Saturday, October 20, 2012

The board exams: Opportunity in a calamity!

For some students it is enough just to think of the word examination before their body reacts with symptoms of anxiety: Rapid heartbeat, outbursts of perspiration, and stomach aches. The physical inconveniences may be so marked – possibly even several months before the examination – that you contemplate all kinds of solutions with the purpose of escaping the discomfort. 

Board exams and grades define who we are in life, at least in our country. You will be shocked to see what grades can do in your future life ahead. I am not saying grades mean everything but at least for now as a student, it means a lot. Opinions about a student can differ and vary with the grades/marks one attains. I grew up writing four different board exams and I am now proud to be a teacher. I tell my children that the board exams are like any other exams and there is no reason to be stressed about. I used to be stressed about writing the board exams. But it is also a time when most likely to write board exams would be doing what they have never done before, stay with books late into the night, some try coffee during such times. It only worsens your focus when you actually do this. Believe me I am a living testimony to this. 

So my dear young students, always make a study habit a month before the board exam. Schedule your time and follow it religiously. Every chore and academic work must be timed so that it doesn’t become stressful for you to cover up so much in so little time. This is the secret to get through any board exam. 

Perhaps your fear of examinations is about having made the wrong choice of study habit, or lack of motivation to do the necessary effort – or simply lack of abilities for some reason. You may fear an examination with good cause, because you are not properly prepared for it. Most students are nervous or afraid of examinations, and a moderate nervousness is often an advantage if you are to perform at your best. Dear students, think positive. Exchange thoughts: "I can't do anything, I'm going to fail, I'm going to die, and they will rip me to pieces” with positive thoughts: "I can handle it, I have done what I can, and it will be fine". The more you become acquainted with your examination fear, the more you are able to gain control over it.

The question of luck in any board exam is obvious and I have lived through this thing called luck in the exams but luck comes in a blue moon when trying to pass the examination, but I believe that you create your own luck based on my experience. Why? Simple, the more you review the more you are exposed to a lot of knowledge and when the time calls for you to make a guess; you are actually making an educated guess. So when you are better prepared and indeed battle ready, your answer in every question have strong chance of extracting the coveted right answers.

Dear students, good luck with the board exams this year. Make a study plan! Will you?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Dog Day

The morning assembly in any typical school is the time we shouldn’t miss. It is the time all school children come alive along with teachers to sing a common anthem and say the prayers. The feeling of belonging to one unique place like no other, a sense of pride burning and the thirst for learning captures the curious brains-during this time. At least I feel so!  We make it a chore to make the days’ announcements, speeches and other pertinent things that needs to be disseminated. It takes away some time from the 1st session but what is worth telling is worth telling twice but all that glitter is not gold-Thank you Shakespeare for I think your immortal lines perfectly suits this situation. 

On one such typical morning, an announcement was made to the students; there will be awareness, basically a talk on ‘Rabies’. It happened to be the International Rabies Day. The three senior grades needed to visit some avenue for the awareness whereas all the lower grades had to continue their regular sessions with their respective teachers.  Also, those teachers who had sessions (we have two sessions in the afternoons) in the higher grades must attend the talk, and those teachers should have both the sessions in the higher grades. So we heard the announcement. 

The immediate human next to me, almost resembling me in thoughts declared, “wai, lower grades haru ley rabies paun dhey na keho?” (Will lower grades not contact rabies?)-Great thought!

If I say this to others, those looking at the positive side of life with superficiality would obviously answer me smilingly, “may be the avenue cannot accommodate the entire students” or “there is not enough money for refreshments for all” etc… We don’t want refreshments; all we want is some prevention from contacting rabies, for heaven’s sake. Our little children belonging to the so called lower grades will be the most obvious group who will contact rabies, not the senior graders. Some may opine I know it, “What’s the guarantee that senior children will not be bitten by a rabid dog?” To them, “What’s the guarantee that little children will not be bitten tey wai?” 

Elder children can at least grab things quicker but for the little ones they need to be reminded time and again. I dare say it should be the little children and the elders alike who need to be oriented on Rabies. If one cannot accommodate all children in one avenue, call the so called organizers to the school, it would save time and energy after all the avenue is just a sneeze away from our school. And for the funds on refreshments, we don’t need refreshments at all; we already are refreshed every single moment with noises, chatters, and nag of the teachers and students alike.  

Picture courtesy: Google
So a bad judgment took its toil and nobody dare say something to the people involved, at least our managers. Certain enough this left me wounded in my common sense. What on earth is happening to schooling these days? Another friend exclaims, “Nga che ghi ga chi in na ra meshey bay mo?”- (We don’t know what’s happening). Vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste forms the five senses and we teach this to our children but now I should gear up to teach the sixth sense-common sense as well. Otherwise, produce of judgmental follies will surely make a mince meat of their brains. have a nice day ahead.

Thought for the day: Good judgments comes with experience but experience comes with wrong judgments

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Citizens of sanctum sanctorum not politicians!

As long as the life being a teacher is content, there is no need to be a politician. Sorry for the wacky title. Teachers have been portrayed as ‘Gurus’ from the beginning of time. They manifest the wise, the noble, the all-knowing saint, the living encyclopedia or a walking dictionary. But are teachers politicians? Definitely NOT! Then why is it that many a teacher manifests not the above theories but a political animal? Perhaps, the profession is too obsessed with Adam Smith’s theory on Economics-translate all work and energy into tangible hard currency. I remember my Guru Jose,KC once told me, “you can never be rich as a teacher and once you enter the sanctum sanctorum”. True to his words these days, teachers are never rich unless one inherits family property or the spouse belongs to a rich spoilt background. Spoilt in the sense-have you ever come across a well behaved wealthy? All wealthy greet with money-pride with some over- powering tone. 

A teacher affects eternity,he can't say where where his influence stops
It is my unconditioned belief that stirs the very fabric of teaching that-those lads of teachers whole are sound financially becomes the politicians in the sanctum sanctorum. Utterly shocked? You should be! I too trembled in shock! These lads are the ones that make your existence somewhat ‘incorrigible’ but thoroughly ‘corrupted’ with all worldly talks and gossips. 

A citizen of this sanctum sanctorum once told me, my child is sick at home and he’s serious. I as the teacher told her, “but I saw him playing soccer last evening late into the evening”. This noble citizen took my rather disapproving opinion to the real parent and came the next day with something like this, “Hey, you told that my nephew is sick because of soccer, he can even get out of his bed”, Then I raged, “Why is that every noblewomen like you has to be right?” then I shut the citizen up. And yes they are pretty comfortable with Adam Smith’s theory! Supposedly for being someone related to her. Had it been someone else’s kid, who cares? This is the consideration our noblewomen have-look out only for the one which is yours!

Citizens of this sanctum sanctorum should teach, guide, mould and show us the light but they would rather choose to take younger citizens to their side of the light-adding maggots to the already rotting political corpse. The talks behind back are always common where the ‘fairer’ sex majors in this sanctorum. It is my poetic out flow that makes me mention this line, ‘Talks behind back-A deluge of personal opinions pregnant with rumor and falsified facts’. Although, I wish to mention all that is in my head but ‘haste makes waste’. I will let you know as I promised-roar silently without a word from my mouth but another deluge through this forum. 

Until then, folks, watch out for some political nobles around you. They might just as come in handy as it did with me. Good day ahead!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting in mood: Some reflections from Dancing to Death (Poems) by Gopilal Acharya

Mood swings are common and our pets are a testimony to this phenomenon called ‘mood’. We humans have this tender tendency of fluctuating mood-mood swings. Yet the ‘fairer- gender’ considering themselves compassionate and tender more than the ‘lesser gender’ is an irony of life. That mood swings are more common in the fairer gender, if you know what I mean! 

Considering the human tendency, mood is the tour de force of all the activities and undertakings. Consider this, I love reading books of whatever sort and genre but at times I don’t have that urge from the inside to touch one. This is simply because I don’t want to do something different but mood is off. Had it been otherwise, I would have delved into imagination and digested hordes of chapters all at once. 

So how do we get ourselves in mood for doing whatever we like to do, often? Of course, there’s no one single remedy to get us into mood and it perfectly differs from individual to individual. For me getting in mood has to be triggered by some beer. Even this very write-up or you may say a review was triggered by a few bottles of the mood-swinger. May be this is the very reason why so many journalist friends of mine drink to kill their stress. Believe me journalism is a stressful job. An idea will take ages to write it down and it would take even longer to write a proper sentence. For me, I suppose I have found not a good remedy but it helps for now at the cost of my internal organs going astray. I am not suggesting you to experiment with my mood swinger but I hope that someday perhaps you too will come across a mood swinger that will turn you on. It can be a woman, drink, cigarette, an evening walk, a morning jog, an afternoon siesta, a shower, an object, a painting, some music, a coffee, you name it! 

But all in all we do have mood shifts and this undefined feeling of mood is immortalized in a poem by our own Bhutanese poet, Gopilal Acharya. The poem I am referring to is “Getting in Mood” from the book “Dancing to death” by Gopilal Acharya.  Just see if it stirs your imagination.
Getting in Mood
It has been an average life so far
And I don’t feel great about it
 There are times when I feel
I have done my bit, though
 But guilt persists
Like the hair on your body
 I gues it was designed thus, this life
To be pretty futile and average
 But I get in mood to live more when the
Evening comes bringing darkness along
 Tonight, too, I can be a fugitive again
And live my at an average pace
Unseen, unheard, unknown

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bizarre and Outrageous!

It is considered perfectly ordinary for youngsters to party. Well everyone has that young nature that makes them enjoy a bit of wild nature in them. For me it has become a weekly affair. Not that I waste my earnings on partying but the place where I dwell has no theque-s. I have been staying in this place for the last five years and I have become used-to staying home during weekends, washing, cleaning and all those stuff you know. I have had friends who like to party and this place have some party once a year during the New Years Eve. The enjoyment is, as I was told, everyone knows everyone unlike the nights in Thimphu where one sits near the counter and stares at those unfamiliar young and pretty dancers having a good time. 

I reside in what arguably is one of the remotest districts in our country and it lacks recreation. The only ‘recreation’ is to fill your tummy (sorry for the slang) with gallons of beer. One of those mundane days, I met my high school buddy after a pretty long time. I was so glad to find that she hasn’t changed a bit except for her hair and she’s put some mass. Then we relived our days and times together and it was a ground nostalgia down high school memory lane. I know a couple of friends (all ladies) from the other ‘office’ who share the some similarities with me-frank, out-going and completely nuts at times and yes we are all a bunch of bizarre beings, at least by our standards. Sorry ladies! And mostly we freak out to a turn during weekends and it’s our hot spot. We‘ve been there even during the rains and nobody dare stop us on other dry days. It was on one of those nights that I thought about writing. We all deserve a mention for we are bizarre and outrageous. Sorry again! Let me run you down the company that I keep! These descriptions are in no way what they are but what I know of them. Readers’ discretion is advised. 

On one of those bizarre and outrageous nights
Pams-the high school friend of mine who recently brought herself to this place professionally. She drives a huge car. All other ladies love getting into her car for all sorts of local travels. She and I have and share similar thoughts as both of us grew up in the southern belt when we used to think P/ling was Bhutan’s New York. The good thing about her-she’s a part perfectionist part realist. She’s damn serious about her work, life and friends. And she took all the ladies to wash her car once and this made me proud and they only knew how to get in and out of the car forgetting what it takes to clean a huge car. Cheers Pams and I hope that you keep this routine going every week. At least, some of them will lose some weight, oops!

Sofia-Another bizarre buddy! She was once a low profile being and she is a woman of reasons. ‘Low profile’ because she seldom comes out and one hardly sees her around. She also has some mass and she smiles a lot. She’s got the most beautiful smile among us and maybe that’s the reason why she’s now married to a Thimphu guy who is equally smart and possesses a gentleman nature. On one occasion, I saw my ladies out of control, that Sofia laughed her heads off on seeing me and declared, “Hey I am d***k man, ha ha ha ha” and instantly threw herself towards the bed with a huge ‘thud’. All in all she’s gentle and a nice human being to the rest of the world.

Enter Dems. She just came this year and she is another ‘rowdy’ woman. On sober days, one cannot even afford to talk to her because of her seriousness. But the moment she laughs there is a juxtaposition of her personality. She is not serious by nature but people find her so. When she laughs, she isn’t miserly and laughs with all her energy and zeal. It’s real loud man, pretty loud. On the same night at Sofias’, “Let’s go outside” declared Dems. Was it loud? C’mon she was roaring and later I heard her roar woke the neighbor up. Poor neighbor!

Chinki-the prettiest among our gang! Looks can be deceiving and this is what Chinki is all about. She is a sweet woman who always cares and thinks of her pet ‘Dani’. Dani must be fed at the cost of her gangs rumbling tummy. Sorry Chinki, truth can be mysterious! She loves dancing while high and if we let her dance is a circular group, she will literally disappear after a number or two. We again have to drag her back to the group. We drag her because, the place we hang out is dark and we always worry that she will go off track and sleep in some hedges and bushes nearby. She also has her share of bizarre act at Sofias. Great!

Now for the last one- Pabs! She reminds me of my elementary days in India with her personality and attitude. She is a devout Hindu and possesses a strict routine for all things-punctual and a woman of principles. Madam Leena Rana was my favorite teacher and Pabs reminds me of her. She taught us grammar. We in the group look up to her for she is a year older to most of us. I am not sure what makes Pabs and Pams a fierce mortal adversary. They dominate the majority of our time together-debating and making fun of each other. They make us laugh wildly. 

For my description of who I am and how bizarre and outrageous I go is in the discretion of my ladies to disclose. I would happily accept their observations but if it do not please my ears or my eyes then, “Hey ladies, watch out ek kay gooshi dintshu hai”. Ladies, now is the time you shower your accusations on me. Go ahead! I will be waiting and I know Pams will be on my side…How about this weekend ladies?