Our Job Is To Help Them Make Something Of It

Now, after more than a year out of the classroom, Wataru, 16, has returned to school, though not a normal one. He and around two dozen teenagers like him are part of the inaugural class of Japan’s first e-sports high school, a private institution in Tokyo that opened last year.
The academy, which mixes traditional class work with hours of intensive video game training, was founded with the intention of feeding the growing global demand for professional gamers. But educators believe they have stumbled onto something more valuable: a model for getting students like Wataru back in school.


I came across this article in the New York Times, and found it to be fascinating. Wataru, the sixteen year old mentioned in the article, had dropped out of school after the pandemic, because “he was getting nothing from school”. He preferred to stay at home and play video games the whole day.

This school though, the one featured in the article, is a school in which you’re taught competition strategies for games such as Fortnite and Valorant. Or you might be given – and this was my favorite sentence in the article – “a scientific lecture about the relative merits of Street Fighter characters”. And it’s not just theory, of course – post this lecture, the students then formed groups to put the lesson into action.

This is what a classroom looks like:


If you’re curious, and are able to speak and understand the language, here’s what the infrastructure of the school looks like – it has forty Galleria XA7C-R37 gaming PC’s. The curriculum includes the following genres of video games: FPS, third-person shooter, RTS and MOBA. I don’t know what these genres are, for I don’t play video games all that much.

But I applaud the initiative, and hope it scales, both within Japan and in other parts of the world.

You may ask why I applaud a school that teaches students how to play video games. And my answer is that I’m actually quite agnostic about how an educational institute is weird. All I ask is that it be sufficiently weird in at least one way. This particular school is weird about video games, but what about schools that are weird in other ways? What about a school that teaches you about dancing, for example?

Lynne’s gift for dancing was discovered by a doctor. She had been underperforming at school, so her mother took her to the doctor and explained about her fidgeting and lack of focus. After hearing everything her mother said, the doctor told Lynne that he needed to talk to her mother privately for a moment. He turned on the radio and walked out. He then encouraged her mother to look at Lynne, who was dancing to the radio. The doctor noted that she was a dancer, and encouraged Lynne’s mother to take her to dance school


And if you’ve been tempted to sneer while reading about these newfangled ideas about alternate education – “video games and dancing in schools! Hmph, whatever next?!” – note that the first story is from December 2022, while the other story is from sometime in the 1930’s. Everything with Sir Ken Robinson in it is always worth watching, but this video is a particularly fascinating one. Gillian Lynne’s story comes on at around the 15 minute mark, if you’d rather not watch the whole thing, but I hope you do.

But whether it is video games today or dancing a century ago – or whatever else might be around a hundred years from now, for that matter – the point isn’t about how young people learn best. Well, it is, but the first point that all of us would do well to internalize is that everybody learns differently.

And the idea that everybody learns best by sitting in a classroom and listening to a person drone on for hours on end is one that has been rejected by students year after year after year. But because it is cheap, scalable and easy to endlessly replicate, it is now a part of our culture. To the extent that we will think of students who are unable to be a part of this dreary ritual as being not normal.

Of course they’re not normal, none of them are. They’re special, in their own way, as all of us are. That was the message in the brilliant talk given by Sir Ken Robinson. That everybody is talented in their own way.

And his call to action at the end of the talk is the title of today’s blogpost.

Our job isn’t to browbeat our students into downcast and sullen obedience and compliance. Our job is to figure out what motivates them to learn, by figuring out their special talent.

And then to help them make something of it.

Matt Parker on the Greatest Maths Mistakes

Some Days Are Diamonds

… and as the poet tells us, some days are stones.

Today, in the case of yours truly, is one of the latter ones. The daughter has been sniffling, coughing and battling a fever for the last three days, and while she is now much better (thank god), she has now passed the fever on to me.

But that’s not the reason today is a stone. The reason today is a stone is because I didn’t schedule a post for 10 am today. I’ve been on a bit of a good run – best as I can tell, the last time I missed posting was on the 30th of October last year, and while that isn’t great if the aim is to post daily, it certainly is better relative to the recent past.

And naturally, this is not a streak I would like to give up on. The sensible thing to do is to have some buffer posts ready, that can be deployed on days such as these. If I’m not up to sitting in front of a computer, filtering stuff I’ve read and deciding what to write about – and I’m really not up to it today – then I should be able to dip into my pitaara and schedule something that I’ve written in the past.

The good news is that I have 12 drafts waiting that will turn into good posts whenever I get around to finishing them. The bad news is that not one of them is complete. I teach economics for a living, but my real calling is procrastination.

Today’s post was going to be my notes from having read an article that I both enjoyed reading closely, and discussing with my students in class at the Gokhale Institute. I’m teaching behavioral economics this semester, and the essay in question has a lot of great points to think about in the context of biases and irrationality. I may come back to it in a later blog post, but for now, I’ll link to it, and leave as a snippet this lovely excerpt:

I’ve been tweeting about irrationality since 2017, and in that time I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern. Whenever I post of a cognitive bias or logical fallacy, my replies are soon invaded by leftists claiming it explains rightist beliefs, and by rightists claiming it explains leftist beliefs. In no cases will someone claim it explains their own beliefs. I’m likely guilty of this too; it feels effortless to diagnose others with biases and fallacies, but excruciatingly hard to diagnose oneself. As the famed decision theorist Daniel Kahneman quipped, “I’ve studied cognitive biases my whole life and I’m no better at avoiding them.”


And may I just say that the universe is rather good at trolling? I followed the author of this essay that I’m talking about on Twitter, and here’s a tweet that he recently retweeted:

Yes, yes, ok, fine.

All About Lego

And if you’re wondering why Lego, of all things – it is because I and my daughter are learning about Democritus and atoms:

Why is Lego the most ingenious toy in the world?

For a start, Sophie was not at all sure she agreed that it was. It was years since she had played with the little plastic blocks. Moreover she could not for the life of her see what Lego could possibly have to do with philosophy.

But she was a dutiful student. Rummaging on the top shelf of her closet, she found a bag full of Lego blocks of all shapes and sizes.

For the first time in ages she began to build with them. As she worked, some ideas began to occur to her about the blocks.

They are easy to assemble, she thought. Even though they are all different, they all fit together. They are also unbreakable. She couldn’t ever remember having seen a broken Lego block. All her blocks looked as bright and new as the day they were bought, many years ago. The best thing about them was that with Lego she could construct any kind of object. And then she could separate the blocks and construct something new.

What more could one ask of a toy? Sophie decided that Lego really could be called the most ingenious toy in the world. But what it had to do with philosophy was beyond her.

Gaarder, Jostein. Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (p. 42). Orion. Kindle Edition


The Times, They’re A-Changing Part II

“The putting-out system is a means of subcontracting work. Historically, it was also known as the workshop system and the domestic system. In putting-out, work is contracted by a central agent to subcontractors who complete the project via remote work. It was used in the English and American textile industries, in shoemaking, lock-making trades, and making parts for small firearms from the Industrial Revolution until the mid-19th century. After the invention of the sewing machine in 1846, the system lingered on for the making of ready-made men’s clothing.
The domestic system was suited to pre-urban times because workers did not have to travel from home to work, which was quite infeasible due to the state of roads and footpaths, and members of the household spent many hours in farm or household tasks.”

So begins the Wikipedia article on the putting-out system, a system that is about sub-contracting work.

This system isn’t just suited to pre-urban times, of course, it is also especially suited to pandemic times. The question to ask, of course, is whether it is also suited to post-pandemic times. And an article in the Economist seems to suggest that this may well be the case:

The Industrial Revolution ended the “putting-out system”, in which companies obtained raw materials but outsourced manufacturing to self-employed craftsmen who worked at home and were paid by output. Factories strengthened the tie between workers, now employed directly and paid by the hour, and workplace. The telegraph, telephone and, in the last century, containerised shipping and better information technology (IT), have allowed multinational companies to subcontract ever more tasks to ever more places. China became the world’s factory; India became its back office. Nearly three years after the pandemic began, it is clear that technology is once again profoundly redrawing the boundaries of the firm.


If you are a person embarking upon a new career today, not only is it possible for you to earn a fairly comfortable living working out of your home, wherever it may be located in the world, it is actually desirable to do so. Not for all people of course, but the pandemic, and the acceleration of technologies associated with the consequences of the pandemic, has made it possible for you to easily do so.

Part of the reason is, as the Economist article puts it, because of the fact that ‘measuring workers’ performance based on their actual output rather than time spent producing it’ has become progressively easier. That’s not a light sentence to write, by the way, because it hides at least two Nobel Prizes’ worth of work, if not more. And because it has become easier to specify what you want, and how to measure whether it is being done or not, the ‘putting-out’ system seems to be making a comeback of sorts.

A survey of nearly 500 American firms by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta last year found that 18% were using more independent contractors than in previous years; 2% said they used fewer. On top of that, 13% relied more on leased workers, compared with 1% who reduced this reliance.


Which, to my mind, means that we need to think about five big-picture questions as a consequence of this trend:

  1. How will this impact patterns of urbanization? This is not an easy question to think about!
  2. How will this impact education? Will there be the evolution of the putting out model in academia also? Why or why not, and what will the equilibrium look like? Also not an easy question to think about, and I now have a better appreciation for inertia.
  3. How will the certification of both learning and working evolve? Will freelancing now carry more weightage on a CV? Or less, as before? How should we think about what to look for on a fresher’s CV?
  4. How far away is ubiquitous VR? How will that impact the dynamics of working/learning from home?
  5. How will this impact work culture and college culture in the years to come, and how should we think about this from a normative perspective?

Why is it bad to be rich? Final take (for now)

Third blog post and counting in response to one simple question!

But as the title suggests, this will be the last one, I promise. Mostly.

But this last one, it is my favorite of the three, Here we go:

Have you heard of the European Super League?

The European Super League (ESL), officially The Super League, was a proposed seasonal club football competition that initially would have been contested by twenty European football clubs, twelve of them being the competition’s founding members. It was organised by the European Super League Company, S.L., a commercial enterprise created to rival the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier club football tournament organised by UEFA.
The announcement of the European Super League in April 2021 received wide opposition from fans, players, managers, politicians, and other clubs in England, which with six teams was the most represented country in the project. It also received opposition from UEFA, FIFA, and some national governments. Much of the criticism against the ESL was due to concerns about elitism and the lack of competitiveness within the competition, as it would have consisted of only high-ranking teams from a few European countries


There were many reasons to oppose the ESL, and I should at the outset make my own opinion clear – I abhor the idea. But the main reason to oppose it? The structure, or the format of the competition:

Inspired by European basketball’s EuroLeague, the proposed competition was to feature twenty clubs who would take part in matches against each other; fifteen of these would be permanent members, dubbed “founding clubs”, who would govern the competition’s operation, while five places would be given to clubs through a qualifying mechanism focused on the teams who performed best in their country’s most recent domestic season. Each year, the competition would see the teams split into two groups of ten, playing home-and-away in a double round-robin format for 18 group matches per team, with fixtures set to take place midweek to avoid disrupting the clubs’ involvement in their domestic leagues. At the end of these group matches, the top three of each group would qualify for the quarter-finals, while the teams finishing fourth and fifth from each group would compete in two-legged play-offs to decide the last two quarter-finalists. The remainder of the competition would take place in a four-week span at the end of the season, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals featuring two-legged ties, while the final would be contested as a single fixture at a neutral venue.Each season of the competition would feature 197 matches (180 in the group stage and 17 in the knockout stage)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Super_League (emphasis added)

A while ago, Tyler Cowen spoke with Luigi Zingales for a Conversations with Tyler episode. A truly wonderful episode, full of enjoyable insight, but this in particular really stuck with me:

I don’t understand why in the United States the only thing that is really noncompetitive is sports. In Europe, the only thing that is really competitive is sports. In Italy, soccer you are the first division, second division, you are promoted or demoted, according to performance. You don’t buy your way into the NFL or the Major League, et cetera.
Here, you buy the franchise, and once you’re in, no matter how incompetent you are, you stay there, which is completely un‑American.


The next three words in the transcript are, and I quote “laughter and applause”, but this is no laughing matter. Luigi Zingales is completely right, and is speaking about a ridiculously powerful idea: skin in the game.

The reason every single football fan I know, without exception, was completely set against the ESL is because it took away skin in the game. The top fifteen clubs would never be demoted from the league.

There was no fear of failure, and without fear of failure – without skin in the game – you can’t make the jump.

The way to make society more equal is by forcing (through skin in the game) the rich to be subjected to the risk of exiting from the one percent


You really should read the whole post on Medium (and then the entire book, and both at least twice, preferably once more, just to be sure), but think about what Nassim Nicholas Taleb is saying in that quote. Inequality, he says elsewhere in the post, is a zero-sum game. In countries such as the US, he says, the act of wealth creation is also an act of destruction (he means it in a Schumpeterian sense).

And that’s what Zingales is getting at when he says that sports in America is, well, un-American. The leagues there have no skin in the game, because no matter how incompetent you are, you never get demoted from the league. There is no creative destruction in American sports leagues.

And that was the problem with the ESL. There would have been no skin in the game, and that doesn’t sit well with us. The best team in the leagues as they are structured today begins with a clean slate next year, and while the probability that it will be demoted the next year is very low, it isn’t zero. Every team in, say, the English Premier League has skin in the game in this sense. And it really and truly matters.

And so my final answer to Navin’s question isn’t really my own, it is a quote from Taleb:

What people resent –or should resent –is the person at the top who has no skin in the game, that is, because he doesn’t bear his allotted risk, is immune to the possibility of falling from his pedestal, exiting the income or wealth bracket, and getting to the soup kitchen.

Inequality itself isn’t bad. Inequality in a rigged game, where there is no skin in the game? In that case, it is really and truly bad to be rich.

Please, do read Skin in the Game.

Minimizing Soul

The local JW Marriott in Pune has fed me thousands of calories over the years. I’ve been going there to eat hog for the last twelve years, and I’ve always left the premises with a full tummy and a truly contented mind. The ingreditents have always been top-notch, the preparations have always been tasty, the service has always been very good, and the staff have always been a perfect combination of friendliness and professionalism.

All good. But you knew there was a “but” on the way, didn’t you?

They have this loyalty scheme at the Marriott, called Club Marriott. Pay a certain amount of money upfront, in order to get discounts at restaurants, discounts on their spa services, the ability to use their swmming pool and some other freebies thrown in. It costs a little more than ten thousand rupees for the year, and if you are a reasonably regular patron at their restaurants, it certainly makes sense. And as my friends and family will queue up to tell you, the phrase “reasonably regular” is an understatement in my case.

The good thing about this membership scheme, at first glance, is that the price has stayed constant over the years. For as long as I can recall, it has been about the same price – a little more than ten thousand rupees per year. It used to be a coupon booklet and a membership card earlier, and it is now an app on your phone.

But inflation has certainly not been low over these years, let alone the same. Nor has the popularity of the hotel and its restaurants been the same. It has only gone up, as it should – for the service is truly top-notch.

Something’s gotta give, right?

And what has given way over time has been the return on the ten thousand rupees that one spends at the start of the one year period.

In the earliest version of the loyalty scheme, it was the case that two people could eat at half price. Three people could eat at a third off, while four or more (until a cap of twenty guests) could eat at one fourth off. You could book most rooms in the hotel at half off. You could make use of the jacuzzi, steam and sauna if you used the voucher that allowed you access to the pool.

And then, over time, it became the case that regardless of the number of people at the table (until twenty), you would always get only a thirty-three percent discount. Only the base rooms were made available for booking at a discount. You could use the pool, sure, but nothing else.

And this year, they have reduce the discount further still, to twenty-five percent.

All this might sound like me moaning and grumbling about what is very much a first world problem, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But the larger point I want to make is in relation to a post I wrote about two years ago:

Getting the most out of life can be thought of in two ways. It could mean living life to the fullest (however you might define this for your own sake). It could also mean getting the most out of life by minimizing time, effort and cost spent on any activity.


To me, that Marriott membership is about living life to the fullest. I am happy to pay more to get more, and that indeed is what the scheme is about from a microeconomic perspective. It is very much a form of price discrimination. It also involves the sunk cost fallacy, but that is a story for another day. But I have always thought of the membership as being about maximizing soul.

But by keeping the price of the membership the same and reducing over time the benefits associated with said membership, Marriott has turned it into a penny-pinching scheme. Purchasing the membership for the same price every year to get slightly lesser benefits is one way to evolve its pricing. Purchasing the memership for a slightly higher price every year to get slightly more benefits is another way to evolve its pricing.

It absolutely makes sense for the bean counters at the Marriott to maximize efficiency when it comes to inventory, labor, raw material purchases, electricity usage and the like. But should schemes about customer delight be about maximizing efficiency, or should they be about maximizing delight?

What is Marriott optimizing for, in other words? And when a luxury hotel optimies for penny-pinching, I’d argue it doesn’t make much sense.

My belly-aching about the pricing strategy at the Marriott aside, the larger point I want to get across is this: as a seller, you should be clear about the kind of business you are in, and the kind of experience you want you customer to have. Do you want to sell to the pay more to get more segment, or do you want to sell to the pay lesser to get lesser segment? Do you want to position yourself as a luxury good/service provider, or do you want to position yourself as a cheap and efficient good/service provider?

Either approach is fine, to be clear. But when you choose the second option in the case of the first question, and the first option in the case of the second question, you are likely going to face trouble down the road.

In the case of the Marriott, there are plenty of other factors at play. The propensity of Punekars (or Indians, for this is a pan-India scheme) to pay, what the competition is doing, how many other luxury hotels are there in the area are other obvious questions you must analyze.

I’ll still renew my membership, in all probability. But it no longer is a scheme that delights me. It has become, instead, a scheme that can save me some moeny every time I go to the Marriott. In the language of the microeconomist, it is more about the budget line than it is about the indifference curve.

The membership no long maximizes soul.

And more’s the pity.

The End of the College Submission (Thank God)

This blog post is a riff on Seth’s post from the other day, titled “The End of the High School Essay“:

New York City schools are trying to ban GPT3 because it’s so good at writing superficial essays that it undermines the command structure of the essay as a sorting tool. An easy thing to assign (and a hard thing to grade) just became an easy task to hack.
High school essays had a huge range of problems, and banning the greatest essay device since Danny Dunn and his Homework Machine is not the answer. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to find a better way forward.
The first challenge of the essay was the asymmetrical difficulty in giving useful feedback. 30 essays, 5 minutes each, do the math. It doesn’t scale, and five minutes isn’t even close to enough time to honor the two hours you asked a student to put into the work.


Exams in almost all of the colleges and universities I have taught at don’t mean a thing. The students know this, the faculty knows this, the examination department knows this, but we all keep up the charade that Meaningful Work Is Being Done through the conduct of examinations.

Newsflash: there is no meaningful work being done. It is a complete farce.

Some universities choose to not pay faculty members for correcting papers at the end of the semester. Let’s assume a college is paying a visiting faculty member two thousand rupees per hour to teach a class. They might slip in a line towards the end: this also includes examination duties. In English, this means that if you teach a thirty hour course, you will be paid sixty thousand rupees for those thirty hours. So far, so good. But “also includes examination duties” means that for a batch of (say) a hundred and twenty students, you are also expected to design question papers (a set of two, usually) and correct a hundred and twenty answer sheets.

Even if you assume that one is able to correct paper after paper without taking a break, with five minutes being the time taken per paper, that still means that at least ten hours worth of work. Which means, of course, that you are not being paid two thousand rupees per hour, but rather fifteen hundred. Accounting is a subject that may well be taught at universities – that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is practised at universities.

Some other universities offer to pay forty rupees per answer sheet corrected. Which is better than zero, admittedly, but we then run into the problem of incentives. If you’re paid two thousand rupees to teach, and forty rupees per paper to correct answer sheets, how many answer sheets should you correct in an hour to “make” the same wage? And if fifty answer sheets being corrected in an hour is clearly far too many, how do you expect this incentive to work? Or do we teach our students that incentives matter, but ignore this point ourselves?

Students know the farcical nature of examinations all too well. The pandemic took away that last remaining fig leaf of dignity that surrounds examinations, and the ostrich-in-the-sand approach that most universities have adopted post-pandemic is that of closed-book, no-internet-access examinations. Quite how this pen-and-paper examination is supposed to prepare students for what they will do in the real world is a question nobody wants to raise, let alone answer.

And so students quite reasonably ask for “the pattern of the paper”, or the “important questions” or the “important topics” before an examination. They are, in other words, seeking to minimize efforts in order to maximize marks scored in an examination. The tragedy lies in the fact that academia is supposed to be about maximizing learning. But on and on we go, in our mad headlong rush to maximize NAAC scores, difficult and uncomfortable questions about examinations be damned.

But all that these pen-and-paper examinations do is to train students to produce mediocre output that AI can already produce – and of a much better quality than these scribbled answers in answer sheets will ever produce. That’s not a knock against students; it is praise for how good AI has already gotten.

Think about it, for this is a point that bears repetition. Our examination system is geared towards training students to do a worse job than AI, by definition. And for this, we take money from students and their families, and we call it “an education”. Pah.

Now, I’m well aware of the fact that this is not applicable in all cases. There are some subjects/courses in the social sciences where these kind of examinations are entirely justified. And medical and engineering fields is a whole separate story. But I’m not arguing for an extreme solution – I’m saying that the pendulum has swung far too much over into Luddite territory when it comes to examinations and submissions. We need to wake up and smell the AI, and adjust accordingly.

But how? Well, the easy thing to do is to say that’s a difficult answer to give in a blogpost, but here’s Seth Godin again:

The answer is simple but difficult: Switch to the Sal Khan model. Lectures at home, classes are for homework.

When we’re on our own, our job is to watch the best lecture on the topic, on YouTube or at Khan Academy. And in the magic of the live classroom, we do our homework together.

In a school that’s privileged enough to have decent class sizes and devices in the classroom, challenge the students to actually discuss what they’ve read or learned. In real-time, teach them to not only create arguments but to get confident enough to refute them. Not only can the teacher ask a student questions, but groups of students can ask each other questions. Sure, they can use GPT or other tools to formulate where they begin, but the actual work is in figuring out something better than that.
At first, this is harder work for the teacher, but in fact, it’s what teachers actually signed up to do when they become teachers.

This is far less cohesive and controllable than the industrial model of straight rows and boring lectures. It will be a difficult transition indeed. But it’s simple to think about: If we want to train people to take initiative, to question the arguments of others, to do the reading and to create, perhaps the best way to do that is to have them do that.

We’ll never again need to hire someone to write a pretty good press release, a pretty good medical report or a pretty good investor deck. Those are instant, free and the base level of mediocre. The opportunity going forward remains the same: Bringing insight and guts to interesting problems.


Kill our current mode of examinations, and help build a world in which we have passionate teachers who help students create. Not a world in which we minimize soul, and maximize those stupid, accursed “marks”.

But on and on we go. Pah.

The Physics of Entropy and the Origin of Life

My Personal Favorite Post from 2022

I don’t have a career plan, and the paths my career has taken would drive a career counsellor mad.

But then again, I’m the kind of idiot who thinks this to be a good thing.

But there are two things I have done in my career that fill me with genuine pride. One is this blog. The second is the undergraduate program at the Gokhale Institute. The first is a solo endeavor, the second was very much a team game – and both are creations, not certifications/titles. Both are my attempts at making the world a better place, and on reflection, that is my career plan. To chip away at making the world a slightly better place.

And for that second reason, leaving Gokhale Institute this year was a bittersweet emotion. But not just because of that secon reason. Gokhale Institute is, to me, a very sacred place.

Gokhale Institute was, is, and always will be home for me. I have played in the campus as a kid, I have walked hesitantly into the library as an undergrad student at Ferguson, and I have done my Masters and my PhD from there. I have taught at least one course over there every year from 2010 onwards, and I hope that record lasts for as long as possible. Some of my closest friends today were batchmates with me at GIPE, and my wife is a subset of this group too.

I am not a professor of economics in the conventional sense of the term. I am not looking to have a great publication record when it comes to academic journals, nor am I looking to attend conferences to present papers. Not, to be clear, because I think those things aren’t good things. But because that is neither my calling, nor my comparative advantage.

My calling, as best as I can tell, is teaching. I revel in the “ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!” sound that students make when they realize the relevance and the importance of a concept. I love taking what seems like a difficult, irrelevant and abstruse idea, and slowly breaking it down so that students understand both what it means and why it matters. I love recommending books, blogs, videos, podcasts and tweets to students – and often at a scale that they simply cannot think of finshing in a semester. My job, as I see it, is to help people learn better.

Because one sure-shot way of making the world better is by helping more people learn better. And the younger your audience, the better. Ergo the undergrad program at the Gokhale Institute.

And for all these reasons, having to leave the program, and the Institute, was (and is) so bittersweet.

My personal favorite post was as much an au revoir to the first batch of the undergrad program as it was an au revoir to the Institute itself.

I’m still teaching, of course I am. That is, after all, my calling in life. I’m teaching even younger folks than undergraduate students, so at least along one dimension, I’m doing even better at my personal goals. And in some ways, I hope to double down on this blog (and related efforts) in 2023. So teaching continues, thank god.

But knowing when to walk away is an important skill in life, no matter how bitterwseet your emotions. Being clear about your reasons in your own head helps, and writing that post helped me achieve just that.

And so that post was about the following:

  1. An important call regarding my career (if one can call it that)
  2. Helping me make clear to myself what my reasons were for leaving
  3. An au revoir to all the students at GIPE (not just the batch it was ostensibly addressed to)
  4. An au revoir to my favorite college in the whole wide world.

And for all these reasons, So Long, Farewell was my personal favorite of 2022.