2.10.12

few reflections

I am attentive not to be biased in the classroom. Here I put some incidents in my classroom that I see as the expression of that particular student.


Jigisha makes me happy most of the time as she often associates classroom learning to real life and across subjects. I found a leaf at school backyard, carved by insects. I brought it in the classroom and asked students, what is it? Well, at the end Hetal and few other want at the back yard , returning with leaves other than the one I brought.(there were more carved leaves on the same plant.) Hetal shouted with joy, I found it, displaying the wrong one. Now, here is JIgisha, “Huh, Hetal found America and considers it India. Our Columbus .”

Jigisha has tendency to reflect incidents into her dreams. Every day she got a dream which is related with school incidents. One day we had talk about how copier machines (Xerox) work and a video I have seen depicting possibilities of making copy of bones. Next day she came up with the dream : she was afraid of returning home, she asked her friends to come with her but they could not as they both have to reach home. So, she went to the Xerox center and made a copy of her friends. And…

Jigisha is a lovely compo pack of innocence and intelligence. Whereas Krishna makes me worry with her perceptions to the incidents. She is quite influenced with the explosive display of relations and has tendency to take benefit from the flow of other. It displays in her stores and plays she writes. Her family is quite into education with her brother and sister attending colleges. Her father is a well managed person, particularly economically (this is quite different in the community they belong to, these people are good at ‘wrong’ spending.) She is confident and good scores good. I could not gather the reasons behind her tendency.

But, I understand the reasons for Divya’s competitive nature. We had election for class representative.( My class has no class representative-monitors. I ask all the students to become monitor of themselves. But, there is an activity in English and Social science, so we did it. We had funny incidents as the candidates asked : can we vote? As they wanted to vote for their friends.) Divya loose. She was shattered. She could not believe so I offered her to count the votes on her own. She took all the ballet chits to her house and counted them again, finding one more vote to her credit but still short to the winning number. At class, she would re-declare my instructions differently creating confusion among students. She is also a scorer so the class trusts her interpretation. I often talk with her, trying to help her. Her father is a stubborn fellow, working occasionally; her mother feeds the family with a sewing machine also attending social demands (which are very very demanding). Recently, the owner of the shop has asked her father to evacuate and once again her father is work-less. Though they have farms, which are a big support, I assume her father might not be working there. Divya is the best in creative writing and her frustration does not reflect in it, unlike Krishana. She re moulds poems, stories and choreographs songs, too.

Nisha, writes in a very small letters. She is an inward person with socio-emotional maturity. She is a typical girl child, helping all but not own self. She is a black beauty with lovely eyes. Every time I have to ask her to show me her work n when I praise her, a shuttle bright light shines through her eyes and face. (I just love that.) she is fearful and obedient, never displaying her likes or dislike. Often I get irritated, seeing the potential possibilities in her, I wish her to explode, but she never does.

Bharti is the other girl who catches one with her eyes and different way of expressing her regards. She would come up with, “why didn’t you looked at me?, I came with the home work, you didn’t checked it, you didn’t asked how is my father now…”in replay, I repeat her question removing ‘why’. She has slowly and steadily improved in educational skills. Particularly in Maths.

So is Sania, for the first time in her eight year of schooling, she wrote a paragraph completely on her own-the journey of a cloud, after an activity for essay writing.

I have 106 students in standard 8, where I take classes but we have 550+ students in school and each day one or the other girl makes my day lovely with a crystal clear expression of a child’s world, loaded with many many interconnections and a possibility of developmental change.

Last but not least is Gopi. She was a low confident girl who shined up this year. She comes up with minimum five questions a day, questions that are not from the text books. Other students fondly tease her, “don’t forget to ask, we teacher is leaving at five. ‘’ or “ask more as we have a holiday tomorrow.” I named her ‘savali sita.’ Due to her, I and the rest of the class get benefited of new exposures.

15.9.12

Eva is failing

Eva is failing.


In her school examinations, she is scoring marks that can label her ‘fail’.

flower n butterfly
At first, I felt that it is my fault that I have not paid proper attention to her schooling. So, I started checking what has been ‘taught’ at school and homework tasks rigorously. I found that she is not liking them ; my checking and to attend schooling tasks.

She is fearful of laws and strictly follows them. She never ever breaks school laws. She used to finish her homework promptly. But, she is not completing the homework, too. I also found that she is tolerating outcomes of unfinished home work; she has become used to with them.

So , point one is, she is not liking the schooling tasks.

Why?

It is all memory work. Eva is a very particular girl in matter of arrangements and appearance. She does not like if it looks not good. Also, she learnt to be ‘exact’ in answering. Now, as she cannot memorize all the stuff, she is failing. By the way,she displays amazing memory in non-schooling stuff, stuff which she 'understands' and comprehands.

a face
By the way, she likes to ‘copy’ things. Give her a novel of Eng or Gujarati and she will copy it, tirelessly. So, she copies her home work promptly. Rather she enjoys the home work which is given five times. But, she skips the home work which is not copying.

Eva shows tremendous interest in exploring new words. She would ask for new word ‘means ?’ and often we go to the Sunskrit root of the words, exploring similar sounding words and words with similar meanings with recollecting lots of incidents that can explain them. But, at school, she is failing at synonyms and antonyms! Also, she amazes me with her language display when ever we have fight (which is quite frequent), she combines all the languages and phrases putting them in lovely combination to making it a 'piece' of language!

In Math tables , each day she comes up with a new Math pattern in the tables. She herself is identifying them. She know how tables are formed but we get a note that she should memorize tables. I consider table memorization as a useful skill but, I do not find it proper to force a child to memorize them.

mango tree in rain
We had a troubling month. Until, the point two found its way through my conditioned brain cells.

Point two is : Gosh, Eva is not failing ! She is developing, learning every moment. I have proofs for them.

Only yesterday night she has explored a new way of drawing.  She used to do pencil outline and then filling colours in it. I found her bit fixed and conditioned in her drawing. Yesterday, just a single hint and she picked up crayons, moving them like a brush and creating pieces like modern art, with explanation : what it is and why I used that particular colour !

I do not mind those damn marks! Thanks RTE that I do not need to bother about them.
a man climbing into the sky lightened up by moon behind the clouds

26.8.12

વિવિધતાભરી સૃષ્ટિ

ઈવાને પર્યાવરણમાં એકમ છે : પ્રાણીજગત.
તેમાં પ્રાણી જગતની વિવધતાભરી સૃષ્ટિ (આ વાંચવામાં તેને કાયમ મુશ્કેલી પડે છે) અંગે માહિતી છે. પૃથ્વી પર વિવિધ પ્રકારનાં પ્રાણીઓ છે એ રૂપે તે માહિતી છે. મને એમ થયું કે એક પ્રાણીજુથમાં રહેલી વિવધતા પણ તેને બતાવવી જોઈએ. વધુ માહિતી આપવાનો તો કોઈ અર્થ રહેતો નથી. એટલે, મારું ચિત્ત કામે વળગ્યું. જે ઘટના સામે આવે, તેમાં રહેલી વિવિધતા તરફ તેનું ધ્યાન દોરવું. જેમકે, પાંદડા, ફૂલ, કાંકરા. ઇવાને કાચિંડા સાથે લગાવ છે એટલે કાચિંડાના ફોટા જોયાં. ઘરની નજીક સાપ નીકળ્યા પછી સાપના ફોટા જોયાં.
આ એકમ તો જુલાઈ માસમાં આવ્યો પણ મે મહિનામાં ટ્રેનમાં મુસાફરી વખતે એક વિગત પર મારું ધ્યાન ગયું. હકડેઠઠ લેડીઝ ડબામાં કામકાજી વર્ગની બે સ્ત્રીઓ તેમના બાળકો સાથે હતી. તેમને જોઈ ઈવા ખુબ ડરી ગઈ હતી. તેણે મને કહ્યું, આમની સામે જોઇશ નહી. તે ઘડીએ તો તેને કઈ પણ સમજાવવી શકાય નહી. એટલે માત્ર હુંફ વડે તેને સાચવી લીધી.
અમારા ઘરની આસપાસ શ્રમજીવી સમુદાયના છ-સાત ઝુંપડા છે અને તેમના બાળકો સાથે ઈવા રમે પણ છે. છતાં આ ડર ક્યાંથી?
કદાચ લઘરવઘર,અસ્વચ્છ દેખાવ અને જુદી ભાષા,લહેકો કારણભુત હતો. કદાચ કોઈ વડીલે તેને આવા લોકોથી સલામત અંતર રાખવાનું શીખવી દીધું હતું. કદાચ.
ઈવા જે શાળામાં ભણે છે તે શાળામાં મધ્યમવર્ગીય શ્રમજીવી સમુદાય મોટા પ્રમાણમાં છે. તેમની જુદી પડતી બોલી ઈવા માટે નવાઈનો વિષય છે. અગાઉ તે અંગ્રેજી માધ્યમની શાળામાં હતી એટલે આ જુદાપણું ખુબ સ્પષ્ટતાથી દેખાય. “અમારે તો ‘ટીચર’ને ‘મેડમ’ કહે અને પોતાની ‘બેન’ને ‘બોન’ કહે છે અને ‘છે’ને બદલે ‘શે’,’હે’ બોલે.” મારી નજરે તો આ ભાષાશિક્ષણ છે અને વિવિધતાભરી સૃષ્ટિ ચીંધવાનો મજાનો વિકલ્પ પણ.
ઈવા ક્યારેક ‘આવી’ ભાષાની નકલ કરે અને ઘરમાં તે ભાષામાં વાતચીત પણ કરે. અમારા ઘરમાં માન્ય ગુજરાતી ભાષા, ખેડા-પંચમહાલનની સરહદના અમારા વતનની છાંટ સાથેની બોલાય, તેમાં ઈવાની ભાષા ખીચડીનો સ્વાદ ક્યારેક ક્યારેક માણવા મળે. એવી ખીચડી તો હિન્દી-અંગ્રેજીની પણ જાણીબૂજીનેઅમે કરીએ છીએ. અહીં નોંધવું રહ્યું કે ઈવા સભાન છે કે પોતે બીજી ભાષાની નકલ કરી રહી છે અને તેની પોતાની ભાષા જુદી છે.
તેની પ્રિયપ્રિયપ્રિય વાર્તા ‘બીકણ સસલી’માં આવતા કુત્તો-કુત્તી, ગધ્ધો-ગધ્ધીના સંદર્ભો એટલા વિસ્તર્યા કે એ મને થતાં સંબોધનોમાં ઉમેરાયા, ‘કુતરી, ગધેડી..’ કોઈ પણ વડીલને ઉશ્કેરી દે, પોતાની સંતાન અસંસ્કારી બની ગયું છે એમ માનવા પ્રેરે એવાં આ સંબોધનોને અમે રમતમાં ફેરવી નાખ્યા..ઈવા એક શબ્દથી શરુ કરે પછી પ્રાણી-પક્ષીઓના સ્ત્રી લીંગની યાદી બોલવા માંડવાની-સસલી,વાઘણ,સાપણ,હાથણ,કાબરી,દેડકી... એવું નથી કે તેણે આ શબ્દ પહેલી વાર પ્રયોજ્યો ત્યારે એમાં ગાળ બોલવાની વૃત્તિ નહોતી. એમ બોલવા બદલ તેને વઢી શકાઈ હોત, તેને એમ ડારી શકાઈ હોત કે આવા ‘ખરાબ’ શબ્દો બોલવા નહી. પણ, એનું પરિણામ શું આવત? એ વડીલોની પીઠ પાછળ એવું બોલવા પ્રેરાત અને એ રીતે તેની અને વડિલ વચ્ચે અંતર ઊભું થાત જે ક્યારેય પૂરી ના શકાત.( કેટલાંક વડીલો એમ માને ય છે કે આવું અંતર, નાના-મોટાનું, શિક્ષક-વિદ્યાર્થીનું રાખવું જોઈએ. હું વ્યક્તિગત રીતે એમ માનતી નથી.)
આમ, વિવિધતાભરી સૃષ્ટિ સાથે ઈવાના વિશ્વનો વિસ્તાર હળવેથી પહોળોઊંડો થઇ રહ્યો છે. વિસ્તારનો આ ઈજાફો તેના ડરને ય ઓગાળશે, કદાચ !

25.8.12

Capra and Neruda and much much more

*It is interesting to observe an adult to talk with a child.


In other words, an adult to ‘play’ with a child.

My observation is, very few adults know how to interact with a child.

Occasionally, the child speaks lines like a mature person and that too in timely manner. Most of the adults slip here, taking the lines ‘personally’ and either defending oneself or attacking the child.

So, the primary condition to be talk-able to a child is- capability of handling one’s ego.

And in such situation, attacking the child teaches the child the inhuman rule of survival : attacking the creature with lower capability.

When the child behaves child like, adults confuse it with immaturity, particularly in the matter of time and handling things.

For the child, time does not exist. For the child, it doesn’t matter whether the thing is precious or delicate or dangerous; as for her, the value of the thing is only playable or not playable. And, child has the amazing ability to play with any available thing, from snake to fire to pebble to leg to…

So, adults can not enjoy the amazing imaginary world of fantasy, playing with things differently and creatively.

Also, when addressed from the same level, as a friend, the child displays unimaginable responsibility.

Some enthusiastic adults are over attentive to inform the child ‘facts’ around her. It kills the beauty of wonder sometimes.

Hear, the adult have to keep the balance of a scientist appreciating the poetry, like Capra admiring Neruda.

My observation is: the child IS Capra and Neruda (more than that, unlimited potential) ;she can admit that the moon is a satellite and still address her as her maternal uncle.

Thus, the common mistake adults commit is , considering the child as an adult while she is mimicking adults, considering the child childish when she is childlike and considering the child as a child when she can handle responsibilities.

Few examples :

@Eva learnt few magic tricks from Salimbhai. While she was performing it before a group of teachers, all of them, laden with their childish ego, ‘caught’ her trick before she finished her performance!

@at SRG workshops, Rakesh, Sonu, Harshavi, Jayeshbhai…are her friends, appreciating her continuously at the same time indulging her into learning tasks, academic as well as creative (or creatively academic!). Not a single negative remark, only friendliness, giving ‘helping’ hand considering her psycho-physical limitations and supporting her world of wonder and imagination.

2.8.12

Awaiting the beauty

While switching to Gujarati medium, Eva has problem in recognizing numbers in Gujarati language.


She could identify ૩૭ as 37 but could not spell or speak it as સાડત્રીસ.

I thought of few activities to support her to overcome this difficulty.

We planned a chart and prepared paper strips, but, I changed my mind and we didn’t write anything on them.

After spending one and a half month together, I have realized her capacity of learning, and it reminded me not to give her this support.

Support is helpful to speed up the learning process sometimes and sometimes it is a much needed part of the learning process.

But, this time, I knew, it is not needed.

When we sit at home for her Math homework, I continue speaking English numbers because I saw that it was comfortable for her.

After 2-3 weeks, she started speaking numbers like this : be hajar charso sixty eight . (બે હજાર ચાર સો sixty eight)

She new એક (1) to દસ (10) due to family background but never used it in her Math tasks. She started applying it now.

Only last week, she shared a lovely story of her : " you know, one boy in my class has bavvan (52) roll number and the other has ogan pachaas (49) ! I have only Eighty three. How good it was if I had a number like them ! Bavvan, Ogan pachchaas! "

Those numbers, awkward according to teachers and parents, were a thing of praise and wonder for her.

Then, time came for tables-11 to 20.

She asked me : What we call 14 ? ‘chaud ‘ , I replied.

Then, she spoke the table of 14 like this : chaud ekza chaud, chaud chokza fifty six, chaud dasza eksochalis !

She is learning on her own, from her Gujarati medium environment.

We started speaking the tables like this : she would speak in English and I would repeat it in Gujarati.

Just after two days, she started, on her own, like this : I would speak a line of the table in Gujarati, she would not repeat it, she would speak the next line in English.

In this whole incident, I have not guided her for a single time. She switched over on her own.

The beauty of Eng and Gujarati number is yet to explore, I am awaiting that moment.

1.8.12

મેહના વેહ

કેમ રહ્યો છે ઘેરાઈ આટલો ઘેઘુર સ્નેહ?


ઉત્કટ આટલા બેય તોય કેમ વિખુટા દેહ?



એંધાણ બધાં પુરના, આગાહી કરતા ફરે લોક

મેઘ ધરતીના તારા મૈત્રકને ચકડોળે રમે ચોક

વાયરા બધા ઓતરાદા છતાં કેમ આવા વેહ?



કોક ઘેલા જણને મોકલો કાઢે કોઈ તોડ

વેવાર મૂકી કોરાણે બાંધે હવાઈ રોડ

આમ ભીના સપનાં કેમ જાળવવા કોરે કોરે દેહ ?



29.7.12

Togetherness

What is it to attend a child?


It is 100% attention, physically, psychologically, emotionally.

If I ask Eva to do some task expecting to indulge myself in some other household tasks, she would come up to me with genuine questions !

Questions which I have to respond.

It would be a compromise on her part if I stay away 10 feet and answer her questions.

I have tried to give her some ‘interesting’ task and stay away for a while.

It didn’t work.

She wants me there, participating in whatever she is doing.

So, I am left with two options : Indulge with her or indulge her with me.

Togetherness !

(May be , after some time she may not need this much of me.)

And I realized what it means to respond to a child .

She has only genuine questions. All her questions have intensity of life or death. So, I have to attend her question fully and respond accordingly.

And now I understand –why a child asks the same question again and again.

A child sees the world with a collective approach, she sees it through so many perspective, and a new perspective each time. She relates one incident to so many other incidents, people, things and such. So, each of her question is to check out the new association and making adjustment with that.

I experience this as a teacher,too. If a child asks the same question again and again , then it means that she is searching for new associations or the concept has not sattled into her brain or she has not understood it. And if she has not  understood it, it means the teacher needs to explore a new technique to address the same topic.

One has to be true and genuine while responding a child.

Now I understand why the great thinkers suggest to spend some time with children ! One do not need to do meditation classes after that.

26.7.12

સોમરસ

ઋગ્વેદકાળ પર આધારિત મુનશીની નવલપંચમીની કથા કરતાં તેની પ્રસ્તાવના વધુ ગમી હતી અને એક વિગત પર ચિત્ત ચોંટી ગયું હતું : તે સમયે શબ્દોના અર્થો ઘડાઈ રહ્યાં હતાં. એટલેકે, જે શબ્દનો અર્થ આજે આપણે સમજીએ છીએ તે અર્થ તે કાળમાં ના પણ હોય.


વિશ્વામિત્રની કથામાં અને બીજે કેટલેક ઠેકાણે પણ, ઋષિ ‘થવાની’ પ્રક્રિયાનું વર્ણન કઈંક અંશે તાંત્રિક ક્રિયા જેવું લાગ્યું હતું અને એમ પ્રશ્ન પણ થયો કે મુનશી કક્ષાના લેખકે આવું વર્ણન કેમ લખ્યું હશે? એમ પણ થયું હતું કે, કદાચ મુનશી કોઈ રહસ્યમયતા ઇંગિત કરવા માંગતા હશે.

સામાન્ય રીતે મને જવાબો ‘મેળવવાની’ ઉતાવળ હોતી નથી. જવાબ આપોઆપ ઉઘડે એની મજા હોય છે.

વિનોબા સંકલિત એક પુસ્તક હાથ લાગ્યું, 'વેદામૃત' ;
ઋગ્વેદમાંથી ચૂંટેલા ૮3 શ્લોક પર વિનોબા જેવા મનીષીની ટિપ્પણ.

અને વિનોબા નોંધે છે કે એ કાળમાં સંસ્કૃત ભાષા ઘડાઈ રહી હતી !

સંસ્કૃત શબ્દોના અર્થોમાં આ બહુપરિમાણીય ઊંડાણ જોયાં પછી આ વિગતનું આશ્ચર્ય થાય. એક શબ્દ, જે ઋગ્વેદ કાળમાં જન્મ્યો અને જન્મ સમયે કઈંક અર્થ પામ્યો, પછી એ શબ્દ વિકસ્યો અને એના અર્થમાં કઈંક ઉમેરાયું. બાલ્યકાળનો અર્થ અને પુખ્ત અર્થમાં વિરોધીતા ના હોય એ તો ઠીક, તે એકબીજાના પુરક હોય ! અહા, શું યાત્રા કરી છે શબ્દ એ !

વળી, વિનોબા નોંધે છે કે ‘ઋષિ’ને શ્લોક ‘સ્ફૂરતા.’ એટલેકે, મુનશીની નજરે જોઈએ તો ઋષિ પદ એને મળતું જેમને શ્લોક સ્ફૂરતા. શ્લોક રચવાની,ઘડવાની વાત નથી, ભીતરથી ઉદગાર ઉઠવાની વાત છે. વિનોબા માને છે કે , એ શબ્દો આવા ઘૂંટાયેલા અર્થ પામ્યાં તેનું કારણ આ સ્ફુરણ અને વળી આવું માત્ર સંસ્કૃત ભાષામાં જ થયું એમ નથી. બીજી આડી ભાષાઓમાં પણ આવા ઘેઘુર શબ્દો મળી આવે છે.મને એમ લાગે છે કે જે માનવમાં વૈશ્વિક ચેતના સ્પંદિત થઇ તે ઘટનાઓને વિસ્તૃત સ્વરૂપે જોઈ શક્યો અને સંસ્કૃતિના બાલ્યકાળમાં પણ પોતાની સંવેદના થકી પૂર્ણ રૂપે જોડાઈ શકવાને કારણે ધ્વનિ સાથે એવાં અર્થ જોડી શક્યો જે ચિરંજીવી બન્યા.

મુનશીના વર્ણનમાં આવે છે કે વરુણ દેવ પ્રસન્ન થાય તે વ્યક્તિ ઋષિ બની શકે.

વિનોબા એ તારવી આપેલા ‘વરુણ’ શબ્દના અર્થો પર એક નજર :સંયમ ચક્ષુ, આવૃત્ત કરનાર, સાધનાનો આધાર.

!

અને વિનોબા ઋગ્વેદને ટાંકે છે : વરુણના વ્રત અનુંન્ઘનીય હોય છે.

આગળ,

સોમરસ એટલે સોમ નામની કલ્પિત વનસ્પતિનો અર્ક,રસ; પોતાના દેહને તપાવવાથી મળતો પવિત્ર રસ.

સોમ એટલે પવિત્ર, જે આકાશમાંથી પ્રગટે છે, ચંદ્ર.

બે સમકાલીન દિગ્ગજોના લખાણને અનાયાસ આડી ધરીમાં જોવાઈ જવાયુ અને પીવા મળ્યો સોમરસ; અદ્વિતીય લખાણ માટે તેમણે અને વાંચન માટે મેં તપાવેલી રાતોના પરિપાક રૂપે.

just read this brilliant & awesome lyric of the title song of the serial Bharat Ek Khoj

25.7.12

ધૂમકેતુ

કાળને અતિક્રમી શકવાની લખાણની ત્રેવડ લેખકની આવડતને પ્રતિબિંબિત કરે છે. ધૂમકેતુની ‘જુમો ભિસ્તી’ ભણાવતાં અને ઈવાના ‘બીકણ સસલી’ પ્રેમને જોઈ એ પ્રતિબિંબ ચિત્તમાં પડઘાયું.


જુમો ભિસ્તી: એક એક વિધાન ભાષાને સાહિત્યની ઊંચાઈ આપે. પાડાનું ‘નમણું’ નામ પાડનાર ‘સાહિત્યપ્રેમી’ની જેમ! જુમો જયારે ‘મારો વે...’ એમ અધૂરું છોડે ત્યારે જુમાનું વેણુ સાથેનું જોડાણ, અન્ય વ્યક્તિઓની ની:સ્પૃહ્યતા અને એ અંગે જુમાની સમજ એમ બધું વ્યક્ત થઇ જાય. “શાંતિ એવી જ જળવાઈ રહી” એમ લખીને લેખક છેલ્લા ફકરામાં જુમાને ‘અશાંત’ પણ લેખે.

શિક્ષક તરીકે જે પડકાર તે એ કે આવી કૃતિનો પોતાના ચિત્તમાં જે પડઘો પડે એની ગુંજ વિદ્યાર્થીઓના ચિત્તમાં ગાજતી કરવી. આદર્શ પઠન સંવેદનોને પહોંચાડવા ઉપયોગી; ભાષાની બારીકાઈઓ ખોલવા ભાષા પ્રવૃત્તિઓ કામ લાગે. આવા પ્રશ્નો પૂછ્યા :

-પાડાનું નામ કોણે પડ્યું હતું? તે કોણ હતો?(હિંદુ સાહિત્યરસિક મિત્ર)

-સાહિત્યરસિક, કલારસિક ...જેવા શબ્દોની યાદી બનાવીએ.

-અહીં લેખકે મિત્ર આગળ ‘હિંદુ’ વિશેષણ કેમ મુક્યું? એ ના મુક્યું હોત તો ના ચાલત?

-કયા વિધાન આધારે જુમાનો ધર્મ નક્કી કરી શકાય? જુમાના ધર્મ અંગે બીજે ક્યાય નિર્દેશ છે?

-કયા કયા વિધાનો પરથી જુમાની આર્થિક સ્થિતિનો ખ્યાલ આવે?

-‘રંગ જોવાં’,’તડકો છાયડો’...આ શબ્દ જુથોને ના બદલે બીજા શબ્દો મૂકી વાક્ય બનાવો અને બોલો. કયું વાક્ય તમને વધુ ગમ્યું?કેમ?

-પહેલી પાંચ લીટીઓ વાંચો. એને ધ્યાને રાખી તમારા ગામ,ફળિયા અને ઘરનું ખુબ ટૂંકમાં વર્ણન લખો.

- સિગન્લ વાળાને ત્યાં બુમ પડતી વખતે જુમો ‘ઓ ભાઈ બહેન’ એમ કેમ બોલે છે? માત્ર ભાઈ કે બહેન કેમ નહી?

-“માણસનું છૈયું ય દેખાતું ન હતું.” આ વાક્ય વડે લેખક શું સૂચવવા માંગે છે?

બીકણ સસલી :

આ વાર્તા મેં ઇવાને વેકેશનમાં ‘મારી રીતે’ કહી હતી. ત્યારે તો તે અંગ્રેજી માધ્યમની વિદ્યાર્થી હતી. તેને ગુજરાતીમાં એ જ વાર્તા પાઠ તરીકે આવતાં તેના આનંદનો પર નહોતો.( ધમાચકડી કાવ્ય ભણવામાં ક્યારે આવશે ! તે એની રાહ જુએ છે.) એને ગુજરાતી વાંચન અંગે આત્મવિશ્વાસ ઓછો કારણકે એને પોતાની ક્ષમતા ખબર છે અને પોતે હાલ પોતાની ‘કક્ષા’ મુજબનું વાંચી નથી શકતી એ અંગે સભાન પણ ખરી. એટલે મારે તેને રોજ ‘બીકણ સસલી’ વાંચી સંભળાવવી પડે.

પણ, ગયા અઠવાડિયે મેં સૂચવ્યું અને મારી સસલીમાં ‘બીકણ સસલી’ વાંચવાની જીગર પણ જન્મી. ત્યારથી, રોજ, અમારે ત્યાં ‘બીકણ સસલી’ ધાર્મિક નિયમિતતાથી વંચાય છે !

મારો માસ્તર જીવ રોજ એકાદી સવાલ કે પ્રવૃત્તિ – ભાષા શિક્ષણ માટેની કરાવવા લલચાય. અને ત્યારે એ એકમની ભાષાની ઊંચાઈ અને ગિજુભાઈની સુક્ષ્મ દ્રષ્ટિ માટે માન થઇ આવે. ટૂંકા પદ્ય વાક્યો, અંત્યાનુપ્રાસ, લિંગ પરિવર્તન, જોડાક્ષરો, કાવ્યમય ફકરાનું પુનરાવર્તન, નવા શબ્દોનો પરિચય મૂકી દેવાની સિફત અને સૌથી ઉચ્ચ તો રસ જાળવી રાખવો !

Sharp..n..r

Eva had a habit of scratching the eraser.


While her left hand was busy in writing, her right hand- index finger would scratch the eraser.

Each day she required a new eraser.

At first, as usual , I expressed irritation and asked her not to do so, or to take care.

But , soon I have realized my mistake.

She understands that scratching the eraser is not a good habit.

But, she could not overcome it somehow.

And she did not know how to handle oneself in such situation.

So, I suggested replacing the eraser with a handkerchief.

She agreed quickly and followed it.

And enjoyed the psychological change in own self .

It was amazing to witness that.

Next day, she asked me for a handkerchief while preparing for the school.

I have forgotten the incident of the last night. Though I gave her the handkerchief.

Two-three days later, after returning from the school, she told me, “ As I did not have the handkerchief, I used the sharpener!”

22.7.12

ઠંડે ઠંડે પાની સે નહાના ચાહિયે



ઈવા હુંફાળા પાણીથી સ્નાન માટે ટેવાયેલી છે. અમારે કેટલાંક દિવસ એવાં સ્થળે રહેવાનું બન્યું કે જ્યાં ગરમ પાણી મેળવી શકાય એમ નહોતું. પહેલાં દી એ પાણી અડતાં જ એ આખ્ખી થથરી. એટલે મનેય સહેજ દોષ ભાવના થઇ. પણ પછી જોયું કે એને શારીરિક નુકસાન,બીમારી થાય એવું પાણી નહોતું. અને આમ પણ, ઠંડા પાણીથી સ્નાનના ફાયદા જાહેર છે , તો...,


મેં શરુ કર્યું ગીત : ઠંડે ઠંડે પાની સે નહાના ચાહિયે !

હજી અઠવાડિયા પછી ઘરે પણ ઠંડા પાણીથી નહાવાની ચાહ જારી છે, નહાવાય છે.

એવામાં વિચાર આવ્યો કે ચાલ એ ગીત તેને બતાવું.

ગીત જોયું, એને બતાવવા યોગ્ય અને આખું અત્યારે શીખવવા યોગ્ય ના લાગ્યું.

એટલે એક બે અંતરા ભેગાં કરી એક અંતરો બનાવી કાઢ્યો, હું ઉપાડું અને ઈવા પંક્તિ પૂરી કરે, ઉપલબ્ધ સરંજામને તબલાં બનાવી ને...

ગાના તો ગાના હી ચાહિયે ના !


20.7.12

Life is joy

How do children see the illness of their relative adult?


Usually, they do not take it seriously.

They cannot be ‘serious’.

If the teacher is not well physically, students will not maintain quietness in the classroom for more than five minutes.

If the teacher is friendly, they would rather ‘disturb’ the teacher with questions about illness.

Sometimes, yes, sometimes they take this matter differently and remain ‘good behaved’.

I don’t know why so, as I have experienced this for one or two times only.

Eva is also not attending my illness.

She is as she is, playing, singing, chattering, dancing.

I tried to address her that I am not well and I expect support from her, just to understand how she looks at it.

Nothing !

But, today, all of sudden, she was attentive to me.

She asked me for medicine, arranged kitchen and when I was cleaning utensils, she asked me to leave it and that she will do that.

Meanwhile, she was also coming to me for her needs as well.

Funny to an adult eye.

For a child, life is a play, a curious encounter to the present.

Seriousness is an illness created by domesticated adults.

Life is non-serious, its joy!

19.7.12

flux and fly

A child is in flux, an adult is in fix.


Eva remembers a lot many things and she makes different associations which an adult mind cannot comprehend sometimes.

Like, one of our relative has to cut her leg due to an accident. Now and then, in her tales, different persons faces problem of cutting their legs. One day, we even play like if I have a cut leg and she walked with a cut leg.

She is adjusting her brain cells with the new information she has got, with as many ways as possible ways she can.

I was explaining : if we change places of number while doing addition or multiplication, the value does not change , from both the sides (cz we were working with sums of two numbers only. i.e.23 * 41 or 3421 +3721 ) ; using her first two fingers, she explained me : like this ? She has reversed her fingers.

New words and phrases attract her like anything. In one of Gijubhai’s stories, it comes like this : they have passed by the jungle (વન ને વગડો વતી ગયા). She has asked: what does mean passed by ? I explained with my an example, if someone is coming to our house and asks the address, I should say, if you are coming from Chikhodra, do not pass by the over bridge but if from Ganesh crossing, then pass by the bridge.

Eva : Then why don’t you speak like this when someone asks you the address ? Do so now onwards!

Application of the knowledge, you know !

And she has , don’t know how many, many versions of her favorite story : bikan sasli (fearful rabbit).

Sometimes the rabbit meets an uncle and go on singing, “ run, run !”

The Uncle would say, “ you sing well but your rhyme seems unfinished. “

So the rabbit goes back to the jungle and there it remembers the whole rhyme…dattan ,pattan….run uncle run.”



She enjoys the melody of the rhythm, a lot !

ઈશ્વરસદૃશ




કેટલાંક સમયથી એવી સમજ ઘડાઈ રહી છે : વ્યક્તિના ઈરાદા પર કદી શંકા ના કરવી. કેમકે, કોઈ વ્યક્તિનો ઈરાદો ખરાબ/નબળો હોતો નથી. માત્ર જે તે વ્યક્તિ પોતાના સ્વમાં સ્થિત એટલે કે સ્વસ્થ ના હોવાને કારણે આમ કરી બેસતી હોય. અને જે સ્વસ્થ ના હોય તેની તો શુશ્રુષા કરવી રહી.

બીજી સમજ એમ કેળવાઈ રહી છે કે જયારે કોઈ વ્યક્તિ સમજતી નથી ત્યારે એમ સ્વીકારી લેવું કે તે સમજી ‘શકતી’ નથી. અથવા તો તે સમજ માટેની તેનામાં શક્તિ નથી. આટલા સ્વિકાર પછી આગળ વિચારવું શરુ કરીએ તો વિકલ્પો ખુલતા જાય છે, સમજણ ના, બે ય પક્ષે.

ઈવા પર અકળાઈ જવાય ત્યારે ત્યારે ચોંકી જવાય : ક્યાં છે આનું મૂળ?

બાળકના ઈરાદામાં બદી હોવાનો તો પ્રશ્ન જ ઉભો થતો નથી. આમ છતાં, એના વર્તનના પ્રત્યાઘાત રૂપે મારામાં જે આવેગ ઉઠે છે એ તો એમ જ સૂચવે છે કે મને તેના ઈરાદા પર શંકા છે!

પર્યાવરણમાં અમે ત્રણ એકમ ભણ્યા છીએ. ઇવાને પોતાની ગુજરાતી વાંચન ક્ષમતા અંગે ભરોસો નથી, અને એની વાંચનક્ષમતા પ્રમાણમાં સહેજ નબળી તો ખરી જ( તેને આ વર્ષે જ ગુજરાતી માધ્યમમાં અભ્યાસ શરુ કર્યો છે એટલે). તેનામાં એ બે ક્ષમતા કેળવવાના હેતુથી ભણી ગયેલ ત્રણેય એકમ વાંચવા એમ મેં દરખાસ્ત મૂકી. એ પહેલાં એણે જ સૂચવ્યું કે પર્યાવરણ કરીએ. તેણે ધરાર ચોથો એકમ ખોલ્યો અને ... અમે વાતચીત કરી. મેં મારી મુશ્કેલીઓ જણાવી અને તને પાકું થાય, આવડે છે એટલે ઝડપથી વંચાઈ જાય એવી તેવી લલચામણી વિગતો પણ સ્પષ્ટ કરી. પણ, આંખોમાં ખટકે એવી દ્રષ્ટિ અને હોંઠને ખૂણે વંકાયેલ સ્મિત સાથે એ મારી સામે જીદ કે જડતાભર્યું તાકી રહી. અને મેં મારા પરનો કાબુ ગુમાવ્યો. ચોપડી પછાડી હું રસોડામાં જતી રહી.

પણ, મારા આ પ્રકારના વર્તન પછી એનો ચહેરો જે ભાવ ધરે છે, તે જીરવાય તેવો નથી હોતો. અને એ જ મને ઉગારી લે છે.

તે શૂન્યમયસ્કતા ઓઢી લે છે.

એ જડતામાં ખપાવી શકાય એવી હોય છે, પણ હું જાણું છું કે તે જડતા નથી. બચાવપ્રયુક્તિ છે.

પોતે જેને ચાહે છે એ વ્યક્તિના ના સમજાતા કઠોર વર્તનનો પ્રતિઘાત.

ઉંમરને કારણે વયસ્ક વ્યક્તિની વ્યવહારુ મુશ્કેલીઓ તે ના જ સમજી શકે, એમ મારે સમજવું રહ્યું.

અવારનવાર મારે તેની માફી માંગવી પડે છે.

અને તે, ઈશ્વર જેવી, વહાલ ઢોળે છે.

“ જો તું રાત્રે વાર્તા નહી કહે તો તારી સાથે નહી બોલું .” , એવી શરત રાખે કે જેમાં અમે બેય જીતવાના જ હોઈએ.

17.7.12

Schooling Days

We are having interesting schooling days.


Sometimes I found her writing spellings with Gujarati meanings and that is also for five times.

And I get blasted out.

She enjoys doing this type of home work.

Because , since last three years of her schooling, she understands that this is the only way.

Also that it keeps her engaged.

Then, we had a chat. And she agrees to write it for one time (for a time being).

It is her homework and she is afraid of the teacher’s demands.

Every day I find myself writing a chit to one or the other teacher that she will not have the homework you have expected and that is fine with me as a parent.

She does not like to touch the Environment Science book.

Because, she finds the language unreachable.

She can read Gujarati but not as fluently as other ‘bright’ students.

She is low at confidence when it comes about reading Gujarati.

So, I have to try techniques, like find out names of animals and write it down.

She enjoys writing, again, considering it is ‘the studying’.

In her Environment Science, she is having ‘diversity in living things’ as third chapter.

I was thinking about ways to address this topic.

I guess, she reads out my mind sometimes.

While massaging her hair on Sunday, she asked : is there many different varieties of camouflage?

Bang !

And then , Can I play with this monsoon insect? She was referring to a very small crawling insect.

I said , yes but I do not know how much hazardous it is to us.

Eva : just take care that it does not enter into the ear.

I realized that I have told this few days back.

E : what happens when it enters into Ear?

It may cause a hole in the Ear organ.

E : does it reaches to the stomach?

No, it reaches into the brain. Because, Ear is joined with the brain.

And so on que and ans…

I knew, Ear is a chapter in Science textbook of standard 7 or 8.

But, as she was asking, as always, genuinely, I responded in the same way.







8.7.12

Child Right

Eva comes with me where ever I go.


Today we went to a radiologist for sonography of my relative.

As usual, Eva started questioning:

Why she need to drink water?

How will they see inside?

Can we go inside and see how they check ?

… TO explain things to a child, an adult needs clear understanding. And if the adult does not know thing, she has to accept that ‘I do not know’.

Beauty of explaining something to a child is, you need to find out simple examples from day to day life or situations. You have to be simple and direct. A child’s question is enough to break down one’s ego of being knowledgeable.

Well,

The attendant was listening to our talk and he was listenings to us with a smile on her face.

He asked us to go inside and see the check up, without asking him for the permission.

This happens at every shop we go.

The shopkeeper and fellow customers enjoy our talk and then their response to Eva gets changed.

Through this process, I realized that as a society in general, we do not know how to ‘respond’ and ‘attend’ a child.

We consider a child ‘low’ to adults. We ban a child’s right of equality.

4.7.12

From Fear to Wonder

Eva used to be a brave girl. She had child-like fears but she also had tendency to explore into unknown.


Somehow, she became fearful.

Our new house does not have close neighborhood. It is almost like a farm house as there are few farms nearby. We had wide open surrounding inviting birds and insects. Well, a beautiful, calm place to an adult. But , Eva’s fears started developing with the satting of the Sun.

We worked out this way :

Hey, look at the colours around ! How beautiful ! See, the evening Sun has coloured everything. Let us check the colour after ten minutes. Let us see which star comes out first and who finds it first.

We would sit in the porch or on the stairs, Eva, sitting in my lap and covering her body with my arms around, would get driven into the wonder and beauty of the colour play of evening sky.

Now, it is not that she has became fearless, but evenings have became a time to explore beauty of setting Sun and exploring the sky.

Same has happened with the camouflage .

One day I asked her to open the gate and she said she cannot because there was a camouflage.

So , adding dramatic excitement into my voice, I shouted : oh, where is it? What’ the colour ? Have you seen it changing its colour ? Where is camera? Let’s click few photos.

Then, step by step, we went closer to it. I encountered my fear too.

Now, it is her friend. She enjoys photos from net and rushes with camera whenever she sees a camouflage.

28.6.12

Uni-form



 Day 1 with school uniform, :my regrate for tericotton material has been faded away a bit by this brighter shine.





 

24.6.12

Weekend Drama

I am struggelling with myself , particularly when I find myself 'forcing' Eva to do some task. The struggle, how to make that task interesting enough to attarct her and the most important is-am I imposing my ideas of 'learning' on her?

Yesterday night, we were in the bazar and seeing a board for a play, I spoke up excitedely, "Oh, there is a play, Let me check what it is about." Then only I realised that  Eva may not enjoy the play and can not sit for almost 3 hrs. So, I dropped the idea. But, she started institing. "Atleast check na !" (She often uses phrases spoken by elders, and with perfect timing. ) So, I went over to check about the play. It was a routine one : Gadhi tari beek che baki badhu thik che. I was still not sure about what to do, as I got idea that the play is typical entertainment. But, I also wished to give Eva a feel of the stage performance as she has never been to a play and I do not know when we get chance for a play for children. But, she kept on insisting, let's go. She was doing so just to explore a new thing. (How amazing a child is !) So, finally we got tickets for balcany. She was all excited to have her own ticket in her hand. She understood that this is about seeing some femous film actor and she named an actor on the ticket as Amirkhan, asked me, weather we can meet him or not? Well, we'll see-I replied.

Within ten minutes I realised she is not enjoying. But, I started enjoying the 'play' (playing off the stage-being one of the character)!She started asking me question : is this house real? Is her hair real ? "no, it's a wig. " What is a wig? I explained. Is her purse real ?Is these actors have same skin as we? Is he drinking real tea? Why people are laughing-what he spoke? Why there is no hero? What is interval? Why the other part seems like a police station?
She was trying to comprehand : what is reality and what is 'play' !

So, we took one more chance today morning and went for "Ferari Ki  Savari."

She hardly set quitely or stedy for more than five minutes.

In the scene, where the servent and the security guard inquires at a garrage about lost ferari , she asked : why they are lieing?

Bingo ! She is catching up the story. She is comprehending.

29.5.12

Creat-activity

I am struggling with many things, so does Eva. She has a fine hand to draw fine lines, but all the time she wanted to draw 'mahendi'. How to move her to other stuff? Also, she likes to make dodecahedron but not the tirangle or pyramid.  But, today by some crooks, she got moved and see what she has came up withinn one and a half hour!
Lot to learn !
Sunflower and the Sun


drawing 3D on paper

25.5.12

Don't share plz.

*Eva has started to come up , ‘I want to tell/ask you something only if you keep it to yourself and do not share with anybody.’ She mentioned few names which are close friends of mine and asked, ‘Not even with them.’


At first, I thought, it might be just a girlish or childish behavior: asking not to share and sharing with all.

But, no, Eva meant her words. I realized this after to-three incidents she shared with me. And I also realized that they are not sharable.

I share incidents and stories related to her because I want to be clear about things related with child psychology and education.

One such incident I share here to make this article more clear : once again she asked me not to share it with anybody and then asked : why uncle walk like this? We had a guest and Eva was asking about him.

I explained that uncle is habituated to walk like that. No one asked him to improve his habit neither he himself has improved it on his own. So, on a long run, his whole body has adjusted with that particular habit and now there is very less chances of improvement ; due to age his bones are stiff now.

The question seems normal, then why she asked me not to share it ?

Usually, elders do not respond children and thresh them. In case of questions like above, elders consider them as non-respectful and scold the child. In a long run, the child stops sharing and asking. How dangerous it is ! If the incidents are positive, elders miss the wonderful world of the child; but if the incidents are negative-it is very very dangerous.







15.5.12

A girl child

Eva is a girl !


Well, whats new in this?

A lot for a person like me who lived a tomboyish life.

For our new home, which is white inside and outside, she is unhappy with colours- why not pink and green?

Everyday she spends 2-3 hours to wear duppatas as sari and she gets engrossed in that act so much that she forgets the time span.


One day she has asked for a lipstick to me. We have one now.
She is not happy with her fixed gold earings- cz she likes to change them frequently. She manages to wear hanging earings on them.
She comments on my dressing : "this dress suits u. this one is,well..."

She likes to draw mahendi designs and she draws it neatly,very very fine lines. And not comfortable with brush-paints.

She has a good hand, arranges things like a super mom, knows few receipes and can cook few items (good and bad for me), has a strong taste bud, likes suger-salt in a little more proporations. My food is dull-boring-not testy for her...Ya,ya, I am learning !


She go on singing self made songs-few about my boring behaviour.

She listens every bit of sound spoken around her.
and much more.

For a time being, I keep my educational ideas for a halt and let her be what she likes to, just intereferring with questions or suggesting ideas in whatever she is doing.

I am writing this because at first I found this a bit unusuall as I was not like her. Keeping aside my educational(?!) plannings irritated me.

Now, I am trying to understand her and accepting that she is not unusual but normal and she is learning, every moment and that is education,too.

SUggestions and comments...much needed please.

11.5.12

Eva



My 8 years old and soon to enter 9th year niece is a bundle of love and wonder enlightening my world these days. I have decided –This vacation will be solely for Her. She was not happy with her school and I have identified some problems troubling her.

So, we came to eachother.

I had some pre-planning for her. Which is no more now!

The first plan was to cover-up educational gaps in her classroom processes. I thought of few activities that can be helpful and which may attract her interest. I have to postpone this idea for a time being as soon I realized that she owes a vacation. And more importantly, there are some other areas that we need to work out then the educational one.

So, we started with…nothing particular.

Day one, she taught me a few things, literally : these of my clothes need to wash separately cause they are coloured and you should not apply brush on these ones . I have two rubber bands and I like a tight ponytail, use this butterfly to protect my hair while having bath, give me milk half hour earlier so I get proper pressure, I do not eat chillies much…

And we have fresh mud at the courtyard of our newly built house. She played there almost the whole day.

Slowly, our learning is picking up.

At school, she used to come with me and play. Play in the playground with …soil. She made a snow-gola, a cake and a glass-gola. Vinaben asked her for and orange-gola. After few minutes, she came up with orange coloured mud-gola !

She observes things sharply. Sometimes she expresses it loudly but mostly she just makes some sound. So, I keep on asking her, what have you seen? I don’t want to miss the wonderful and beautiful world she sees.

She is a listener. She listen everything, even when she makes an indifferent face. She pretends not to listen when she don’t want to do what is being said. So, I learnt not to continue when she is pretending not-listening. It works.

She is a girl ! sent percent! Interfering my tomboyish life. She likes to dress up and comments on my dressing. One noon, I gave her my duppata to cover her face and arms, she said, ‘ take the duppata as soon as we reach that place, you should not go without it, its indecent !” she started inquiring about my body and my cloths. At first, it was disturbing for me that such a small girl has such questions. I have to face facts and I bravely did so. So, then onwards, I have started to answer all her questions without hiding anything, in a manner she can understand. It is really a challenge-to explain this subject and to explain it simply.

And she likes to keep secretes and sharing them in ears !

She has a fine hand. She do things neatly and minutely and in smaller scale. She is very good at housekeeping. Yesterday she oiled my hairs so perfectly.

She copies writings, copies for hours. This is what her school has done to her. Give her a novel and she will copy it. So, we decided, rather I forced her, not to write a single letter during vacation. In case she has itching for writing, just pick up a crayon or brush and draw something. She agreed, without her fevourite question –why? May be she also understands that this is not normal. Though, after a week she asked. ‘why?’ and I replied, I don’t know but I wish you do this. And she agreed.

Since long back, I tried to make her sing few songs, but failing due to some of the reasons. This time, I started singing without asking and indulging her. She herself asked me to sing with her ‘aakashganga’ by Tagor-Meghani. That moment was a joy for me. Now, we sing a good number of different songs. A gujarati song ‘duniya aakhkhi ma mare che’ is being sung in que-ans manner : I sing it like que(it is in questioning form) and she gives answers to it. One day she asked, have you wrote this? I said ‘no’ and with a bit of confused hesitation added, ‘it is by Tagore’.Later, she caught a photo in my cupboard and asked, ‘is this Tagor?’ I was happily surprised because the photo was of Rajnish and with beard and typical eyes I found similarities between those two personalities! Also, I don’t know that she had ever seen a photo of Tagore, may be at her school.

One thing is common between us, love for stones. I haven’t shown my collection yet because some of them are delicate and very-very precious for me. But, we are collecting new ones as they are in plenty around my newly constructing society. We are also collecting shells. We have seen a mirror decorated by shells and are aiming to make one.

She scored good at school. She can multiply 3digit number with a 2 digit number and even teach that. But, she cannot recongnise bigger number than 100 ! for her medication, we tried a trick to count up to 120 by speaking either odd or even number. She will count only up to 100. She don’t enter into a situation where it declares that she don’t know something. That is why she do not read storybooks. Once identified this , now I read for her. Activities for math are in queue, suggestions are welcome. Also, she has not clear ideas about distances and other measurements.

I used to ask her, help me in work at home. Then I realized my mistake and changed my wording : it is our house and you should share work with me.

She had a habit of asking and making promises. Every time I ask that will do this, she will ask, ‘promise?’ For a few times I responded ‘Yes’. But, then I started, as I said it, I will do it. No promise-bomis. Now, she is getting this slowly. She is not asking me ‘promise?’ every time.

What interests her? -is the prime concern for me these days and I try to plan everything accordingly. That doesn’t mean that I do everything as she wishes. But, we negotiate about thing to do and not to do and most importantly, ’why so’.

One very important lesson I have learnt from her is- a child never lies and a child has always a genuine question; genuine up to level of life and death. It is very very much important to respond accordingly. In the middle of my sleep she would ask-what is in the white bag? And I must try to know why she is asking this. She waves stories about her friends, father, mother, home, places, dreams… they are easily achieved data to understand her psychological and cognitive processes.

15.4.12

Night Our-2

So, we stared at 5pm on 13th April.

Asmin came first. She was all confused seeing no one at the place to wait. Then, Sania reached, it took one hour to gather all the 17 girls; understandable reasons-girls and fearful girls.

We were searching for a rickshaw and Asmin's father came up. Imtiyazbhai drop us to our venue. Girls were happy to see the wide open place and fearful also as the place is not much crowded. The first thing they do was to sweep the gallery and wash it with water. Saniya mingled up with the house lady and started asking her innocently curious questions- every day you have such cool wind?

Then, all moved to Richa's palce; a new friend they have met a few minutes ago. Richa is a standard five student and her mother offered a candy to all the girls. Few other boys and girls from the neighbouring homes came and mingled into this bonding of friendship.

We started playing games, kho-kho(differently), sunday-monday, bhajiyu, antakshari and we sung a lot many Gujarati classics learnt at school. Gujarati songs were always a joy for new listeners.

After dinner, we went for drama. It was all spontaneous. Someone suggested to perform drama and we make it a point to perform brand new dramas. So , girls fall into groups (just like that-no planning), planned their script, practiced in the group and performed. It was amazingly creative. We had 'darling' to 'getting a star' to 'cho-cho' to...

Now, it was stargazing time. Girls know a bit of it and can identify few stars and constellations. Today. we explored Leo, Mars, Saturn and Swati-Chitra. Though, it was not a satisfying experience for the girls to see them through Telescope. As , these stars and planets do not seem 'really big' through Tele, it do not amaze them.

It was already 12 and nobody wants to sleep. Teacher used her authority power and made all go to bed at least. Few fall asleep soon, but few never. They continued to visit bathroom and then to the kitchen. Jigisha, Hetal, Usha,Kajal...they did not sleep and made the teacher awake at 5am for Moon gazing.

We sat the Tele and...'wow!' The details of moon mesmerised all. The teacher asked all to speak a sentence about this moon and we came up with -like an orange/apple/nail slice.

Then, we started observing change in the atmosphere ; the colours of the cloud, the mist and chirping of birds. We guessed the point of Sun rise and the Sun has tested all our patience to rise. But once it rose...aha!

Now, its time to rush back home cz Amin and Sania have to attend madresa. So, we walked up to Chikhodra crossing for a rickshaw. It was a pleasing sight for the morning walkers-18 girls chirping like sparrows. Asmin,Saniya,Divya and Nisha went by rickshaw, all the rest went by foot(3km), without any elder around ! Because, they did not wanted to reach back home early !


14.4.12

Night Out-1

Night out is an activity that have become a tradition for standard seven. Since last three years, we are following this.

Staying a night at the non familiar place, without any direct relative(!) around is a big deal for the girls wrapped in social taboos. The first hurdle is ..not parents, it is the girl herself. All girls like to join in this adventure but...there are a lot many buts. Some have fears unknown to themselves, some fears of even asking their parents; and here parents means all the family members-from grandma to 'foi' to neighbor auntie. Most of the girls even don't dare to ask fearing the humiliating answers.

This year, our 'mission clasroom' was 'how to talk to people.' We have identified this mission by informal talks and then worked over it. Few real 'classroom' experiences helped us and we actually saw how we can change the point of view of our visitors by clear,determined and sweet talks. These experiences reached out to some of the girls and they are fully convinced that 'how we use language' is really very useful technique to get things done. Some of the girls had this skill ; we opened up and put it before every one's eye through classroom discussions.


Well, so, first we decide the date and venue. Then the real challenge starts, how to convince girls and then parents. Girls do not need any reason to join and parents want some curricular reasons to send their girls. Mobile phone is quite a useful tool here. It is hey easy to convince parents mostly. They do trust the teacher. Those who don't allow their child are either socially stubborn or socially fearful. Difficult part is to make the girl ask her parents clearly. most girls, as stated above, suppressed by a bundle of fears, do not even ask their parents clearly. Such girls do not try to put the things properly before the parents. It took a while for the teacher to understand this problem.

It never happened that the whole class joined. But, we have managed to do this activity and that is important.

This year, 17 girls participated. We stayed at a completely new place for them and explored friendship with people of various socio-economic background.



28.3.12

diya

Diya is a lovely girl who was admitted to our school three years back. She became a darling to the teachers and senior students with to her chubby chicks, bright eyes and fast learning. She is very active in adapting new things and participating in co-curricular activities.

She used to mingle with seniors easily. She would go to class seven whenever she finds some co-curricular practices taking place there; and she would participate in them.  She strives for new learning. She is after her class teacher for-what next? By chance she has to remain absent; she would ask her class teacher for revision. Though she is friendly, she doesn’t like to perform the role of the group leader. She likes to read a lot.

But, there is a change in her this year.

Diya has a younger sister, Hina, and she was admitted in class one this year. Suddenly, Diya became mature. It reflects in her face and behavior.

Today, we were going to visit the Community Science Center at Vidhayanagar with selected students from standard 5, 6 and 7. We hired a van with a capacity of 12-15 students. The van was packed and Diya rushed to the teacher: Please, I want to join, to see.

But, it is for standard 5, 6 and 7 only. Your turn will come when you will come to standard 5.

I want to see, come.

The teacher knew that though this visit is for those who understands the basic concepts of Science, the teacher also understands that visit to such places can do wonders to the students like Diya. The teacher asked the students in the van- can you make place for Diya?

O sure!

‘Sarika also wants to come.’ 

OK fine. Take the permission from Principal madam and your class teachers.

They run to Principal-Kamalaben but could not speak. Kamalaben come to know the matter and she told, 

‘OK, Come with us .’

Suddenly, Diya said, ‘I can’t. I have to take care of my sister.’

But, we are returning in school time. There will not be any problem.

Sarika came, Diya didn’t.

26.3.12

geographical activity


This activity comes in the second chapter of the Geography (Std.7-Unit15) but the teacher felt that students were not ready for it at that time.

Geography is a wonderful blend of Arithmetic, Geometry and Science. The basic concepts require regular repetition with different techniques.

We explored the units in a regular method, definitions, drawings, question-answers. It was useful so far as information and examination is concerned. But, every now and then, some day due to NEWS or incidents in our routine or some other reasons, we kept on exploring the primary concepts of Geography.
Like, few days back, cloud of dust started growing from the ground and we discussed how and why of it. Also, there was dust-cover in Gujarat due to the change in air pressure in the desert of Rajasthan, and we discussed the topic. We also saw some videos and animations in between.

Today, we did an activity about how seasons change.

We used a globe, a cylinder vessel (cz we could not manage a round object) and a string.

We identified the North direction in the classroom using the position of the Sun. Most of the students can identify this. Then we put the cylinder vessel in the center, assuming it as the sun. We put the globe at the North of the Sun also tilted towards North. Then we measured that which pole is nearer to the sun; first by observation and then my measuring with the string.

Then we moved the globe 90 degree and put it to the West of the Sun. Again we measured the distance of both the poles using same methods as above.

We changed the position of the globe again, 90 degrees, and placed it at the South of the Sun, keeping it tilted towards North. We measured the distance of poles from the Sun.
Repeating the same, we placed the globe to the East of the globe.

Now, teacher asked the students to compare the experiment with the figure given in chapter 15 and answer the questions: What would be the date when the earth is in the first/second/third/forth position of our activity? We have our answers, correctly.

It is not those correct answers that show the result of the activity.  Students have already answered those questions previously in unit tests and in assignments. It is the questions from them that show why to do such activities. Here are those questions: What if the Earth is not tilted? We saw the video and the Earth doesn’t seem tilted in it, then how can we say that the Earth is tilted so exactly? Why don’t we feel the movement of the Earth? Where is the Earth located? Why don’t we fall if the Earth is round? Our land seems flat, then how come we say that the Earth is round? Where do we live, inside of the Earth or on the Earth?
Some of the questions are repeated a many times.  Repetition in the question means the concept requires more clarity and a different method to explain. So they are welcome every time.

24.3.12

geographical experiment


We started it on 22nd Dec.’11 , 1p.m.; to measure the shadow of a stick.

At first we started with measuring teacher’s and students’ shadows. Then we switched to measure the shadow of a stick. The teacher raised the question : why a stick and not the shadow of a human being ?

After that, with the interval of 15 days, we continue measuring the shadow of that particular stick and noting down it date wise. The difference in the length of the shadow is minute during first 2-3 measurements, so the students became impatient. They want to know- why we are doing this? The teacher replied : I don’t know the result. This is an experiment and we can know the result only after the completion of it.

From January end, students started recognizing the significant difference in the length of the shadow. Why so? They come up with the question. The teacher wanted to manipulate the curiosity, so she didn’t answered it then.


Finally, 21st March arrived. We measured the shadow. It was very very short from our first measurement. Oh ! Exclaimed all. We also measured the latitude of our place. Then, we opened our Geography chapter and read it. We have answers of our questions there.

22.3.12

What to teach in Science.

In last two years, I came to read few Science books, meant for average reader. The field of Science I explored was Quantum Physics and it mesmerized me, as it keeps doing ever since Schrodinger.  It opened a whole new world of wonder and also relatedness. I have begun to relate Science in the routine life; not as a tool that make our life easier but as a way of seeing human relations, social life, thinking and such. Meanwhile, I came across an article of  Richard Feynman where he opined that Quantum Physics should be introduced from Primary education as it is a subject of wonder; and Classical Physics should be introduced on Secondary stage as it has a lot of information and mathematics which the child finds boring and which takes away the potential Scientist away from its own field.
Basic Astronomy starts from standard 3 where the child is told that Sun is a source of Energy and Moon has no light. In one of Std-3 class, the teacher asked – Have you seen chandr (moon)? Children replied-No! It was a shock for the teacher. Then, she asked, have you seen chandamama(meternal uncle moon)?  YES !, everybody sung ! In standard-5, students come across names of constellations which they simply memorize. There are stories, very old and tested by time; about the constellations which can make the child see the sky at night to find the character of that story.
Today, student with visibility problems were given spectacles through the Primary Health Center. And so the students came up with the question, why one get numbers with the eye? Students who were given spectacles were feeling guilty as if it is their fault to catch this deficiency. Because everybody says that not eating proper food and watching T.V. are the ONLY reasons for this (and not the polluted environment.) Well, so we were talking about eyes and spectacles. We shared that there are many reasons for getting this deficiency but we can prevent it through healthy habits. Then, we opened Science textbook to get more information about the eye, though I did not have much expectation from the textbook, I just wanted to relate that our study has relation with our lives. There is a figure of eye and names of its parts and their function. I explained the data again. At a point, where I have to say that the pupil projects an upside down picture of the object and it is the brain that makes the picture straight and real. I was thinking how to explain this. I came up with this : close your eyes and see what your mother is doing. Can you see her? Yes? Without her being here before your eyes? That is the function of the brain! Now, can you say how a chocolate tests? Sweet, testy? How without having it in your mouth? Brain!
I think Quantum Physics works well HERE.
Now and then we also discuss about illness and its remedies and why and how of them. I mentioned that the pupil is flexible and it becomes wide or narrow according to the light.  We talked and checked what happens when we suddenly move from dark to light or from light to dark place. The eyes before me were widened. And students got into awe-how come the pupil behaves so? Because, it has its own intelligence.
I believe Quantum fits here.
I don’t know, with my very limited reading and knowledge, how to put Quantum in a textbook format. May be with some wonder-wrapped incident! What makes me thinking this is my childhood experience, where I saw my curiosity transformed into interest and dried up into facts and figures.

18.3.12

revision time


It is challenging to find out ways to indulge students into educational tasks. By educational, I mean tasks where students raise questions and find ways for answers on their own, do healthy discussions and reach to conclusions, do required mechanical tasks that are required by the education system and so on. It is equally satisfying for the teacher to see such processes taking place into the classroom.
Annual examinations are knocking on the door and it is time for revision. The question was : How to make the mechanical task of revising content interesting and by which means the slow learner can also participate actively into this task ?

We worked in groups. One History lesson for each group. The task is, the group has to develop five new questions in 15 minutes. The group members will read aloud questions with answers. One mark for each question. The teacher will ask question after all the presentations and will check who remembers the answer.

The idea was, framing question is a higher task then just answering. One has to understand the answer and the pattern of the question for it and also has to read each line of the unit carefully. Students came up with difficulties in framing questions and that one to one interaction is quite useful which is not possible otherwise. Mark encourages the effort. And this time the group members have to participate actively as they are representing their group instead of the group leader, so its their responsibility to gain marks. The group leader became active differently. She framed the questions and made it sure that the members understand them and present them properly. It is self satisfactory task for her as she is a brighter one in the group. In this task, each one has a role to perform and that is according to their ability plus a little bit challenge.

Day one went this way. in next class, we modified the task a bit. The teacher asked to frame questions with 'Who' in it. Some students came up with the name of places or incidents or time and then we discussed the question pattern and re-framed the questions. One group initiated to present the questions without looking into textbook. It was given half grace mark for each question. That encouraged other groups and next day all the groups , i.e. whole class tried to memorise their questions-answers. Then we also included minus marking for wrong question pattern.


Coincidentally, Priyanka's group has slowest learners today. Still they managed to present their group work. The class asked the teacher not to consider mistakes in the question pattern and give the group full marks. Even Priyanka was given grace mark for her efforts which goes to the total marks of the group. And the whole class clapped for them.

There is challenge not competition in this task. It may be because we were able to built an atmosphere of one group as a class.

17.3.12

teen-teen

in uniform
 Adolescent students are a problem if viewed from moralistic perspective, but lively and lovely if we become friends.

In standard seven(age 13+), there are two-three girls who are at the starting point of adolescence phase. They find the school uniform boring, walk in a line degrading and child like interaction insulting. They like to dress up with hair style and accessories. They find it difficult to mingle with rest of the class.

hair style-Geeta 
The class teacher tries to find an in between path. With negotiation, we agree at do's and don'ts. They wear school uniform but can come with hairstyle. We have a dress code for hair style also, that is red ribbon with two palates. Usually adolescent girls like to make single open palate with rubber band. They can also wear fashion accessories like long earnings, nail polish and such. The teacher even appreciates their dressing and fashion sense. If the teacher misses to do so, the girls come up with      The girls in our school have limited economic resources and so we do not need to worry about expensive fashion jewellary.
One other thing is, adolescents like to have long nails. Health and Hygiene education suggests short nails. Here also we came at in-between understanding. They keep long nails but keep them clean.

Hiral
This year, Hiral and Geeta are passing through this beautiful period of their life. They sit together and talk with eyes. Hiral is very good at rangoli decoration and it is her responsibility to check and maintain the decoration of the classroom. They don't like to sit in the assembly-prayer so they skip it smartly on the name of classroom cleaning.

Daxa and Rupa look like adolescents by their physical appearance, but emotionally they are not. The teacher can get deceived by the physical appearance but through interaction the teacher can know this.