Arfa Karim Randhwa of Multan, Faisalabad, Pakistan has been accredited as the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) at age 9. The requirements for MCP are by no means trivial. No details on which exam she wrote but Desktop Support Technician seems like one of the easier routes to MCP with 4 courses requiring installation, management and troubleshooting knowledge of the windows environment (hardware, filesystem, networking etc) and applications (office, outlook, etc). She studied through Applied Technologies (APTECH) (whose website is a disgrace) in a single summer vacation. She comes from a rural, agricultural background with her father working for United Nations in Congo and her mother acting as the landlady in his absence. She also won a national singing competition. Not an astonishing story, but it does set an excellent precedent for Pakistani youth — a little encouragement goes a long way. Pakistan could use a lot more intellectual capital. What can be done to promote the youth and build intellectual capital?
Personally, between her and Andy, I’d bet on her. Not because I have little faith in Andy, no. I’d bet on her because she’s younger, and if she is already where Andy is getting to, then she has additional 25 – 30 years to get even further ahead. I remember myself when I were working for iStar. 17, prime condition, were going to school from 8:30 to 15:30, worked from 16:00 to 2:00am, sleeping 5 hours a day, if not less, learning computer security, Solaris system administration and Cisco routing on my own time and that was when? Less then 10 years ago. Now a days, an allnighter would probably kill me, and I look in awe at folks who are 19 – 20 and are able to grok Galois Theory just like that, while still partying and drinking beer.
I am not stupid and slow because I am lazy. I am stupid and slow because brain gets rusty from lack of excercise. There are many theories why this is the case – some call it “age”, some think that certain neural links in brain have harder time forming as we get older. Maybe. In any event, the message I have today, esteemed readers (all three of you) is: Apply yourself, and do the best you can do, and then some. Take that chance to advance, to learn something new, to do something. Because if the opportunity will knock next time, you might just not be able to keep up with it. And $DEITY forbid, don’t drop out of school, don’t get seduced by the “real world”. Yes, academentia is demented. But you can always take the parts that are interesting, and build on them. Who knows, maybe you will end up doing something that will be truly innovative in your field in the end. In worst case you will be able to look back, and not regret the fact that you didn’t try.
New Scientist has an 11 step guide to better brain. I wonder…. In my experience Nootropil works, but you need to take it 3 times a day for at least 3 weeks to start seeing effect. And because it’s not sold in Canada, supplies I bring over usually last for only so long *sigh*.
P.S. I guess we need a category “Rant” for occasional things like this.