Updated: Jul 2, 2019
For the last five years, I have been teaching at higher education institutions. In groups, I have young students without experience and older students with experience. This story is about young students.
I noticed: 1. Former education has interrupted their creativity - they are focused only on facts. They don’t like to think about the relationship between these facts 2. They are not focused enough if something is not interesting to them during lessons.
It can’t be generalized, but mostly it is so. In any case, it takes time to encourage them to change their behaviour patterns.
A few days ago, I went a step further. My colleague and I have found one the "trespassings" (illegal crossings across the rail track) made by students. We talked to them. They were exceptionally decent, communicative, open, brave, beautiful young people. When asked where exactly they cross the rail track and why, one student told us patiently where it's easier and where it's harder. She added that she comes by bus and it is the only way to get to the student campus. She is not afraid because she is careful when crossing and the train is visible from afar. A few students said: "Why should we be afraid and beware?!" One of students offered to take my colleague across the rail track: “If you are afraid, I’ll help you to convince yourself.” Within a short time, they passed dozens, and one of the students even had earphones.
They all have something in common: going by bus to the station, going across the rail track on their own responsibility, pass through the wood to their faculties. Finally, they happy and satisfied arrive at the lecture or exam. And so, three, four or even five years. They are young people. They know their obligations - they have to come to the lecture, and they know how much it takes to come to the faculty. They know for the trespassing and the way through the wood, and they use them.
For the last four years I have been teaching a Business Safety Management course and telling students that there are no average grades in safety. Only excellent or inadequate. Safety is too expensive to be average. It is same with concentration. Everything is great while the concentration is high. One student was asked if he knew when the mistakes happens but he was not sure. I told him when we are tired, when we are nervous (e.g. before the exam) or when we are sick ... In that moment, we just depend on how we have learned to be careful while crossing the rail track. And I gave him my example of going through red at the traffic lights without even noticed it until others started to warn me.
Tiredness, nervousness, or illness are like average grades. In most cases it can be passing grade, but sometimes it's not. It is called a tragedy in traffic.
My intention is to say that our everyday life is life with trespassing. Young people and others need to be warned in some way that they are in a dangerous zone. It is important to warn them that their such decisions are dangerous behaviour patterns. These patterns were being taken over from us, older generations. Unfortunately, they could be transferred to new generations.
Our job is to help young people to have a better and more quality lives and not to copy bad behaviour patterns in traffic.
Author: Dražen Kaužljar
Photo: Dražen Kaužljar