Archive | June, 2007

How each day is a new lesson for me

30 Jun

The need for open ended assignments at home and in school

Every child has an innate sense of being able to relate to the characters in the story being read or an anecdote being narrated. This is often observed in classes where the teacher asks the children to postulate the ending after narrating only half the story or gives ample room for the kids’ freedom of imagination by asking what do they think would have happened if this were not the ending. This is also found in houses where the grandmother narrates a story till the point where justice has to be meted out to the aggrieved and the child is asked to pronounce the judgment as if she were the judge.

Being given the choice to change the course of the story allows her to develop a sense of responsibility towards the characters. She also feels vindicated as she has mentally  taken sides with some characters. She feels that it is her story now. She gets a feeling of having created something and her confidence level will soar  high.

In the classroom this is used as a part of group discussion  especially in lower classes. Today, I narrated a story and asked: What do you think would have happened if X had gone home straight after his work? I was not only surprised by the varied answers I got but also by the totally inventive ones from the usually reticent ones. They came out with fantastic ones which an adult can’t ever think of.!

This sort of behaviour never stops making me wonder. Now I have been teaching from twenty years but I am  thrilled to see such responses.   This is a big reward and it keeps the spirit going in spite of the body acting mulish. The day was especially busy, but this last minute perk-up was a tonic. I had to stay back longer than usual due to a meeting and the surprising thing was I was relaxed and tolerant.

Some areas where I feel one can give such open –ended tasks to young kids are:

o       In stories found in the language textbooks/other storybooks

o       In kids’ serials watched on TV

o       In popular ‘family’ movies

o       In mythological  stories

o       In biographies / autobiographies

o       In anecdotes of famous scientists

                An extension of this activity could be:

o       writing out dialogues of the changed ending

o       enacting it out

o       organizing a debate on the merits of different endings

o       hypothesizing as to why the author found this ending most suitable



Will someone give me an idea…

26 Jun

I want to depict a timeline of Greek history in a three dimensional way.

Will someone give ideas.

I thought I would draw the time line on a mount board  and then add flags of different colours with clay buttons at the bottom (for adhesion)The flags could then have the caption too.

Any other idea??

Viva Sao Joao, Sao Jaoa re!!

24 Jun

 I came to know about this festival through C, my hubby.he told me that those who are married newly have to treat others to a bottle of feni.Then the people around the new grooms sprinkle it on him/symbolically drown/drench them in it.

The feast of Sao Jaoa is in honour of St. John the Baptist. The highlight is ‘jumping with joy’. The day on which it is celebrated is June 24.The story goes thus. Elizabeth ,the mother of St. John told the pregnant Mary that her son ‘jumped in joy’ on seeing the Messiah within Mary ,for he heralded of the impending birth while in the womb of Elizabeth.

Actually the custom is to take out a procession with the groom in tow and bottles of feni and dunk the groom in to the village well. .The mother invites her daughter and son-in-law and gifts a basket of the choicest fruits of the season. The s-i-l then is accompanied by the villagers in a procession with a lot of fanfare, fun and feni-what else? The revelers wear copels-headgear made of flowers (sumagaLa shirastraana!!) and go around the village singing and dancing to the beats of traditional instruments like the coconut stalk.

It is said that the flowers and fruits are offered in the well by the brides for fertility—a sort of giving baagina. The grooms are taken up to the village well where all jump in and enjoy the feni-fuelled swim!!Also so that when the people jump in the well is cleansed of other flotsam too. Also this is a good outing for the young boys who have just learnt swimming-a sort of debut  I guess.

For all the foodies out there:The traditional feast includes a grand spread with lots of vegetables, salt fish, salt water mango, a hard rounded bangle like bread dipped in a concoction of moong dal, coconut jaggery (molasses) and coconut. It also has ‘shevio’ (somewhat like shaavige paayasa)’folle’ or ‘patodio’- a sort of steamed rice kadubu with coconut and jaggery-ofcourse turmeric leaves are used to wrap them while steaming.

This feast too has gone the V day way…totally commercialized. The ads say, Come and have a blast at __ poolside resort…where the revelers jump into a marble tiled pool with phoren spirits and continental food in them. Dancing to the tunes of RJ…or the band…

 You can click on this to watch a video of this feast

 I haven’t watched it though!!  

Now Goa looks green with……………..moss!!

22 Jun

Rains in Goa…It’s raining hard in Goa.Cats,dogs etal….The walls and roadsides have suddenly blossomed with moss. The trees are themselves covered with moss as if to say that prosperity welcomes more prosperity..(Lakshmi uLLavara manege hogo haange) Click here for more on moss.

and for molds.

Moss and its friend mold are thriving ,flowering and re creating  themselves on veggies and fruits and food items like ‘dried’ sundige, onagida khobbari, clothes ….One can easily conduct research on moss. There will not be any problem for varied specimens.PAACHI and boochu samraajyakke swaagata!!The roads permanently host pools of slush mixed with garbage.They seem to welcome leptospirosis with open arms.We have all become as graceful as ballet dancers because each time we have to cross the apartment moss (path) ways we have to balance ourselves precariously. The vehicle drivers too look like Grand Prix /Motocross specialists as all surfaces are slippery surfaces right from the ‘covered’ parking lots. Driving on these roads in bone-threatening.The tourist influx is however not too much. Anyway I am off to Panaji to check this out as a secondary exercise while there.We are waiting for our school to start so that we can meet all our friends and get back to work.

Was I cruel?

16 Jun

 This happened on the journey back to Goa.V and I were accompanied to Yeshwantpur station by my coz, my uncle and aunt.When we got into the train we realised that the bogie was full of tourists, many of them of them were young guys. Now this variety is too boisterous and likely to make a lot of noise till late into the night with /without the help of Bacchus. There were hardly any women passengers in the bogie and this made me a little wary of these guys. As soon as we sat down the guys told me in broken Kannada that I should move to berths 27, 28 so that their friends could sit with them. I told them I would change only after the TTE checks our tickets. Actually I wanted to be sure that those seats were really theirs. The journey started, my coz was apprehensive leaving us amidst those noisy guys. I told him I was capable to manage things. He said, “They too were capable!” J           As we crossed Chikkabanavar, we took out our books and got lost in reading .I could faintly hear the guys discussing among themselves as to who would remind me to change the seats. As I didn’t even look at them they became silent.After Tiptur         I overheard discussing their plans for the return reservation. They could not arrive at a consensus. Then one of them suggested asking me about the return trains. Then somebody said that forming sentences in Kannada and English was strenuous for him. He had to write them down before speaking out. I felt bad and thought of entering the scene.But I wanted to tease them a little. Even as one of them asked,” Madam, can you tell us about train from Goa…”I asked them which languages did they learn other than Telugu and English at school. One replied that he had learnt Sanskrit. Others were confused as to why I had asked that question. I just wanted them to use the rashtrabhaashe in case of doubt and not depend on English.  Then one guy said,” I am a businessman. I have studied only up to third”.          Immediately I felt I had carried it too far. I said “Naaku Telugu vastundi, meeku e information kaavaalo adagandi.Nenu meeku Hindi vastundo ledo kanukonedaaniki ila chesaanu…”        They were stunned and embarrassed and some of them ran away to the next bogie! Others tried hiding their faces in the windows. I felt wretched and amused at the same time.     I realized that I was very cruel to test them like that.We soon started chatting and they told me that they were from Tirupati and that they saw Hindi films only rarely . The businessman produced his business card and made me promise to contact him as soon as I landed in Tirupati. He extended all help in the temple town.          Soon they were saying, madamku Kurkure eevandira, and baabuku biscuit eevandira …etc.We declined politely. The TTE was nowhere in sight. I had now relaxed to the extent that I offered to use the top berths incase they wanted to play cards. I had also decided to move if need be. Night came by. We had our dinner, they had theirs. They helped us lift the middle berths and told us that we could use their bags as pillows! They switched off the lights and went to sleep! TTE was nowhere in sight.I slept so well that I woke up only after the train reached Goa border. I fell asleep again and woke up only         when we were very close to my destination!!I smiled at my fears of the previous evening and thanked God for a safe, hassle – free journey.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

ಅನ್ಜುನ ಕಡಲ ತೀರ ಹೀಗೆ ಕಾಣಿಸುವದು…

13 Jun

ಮುನ್ಗಾರಿನ ಮೊದಲ ಮಳೆ ಆದಮೇ ಲೆ ಅನ್ಜುನಾ ಬೀಚ್  ನೈಸರ್ಗಿಕ ‘ಒರಳುಗಳಿನ್ದ’ ಹಿನ್ಗೆ ನೀರು ಪುಟಿದು ಏಳುತ್ತ್ದೆ.

ಕನ್ನಡ ಲಿಪಿ ಉಪಯೊಗಿಸಲು ಇನ್ನು ಕಲಿಯುತ್ತಿದೆeನೆ…ತಪ್ಪಿದಲ್ಲಿ ಕ್ಷಮಿಸಿ.


ಸ್ವಾಗತಾ ನಿನಗೆ ಓ ಕರಿ ಮೊಡಗಳೆ,ಗುಡುಗು-ಮಿನ್ಚುಗಳೆ,ತುನ್ತುರು ನೀರ ಹನಿಗಳೆ..

13 Jun

ಮಳೆರಾಯನಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಾಗತ…

ಹುಯ್ಯೊ ಹುಯ್ಯೊ ಮಳೆರಾಯ…

ಆದ್ರೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪಾ ಚೆನ್ನೇಯಲ್ಲು ಸುರಿಯೊ…

ಭೂಮಿ ಬಯಾರಿ ಹಸಿದಿದೆ…

ಮನುಷ್ಯರು ಬೆನ್ದು ಹತಾಶನಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ…

ಮನಸ್ಸು ಒಣಗಿ ಕೆಮ್ಮತ್ತಲಿವೆ……

ಬೆಗ ಬಾರೊ ಮಳೆರಾಯ…

ಹಿನ್ಗಾರಿಗೆ ಕಾಯುವಶ್ಟು ತ್ರಾಣವಿಲ್ಲಾ..

ಮುನ್ಗಾರಿನಲ್ಲೆ  ಸುರಿಯೊ….