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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Our Children, Our Investment

Above me, I have a UNICEF year planner (calendar) and on it I read, "Our Children, Our Investment". Below this line, "A nation's future will mirror the quality of her youth- a nation cannot fool herself into thinking of a brighter future when she has not invested wisely in her children"- His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan.

I stop to think about it and write few lines that wing my way because I am a father, a teacher and a citizen of my country and the World. These words ring so very true that I find my purpose renewed in life.

On the calendar I see pictures.

I see a young girl drenched in sweat but smiling like the flowers smile at sunshine. Her eyes squint as her face cajoles a beautiful smile that is full of hope.

I also see kids playing football, galloping with energy and in innocence, warming up for the future they are to give us. With pure energy, they exhibit undaunted spirit for our future.

Three children stand with smiles that are radiant and full of life. Their faces are full and show beautiful white teeth. In their stand I see their strength and in their shyness I see humility.

In another picture a group of children are eager and are crowded over a boy with his notebook. May be he is showing his friends how many 'goods' he got from his madam. I see the leader in him, strong and proud.

In the last photo, a father is washing cloths while the mother and the baby sit and watch. They are all smiling and the baby, who is younger than a year old, has a wide smile. Its mouth is widely opened and makes one feel the encouragement it is making its father feel.

They will smile into the future and will shine bright, but only if we nurture them.  

Very few joys in life can equal the joy that children give us.


     

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Without Internet and Television

I have no internet at home. When we first moved to our house I desperately tried to get internet and television connections. I bought a satellite TV receiver but the location of my house and the signal didn't comply. I and two of my friends from school carried the signal receiver and made rounds of my house and surrounding, searching for the TV signal but the signal was illusive and shy. My friend, the TV expert, concluded that the signal was blocked by a hill above my house. For the internet connection I requested a friend of mind, a Bmobile employee, and even wrote an application to the manager but my location and area was not on the Bmobile investment list.

So, the post I post on my blog are squeezed through little windows of time I find in my teaching schedule. Though I enjoy being able to post, I must say it takes away my time. The time that is meant for notebook correction and continuous assessment marking. Without the internet and television, me and my family, are ignorant of the happenings elsewhere. At home we don't know the outside world. We are in our own little world. To watch a big EPL match I need to drive or ride four kilometers from home. We listen to an old portable Phillips radio, from my college days, and it keeps us sufficiently updated at home. 

However, a home without internet and television has made it warmer. My wife reads to my son or tells him stories, rather than being on Facebook. We sit and chat over dinner. My son tells me about what he learnt at his daycare and which boy bullied him. I listen to my wife's happenings of the day and share mine. We do gardening and water the fruit trees. Without internet and television we are disconnected with the world but have renewed and found new connections at home.



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Being Alive in the Classroom

As a student I never thought how my body language, my facial expression and my participation in the classroom would dictate my teacher's enthusiasm in teaching me and my friends. May be it was because the teaching then was only about the teacher. The students had to simply listen.

I sometimes wonder how I would have been if my teachers had involved me in the learning. I was always a quiet boy in the class. Even when I knew the answer I would muffle my desire to speak out.

But as a teacher I cannot stand zombies in my classroom; there are few in every class. Their dreamy eyes droop like rich poppies, heads are supported in their cupped palms, loosely sit in their stiff wooden chairs and I can always tell who smells dead in my class.

It is sometimes interesting to have zombies in the class because they give you the excuse to stop for a while and talk about things other than the textbook. Everything is interesting but the text. But the teaching must go on.

So:

1. Attention on the particular student (primary)
2. Call them by their names (by their full names)
3. Ask questions (textbook help)
4. Questions that are not from the textbook can be more efficient sometimes; are you ok?/sick?hungry?/sleepy?/tired?...
5. Ask them to do something for you (makes them feel useful) and thank them
6. Crack a joke (always a good involver) if you can't ask a student to volunteer
7. Involve them: group task/whole class
8. Take a break



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I have not posted anything for over a month now. The feeling is uneasy. It is like the feeling of a man who is unfaithful to his wife (not that I have experienced something like it). Someone who has let the commitment weaken with time and other things that keep him away from his love. All the while his love cries silently wanting to be remembered and loved.

And today I read and reread my old posts and the comments I received. It made me happy. The comments reinvigorated my commitment for now and made me see that I love writing and I should peruse it.
So, I would like to thank all my readers. Your words are always valued. They encourage me and I would sincerely like to thank all of you today.




For My Share of GNH

  1. well written. Education is one of the core aspects of GNH; Good job dude. Well i am having a good laugh at myself, i spent the last three days creating my own blog and all i could put was numbers and money..guess education ruined me uhh and dude my page talks about discounts and rates for room and yours man its about giving out and sharing what you have and know..man mine is about extortion ahahahahha anyway must you have the wits and flow to write

  2. You have shared a very beautiful piece of your personal experience. It is enlightening that if you take the right view, simple things that happen in life on a day to day basis can be a source of happiness. Life is rich and only happiness can make it richer. It was very inspiring that few words spoken by one of your students humbled you deeply and you have had your share of the GNH for the day. I am with you in your humbleness. I am a happier father in the happiness of a son, his students, his school and his country.


    I am inspired by the initiative you have taken to start a journal of your life. You have begun a very profound journey - a journey of "giving" and a journey of "sharing". I would call it a voyage and happiness is a voyage.

For the story Dolaypangi Ashi

Amazing story.

For the story Becoming Bhutanese

Wow! Nobu, what a story! It was truly inspiring and interesting to read. Our youths should also learn to be more Bhutanese than Korean and get a grasp of reality rather than the illusory world. After all, we belong here. Even as I type this comment, many young children, especially girls would be engrossed in Korean serials and dreaming of going there one day! I don't have any problems with their dreams but they also should not forget their roots. A nice story indeed.

For the story A Face a Story
Sir, within three hours, if you can come with such wonderful story, i guess with more time and imaginations, surely gonna be a bhutan's chetan bhagat. i liked it la.I came to know about sir's blog thorough passu sir's blog post and since then following you.The way you all write simply inspires me. keep writing and keep inspiring la.
(feed me www.pemawangyel.blogspot.com)

For The Mobile Story
A very Interesting story. I was also worried as I was going through your story.
haha, I love the story. It makes me glad I didn't have to worry about mobile phones when I went to school ;)
Hilarious! Ha-ha! But even I can imagine how I would have felt if I was in his position. Well, I am just thinking how the things would have been if Dorji was a girl. Lol.


Interesting update Nobu Sir. :D
For My Size

Au Nobu, great piece. Thoroughly enjoyed it especially the Tom Cruise part and the part where you use your height to an advantage in demonstrating the students about the stuffs that they have never seen. Kudos for the great blog. Keep posting.

                                                          For Ode to My Nalaypem


I expect Nalaypem would be your wife, isn't she? I am awe-struck with this poem, in fact, overwhelmingly inspired. And I stay here, reading it, she is so lucky. She is your creative muse though. And I love to take a few lines from here: "...make me immortal with a kiss" and "you are far sweeter than frail Juliet, Far bolder than Portia and far beautiful than Helen."

So sweet. Oh, to have someone feel these words for me.
Novu, Written with a clear conscience and full of love and and care....i enjoyed reading it....keep posting more....


Ur last lines summed it up perfectly of how much u love her: "I love thee much.That I now wish to rise with thee or not rise at all." and yes, i also loved these lines: "If Shakespeare were to write a poem on you,He would have done so that it would make me envious.But he would have found no wordBeauteous enough to label you.For you are far sweeter than frail Juliet,Far bolder than Portia and far beautiful than Helen."

For The Jackal, My Friend

The incidents narrated are really interesting and humorous sir. Keep posting.

For Tata Cancer
People say, if you are unhappy with your life spend a day in a hospital, how true. These are the experiences that shape your life and attitude to life. These are the drama that awakens the soul in us.Many people go through this process and selfishly (though unintentional) keep the wisdom to themselves but you shared it and that's how we multiply the joy. Your narratives took me deep into your experience and I felt the pain.I have heard from so many people, upon their returning from treatments abroad, about how being Bhutanese means the luckiest thing in the world. 
My prayers and wishes for your ailing grandparent. May he gets well soon.

For Boys' Dogs
Sir Novu,


Nice post. We believe in life after death. We consider dogs to be living form closest-to-human life. We also believe they are the most intelligent animals. They have been helpful to humans ever since human civilization began.So feed them well. Its nice that your boys are letting them follow to the dining hall and not shooing them off.Enjoyed reading. Keep posting la. 


For My Riddle

Lol....in fact true!..:P


For New Principal 
reading your post....i remember my high school days...when my school got a new principal...he gave us some speech in mess and everyone laughed for some reason...and he said to u.."Infact you people got a big ass......."..lol
But in long run, he proved to be so good....:)

I would like to thank all of you, those I have mentioned here and also the others that I have not been able to quote here, for the encouragement that you have given me today. 
Thank You