Four tales – one struggle

How I wish I could exclaim with delight that Today is going to be different”

– Illustrated by Khushi.M and Kunjal.G

The world is tucked peacefully in dreams.

With no reason to wake up             

And here I was dreading silently.

The ringing of the doorbell that will bring my worst terror.

Drunk and wasted he came in.

And countered my objections, my questions,

With nothing more than a hurtful swipe

Drops of tears fall down my face. 

“Today is the same”, I iterate.

Upon the snow-white light of the moon

I quietly moved and opened the book.

The curiosity of knowledge called me in

And before I could turn one more page 

Entered the man with an ignorant step.

And snatched the book angrily away.

Drops of tears fall down my face. 

“Today is the same”, I iterate.

“A special present for my daughter” 

I crave she would say this to me.

“Clean up fast” shouts my mum.

And brings me back to the sore reality. 

My brothers’ friends are all around 

And here I am scrubbing the dishes.

Drops of tears fall down my face. 

“Today is the same”, I iterate. 

I rinse my face one more time.

And hesitantly glance back at the reflection

“You must wear shirts and pants”.

I remember as my male boss says. 

I ponder and try to pin a flaw. 

Or Is it just not suiting the boss’s taste, that is all?

Drops of tears fall down my face. 

“Today is the same”, I iterate.

“Wish the  husband acknowledges my voice”.

“Wish the father permits me to learn”.

“Wish the mom would love me, just like my brother”.

“And wish the boss would respect my choice of wear…”.

“Drops of tears won’t fall today because we won’t let  today be the same” We iterate

~ DuoDisseminators 

THE TRIAL- AND ERROR- METHOD

Today the world, does not demand the bookworms, and the ‘know-it-alls but rather, people who are practical in their ways, creative in approach and at least know how to work with different minded people.”

“Khushi come here” 

We had decided to meet at a bookshop

“Why did you call me? the dark burgundy coloured book is calling me!”

“Oh! You mean, the Mortal Instruments series” 

“Anyways, look what I found in this bookshelf”

“OH, any thrillers? ……. wait this is a maths guide”.

“Yeah, and you are practically flouting in mathematics and this is how I can help”

“You never asked why I can’t concentrate on Maths!”

“OK, what is the reason?”

“Well, I try my best. But sometimes, I just cannot understand, and keep up with the flow. Although I clarify my doubts, I am not able to perform again. And…”

“And??”

“I don’t know if it sounds stupid, but do you think the trial-and-error method in maths, may actually help out in life?” 

“Well, what we are learning now is for the ease of calculations, for competitive exams, but more than that, it improves your efficiency towards solving any life problem. It initiates analytical thinking”.  

“Definitely, you are correct, but I don’t get the encouragement to study maths. They say, ‘maths is fun’ but here, I cannot see any fun in those pages adorned with heavy formulas. In short I see maths as formulas and heavy books, not a subject with fun”. 

“In short I see maths as heavy formulas and books” We both then wondered if others too felt this ? 

It is said that learning is supposed to be fun.

Here we see though that many of us see the subjects within boundaries set to examinations. Why was it? And most importantly, a duration, which covers half of the childhood should be different and more valuable shouldn’t it?

Now, we both started questioning the very word education. What does it mean today?

Throughout history the purpose of education has been shifting according to the needs of the society. From instructing youth in religious doctrine, to preparing them to live in a democracy, from assimilating immigrants to prepare workers for industrialisation.

But now, when the educators are preparing the youth for their future; confusion is – what exactly is the goal?

Whichever piece we both read, to find an answer, the aversion towards rote learning was clear if not the definition of right learning.

Rote learning is the study of concepts and facts constrained to the books and this determines the degree of our understanding during assessments. Therefore, the authenticity of our understanding is still questionable, for we may, as well, merely memorise the texts and ways to get the ‘perfect’ answer.

Yes, a considerable amount of liberalisation is taking place as time passes. In fact, it would be desultory to reason that schools today lack vigour and colour, because they no longer remain those   old-fashioned brick walled schools of the 80’s that can be mistaken for a detention centre today!

Till date, though the teaching is done by reading texts, and just explaining those texts. There is no harm in this, but it does not generate the needed attention or enthusiasm amongst the recipients of knowledge: students.

And oh! Here is a very relatable example. Now, now most people do not like history. Oh! The feeling it generates: a mere revival of some events that happened, a time before.

However, history lovers may round up and argue, “It is the past which has shaped the present, and often due to our negligence towards the past, we may repeat the same mistakes, or as it is said, “the past will repeat itself”.

The problem hereby, lies in the lack of connection to the present. We need a space for a reliable connection to a reality. To begin with, let us think of partition. The teacher can invite students towards discussion and debate the consequences of the partition today. “What is the current stance of the country?” And what are the politicians doing?” “What should be done?” children would counter all these questions. Worth adding, it will be easier for the teacher to weave up interconnectedness between chapters. Gradually the divide between the chapters and burden will diminish or will it not…?

We all know  method of assessment adopted today, so there comes no need to elaborate. It is said children are the innovative builders of tomorrow, and the future of our world, but if we do not adopt the right ways to raise them, to educate them today, to give birth to innovation that “bright future” is unbecoming.

– Illustrated by Khushi.M and Kunjal.G

Competency-based questions can be a viable alternative to theory based. Some policies like NEP of India even seek to deliver the same. Real world problems, and even as severe as a climate crisis should be debated at intervals to let our minds wander. The kind of progress which should be awarded should also be communication, goodness, talent, and leadership skills, only then genuinely will a student shine. Students should laud and support a teacher ‘s efforts at the same time. 

Old school beliefs that a person who knows everything in his textbooks is gifted, have been proved wrong by many. Because today the world, does not demand the bookworms, and the ‘know-it-all’s but rather, people who are practical in their ways, creative in approach and at least know how to work with different minded people, which they would encounter with every now and then.

So, let us open the lid of our pens and apply the trial-and-error method from Mathematics! Endeavor to create the purported goals, through failed but continuous attempts -a reality.

Simultaneously, thus, both of us  decoded a use of trial-and-error method of maths in life!

~DuoDisseminators

“#SoonToBe14”

True friendship is a rare and valuable gift not a commodity

~James D. Wilson

This is clearly a personal post, that I seek to write for one of the Duo disseminators, Khushi

Do you deserve to be felt special? Yes, you have passed the friendship test with flying colours

And it is your birthday after all.

Hi Khushi I never realised you would become so special for me. The thing is, since grade 5 when we first struck an affable friendship relationship, I always wanted to become like  you. Contradicting now, I was very shy and reticent   before but you were somehow the pragmatic, smart girl and all teachers liked you. We were a trio you me and one more.  It is so rightly said that a three friends’ group never turns out perfect. You remember we had quarrels as much serious as this one:

 “ I will go to the bathroom with her”

“no I will, not you”

 And the pattern followed, you were always the one both of us wanted to partner with or hitch up with(  Though at times,  even both of us tried to to abandon you, and you know it, but it never worked out).  So, maybe less than friendship then, you were practically the person I wanted to become like.

K-Kooky and knowledgeable

H- Hilarious (always)

U- unwavering

S- smart

H- happy

I-ingenious

 When I was small then, I considered everyone my best friend. So you came along as well . But  never like others

Others, I saw, had at least one friend which they hanged out with the most,  with whom they shared the knowing looks in between classes, with whom they could talk to easily without even changing, with whom they  shared their darkest secrets without any slight hesitation, with whom they shared their interests. I realised  eventually   that I really never had a best friend whom I treasured the most.  Next year we even became more apart, and I tried to fit myself in a ‘cool’ group.  

But something happened and I realised that even those ‘cool’ friends had their own share of best friends and most of all I had to change my routine, my way of speaking, how I tied my ponytail, how I dressed, for them  which I gradually realised, I detested more than ever.

Then youknowwho   came the next year gripping  all who came  under it  ,  and then for the first time ever ‘ I missed school’.  To relieve my anxiousness to go out and boredom, I started reading newspapers. Surprisingly, I found them really engrossing and interesting. A part of me still felt it was not a cool thing to do, but I continued reading them.

I heard from you one day. You shared me your separate blog that you had started. The blogs, I could connect to them. We started chatting and then started talking more often. We even discovered that year, that we both loved reading  and we shared some similar views on topics that teenagers of our age didn’t even regard, thanks to reading newspapers. Gradually, I realised you were the kind of person in front of whom, I could remain me,that is, ‘unchanged’. I could discuss my problems freely with you without any hesitation. This most  unwavering girl, I realised was like me too. From you I learnt, how to be true always. You never felt bad when I pointed out your wrongs, and you returned the same truthfulness.  I can  say now even if you don’t feel the same way , that you are  my  first genuine  best friend . I can finally understand the feeling of having a one best friend.  You may think that I have many pals, but you are placed different from them. I have never done this kind of thing, for anyone. You are special. Happiest 14TH birthday. Hope that we always  stay like this and continue writing together ‘DuoDisseminators’.

(And you haven’t passed the friendship test just yet, so keep working ;))

~KG

Do  you all also have a friend with whom  you don’t  feel any hesitation to reflect yourself? Or  if  the virus struck period  was just a guise and  actually helped you to realise a friend , out of the many other  things?

 please share us your stories below . And don’t wait to acknowledge your friends!