Archive for June, 2010

Story of me and my watch…

It’s been a while since my favorite watch stopped working. I had two more so I started wearing them until one of them broke and the other well, I guess just gave up on me! Anyway, why am I talking about my watch? For sometime now I’ve not had a watch to wear (I’m not complaining…) but I feel wierd. The laptop or mobile are not my first reference points when I think of time. So, I definitely miss my habit of looking at the watch. Yet, not enough to get it repaired! I manage most of the time with the help one or the other gadgets around.

I’m not yet in the group of people who believe that wrist watches are not for me and not in the group of people who wear it either. I know it’s quite circumstantial, yet…they say you can be from the analog world or the digital world, but I feel like I’m somewhere “in between” right now! Anybody else feel this way?

Healthy, snacky recess food for children?

I was passing through a school corridor during recess. As I was navigating my way through noisy children running about all over the place, I noticed how children opened up packets of junk food and gobbled it up (and continued running). Also reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine, Vaishali, who told me that packing snacks for her kids that is healthy and yet, tasty was a daily challenge of her creativity. The other day, I read in the newspaper an interesting news article of how schools were requesting parents not to send “messy” foods like chutney and sauce for lunch/recess snacks. All in all, I can see the dilemma of the parents and their concern over the health of their children. Of course, children need something interesting to eat during recess, that is a given.

All these independent dots, bring me to an interesting idea – if there was a company that came out with packaged food that was healthy and yet snacky so that either parents picked it up at retail stores or children had access to it during school recess hours, it opens up a very interesting and socially responsible business opportunity for them. What say?

My four wise teachers

Today was a day of introspection. As I wrapped up my day of intense training sessions, I was thinking about my own school days. Most of the teachers I had stood out in their areas and I learned a lot from them. But some of them stand out in the midst of the rest, in my mind to this day, for having raised the bar on learning way beyond was required from their call of duty.

My 4th grade English teacher was taking oral exams that day. He called a group of five of us and gave us a task. It was a simple one (now looking back, I’m surprised we broke our heads on it!). We had to find five words which did not have any vowels and report back to him at the end of the class. We thought long and hard, but to no avail. Our little minds missed the trap he set for us. He made it seem complicated and hence we didn’t look for simple examples. I still remember, we couldn’t answer that question. He taught me an important lesson, to look at questions that life poses in front of you and figure out if there is a simple answer to them before you jump to complex conclusions.

My 5th grade Hindi teacher was teaching the lesson on “Kabuliwalla” and he gave us a task of finding out where the name “Kabuliwalla” came from? Again, we students went scrambling looking for clues in the story and our imaginations… we came up some very creative answers but not the right one. The clue was in the name itself! Again, he taught us to learn to look at the obvious without beating around the bush, sometimes the answers in life are staring at us waiting to be discovered but we are too busy worrying about the question to even look at it!

My 9th grade Biology teacher. She taught us the operations of human body so well that I can still visualize the movement of Adam’s apple as food passes from our mouth and how our diaphragm moves up and down as we complete our breathe in and breathe out cycles. Her clarity of thought and communication skill still stand vivid in my mind. Also her way of asking seemingly innocent questions (things we take for granted) and explain it with the most technical of explanations made me realize that the simplest things in life might have some of the most complex explanations. Hence, not to take anything for granted!

My 9th grade English teacher who in her process of adopting the new interactive english syllabus introduced by CBSE encouraged us to learn and improve my vocabulary. She talked about her own learning process in the class which encouraged me to follow suit and in less than a year I had a vocabulary that helped me express my thoughts in the most precise way possible, speak my mind and mean it! I admire her way of teaching by exposing her own learning process. It taught me that it is not important that the teacher need not necessarily be “up there” with every single aspect of learning, even sharing her process of learning can be an invaluable learning experience.

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