What to learn for?


In the last six months or possibly more, I have had nightmares with one recurring theme: exams. These nightmares have a similar narrative: I am about to give my exams when something goes wrong. It is my fault.

Some examples:

  • I haven’t studied enough.
  • I have failed even before I start my exams.
  • I arrive in an exam center in Mumbai for an exam supposed to take place in Auckland.
  • I am three hours late for a two hour long exam.

The nightmares end by jolting me awake in the morning. Minutes pass. I remember with relief that I don’t have to give exams anymore. I am not learning to give exams anymore. I wonder why I keep having these kinds of nightmares though.


I was always one of the smartest in my class. I would not hate giving exams, I would be prepared and focused. Motivated and ready to tackle my next challenge. They were the cause of some fond memories from my school & college days.

  • The last day at my third grade school when my dad and my best friends dad tallied our scores.
  • Solving of my older brother’s math problems with ease while he looked on.
  • Walking on the stage to get awards in my school 7th and 8th grade.
  • My undergraduate years where I explained electronics to my classmates.

Yes, all memories had an audience. Someone to recognize my brilliance. Also, these memories were of a period at which I was great at whatever I was doing. 

I was booksmart. Exams & learning was something I was always great at. Thinking back, it might have been the only thing I was good at, in that particular time period.

It might have been my whole identity.


Part of being a developer is constantly learning new programming languages and principles. I am currently trying to learn Android development.

Some days I am good. Most days, I struggle. I read stuff but my brain just doesn’t connect. The ease with which I used to learn things is gone, replaced by irritation & confusion.

I don’t not as intelligent as I used to be. My brain doesn’t have juice anymore.

I feel like I had the potential but it has wilted away.

I wonder how could this happen.

Is it age? Cause that is preposterous, I am only 25.

Or Am I just lazy?


I remember listening to a podcast in which a line was spoken. I am paraphrasing

‘I feel like I have to keep learning something new.’

Unknown Podcast

I don’t remember which podcast I heard it or how long ago. I just related to what was said.


One of few new things I discovered an affinity towards now is economics. I read a book a while ago on the American Electric Grid system. I read a book about handling finances and I also listen to Planet Money podcast. All of which have introduced me to an area that I have never given much thought to. 

I am learning new languages, both computer and spoken language. I am trying my hand on writing more, giving serious thought (so far) on a novella. I have even started learning techniques on photo editing.

I feel like I am doing more than enough. Everywhere.

Yet, without exams at the end of a term, I wonder what exactly am I learning for?

Weekend Coffee Share: The week that wasn’t


I had everything planned. Give my exams, Monday and Tuesday. Finish up my presentation for Wednesday and then go for a Jazz session in a bar in Auckland CBD. I would have finished up with everything with a smile on my face.

 

If we were having coffee then I would have told you that it didn’t go that way. In fact, it might be the worst week I have had here. I gave my exams, tensed and when I was done instead of a smile on my face I had a frown. Then I realized that I have misread the event on Facebook and the jazz session is actually this Tuesday and not last. It would be here from which everything went downhill.

 

I would tell you over coffee that on Wednesday I was late for my presentation. My bus was late, which always reaches on time that didn’t. And I’m regret of my mistake of not taking the previous bus every second. My sir canceled my presentation. No matter how much I begged, pleaded nothing came from it. 10 minutes and I loose 20% grades. As much as I want to hate him, I can’t. I screwed up.

 

I would tell you that the crazy part of my mind was laughing over the futility of it all: work hard over entire semester and screw up in ten minutes. It was laughing, I was laughing as I found out how easy it was to screw up this big.

 

I’m mortified: if I don’t score B grade over the semester then I would not be able to complete my Master’s. I had to worry about my house first, now my degree. I wish this was all for my week.

 

Friday. I had secured a last assistant job at the university for next semester. My professor told me that due to being inundated with applicants, I would no longer be hired.

 

I tried to distract myself. I volunteered in the church I’m a part of since Easter but all I thought about was my screw up. Everyone was talking about exams and all I did was mull over my scores. Sadly the distraction that did work was killing random robots while playing Call of Duty. I didn’t try to ask myself why am I this way.

 

Speaking of the church, today every sentence uttered in the service, every scripture referred seemed directed at me. The Pastors spoke about worrying, tension, forgiveness. Everything that I could think in my mind was addressed in the service. As I left, one of the Pastors walked me out. He knew something was wrong and at the end he prayed for me. I still feel his presence on my back where he kept his hand.

 

Plus, today they had a jazz choir. If we do have coffee, I would apologize for dropping such bombs on you. I would apologize as I wanted to talk but all I did was whine.