Friday, August 23, 2013

Learning - all summed up?

Well refer this - Seems like the best source of doing away all the problems, one faces while studying, I read the word 'active learning' sometime back, its almost procedure form of the same. Interesting that its not very viral piece of information shared in every university or class, since if it can help - as almost all need it in some form. Then make it visible to the students and teachers. The problem is - its too big, so I read the starting, will read n summarize maybe later ( this is procrastination, they supposedly will give solutions for, as well). Now isn't it worth a read? Do try.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

God's Delays are not God's denial

This is the source of the title of the post. Rahul Dravid's Speech at BITS Goa on its Golden Jubilee Convocation. Reading it somehow presents a picture of humility and appreciation and fascination in eyes at, 'how a genuine person can inspire millions for life'. Its one such statement which I and all others who might have heard/read it took from it "God's delays are not God's denial".

What does it makes you think of? Quick- ya the time you felt God is not just, the time which tested you to the extent that "you declared - I don't believe on existence of God" or maybe that 'God is testing me'. You remember the days? I do, though somehow its the best and most humbling experience I ever remember having. These instances are what makes you so much better person eventually, mature if you wanna say it that way, which you realize way later in life. The more I read that speech the more what 'being human' means, reflected in front of me.

Yes he is a legend. And He is a human, a very genuine and true one. I hope everyone gets to read it once and inspire people for being a better self, with simply being one's own self. And persistence of course. No fake concepts of timeline, deadline, Goals... 'do or die' .. just a recognition of what you love and the perseverance to do better at it and the patience to let things happen at there own pace. Later when you look back in life, you should feel amazing to have led the life doing what ' you always loved' . Wow.. truly inspiring speech indeed!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Once upon a time there was a place -real big, giant and modern , with huge long walls , tastefully furnished sitting rooms and a balcony overlooking a garden across the room along the corridor on right.
There were many shrubs , flowers planted in flower pots hanging from the balcony . In that big house lived Mr. Sharma with his wife, mother and three little kids. A nice happy family, one could say.

The three kids parth, shivu and vishnu were of age 9, 7 and 5 respectively. The kid aged seven was very curious by nature.

One day when he was about to sleep a weird four legged dog like animal came nearby his bed and kept lingering

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How do you explain Sanskriti or Culture?

Well I sat around kids of 7th standard, typical kids of this internet era-who know all about computers, laptops, mobiles, wi-fi, gaming but sadly nothing/very little about any other art-form (since it wont give a good livelihood in this modern world-of Secured IT jobs) . Well there I sat, trying to teach them something by means of a story. There I stumbled on the word "culture and arts". I told them "Culture means Sanskriti" and asked them "what is the meaning of "Bhartiya Sanskriti". One kid, next to me, said - oh I know, I know, lemme think - ya "its a name of a book".

 OK!! ya that might be true..but what else? Its not just that..what exactly do people mean when they say "we are from Bhartiya Sanskriti". Ofcourse it was of no help- to get answers out of them.

So I embarked on the effort to describe it to them, what it means by Culture. I told them - that I am an Indian- what does that means? It means I like certain kind of food, dressing, music, danceforms, Paintings, have certain beliefs and values - which together define this term "Indian Culture". Likewise there is "Western culture", "Roman culture" "Greek Culture". Quite satisfied on the - overview of the idea of culture I gave them, I looked around to see if it rings a bell to them. No, it seemed very confusing to them. Hmm I tried again but whatever example and description I could give - seemed like running around the bush. So I stopped there, reiterated the first example - asked them about warli painting, classical and folk songs, Kathak and bharatnatyam dance and so on. Then I said - to go back and research on Culture on net or better ask your parents.. Feeling satisfied by my efforts and having made a point that its something very interesting to look up further, I proceeded with the reading.

But still I am not sure how exactly can one make "kids" understand the meaning of culture.
Values and it being an identity we are defined by.. Seemed so very amazing to me, when I read of different cultures in my history textbook as a kid, I wonder how would their teacher teach them? Will she/he take efforts to make the kids inspired and in awe of the great representation - culture depicts. Hope they will.. else why would they want to be teacher at all. Right?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Conversation

This can wait no-more, else I'll forget everything but just a glimpse of the grandiose reality would be. what will be left. Ok so whats with all these high-flowing words.. Well no its not a very big deal, actually, if you go by words. Maybe you already know- what you'll read now, but still somehow, sometimes, when we revisit an idea - in some specific time, it makes so much sense, as if the key of the whole cryptic jumble, we kept hearing - is right here, in this moment. Well ya ya its the " know thy self" stuff kind of or maybe " how to be successful in your life" stuff or maybe not even that but "meaning of life". Ok so much so for the initiation.

Ok this is where I'll tell one mess-table conversation I had with a person and it was so very apt, that I couldn't resist jotting it here, for time eternal. Just that its 2 days since then and I already have forgotten a major chunk, a vague outlines and few sentences is what I have. But even those seems worthy of words.. So this girl/lady - was telling me about- how she is taking Japanese class, after not getting the opportunity in 1st list, since it was first come first serve basis but then got it as many people dint joined. She is kind of "self made girl" , just that its not just "made"  - its "self learned" as well.
Ya kind of like Eklavya- though the span is less and dramatic skills achieved by Eklavya is pretty more. So leaving the level of expertise, I'll focus on the perspective change it brought to her.

So I told her, I am postponning learning swimming entirely, as I am scared of going in depth.
Then she narrated how she learnt all kinds of swimming styles and techniques and perspectives of how to survive in deep waters, from shallow region to depths, to 2 hours per day, 1 km per hour to 12 hours 11km one day non-stop endeavor in "Swimmathon" 6 months later. One of the very few in the campus, who could  do that, when campus is full of regular swimmers, inter-iit and swimming champions. So I guess in the end, its all "perseverance". I knew about her swimmathon effort and was really intrigued and impressed, since it was a very big deal - since she was also not an athlete or one with high stamina. So it seemed a magic to me.

The journey of this "was not in the end- result of swimmathon", but it was in her eyes when she told me and encouraged me to just go, try and try it on my own. Instead of waiting for the day to come or someone to teach- with a magic-wand one day. She said "learning it I felt, "if I can do this, I can definitely do my PhD" and trust me - if only I could reproduce her eyes and expression that time- you would feel the true joy, the exalting joy, the bliss of the best of world.

That day I wondered, wow, it must be amazing - to learn it on your own. In this era of coaching classes and hype of how you turn out to be the sum total of which school you attended, what was its world rating, who was your teacher, what was his world ranking, how much money you invested...
Somehow - this whole system of education couldn't make me feel - one such moment of pure pleasure of learning, in my 18 years of being a part of academic environment. What was so elegant and mesmerizing about it - was its simplicity. Do it - just go try and retry, if you can do that, you would know the feeling I can do anything on this earth.. with no such notions of how much would I need before even trying.

This made more sense, as it made me recollect " how desperate I felt- when I could not go to 'kota' for the coaching for IIT-JEE just after 10th, it made me feel I won't get selected, I am useless - without that kota-brand and somehow I lost my sense of joy of learning. Even though I went to Kota after 12th - but it was the most horrible time I have ever seen, though I have seen very less - I am sure, being a fairly protected being.

Given a magic wand - I'll teach each and every child and person in this country - that "its what you think it to be" . You make your own castles and jails.. and you break them .. its all the mental image .
You can do "what you think you can" . Now I have heard/read/used this almost zillion times to the extent that now I want to shun and throw the book in the face of author - if he dare mention it again,
as I am fed-up of this being said again and again - as if such a "secret" is being told. Which will be your fairy and create your magical world for you.

But even that time, listening it from her, one who actually tried and learnt it  - I felt, I never knew its meaning before. My own "mental block and labels of " I am not this, I can't do this, I am so horrible at this, I am gonna screw this up' I am pathetic at this.. all such instances and barriers and limits - I had set for myself danced before my eyes.. I felt like a stupid scared child, fearing an unknown monster and hiding in a nook in the barred castle of her own mind. wondering all the while how did I end up here and why is it so messed up.......

This was liberating. Not that I went just that moment and started learning the long- postponed deep water swimming exercise..but still every time I am thoughtless, workless - that castle springs up in mind and I try to break - one bar and imagine all the bars to break and flying to  a complete freedom.. and this feeling is something I want to go back again and again and live it the longest possible. Hope reading this post - will remind me " what exactly I mean" again after few months - when I would certainly have gone back to same uncertain, unknown self and caught in the web - seemingly so complex. Hope I did justice to the thought. "You are sum of what you believe and imagine yourself to be" I think I read it somewhere(so can't share the source).. but this is what it is to take and incorporate, at the end ..

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

why can't it be easily fathomable for a novice..!!

While the convex, may resemble the word complex, it will indeed be so very complex to understand, to visualize was not my thought when I took this course. But today sitting in class, I knew all the definitions in form of matrices and x's. But sitting there, with all those definitions on paper- I couldn't visualize a bit, and kept on wondering -what the heck! can't this thing be made more comprehensible, instead of a notation jargon it is today. If I'll teach that course - I would hate to put so many definitions n built castles on the play of words.. Hopefully while I give it a proper read. It would be more clear and comprehensible - and would definitely write here to explain to any being caught up like me.. But it will be sometime .. Just a reminder it needs to be done!!