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Superiority


I wrote this some time back, and as my "own version" of Aurthur C. Clarke's "Superiority". Those of you familiar with it should be able to see the similarities. Nevertheless, it reflects my view and I'm sure a few others would agree to this as well. This is how it goes:

Before I start, I must say that I'm writing this out of my own free will, and has nothing to do with pressures from any source at all. That being out of the way I shall first say that whatever follows, I'm sure that my fellow olympians would agree with me. Starting from the top, these are the circumstances that cost us the war.

Our rivals only won because of their, I must stress, inferior knowledge. We had started off with very formidable arsenal of information dominating the areas in physics and chemistry, always maintaining several steps ahead of the others. We were, if you like, second to none in those two fields, and challenging us would have been suicide. Year after year, two of us would snatch the top student in chemistry and in physics, one each essentially. They were no where near, and we had always used to our advantage the wealth of knowledge that we possessed, continually enriching and amounting as we gathered through research and meticulous studies.

We opened up the year of 2008 with a strong foundation based on sec 3 and 4, giving us tremendous advantage over our opponents, and we pressed this home, practically owning all class tests. Though they were not so significant as the common tests, we had flexed our muscle and proved that we were going to continue dominating till the end of IB. One test nearly crippled the cohort with a question in uncharted territory of complexes. Fortunately for us, we turned to our backup weapon - the analytical mind. It's the most basic but the foundation that gave us such success in the first place. Needless to say, we came out tops again because of that. The mid year common test also had us surging far ahead, and the year ahead certainly looked very promising.

In fact, we had shone so blindingly that the external powers that be had sat up to take notice- we were offered a place in the olympiad teams to gear up for inter-school war. Of course, we jumped on to that opportunity seeing that it would promise to take us into hyperspace so far far away from our internal opponents that they wouldn't even dream of trying to reach such heights.

Training started, and as promised, we did the academic equivilet of a hyperspace jump. Knowledge poured in. We were a chapter, two, three, and then almost a whole year ahead of everyone else by the fourth quarter of the year. The training had become so tough and rigourous that we found ourselves neglecting a bit on our regular studies which allowed our weaker opponents to catch up. We were unfazed by their advancement for we knew that it would all pay off very soon.

By the year end they had caught up significantly due to us slipping slightly being so focused on gathering more knowlege, and I must say it definitely boosted their morale. We still continued to push for olympiad as once we had the chance to refocus on to regular academics, the efficiency of our efforts would multiply tenfold leaving them once again in the dust. Think about it as a long charge up while remaining stationary to deal a huge blast that propels one into the distance far beyond the horizon.

The closing of the year brought us our olympiad medals, and certainly, we felt top of the world. It had proved that we had attained what we strived to achieve, and now we only had to turn our new weapon back to home grounds to obliterate the remaining chances that our rivals had in winning us.

Unfortunately for us, while we had our efforts focused elsewhere, our opponents had probably realised that we were now just sitting ducks, making us reachable by their standards, and doubled their efforts so much so that when we returned from the olympiad, we had discovered that they had mastered the exam techniques as well as familiarised themselves very much with the syllabus requirements.

Olympiad requires a different technique to ace, and it was what we had been training for. Now with that done, we had to do some major retuning. It was then that I realised our medals had come at a price. We had put in so much effort into olympiad that our minds had grown into it. Our analysis of questions were much deeper, considering aspects that were much more complicated than the normal syllabus, and we had a different technique to answer questions. It was the olympiad style, and it even superceeded some of the external powers that be.

No matter how we tried to retune, we could not fit anymore. Our opponents had the advantage of growing into the academic system, and they now had the edge over us. If we had not decided to advance our knowledge by going so much further beyond the normal syllabus requirements, and just stuck to what we had been doing in the first place, we would have grown into the system as well. That coupled with the edge in knowledge we already had would have placed us continually ahead of our rivals till the end of IB.

With such a bad fit of style, our superior arsenal was very limited in assistance. We lost mark after mark due to misfit in answers. In just 6 months after we had achieved the highest wealth of knowledge for pre-university level in physics and chemistry, we lost out significantly to our opponents and experienced defeat for the first time in many exams. Like I said, they only won because of their inferior knowledge that allowed them to think simply in the context of over simplified questions. So as you can see, we really shouldn't be taking IB. I rest my case here.

00:17 28 Dec 2009
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