This morning while I was practicing TKD and thinking about that I was about to leave this place in a month, all kinds of thoughts were swirling around my mind. I am able to retrace a few of them now.
Master Kim was teaching a group of competitors this morning. He has been a very successful coach, and quite a few junior national champions come from his school. During weekends, kids from other schools would come and join his classes. Those kids are not less skilled than those junior champions at this school, according to my observation. The fact that they are not winning tournaments has probably less to do themselves than their schools and coaches.
Then my thought drifted back to chemistry, and reminded me of the moment when I was teaching a tutorial in front of a class of 1st year undergrads. I knew a few of them would excel in the class, and in school in general, getting all the top marks, winning all the awards and scholarships, but the majority of the students would not. Although I know that school is not all about marks and that academic achievement does not guarantee success or happiness in life, seeing the parallel of athletic competition and academic competition, I cannot help but thinking that those who excel at school sometimes do so at the expense of their fellow classmates. This thought is particularly vexing when one considers the fact that achievements in one’s early life has probably more to do with parents and teachers, and less to do with oneself.