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Friday, December 2, 2011

Punakha; the Heat, and the Sleep.

Picture courtesy : Google Image 

Experiencing the cold now astounds me thinking about how hot Punakha gets during the summer.

During peak summer the real challenge a teacher in Punakha has to stand up to and compete with is sleep, which is induced by the heat. When the temperature soars 35 ° ,the fans simply fail to serve their purpose. During the summer a teacher has to also eat well so that he or she is very loud. We lose more energy in the form of voice when we compete with the noise of the fans swinging their never tiring arms. But if you think that a loud voice is all you need to keep your students alive and awake then you are wrong.

So, I resort to few things to keep them awake. One very effective strategy is cracking jokes. I am good with nonvege jokes but they are not appropriate in the classroom, so, I improvise. I use what ever I can to make them laugh and keep them alive.

One hot afternoon sleepiness was in the classroom when I entered. I could feel their exhaustion; the heat draining the last fresh breathe out of them. I started my lesson but my loud voice was like a lullaby it seemed for they started drooping like rich poppies one after the other. I saw Ngawang in the front row, struggling right under my nose, with his chin cupped in his palm supported with his arms resting on the desk. I could see his eyes gaining weight and slowly losing the strength to fight the onslaught of the sweet comforting sleep. I shouted at him and it brought him back but instantly thought, I had to do something about the whole lot before the sleep spread like an epidemic.
Picture Courtesy: Google Image

So, I improvised.

‘‘Hey everybody Nagwang was busy digging gold nuggets in his own little world and when I shouted at him, he immediately took his fingers out and subbed them into his mouth’’

I showed them how he was resting his chin on his palm and his fingers were busy up his nose. And how he took them out when he heard me, only to put them back into his mouth.

It worked very well; the whole class broke into a huge wave of laughter and came to life.

I hope Ngawang will forgive me. I still share about that afternoon in my classes with my present students whenever I find them drowsy.