Albert Einstein at School Summary Class 11 English Chapter 4 Explanation, Question Answers


By Vaishnavi Tyagi



CBSE Class 11 English Chapter 4 Albert Einstein at School Summary, Explanation with Video, Question Answers from Snapshots Book



Albert Einstein at School Class 11 – CBSE Class 11 English Snapshots Book Chapter 4 Albert Einstein at School Summary and Detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the Lesson. All the exercises along with Question Answers given at the back of the lessons have been covered. Also, Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 11

Class 11 English Chapter 4 (Snapshots book) – Albert Einstein at School

By Patrick Pringle


Albert Einstein at School Introduction

The lesson “Albert Einstein at School” is an extract from the biography of Albert Einstein, named “The Young Einstein” by Patrick Pringle. In this lesson, Patrick familiarises the reader with those years in Einstein’s life where he was struggling each day in school and as each day passed, the school diploma felt like a far-fetched dream. It throws light upon a few encounters with his teacher, what he felt about the neighborhood he lived in and how he had only one good friend, Yuri. The way Albert strategizes to get out of the miserable place (school) and how things turned around in the end, makes the story even more interesting.


Albert Einstein at School Class 11 Video Explanation




Click Here Albert Einstein at School MCQs

Albert Einstein at School Summary

Albert Einstein at School Summary – The lesson begins with little Albert’s encounter with his history teacher, where the teacher is asking him about a particular date from the past and as usual, our unattentive Albert doesn’t know the answer. This moment leads us to a little speech given by Einstein in the class about what “education” should include and what they are being taught is irrelevant. It ends up in him being punished by the teacher, which again, is not new. Then the lesson talks about how Albert disliked his neighborhood because of all the slum violence and compared it to his best friend, Yuri’s neighborhood who did not like his’ either. Albert even expresses his worries to his cousin Elsa from Berlin who thinks he can pass if he made a  little effort. At this point, Albert starts strategizing his way to get out of the school and he suddenly gets an idea that involves a doctor who is willing to help him. He wanted the doctor to know that he had a nervous breakdown and prescribe that the root cause of it is school, and he shall stay as far away from it as he could. This is where Yuri agrees and sets up an appointment with his friend, a freshly-qualified doctor who he warns is hard to befool. Albert thinks about his conversation with the doctor so much that at this point, he is actually nervous. On meeting the doctor, he comes to know that Yuri has already told him everything and the doctor is ready to help him. The doctor understands how tiring school can be, asks Albert his plans after he gets out of school and realizes he is doing no good to him or anyone by staying there. Thus, he hands him his medical certificate and in turn asks him to take Yuri out for a meal. Although excited Albert had no money to spare, he took Yuri out for supper. He is next seen with his maths teacher who is giving him a referral to make it easier for him to get into a college for pursuing higher mathematics.
Einstein had studied all the maths they teach in school and even some more. He is then summoned to the head teacher’s room where he is told to walk away as hardly any serious work can be accomplished when he is around. As tempting it was for Albert to tell the head teacher the truth and what he thought about his school, he resisted it and walked straight out of the school with his head high. He said goodbye to his only friend Yuri and Elsa was back in Berlin by that time. At last, Albert was out of school.


Albert Einstein at School Summary in Hindi

पाठ की शुरुआत अल्बर्ट के अपने इतिहास शिक्षक के साथ हुई, जहाँ शिक्षक उससे अतीत की एक विशेष तारीख के बारे में पूछ रहा है और हमेशा की तरह, हमारे असावधान अल्बर्ट को इसका जवाब नहीं पता है। यह क्षण हमें आइंस्टीन द्वारा कक्षा में दिए गए एक छोटे से भाषण की ओर ले जाता है कि “शिक्षा” में क्या शामिल होना चाहिए और जो उन्हें पढ़ाया जा रहा है वह अप्रासंगिक है। इसके अंत में उसे शिक्षक द्वारा दंडित किया जाता है, जो एक नै बात नहीं है। फिर पाठ इस बारे में बात करता है कि कैसे अल्बर्ट ने झुग्गी-झोपड़ी की हिंसा के कारण अपने पड़ोस को नापसंद किया और इसकी तुलना अपने सबसे अच्छे दोस्त, यूरी के पड़ोस से की, यूरी भी अपने पड़ोस को नापसंद करता था । अल्बर्ट बर्लिन में रहने वाली अपनी चचेरी बहन एल्सा को भी अपनी चिंता व्यक्त करता है, जो मानती है कि अगर अल्बर्ट थोड़ा प्रयास करे तो वह पास हो सकता है।
इस बिंदु पर, अल्बर्ट स्कूल से बाहर निकलने के अपने तरीके की रणनीति बनाना शुरू कर देता है और उसे अचानक एक विचार आता है जिसमें एक डॉक्टर शामिल होता है जो उसकी मदद करने को तैयार होता है। वह चाहता था कि डॉक्टर को पता चले कि उसे नर्वस ब्रेकडाउन हो गया है और वह बताता है कि इसका मूल कारण स्कूल है, और वह जितना हो सके उससे दूर रहेगा। इस विचार पर यूरी अल्बर्ट से सहमत होता है और अपने दोस्त के साथ एक नियुक्ति की स्थापना करता है। वहएक ताजा-योग्य डॉक्टर ढूंढता है और अल्बर्ट को चेतावनी देता है, कि डॉक्टर को बेवकूफ बनाना मुश्किल है। अल्बर्ट डॉक्टर के साथ अपनी बातचीत के बारे में इतना सोचता है कि इस समय वह वास्तव में घबरा जाता है। डॉक्टर से मिलने पर उसे पता चलता है कि यूरी उसे पहले ही सब कुछ बता चुका है और डॉक्टर उसकी मदद के लिए तैयार है। डॉक्टर समझता है कि स्कूल कितना थका देने वाला हो सकता है, स्कूल से निकलने के बाद अल्बर्ट से उसकी योजनाएँ पूछता है और महसूस करता है कि वह वहाँ रहकर किसी का भी भला नहीं कर पा रहा है । इस प्रकार, वह उसे अपना चिकित्सा प्रमाण पत्र देता है और बदले में यूरी को भोजन के लिए बाहर ले जाने के लिए कहता है। हालांकि अल्बर्ट के पास पैसे नहीं थे, उत्साहित होकर वह यूरी को रात के खाने के लिए बाहर ले गया। वह अगली बार अपने गणित शिक्षक के साथ देखा जाता है जो उसे उच्च गणित का पीछा करने के लिए कॉलेज में प्रवेश आसान बनाने के लिए एक रेफरल देता है।
आइंस्टीन ने स्कूल में पढ़ाए जाने वाली गणित का अध्ययन किया था और उससे अधिक विषय भी पढ़े थे । फिर उसे प्रधानाध्यापक के कमरे में बुलाया जाता है, जहाँ उसे वहाँ से चले जाने के लिए कहा जाता है क्योंकि जब वह आसपास होता है तो शायद ही कोई गंभीर काम पूरा किया जा सकता है। अल्बर्ट के लिए मुख्य शिक्षक को सच बताना और अपने स्कूल के बारे में जो कुछ भी वह सोचता था, उसे लुभाने के लिए, उसने इसका विरोध किया और अपना सिर ऊँचा करके सीधे स्कूल से बाहर चला गया। उसने अपने इकलौते दोस्त यूरी और एल्सा को अलविदा कह दिया और बर्लिन वापिस लौट गया । आखिरकार अल्बर्ट स्कूल से बाहर हो गया।


Important Videos Links

Class 11 Important Questions Videos Class 11 English Hornbill and Snapshots Book MCQs Video
Class 11 Snapshots Book Chapter wise Explanation Class 11 Hornbill Book Chapter wise Explanation

Albert Einstein at School Lesson Explanation

Passage – Albert Einstein (1879–1955) is regarded as the greatest physicist since Newton. In the following extract from The Young Einstein, the well-known biographer, Patrick Pringle, describes the circumstances which led to Albert Einstein’s expulsion from a German school.

Word meaning
Biographer– a person who writes an account of someone else
Expulsion– the action of forcing someone to leave an organization

Explanation of the above passage – The lesson is about the famous theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. It is taken from the biography named ‘The Young Einstein’ written by Patrick Pringle. The lesson talks about how Albert Einstein hated school, wanted to leave it and then was forced out of it.

Passage – “IN what year, Einstein,” asked the history teacher, “did the Prussians defeat the French at Waterloo?” “I don’t know, sir,” “Why don’t you know? You’ve been told it often enough.” “I must have forgotten.” “Did you ever try to learn?” asked Mr Braun. “No, sir,” Albert replied with his usual unthinking honesty. “Why not?” “I can’t see any point in learning dates. One can always look them up in a book.” Mr Braun was speechless for a few moments. “You amaze me, Einstein,” he said at last. “Don’t you realise that one can always look most things up in books? That applies to all the facts you learn at school.” “Yes, sir.” “Then I suppose you don’t see any point in learning facts.” “Frankly, sir, I don’t,” said Albert.

Explanation of the above passage – The lesson begins with an account of Albert with his history teacher where the teacher asks him about the year in which the Prussians defeated the French at Waterloo. As usual, Einstein does not remember it to which Mr. Braun points out that the reason for this is because Einstein never bothers to learn them. Albert justifies that he finds it pointless to digest dates because one can always look them up in books whenever needed. The answer left Mr. Braun dumbstruck for a while. Finally, he replies and tells him that similarly, most of the things being taught in school can be looked up in the books and there is no point in mugging up facts. Einstein, without realising that the statement was sarcastic, agrees with him.

Passage – “Then you don’t believe in education at all?” “Oh, yes, sir, I do. I don’t think learning facts is education.” “In that case,” said the history teacher with heavy sarcasm, “perhaps you will be so kind as to tell the class the Einstein theory of education.”

Explanation of the above passage – Professor concludes that if Einstein doesn’t see any point in grasping facts, then he should not also be a believer and follower of education. Albert very clearly replies that he is undoubtedly vested in the idea of education but according to him, merely digesting facts is not education. The history teacher, then in an attempt to mock him in front of the whole class, asks about his elaborate version of ideal education.

Passage – Albert flushed. “I think it’s not facts that matter, but ideas,” he said. “I don’t see the point in learning the dates of battles, or even which of the armies killed more men. I’d be more interested in learning why those soldiers were trying to kill each other.” “That’s enough,” Mr Braun’s eyes were cold and cruel. “We don’t want a lecture from you, Einstein. You will stay in for an extra period today, although I don’t imagine it will do you much good. It won’t do the school any good, either. You are a disgrace. I don’t know why you continue to come.” “It’s not my wish, sir,” Albert pointed out. “Then you are an ungrateful boy and ought to be ashamed of yourself. I suggest you ask your father to take you away.”

Explanation of the above passage – Again, being very clear about his idea of education, Albert explains that it is useless to acquire knowledge on dates of battles and number of men that were compromised. What is important is to read and analyse the reasons that were responsible for the battle between the two armies. Mr Braun got extremely angry and interrupted Albert’s speech and punished him to stay for extra classes, even if it were of no good to anyone including Albert. The teacher then calls him a “disgrace” expressing his displeasure of having him around. Albert mentions that he doesn’t want to be there either. The teacher then remarkably calls him an “ungrateful boy” who should be ashamed and suggests that his father to take him away from school.

Passage – Albert felt miserable when he left school that afternoon; not that it had been a bad day—most days were bad now, anyway— but because he had to go back to the hateful place the next morning. He only wished his father would take him away, but there was no point in even asking. He knew what the answer would be: he would have to stay until he had taken his diploma.

Word meaning
Miserable– unhappy

Explanation of the above passage – That afternoon, Albert was unhappy when he left school. It was not that the day was bad but in general, days were getting bad at school and he hated the thought of going to school every morning. His only wish was that his father would take him to Italy along with him but it was pointless to ask him because he would anyway make him stay here until he completed his diploma.

Passage – Going back to his lodgings did not cheer him up. His father had so little money to spare that Albert had been found a room in one of the poorest quarters of Munich. He did not mind the bad food and lack of comfort, or even the dirt and squalor, but he hated the atmosphere of slum violence. His landlady beat her children regularly, and every Saturday her husband came drunk and beat her.

Word meaning
Lodgings– temporary accommodation or a room rented out to someone, usually in the same residence as the owner
Squalor– the state of being extremely dirty and unpleasant, especially as a result of poverty and neglect

Explanation of the above passage – School was surely an unpleasant place for Einstein but his place of stay in Munich was nothing better. Because of limited cash availability with his father, he had to stay within the poorest neighbourhood in Munich. However, poverty, bad food, dirt and lack of comfort hardly bothered him, it was the frequent fights at the place that he hated. Even the landlady’s family was a violent one where she used to hit her kids every now and then while her husband beat her every Saturday after he came back home drunk.

Passage – “But at least you have a room of your own, which is more than I can say,” said Yuri when he called round in the evening. “At least you live among civilised human beings, even if they are all poor students,” said Albert. “They are not all civilised,” Yuri replied. “Did you not hear that one of them was killed last week in a duel?” “And what happens to the one who killed him?” “Nothing, of course. He is even proud of it. His only worry is that the authorities have told him not to fight any more duels. He’s upset about this because he hasn’t a single scar on his face to wear for the rest of his life as a badge of honour.” “Ugh!” exclaimed Albert. “And these are the students.” “Well, you’ll be a student one day,” said Yuri. “I doubt it,” said Albert glumly.

Word meaning
Duel– A contest with deadly weapons arranged between two people in order to settle a point of honour

Explanation of the above passage – Now here, we are introduced to his friend Yuri who is also not very fortunate. He reminds Albert that he should be glad about the fact that he has a room of his own to live even though the neighbourhood is not something he likes. In return, Albert reminds Yuri that even though Yuri lives among poor students, they are all civilised and non-violent. Yuri interrupts to correct him that not all of them have manners and only last week, one was killed in a fight. The one who killed him did not face any circumstances except never being allowed to play a duel again. The only regret that guy had was that he won’t be able to show-off a scar as a symbol of bravery. Albert sighs at the state of students pursuing diplomas. Yuri then gives Albert some hope by saying that he will be a student too, to which Albert expresses his doubtfulness.

Passage – “I don’t think I’ll ever pass the exams for the school diploma.” He told his cousin Elsa the same next time she came to Munich. Normally she lived in Berlin, where her father had a business. “I’m sure you could learn enough to pass the exams, Albert, if you tried,” she said, “I know lots of boys who are much more stupid than you are, who get through. They say you don’t have to know anything— you don’t have to understand what you’re taught, just be able to repeat it in the exams.” “That’s the whole trouble,” said Albert. “I’m no good at learning things by heart.”

Explanation of the above passage – Albert expresses his concern to his cousin Elsa saying that it is not very likely for him to pass exams. Elsa, who had come to visit Einstein in Munich, normally lived in Berlin, the place of her family business. Elsa tried to convince Albert to learn just enough to pass the exams by learning and repeating facts and that, she had seen a lot of dull guys do it. Albert, again, exclaimed that learning things by heart is not his best suite.

Passage – “You don’t need to be good at it. Anyone can learn like a parrot. You just don’t try. And yet I always see you with a book under your arm,” added Elsa. “What is the one you’re reading?” “A book on geology.” “Geology? Rocks and things? Do you learn that?” “No. We have hardly any science at school.” “Then why are you studying it?” “Because I like it. Isn’t that a good enough reason?” Elsa sighed. “You’re right, of course, Albert,” she said. “But it won’t help with your diploma.”

Explanation of the above passage – Elsa presented her counter-agreement that anyone can learn like a parrot but for that, one needs to try which Albert doesn’t. She then expresses irony by mentioning that he always has a book under his arm. Albert tells her that it is a book on Geology which is not taught in school. He adds that they are hardly taught Science at school. Elsa doesn’t understand why he is reading the book if it is not a part of his curriculum. Albert clarifies that he likes studying science and considers it a reason good enough to read it.  Elsa understands this but also warns him that it is not going to help him in passing his diploma.

Passage – Apart from books on science his only comfort was music, and he played his violin regularly until his landlady asked him to stop. “That wailing gets on my nerves,” she said. “There’s enough noise in this house, with all the kids howling.” Albert was tempted to point out that most of the time it was she who made them howl, but he decided it was better to say nothing.

Word meaning
Wailing– crying with pain or anger
Howling– making a howling sound

Class 11 Important Links

Class 11th English Hornbill and Snapshots Lessons Explanation, Question Answers Class 11 English Hornbill Book Poems
Class 11 English Snapshots Book Lessons Explanation Class 11th English Hornbill and Snapshots Book MCQs
Take Free MCQ Test for Class 11 English


Explanation of the above passage – Albert was very fond of reading science books and the only other thing that brought him joy and peace was music. He played the violin a lot but only until his landlady told him to stop.
The sound, supposedly irritated her and she justified by saying that kids already make a lot of noise in the house. Albert wanted to say that she is the one who made her kids cry all the time but somehow resisted the urge to say it, probably for the better.

Passage – “I must get away from here,” he told Yuri, after six months alone in Munich. “It is absurd that I should go on like this. In the end it will turn out I have been wasting my father’s money and everyone’s time. It will be better for all if I stop now.” “And then what will you do?” Yuri asked. “I don’t know. If I go to Milan I’m afraid my father will send me back. Unless…” His eyes gleamed with a sudden idea. “Yuri, do you know any friendly doctors?” “I know a lot of medical students, and some of them are friendly,” said Yuri. “Doctor, no. I’ve never had enough money to go to one. Why?”

Explanation of the above passage – After being in Munich alone for six months, Albert expressed to Yuri that he feels its high time he moves away from here. He sees no point in carrying on like this because if he does, it is only going to result in wastage of his father’s money, everyone’s time and efforts. Yuri asked if he has any backup plans to which Albert says that going to Milan wouldn’t be such a great idea because his father would send him back. They were discussing all about it when suddenly, an idea occurred to him. He asked Yuri if he knew any doctors. Unfortunately, Yuri could never afford to go to one but he did have a lot of friends from the medical field.

Passage – “Suppose,” said Albert, “that I had a nervous breakdown. Suppose a doctor would say it’s bad for me to go to school, and I need to get right away from it?”

Explanation of the above passage – Albert’s idea included a nervous breakdown and a doctor that could advise him that school is bad for him and he needs to stay as far as he could from it.

Passage – “I can’t imagine a doctor saying that,” said Yuri. “I must try,” said Albert, “to find a doctor who specialises in nerves.” “There are plenty of them,” Yuri told him. He hesitated for a moment, and then added, rather reluctantly, “I’ll ask some of the students if they know one, if you like.” “Will you? Oh, thank you, Yuri,” Albert’s eyes were shining. “Wait a moment, I haven’t found one yet…” “Oh, but you will!” “And if I do I don’t know if he’ll be willing to help you…” “He will, he will,” declared Albert. “I’m going to have a real nervous breakdown, to make it easier for him.” He laughed merrily. “I’ve never seen you looking less nervous,” remarked Yuri. “A day or two at school will soon put that right.” Albert assured him.

Explanation of the above passage – Yuri didn’t think the idea was a success because it was merely likely for a doctor to advise something like that. Albert still wanted to give it a try and find a doctor that specialises in nerves. Yuri offers to ask one of his friends about such a doctor. Albert expressed his gratitude. Yuri told him not to have his hopes high but little. Albert was all hopeful and positive about finding a suitable doctor that will be willing to help him. He even went to the extent of offering to showcase an actual breakdown to make it seem more real. He was full of hope and Yuri had never seen him feeling like that. Albert told him not to worry about that because a day or two at school would restore him back to his troubled state.

Passage – Certainly he had lost his high spirits when Yuri saw him next. “I can’t stand it any longer,” he said, “I really shall have a nervous breakdown that will satisfy any doctor.” “Keep it up, then,” said Yuri. “I’ve found a doctor for you.” “You have?” Albert’s face lit up. “Oh, good. When can I see him?” “I have an appointment for you for tomorrow evening.” Yuri said. “Here’s the address.” He handed Albert a piece of paper. “Doctor Ernst Weil -is he a specialist in nervous troubles?” asked Albert.

Explanation of the above passage – Albert was right and when Yuri saw him the next time, he actually seemed troubled. By this time, Albert had given up and he actually was expecting a nervous breakdown if it continued like this. This would have surely made the doctor’s work easier. Yuri conveyed to him that he has found just the doctor for him and he has an appointment the next evening while giving him the address. Albert read the doctor’s name, which is Doctor Ernst Weil and asked Yuri if he specialized in nerves?

Passage – “Not exactly,” Yuri admitted. “As a matter of fact he only qualified as a doctor last week. You may even be his first patient!” “You knew him as a student, then?” “I’ve known Ernst for years.” Yuri hesitated for a few moments. “He’s not a fool,” he warned Albert. “What do you mean?” “Don’t try to pull the wool over his eyes1 , that’s all. Be frank with him, but don’t pretend you’ve got what you haven’t. Not that you’d deceive anyone.” Yuri added. “You’re the world’s worst liar.”

Explanation of the above passage – Yuri told him that he was not exactly a neuro specialist and that he qualified as a doctor only last week and that Albert could even be his first patient. Yuri mentioned that he has known him for a while now and warned Albert to not lie to him because he was no fool. Yuri asked him to be honest and not pretend to have nervous issues. He immediately mentioned that it was also not possible because Albert is the “World’s worst liar”.

Passage – Albert spent the next day wondering what to tell the doctor. When the time arrived for his appointment he had worried over it so much that he really was quite nervous.

Explanation of the above passage – He spent the next day thinking about all he was going to say to the doctor. He thought so much that he feared he would actually get a nervous breakdown.

Passage – “I don’t really know how to describe my trouble, Dr Weil,” he began. “Don’t try,” said the young doctor with a friendly smile. “Yuri has already given me a history of the case.” “Oh! What did he say?” “Only that you want me to think you have had a nervous breakdown, and say that you mustn’t go back to that school.” “Oh dear.” Albert’s face fell. “He shouldn’t have told you that.” “Why not? Isn’t it true, then?” “Yes, that’s the trouble. Now you’ll say there’s nothing wrong with me, and you’ll tell me to go back to school.” “Don’t be too sure of that,” said the doctor. “As a matter of fact I am pretty sure you are in a nervous state about that school.” “But I haven’t told you anything about it,” said Albert, wide-eyed. “How can you know that?”

Explanation of the above passage – Albert went to see the doctor and told him that he really does not have the right choice of words to describe his miserable situation. The friendly doctor comforted him and told him that Yuri had already done it for him. It turned out that Yuri had told Dr Weil the entire truth and how Albert wanted the doctor to think he had a nervous breakdown because of school. Albert expressed his displeasure with Dr Weil knowing the entire truth because he felt that the doctor would not help him now. As a result, he would have to go back to school. Again, the friendly doctor comforted him by saying that his situation was well-understood even when he had not told anything about it. Albert was surprised with the doctor’s reply and asked him how he got to know all about Albert.

Passage – “Because you wouldn’t have come to see me about this if you hadn’t been pretty close to a nervous breakdown, that’s why. Now,” said the doctor briskly, “if I certify that you have had a nervous breakdown, and must stay away from school for a while, what will you do?” “I’ll go to Italy,” said Albert. “To Milan, where my parents are.” “And what will you do there?” “I’ll try to get into an Italian college or institute.” “How can you, without a diploma?” “I’ll ask my mathematics teacher to give me something about my work, and perhaps that will be enough. I’ve learnt all the maths they teach at school, and a bit more,” he added when Dr Weil looked doubtful.

Explanation of the above passage – The doctor very professionally replies that if Albert weren’t really close to a nervous breakdown, he wouldn’t be really seeing him. He then inquired about Albert’s plans once he gets out of the school. Albert tells him that he plans on going to live with his parents in Italy where he would join an Italian college. The doctor expresses his lack of clarity on the subject of admission in the college without a school diploma. Albert assures him that his mathematics teacher would provide him with a reference good enough to get him in. Albert claimed to have learned all about mathematics that is taught in a school and some more of it as well.

Passage – “Well, it’s up to you,” he said. “I doubt if it will come off, but I can see you’re not doing yourself or anyone else much good by staying here. How long would you like me to say you should stay away from school? Would six months be all right?” “This is very kind of you.” “It’s nothing. I’ve only just stopped being a student myself, so I know how you feel. Here you are.” Dr Weil handed him the certificate, “And the best of luck.” “How much…” “Nothing, if you have anything to spare, invite Yuri to a meal. He’s a good friend of mine, and yours too, I think,” Albert had no money to spare, but he pretended he had and took Yuri out to supper.

Explanation of the above passage – The doctor is still not convinced if the college idea would succeed but he is definitely convinced about the fact that Albert going to school is not doing anyone much good. Thus, he confirms if a six-month away from school period would be enough to put his plans in place. Dr. Weil tells him that he understands the situation so well because he has just stopped being a student. He even refuses to take his fees and asks him to take Yuri for a meal. Filled with joy, Albert took Yuri out for supper even though he had no extra money.

Passage – “Isn’t it wonderful?” he said after showing Yuri the certificate. “Yes, it’s fine,” Yuri agreed. “Six months is a good period. This way you won’t actually be leaving the school so if the worst comes to the worst you’ll be able to come back and carry on for your diploma.” “I’ll never go back to that place,” Albert assured him. “I’m going to take this certificate to the head teacher tomorrow, and that will be the end of it.” “Don’t forget to get a reference in writing from your mathematics teacher first,” Yuri reminded him.

Explanation of the above passage – On seeing the certificate, Yuri assures him that six months is a good time period because just in case things go wrong, Albert could come back to finish his school diploma. ALbert reassures Yuri that this is not going to happen because he is never going back to “that place” or school. He conveyed his idea of taking the certificate to the head of school the next day while Yuri reminded him to get the reference letter first  from the mathematics teacher.

Passage – Mr Koch willingly gave Albert the reference he wanted. “If I say I can’t teach you any more, and probably you’ll soon be able to teach me, will that be all right?” he asked. “That’s saying too much, sir,” said Albert. “It’s only the truth. But alright. I’ll put it more seriously.” It was still a glowing reference, and Mr Koch made the point that Albert was ready immediately to enter a college or institute for the study of higher mathematics.

Explanation of the above passage – Mr. Koch, the mathematics teacher gave Albert a nice referral. He even went to the extent of saying that Albert would soon be ready to teach him which Albert thought was “saying too much”, probably out of respect for his teacher. Mr. Koch then put it in different words but furnished the reference in a way to make it smooth for Albert to enter any college to pursue education in higher mathematics.

Passage – “I’m sorry you’re leaving us, although you’re wasting your time in my class,” he said. “It’s almost the only class where I’m not wasting my time,” said Albert. “But how did you know I’m leaving, sir?” “You wouldn’t have asked me for this reference otherwise.” “I thought you’d wonder…” “There’s nothing to wonder about, Einstein. I knew you were going to leave before you knew yourself.” Albert was puzzled. What did the teacher mean? He soon found out. Before he had a chance to ask for an interview with the head teacher, he was summoned to the head’s room. “Well, it saves me the trouble of having to wait an hour or two outside,” he thought

Explanation of the above passage – The teacher expresses his displeasure about Albert leaving but again, he knew Albert was wasting his time there. Albert instantly corrected him by saying that Mr Koch’s class was the only class where he was not wasting his time. Albert did not tell him anything about leaving but Mr Koch could identify it long before Albert realised himself and also because of the referral. To his surprise, Albert was called into the head’s room. Although, he was not aware of the reason and he was himself going to make an appointment but he was happy that it saved him the trouble of waiting for one or two hours to meet him.

Passage – He hardly bothered to wonder why he had been sent for, but vaguely supposed he was to be punished again for bad work and laziness. Well, he had finished with punishments.

Explanation of the above passage – Albert did not put much thought into why he was called into the office but somehow he knew it was to punish him for his poor performance and lack of interest. But now, he was done with all of it.

Passage – “I’m not going to punish you,” the head teacher said, to Albert’s surprise. “Your work is terrible, and I’m not prepared to have you here any longer, Einstein. I want you to leave the school now.” “Leave school now?” repeated Albert, dazed. “That is what I said.” “You mean,” said Albert, “that I am to be expelled?”

Word meaning
Expelled– officially make someone leave a school or any other organisation

Explanation of the above passage – To his utmost surprise, Einstein was told that he was not going to be punished this time. The headmaster expressed that he is done with all his laziness and wishes to no longer have him there. Albert’s first thought was if he was being “expelled”.

Passage – You can take it that way if you wish, Einstein.” The head teacher was not mincing words. “The simplest thing will be for you to go of your own accord, and then the question won’t arise.” “But,” said Albert, “what crime have I committed?” “Your presence in the classroom makes it impossible for the teacher to teach and for the other pupils to learn. You refuse to learn, you are in constant rebellion, and no serious work can be done while you are there.” Albert felt the medical certificate almost burning a hole in his pocket. “I was going to leave, anyway,” he said. “Then we are in agreement at least, Einstein,” the head said.

Word meaning
Mincing words- to speak vaguely or indirectly
Rebellion- the action or process of resisting authority, control or convention

Explanation of the above passage – The head of school was pretty serious and suggested that he left school on his own instead of being expelled because it would be easier for both parties. Albert still didn’t understand what “crime” he had committed. The head teacher explained how his presence is creating trouble for teachers to give lessons to other students and how no work can be done when he is around. While standing there,
Albert felt the certificate was “burning a hole in his pocket” which means that the money he had spent on extracting the certificate (which was paid in terms of a meal with Yuri) had gone waste as the certificate was rendered useless. He was anyway being sent away from school. Regardless, Albert expresses that he was anyway going to leave to which the teacher replies that at least, for the first time, they are agreeing on something.

Passage – For a moment Albert was tempted to tell the man what he thought of him and of his school. Then he stopped himself. Without another word, holding his head high, he stalked out. “Shut the door after you!” shouted the head. Albert ignored him

Word meaning
Stalked out– to leave (some place) in a haughty, stiff or threatening manner

Explanation of the above passage – At that moment, Albert was being driven by his desire to tell the head teacher the truth and what he thought of the school, but somehow he managed to resist it because at last, his wish was fulfilled. He  walked straight out of the school while ignoring the head teacher’s instructions with his head high.

Passage – He walked straight on, out of the school where he had spent five miserable years, without turning his head to give it a last look. He could not think of anyone he wanted to say goodbye to. Indeed, Yuri was almost the only person in Munich he felt like seeing before he left the town he had come to hate almost as much as the school. Elsa was back in Berlin, and he had no other real friends. “Goodbye —and good luck,” said Yuri when he left. “You are going to a wonderful country, I think. I hope you will be happier there.”

Explanation of the above passage – He did not even look back at the place where he had spent the most terrible years of his life. He had no real friends or close acquaintances who he could bid adieu to. He met Yuri before leaving who wished him well and hoped he’d be happy in the country he was going to. Elsa was also back in Berlin with her family, thus, there was no one else he could say goodbye to.


Albert Einstein at School Question Answers

Q1. What do you understand of Einstein’s nature from his conversations with his history teacher, his mathematics teacher and the head teacher?
Albert was a boy who believed in standing up for his beliefs. It is evident from the way he portrayed his views in front of his history teacher. He is someone who puts his energy in understanding logic rather than facts.
His conversations with his Mathematics teacher tells us how passionate he is about the subject. The teacher’s  remark that soon Albert will be ready to teach him shows that Albert is hard-working. He is on very good terms with his mathematics teacher and that is why the teacher gave him a referral. This tells us that Albert had potential. He was just different from other students of his age.
The head teacher and Einstein never agreed on one thing except when the teacher felt Albert is better-off without school and vice-versa. Even though Albert felt a bit insulted upon being shown the door, he resisted his desire to say anything bad or slam the door behind him. This shows that he respected his elders and was polite. He was not a rude boy.

Q2. The school system often curbs individual talents. Discuss.
The school system focuses on teaching the same thing to every student and expects them to excel in all. While the truth is that all children are different and each one of them shines in his own way. School learning focuses more on learning facts than logic. Instead of teaching them how to think, they teach little minds what to think.
Students are compared on the basis of marks which promotes unhealthy competition and sense of inferiority among children at a very young age. Their talents somehow get overshadowed in the race of scoring ideal marks. The school system, indeed curbs individual talents.

Q3. How do you distinguish between information gathering and insight formation?
Information gathering and insight information are two very different concepts. Information gathering is concerned with the compilation of facts and figures. It is just retaining already existing information which can easily be referred to, through books. It only focuses on retention ability and does not add to the personality of an individual. It is generally concerned with history or something that has happened. For example, the history dates that Albert is unable to learn.
Insight information, on the other hand, is concerned with the cause and effect relationship of a phenomenon. It persuades an individual to think. It teaches them logic. Gaining information that is insightful will help improve the overall personality of an individual as it helps in shaping minds. It helps one understand its surroundings and reason with them.
Albert was more interested in Insightful information than information gathering. He was a science and mathematics enthusiast while on the other hand, he had trouble keeping up with history dates.


Class 11 English Snapshots Book Chapter-wise Explanation

The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse Chapter 1 Explanation The Address Chapter 2 Explanation
Ranga’s Marriage Chapter 3 Explanation  Albert Einstein at School Chapter 4 Explanation
Mother’s Day Chapter 5 Explanation Birth Chapter 7 Explanation