentally though, I have a brother and sister.
I’m interested in it now because I have friends in Austria and Germany, I also believe I could pick it up relatively quickly too. I’d like to read some German literature too, perhaps the books written by Nietzsche.
That’s my talk about a school subject.
Discussion (Part 3)
What subjects did you like at school?
I absolutely loved economics, I think it was because the teacher was excellent. His name was Mr Sykes, and he brought the subject to life. He had such a mental clarity when he taught it, I was really impressed. He even taught us material not on the curriculum because he thought it was important for us. That’s a good teacher.
Is learning many subjects at once good?
It’s difficult to say, on the one hand you get a taster of lots of different subjects, so I guess later you can specialise. But on the other hand, if you already know what you enjoy, you are wasting a lot of time learning about things you dislike and will probably never use.
I guess if you are indecisive it’s probably valuable, otherwise it’s a waste of your time.
Is it better to learn one subject at a time, in your opinion?
Yes I think so. If I look back at anything I have ever succeeded at it was because I focused. For example when I left Manchester and started to learn Spanish -that’s all I did, I just learnt Spanish all summer. By the time the university started I was more than prepared and all my friends who had spent the summer in the UK, were really impressed. So, yes I think one subject at a time is the best way to progress.
Do you think teachers should have entertaining teaching styles?
This is a very sensitive subject. A teacher may think they are entertaining but it could be borderline ridiculous for the other party. <ANECDOTE> At high school, I heard about a teacher called Mr Train, who would lock naughty students in a cupboard. I don’t know if it was for discipline or entertainment, but I don’t think he was allowed to continue. So I guess, it really depends if they can be certain it is entertaining then yes, otherwise they should probably tread very carefully.