Saturday, April 28, 2012

sunday thoughts!

The other day,we anxiously waited, along with hundreds of local people, for the royal entourage to arrive on the slated time. Well, it is understandable that we had to wait for almost three quarters of a day for the Tokha! I wore my black gho while Choden was at her best in her non-descript kira except that she looked much older than i thought, but she is still like a tiny diamond that glows ceaselessly in my heart! No big deal.
When the HM and his entourage did arrive, lunch was served with haste since it was past 3 pm. I along with few more teachers had to overlook the students involved in serving to the masses. "Be careful!", all of us warned to eachother. After the lunch, there were some dances and jokes to entertain the retinue. It is difficult to find anything funny in such a solemn gathering as that. So, by dusk we were back to our respective homes, much to our own relief.
Hmmm.., the teachers around the country is awaiting yet another Teachers' Day. Honestly, i have always felt special on that day. It keeps my resignation away for another year or so! Afterall, who wouldn;t resign? If there were greener pastures, i firmly believe more than half of teachers would say "quit!'. There is never a greater frustrations in teachers and doctors than in any professions. Doctors too? Yes ofcourse. Doctors like teachers, are overburdened. Saw their handwriting?:) Dont worry, there is nothing much to get from the shelves. Free drugs are hard to come by easily. Even a normal saline has to be purchased, according to one of the doctors that i follow closely. Having said that, i have to admit that one of my earliest dreams was to become a doctor. But common dreams such as this do change. Towards my high school days, i yearned to become an engineer. Post my graduation, i would have opted to follow law if it was not for my certificates that awarded a meager B.Sc! Few years into teaching service, i had my resignation letter written time and again. lol.
But what next?!
On a generous thought, teaching is good. There are laptop schemes that would gift you with a Sony VAIO and you go on paying instalments even after the the cost price! You have Chigphen Rigphel programs that would enroll you and you have to cough out few more hundreds from your wallet to meet the expenses of the workshop! There is Evaluation Camp in winters that reserves you once you knew the right person.Hmm..knowing the right person? It is there in all walks of our lives. You wouldnt want to attend some scholarship interviews if your relative X was not in the panel. Would you?:) And you wouldn't want to enroll some under-aged children in your school if you werent related to them, would you?. You wouldn't even bother to refer some terminal patients to advanced treatments if they werent related to you. If you chaired the finance of your dzongkhag, you would "pass" the bill so long the claimant is known to you, would you?
Things are complicated in real life. We only learn through experiences.:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My first School

I have never thought of going to another School from here for numerous reasons. Firstly, this was my first transfer as a teacher and the first school like your first kiss is always memorable and addictive! Secondly, house-rents are comparatively cheaper here. The quarter(government quota!) that i occupy is well furnished with complete set of furniture,Bukhari, two toilets, and a modular kitchen where Choden gladly consumes most of her time. And if need be,any length of land that i can till, freely becomes my kitchen garden. Most of the town mice can't even find enough space to dry their clothes.However, not all things are cheap. We often have to buy half-rot vegetables at double the price than in the towns. One can never get even a bar of soap at its MRP rate but that is understandable.
 Thirdly, it is the climate that i like here. When mercury soars high in the towns, it is a pleasant warm conditions here. Except for "hot" ladies, i have always had this fear-the phobia for hot conditions. Few years ago in Hyderbad, as the temperature frequently soared to half of 90 degrees, we would bunk the classes and sleep almost naked in our rented home much to the detest of our muslim landlord!
Lastly but the best reason for my stay here is, it being the hub of religious activity, the Tshechus and the holidays! Many Rinpoches and Lamas have visited my school since it is literally located on the high-way. The MPs have visited, Dashos have visisted, Lyonpos have visited and just yesterday, we were blessed once more with the visit by the HM and the Queen. It was a very great moment listening to his talks as he had asked for a formal Meeting with the teachers in the conference hall. He hinted us that he was worried mostly with the youth, the way they are to be nurtured. He also talked about disciplinary issues bothering our youth today. At the end of the meeting, he commanded that students be given holiday. Despite, he also invited all the students and Teachers to join the 'Tokha' that he is scheduled to attend tomorrow with the public of Chumey Geog. I guessed he was impressed with our humble preparations.
So here i am, trying to update my blog. I need to press my Gho. Afterwards, polish my shoes again and later, polish my old Dapa! One has to go there crystal clean with enough amenities.
Choden even suggested to take some extra Tohrrey(traditional cloth-piece where food is served)!:)
This is all i have, friends. Good day.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Green Sunday...

Post UNICEF-Teacher drama, i was more than annoyed to say the least, to hear that the case had been withdrawn under mysterious circumstances. They say it is "mutual understanding" and both the individuals had win-win situation. I hope surely so. The Dr.Strength had regretted his 'Bend It My Way' reactions despite the diplomatic immunity that he is boastfully tagged with while, the teacher dear is recovering quicker than you can imagine from toothless toothache! Indeed, only one of them played the game and there is no loser in such series. Now,the MoE is more than happy, since the case has been resolved amiably before the Aum Secretary could poke her nose in that shitty business. Afterall, if bigwigs are arrogantly involved, the process of dispensing justice is twice troubleth!:) It troubles him that seeks and him that gives! Mercy. He he he. So we wrap it in our Bhutanese way: talk local and act global! Time to go for green actions.
There has been hush hush talks from the MoE about the corporal punishment to be re-inducted not in its original form but of 'some' form. I and the teachers alike, would never prosper from this "some" sum. Honestly, the critical truth in this nemesis is that things have changed. These days we have dogs with attitudes, we have students nursing faulty potty-habits and what is more, we have prodigal parents, highly spendthrift in physical combats! Truly, time has changed. No way? Yes,i do remember the line from Kathang Duep : Time doesnt change, but people change. Hmmm..there is nothing permanent as change. Small things have become more sensitive than global issues. People wouldnt mind global warming. Today is Earth Day, mind you! They wouldnt mind discarding plastics on the streets. They wouldnt mind spitting Doma on the whitewashed walls. But tell them what brand of shoes your neighbour wear, they are woken up!
Well, did i say you about the Earth Day? I had told Choden about it and she was puzzled as usual. "Earth ghi birthday ya?", she asked me.  Mashey..!
 The UNESCO club Co-ordinators(they are teachers devoid of diplomatic immunity unlike Dr.Shukhrat from the UNICEF) in my school had requested every students to come with an empty plastic bottle on monday. This would leave some 800 plastic bottles less, on our mother earth in Chumey.Big fuss with plastics. Whoever invented it? Necessary Evil. As a self-proclaimed enthusiast in organic chemistry, i can not but share you this piece:The patent#942699 was first granted in 1909, in favour of bakelite, the first ever synthetic plastic!
For today,i framed some green actions in my home for my kids: No WaiWai, no biscuits. Sera had looked at me with disgust!:)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"I was born intelligent.."

"I was born intelligent but education system ruined me!", a teacher friend bragged yesterday. I let out my sarcastic smile. As i continued writing my lesson plan, i was struck by the steely edge of his unassuming declaration. "Did you tell it by yourself", i asked him. "Did you really mean it??". He laughed at me and insisted "Yes!".
I closed by lesson plan and explained him that his 'line' was quite intimidating inspite of his disproportionate claims of his 'intelligence'.
"I was born intelligent but education system ruined me", i found myself repeating the lines long after he left. The teacher in me vehemently rejected whatever he said in his playful insistance but on a second thought, i was inhibited by fear of being true. What if it was true?? As a teacher, that could be the last thing that one might like to hear at the end of the day.
 I thought of my own birth. There were signs all around! He he. Aye, i remember being intelligent when i was young!:). Well, did i get spoilt due to education? Hmm..that is a tough call. As i write this post,i am still wondering if i was nurtured wrongly by my school.
Seriously, humans are intelligent. Much beyond our normal comprehension, we blame the systems surrounding us if anything went against our wishes! I suppose most of us had heard by this time about the recent incident in a private school. A faulty system indeed. It sent cold shivers down my spine at the thoughts of being mauled by my students' parents. How bold. Ofcourse i read dozens of frustrations poured by our fellow teachers around the country and i thought what next? I had wanted to call on for a boycott by highlighting it in FB and Bhutan Teachers' Forum since most of the teachers are accessible via these social media. When Anna Hazare could gather 1000s of fellow citizens through calls via internet, why cant i?
How about fasting? Who cares! Honestly, i would love to fast if i had a certified Dietitian at my bedside!
All in all, it was disturbing to hear about such incident in our peaceful country. I only wish our system to get over it with good conclusions. It is high time our Sherig Lyonpo rolled up his sleeves and go for 'actions' than those poetry from his desk!
Apart from all these hustle and bustle, i had another one in my own home. Choden and i called few of our close friends and had a small celebration to mark our daughter's 5th birthday. At one time i had kidded her about our next child since five years is quite a good time for her to recover biologically. She had blushed at the suggestion.:).
Also, few days before,we had our team of budding scientists sent to Takse MSS for regional Science Exhibition. As a science teacher, i was involved too in that process. We had a model to sensitise Global Warming, an improvised reaction that prepared bars of soap(!), and a simple physics that generated electricity without trouble. We bagged fifth position!
That is all for today..cheers!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Smile Your Way!

We had the Parent-Teacher Meeting yesterday. As an Exam secretary, i had to present the result analysis of year 2011 and seriously, i was nervous. We hadn't had colourful results for quite a time but parents here are mostly villagers and they wont complain much if their children made through to the next higher grade. I had wanted to make comparative analysis of the results but i had thought that it would push my audience to boredom. Despite, i was never good at statistical skills. So i tell them simple figures of passed and failed students and conclude it with a 'Kadrinche'. Round of applaud. I smiled at them more graciously than ever!
Infact most people succumb to 'smiles' and wouldn't even bother to question your faulty presentation if you put up a lengthy smile at the end. I always associate myself with 'smile'. No wonder i can still manage to smile even during unholy adrenaline rush. That is enviable huh?:)
With my fifth grade students, i smile when i pull their ears. I usually stop pulling their ears till i can no further twist my smile to any eligible length! Afterall, smiles do have limits. There are times when students put up those silly smiles after they have deliberately not done their homework. Those are awful times. You need to call upon all the heavenly souls to shower you with patience to handle such cases. In my high school days(at Drukgyel HSS), i fondly remember being taught by an Indian Geography teacher. A senior teacher he was and quite formidable! If you accidentally smiled at the nostalgic thoughts of your own fantasy during his class, he would come to your desk stealthily, and in a lightning like speed, hit on your head with his knuckles. That would sound like a tiny thunder on your head! "Smiling huh?!", he would grin at you. In the same School we had a warden, a Dzongkha lopen he was. Well, wardens were never cool during our times. If you were late during the rising bell, he would come to your room with faint mutter of morning prayers on his lips. He would smile at you, "he he", smile again, "he he" and whoops, a bang on your cheek with his palm! We called him Azha Maarp after those infamous slaps.
Honestly, as a teacher it is a good thing to smile. I cane my students(sometimes only!Excuse me!!) but i smile as large smile as possible. They wont take it to thier hearts and keep grudges.:).
I even smile at Choden when her curries aint that palatable as usual. During such heightened times, i let go it with a tiny smiles in between before i hurl my plate into the kitchen sink!
Now fellas, promise me that you wont show me your germ-infested teeth without a smile? Will you? :))