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Albert Einstein at School
By- Patrick Pringle
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English
Einstein was studying at a German school in Munich. His History teacher Mr Braun asked him in which year Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo by the Prussians. The boy confessed bluntly that he didn’t know the year, and he must have forgotten. The teacher wanted to know if Einstein ever tried to learn. Einstein again said with usual honesty that he did not see any point in learning dates. He argued that one can always look up the dates in a book. There was no sense in learning facts which were not the aim of education. The teacher then asked the boy to tell the class his theory of education.
Albert Einstein told the class that in his opinion it was more important to know the ideas than to learn dates or facts. He would rather like to know why the soldiers tried to kill one another. The teacher shouted that Einstein was a disgrace to the school, and he had better ask his father to take him away.
Albert felt very miserable. It was a had day. He didn’t feel like going back to that hateful school the following morning. But his father was not likely to lake him away until he (Einstein) had taken his diploma. Being poor, he was putting up in a room m the poorest part of Munich. He hated that place also because of a slum atmosphere. His landlady beat her children regularly. and on weekends she herself was thrashed by her drunk husband.
Albert was lucky to have a very sincere friend — Yuri. Ile discussed his problem of schooling as well as lodging with him. He doubted if he would ever pass the exams for the school diploma. He discussed his problem with his cousin, Elsa, when she came to Munich. She advised him to take the bean and just repeat what he learnt in the examination. But his problem was that he was not good at learning things by heart. She enquired which book he was carrying under his arm. It was a book on Geology and not a textbook at all. He studied it because he liked the subject. His second interest was music, He played upon his violin regularly until his landlady asked him to stop that noise. She had already enough of howling by the kids.
Albert told Yuri after six months that he must get away from there. It was absurd that he should waste his father’s money. He wished to go to Milan, Italy. He requested Yuri to get him a doctor’s certificate that he had a nervous breakdown and he must leave the city. Yuri contacted his friend, Dr. Ernst Weil, though not a specialist in nervous disorders. He asked Albert to be honest about his intention of meeting the doctor. The doctor agreed to certify that Albert had a nervous breakdown, and he must stay away from school for six months. The doctor didn’t charge any fee for his service. Six months was a pretty long period. Albert won’t be leaving the school, and need be, he could come back to do his diploma.
Albert planned to take that medical certificate to the head teacher the next day. But Yuri advised him to get a reference in writing from his Maths teacher, Mr Koch, first. Mr Koch agreed with Albert that the latter was wasting his time in that class in Munich because he knew much more than even his teacher. He gave a certificate that Albert was ready to join some college for the study of higher Maths.
The head teacher sent for Albert and told him that he wanted the boy to leave the school at once. It was a sort of expulsion. The other way was that Albert should go of his own accord. The head teacher’s point was that Albert refused to learn, and he was in constant rebellion. Albert declared that he was going to leave even otherwise. He walked out of the office and the school where he had spent five miserable years. Yuri saw him off with good wishes and good luck. He hoped that Albert would he happier in Milan.