Are you upset?

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I am sure at least one out of five of us would answer to this in the affirmative. That is the sad truth about this world. Everywhere you turn, you see and hear things that upset you. 

The common complain is the rise of crime in our country. Early morning news bulletins are covered with them. News spread like wildfire through newspapers, radio and the Internet . Crime gainst men, against women, against children or against animals. Crime against another living thing is considered newsworthy. Prime time shows are set up to discuss the issue. People cash in on other people’s misery. All these upset the common man.

The world is full of nut jobs who make it a bad place to live in. Agreed. How many of these common men do you think know how to respect another individual or how to behave with other individuals in their own lives?

All through the work day, someone is backstabbing someone else , someone is overthrowing someone’s power, someone is trying to displace someone from a position so as to warrant a promotion for themselves. There are many whose sole purpose in life is to make others look bad. They try and cut the abled person from expressing his/her thought, because they know that this can be detrimental to their chances of a promotion. 

It is a cut throat world out there. Even in schools, which are not and should not be part of the corporate culture. It is such actions of cut throat competitions that the children watch and learn. Sensationalising rumours also form a part of the news hungry or gossip hungry world. No one wants to mind their own business. All are running the rat race not knowing what is on the other end of it. 

On the other end there is sheer exhaustion. Sheer disappointment for the kind of life they wanted to live and the kind of life they have ended up with. No success is solely our own. Someone somewhere has failed in their tasks to enable us to succeed and move ahead. That is the circle of life. But when we try to speed up the process, that is when things start to get ugly. 

In short, all through our life, we are upset about something or the other. During midlife we will find most of our compatriots in a Yoga Center somewhere relaxing their troubled nerves. Most of us will be on medications of some kind or the other. We have gained a lot in the past years, and we have lost a lot too.  Happiness, fortune and opportunities have come knocking on our doors. Yet we are left with the feeling that something is not right somewhere.

Many accept it and learn to deal with it. Some learn to live in denial. Everything that comes is papers and news are a matter of their concern. But what happens within their homes or offices,  every single day , is never in the limelight and hence not a concern.

Thank you newspapers and social media for helping us forget what we lack in our lives and giving us an excuse to vent our frustrations without anyone knowing the right reasons behind them. We are truly obliged. 

Whatever Happened to Love?

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I had a conversation with my daughter a few days ago ( as compared to the shouting matches we generally have). She wanted to know if I was ever in love before I got married. The conversation was obviously about Love and Relationships and all that humbug about who is “with” whom in school. There was a time when this was an issue only with college students or at least high school girls and boys. But I am noticing this between children below the age of 14. Really? You decide whom you want to spend your entire life with at the age of 14?

I got hitched when I was 21 years old, and although I did make the right choice , at that point in time, I was not sure if I was ready for such a commitment! And at the age of 14? 14? And this is a serious issue that actually needs to be discussed with your mother!

I am a teacher too. I have seem how my colleagues react to linkups that happen in middle school nowadays. In this day and age, why do we still cling on to link ups and affairs?  Why can’t there be friendship between boys and girls and just leave it at that!

I asked her to make a list of Pros and Cons of having a boyfriend. The list contained, the “getting noticed”, the popularity, the “coolness” factor. The best feelings that any teenager can hope for. The cons column was empty. She wasn’t sure what to put in there.

Time getting wasted chatting and dreaming, the heartbreak that follows and how it will effect studies, the unwanted attention, the gossips, the jealousy, the break up. Each of these causes a roller coaster of emotions in us. That added to the adolescent changes can bring about disasters of the worst kind. Some even ending their lives because of the embarrassment.

Just remain friends with everyone. Get to know your friends. Discover what traits that you like in others. Develop them in yourself. Create an identity for yourself first. Then and only then, give a chance for love to step in. Anything that makes you jump into mistakes is not love , it is just an infatuation. Let those slip by until your mind is ready to understand and accept the real thing.

Nothing had happened to love. It is still very much there. It is just highly misread and misunderstood these days.

Value Education

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The day started off on a slow note today. I have answer papers to correct from yesterday’s Unit Test. It is a subject that I teach besides my main subject. I also teach Value Education to a bunch of Sixth graders.

This particular subject is the most hated by teachers in the school. The amount of work that goes into making worksheets and test papers for this is not much. But then again, it is a bit too much when you are already loaded with so much work. Sometimes work other than the teaching part of the job.

Like in any job, in teaching too, it is the documentation or what we call as “Evidence” that matters. There is written or photographic proof of everything we do in class and for a class. This is so as to avoid issues later on in the session, when a particular task is questioned and explanations asked. Basically it is about being accountable.

Now in an office environment, this is an easy task. Every communication is documented. But how does one do that when you are imparting education in a class. Yes, of course there is the lesson plan to follow. There are worksheets set. There are textbooks and there are notebooks to mark the progress of a class. But is that really enough?

When a teacher is assessed, I have often wondered, what is it that they look for? Do they want someone who knows a lot about the subject? Or do they want someone who knows enough about the subject so as to be able to explain it well to middle school children?

Is it about the worksheets and notes? Is it about interactive classes or is it about being nice to the students to win their confidence? Or is it about being strict with them to make them regular in their work?

In my opinion, it is all about the balance. Just like we do with our own kids, the students in school need to be treated with respect and love. No harshness doesn’t mean being lenient. It just means that work can be done by being strict, but not by being mean.

During my previous stint as a teacher, I was so busy with the documentation work that I rarely got time to spend time chatting with the students. Even when I was a class teacher, the workload was so much that I used to barely get time to get the attendance done and circulars or cash collection done during the class teacher’s period. During my teaching periods, I had to complete the syllabus. So it was basically a rat race back then. I would come home to two young children who needed my undivided attention and the struggle would continue.

Now that my kids are bigger, I am not as tensed as before. I can plan and do my work on time. The result is that I can make time to converse with the students that I teach Value Education to. At least once a week, I spend time with them, I observe them and I learn from them.

My values are being added to with lesson I teach them. I wonder why then is this subject so hated by all…

A Free Write

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I haven’t the faintest idea why I have embarked on this mission today. I am not able to blog these days. It is driving me crazy. I get email updates when my friends blog and it irritates me because I am not able to do so myself. Then I hear that November is the month to get back to writing. To that , add the magic words “500 words”. I am a fan of such short post challenges that don’t expect much from you other than just writing 500 words a day. How difficult can that be?

I speak a lot to people these days. My talks with myself thus reducing with each passing day. That is what this blog is all about. Me speaking to myself. Yes, I am self obsessed that way!

When I read about My500Words at Write Tribe , I knew that this was it. I need something like this to blog again. So here I am, doing a free write. Just letting the world know that I pledge to write for 31 days.

I am guessing the prompts are going to come into my email everyday. Thus, pushing me to write for the day. I hope so. I really need that reminder to go on.

Facebook is a long lost dream now. So no joining groups for a while. Maybe when I sit up and write continuously for a few days and get into the habit of it, I shall consider using facebook groups again.

Yes, I am thinking out loud. This is a free write remember!  Being a teacher, my mind is always busy planning something or the other. So why not plan my blogging too. Writing 500 words a day can’t be difficult at all. Considering there is so much happening these days for me to share.

My job keeps me engaged, my kids keep me on my toes and my writing keeps me sane. Yesterday , I wrote the first few scenes of a screenplay for a movie making competition. I needed to give a sample of a script to the students to work on. They need to work on different story lines based on the few scenes I have written. That is when it struck me. I miss writing. I miss it a lot. My English might not be perfect, my technique might not be right. But I love to write. That is a good sign isn’t it?

There is a story that I started on this blog a few weeks ago. I haven’t been able to give it a part two so far. Maybe I will continue with that. Maybe I will write one  short story a day. Maybe I will just ramble through the 500 words everyday. That is the beauty of this. There is no theme, no restrictions. I just need to write 500 words about anything.

There is so much joy in writing, only now do I realize how important blogging is to me. I will try and be regular. My word count is at 510 now. And here I stop for the day…

Eid in RAK

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It was a strange kind of Eid Holidays this year. Every year we do plan something in advance for the long weekend that we get for Eid during this time of the year. This year was a slightly different one. My kids are both in their board exam years, so we are tied down at home because of this. But yesterday was the last day of hols for my kids and we decided to take a break from everything normal and enjoy a day out.

Memories are meant to be preserved in the form of pictures that remind us of these days and the warmth that these feelings bring about again when we look back at these days. After a very long time, I picked up my camera to click pictures. Of course, the photos below are a combination of pictures clicked from my DSLR and from my iPhone. Sometimes , it is difficult to make out which is which. If you can, do let me know. :)

On the way

On the way

Sunset Paraglidiing

Sunset Paraglidiing

Water on Feet

Water on Feet

Sea shells

Sea shells

Sunset and the beach

Sunset and the beach

The waves

The waves

The Path

The Path

Sunset

Sunset