Monday, June 24, 2013

Relaxing with a book


ummer and vacations are almost synonymous. Who doesn't love spending some summer time with friends? Or 'getaway' to a summer vacation destination? Well most of us do. It is a season filled with a warm rainy joy. For adults it means a break from the daily humdrum of the routine job and a time for rejuvenation. For most kids and teenagers, this is the time they have been looking forward to. 

This is the time parents can think of what their children should do instead of letting them sit on couches for long hours into television and video games. One thing I suggest is to let kids read outdoors. Join a library club and engage them in sports. Nowadays, if I may say so, every Dzongkhag has a Youth Information Centre. Not only will keeping your kids involved during the summer break keep them healthy and their minds engaged, it might also make going back to school in the fall at least a little bit easier.

A lot of their teachers will tell them it's apparent they've been reading all summer; it's very obvious that they do that because they see the gap between the children who haven't been reading all summer. It takes them a few more weeks to get on track. There is perhaps no greater avenue to learning then through reading. All people, great and small, have learned more things by reading than practically any other way. When we continue to read, we have the ability to expand our minds tremendously. We review the pages of knowledge left by those who came before us. We then begin to add to the knowledge as humanity continues. 

The vast mass of knowledge in the world can only be gained by reading, and if you want your kid to be smart, he has to acquire a love for reading. If there is one important thing that you can do to help your child become a success in school and in life - it is to encourage him to be a reader and love reading.  The most successful people in the world are voracious readers.  This is no surprise, as reading opens the door to virtually all knowledge.  Moreover, it is the path to lifelong learning.  Helping your child to love reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent – and it will be worth your time and energy.

Your young child learns about colors, shapes, numbers, and letters, while your older child discovers an expanding chain of knowledge.  His interest in cars, for example, will expand to his interest in trucks, and other transportation like planes and rockets, and soon he will be reading about outer space, science and technology, and so forth. Your child learns early that reading is fun and not a chore. When your child grows up, you will not be stressed about getting him/her to read, as reading has become, a pleasurable habit. 

So dear parents and adults you might want to think twice before letting your child do nothing this summer.
(This article of mine appeared in K2 pullout, June 2012)


Monday, June 17, 2013

Drunken nights and cloudy mornings!

On a usual weekend eve Acho gave us this philosophical thought not from his all seeing mind but out of what he thought when other friends jointly made fun of him. We were gathered at his den for the unusually usual, uncommonly common meal. Meal here implies some liquid before the solid stuff! After getting high on the liquid, he spoke out to me, “Life is beautiful but needs some re-painting”.

In a mood that instigates debate, I too uttered, “What do you mean by that?” not that I didn’t understand but to see Acho’s understanding on his words. Here’s his explanation to what he meant. While high, he told me that some of us should be -understanding enough to understand friends inclusive of girlfriends that they escort. My humble opinion about my friends’ escorts is that they are fine, nice, and beautiful, that they embody the fine-ness in their approach to the outside world. 

One evening we were all liquid high and one of our buddies had an escort. Suddenly in the midst of liquid hullaballoo the escorted was missing and I learned later that she has left. To this the escort-ee became furious and had a nice digestion of his frustration. Later, all of us got into the doldrums of madness with words that utterly don’t suit us. Holy Shit! Another episode! There were uninvited guests and seated with pride fiddling the music system and this got into our nerves. Although we didn’t say anything, I took my bottle and went out. Then all hell broke loose! Shouts, brawls, curses and believe me none of it were pleasing to the ears. 

Enter another, buddy! I don’t know what made him loose his mind and all I could remember was bangs on the door. The next thing he told me was of pains in his right hand. I can’t remember the incidences after this. May be I might have silently slipped in to the comfort of my bed, which I do often. Next day, when we gathered, it was morning; we looked at our faces and laughed our heads off. We conversed soberly and talked about no more brawls and quarrels over the ones that need to be escorted. Ha ha….followed and this repeat often in our liquid sessions. 

Perhaps, we may forget, however sober one might be during the days, nights are always reserved for the sessions. And the remark that Acho made is perhaps a grim reminder again and again that “Drunken night makes a cloudy morning”.
Happy liquid session’s folks!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Good luck to children all over Bhutan!

For some students it is enough just to think of the word examination before their body reacts with symptoms of anxiety: Rapid heartbeat, outbursts of perspiration, and stomach aches. The physical inconveniences may be so marked – possibly even several months before the examination – that you contemplate all kinds of solutions with the purpose of escaping the discomfort. 

Exams and grades define who we are in life, at least in our country. You will be shocked to see what grades can do in your future life ahead. I am not saying grades mean everything but at least for now as a student, it means a lot. Opinions about a student can differ and vary with the grades/marks one attains. I grew up writing so many exams and I am now proud to be a teacher. I tell my children that the exams are like any other exams and there is no reason to be stressed about. I used to be stressed about writing the exams. But it is also a time when most likely to write exams would be doing what they have never done before, stay with books late into the night, some try coffee during such times. It only worsens your focus when you actually do this. Believe me I am a living testimony to this. 

So my dear young students, always make a study habit a month before the board exam. Schedule your time and follow it religiously. Every chore and academic work must be timed so that it doesn’t become stressful for you to cover up so much in so little time. This is the secret to get through any board exam. 

Perhaps your fear of examinations is about having made the wrong choice of study habit, or lack of motivation to do the necessary effort – or simply lack of abilities for some reason. You may fear an examination with good cause, because you are not properly prepared for it. Most students are nervous or afraid of examinations, and a moderate nervousness is often an advantage if you are to perform at your best. Dear students, think positive. Exchange thoughts: "I can't do anything, I'm going to fail, I'm going to die, and they will rip me to pieces” with positive thoughts: "I can handle it, I have done what I can, and it will be fine". The more you become acquainted with your examination fear, the more you are able to gain control over it.

The question of luck in any board exam is obvious and I have lived through this thing called luck in the exams but luck comes in a blue moon when trying to pass the examination, but I believe that you create your own luck based on my experience. Why? Simple, the more you review the more you are exposed to a lot of knowledge and when the time calls for you to make a guess; you are actually making an educated guess. So when you are better prepared and indeed battle ready, your answer in every question have strong chance of extracting the coveted right answers.

Dear students, good luck with the exams this year.