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Albert Einstein at School
By- Patrick Pringle
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value-based questions-
1. How did Albert feel at school and at his lodging in Munich?
Ans. Albert was studying in a German school in Munich. But he felt very cramped and suffocated there. He was intelligent, honest and truthful. He admitted frankly that he did not believe in learning the dates of historical events. In his opinion, ideas mattered much more than facts. He was taunted and scoled by Mr Braun every day. His interest lay chiefly in Maths and Geology. The History teacher reported against him to the Headmaster who threatened to expel him. So he felt miserable there.
Due to lack of money his father had rented a room for Albert in a very poor locality. The atmosphere of slum violence there disturbed him a lot. The landlady objected to his playing the violin and she shouted and beat up her children every day.
2. What was Albert’s philosophy of education? Do you subscribe to his view?
Ans. Albert had a brilliant mind. He studied Geology when hardly any Science was taught at school. He clashed with his History teacher one day. He declared that he did not see any point in learning dates of battles. He explained his theory of education to the class. He said that ideas mattered more than the dates of battles.
Mr Braun called him a disgrace, an ungrateful boy who had better leave school. Albert Einstein’s philosophy of education certainly makes sense. No sensible person can support simply cramming the subjects for passing exams.
3. Bring out the contribution of Yuri, Maths teacher, Mr Koch and Dr Ernst Well in enabling Albert to move off to Milan?
Ans. Albert felt miserable in his school in Munich. Neither the teachers nor the quality of education suited his taste. He wanted to leave Munich and go back to his parents in Milan for higher studies. He felt that he was wasting his time at the Munich school. He sought the help of his only friend Yuri in this regard. Yuri helped him get a medical certificate from his doctor friend Ernst Weil. The doctor recommended that Albert needed a change for six months in view of his likelihood of a nervous breakdown. Equally helpful was Mr Koch, the Maths teacher. He admitted that Albert knew a little more Maths than him, and should join some college for the study of higher Maths. Thus, these three persons accelerated his departure.
4. Yuri was a great help to Albert while in Munich. Comment and Justify.
Ans. Albert Einstein was, so to say, a loner, a boy isolated at school as well as at his lodgings in Munich. The only person who stood by Albert was his friend Yuri. He put his problem before Yuri and sought his help in leaving his school as well as the city. Yuri tried in vain to persuade. Albert to pass the exam for the school diploma. Yuri agreed, at last, to take Albert to Dr Ernst Well to get him a medical certificate. The doctor certified that Albert was close to a nervous breakdown and must stay away from school for six months at least. Yuri also advised Albert to get a testimonial from his Maths teacher. He finally said goodbye and good luck to Albert, before the latter left Munich for Milan.
5. Describe how History teacher and the Headmaster humiliated Albert.
Ans. The History teacher, Mr Braun, was chiefly to blame for driving Albert out of school and then out of Munich. He humiliated Albert in the classroom. He asked the boy in which year the Prussians had defeated the French. Albert told him that he did not see any sense in learning the dates and facts by heart. He explained his theory of education that facts were not so important as ideas and students should try to know the reason behind such wars.
Mr Braun called him a disgrace, an ungrateful boy who ought to be ashamed of himself. He complained against the boy to the head teacher who again treated Albert harshly. He was going to expel the boy for disturbing the class. Albert left the school on his own accord and moved off to Milan, Italy.
6. Bring out some of the distinguished qualities of Albert’s character.
Ans. Albert Einstein had a very bad time in Munich. He was grossly misunderstood by his school teacher. They thought that the boy was a constant nuisance as he refused to learn facts and figures and was rebellious or unruly by nature, so he had better leave school. Albert, in fact, had a brilliant mind and was much ahead of his classmates. He had a keen interest in higher Maths, Science and subjects like Geology. He was sensitive and head-strong but also very honest and straightforward. His tastes were refined. He loved music and played the violin. He was keen to join some college to study higher Maths. He felt miserable at his lodging as well. He hated the slum-like atmosphere and violence there. He wanted to go beyond the textbook and explore his favourite subjects deeply.