Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Daily Lessons

We had a 3-day SBIP on Life Skills recently in our school. Frankly, it was like old wine in new bottle. Ditto with educating GNH in Schools. We have been doing these on a daily basis not being consciously aware of it.Now you can give me a situation to handle, almost any situation, i can give you a standardized formula to effectively win from that crisis.
So that is life skills: self awareness, creative thinking, critical thinking, empathy, coping up with stress blah blah. In one of the activity, the facilitators wanted us to enact various situations so that we can apply those life skills genuinely. I and my group of teacher colleagues got a tricky case. We were supposed to enact a drama whereby a boy forces a girl to "have sex ". Bingo! I volunteered to act as "the forceful boy". Well, most of the times i have prospered being forceful so there was nothing new in that. The lady teachers in my group went silent as to who would be the girl. After much discussions, i had to force a male teacher to act like a girl! A stout man of 70+ kilo, there is little feminine in him but that wouldn't deter my sexual pleasures unless he didnt have halitosis, atleast in a drama :). There were similar acts from other groups also but finally at the end of the day, we had much awareness on how to deal with traumatic situations in a win-win way.
The other day i was teaching about "Structures" in 6th grade. Funny thing in class six science is, most of the topics are activity-based. You flip a page, there are more activity than lesson in that!  Presently,they were required to model a bride using various supports: circle, triangle, pentagon, hexagon etc and find out which of those shapes made the strongest support. After the activity i was to give them examples of various shapes used in big structures like our Dzongs. Out of curiosity, i asked them, "How many Dzongs are there in Bhutan?". "Twenty!", they answered me without doubt."Wrong!", i yelled at them. "There are only 19 Dzongs presently in Bhutan". Their face lights up with tiny rays and falls back in acceptance. We haven't started with the reconstruction of our beloved Wangdi Dzong as of now, i put up my arguments. He he he.
I am aware that i could be sued if i preached such lessons in the towns where kids and the parents are much sensitive than one can imagine but here, i did it for the purpose of gaining students' attention, not for facts.
Quite regularly, i tell those kids that there are no ghosts vis-a-vis gods. They are not impressed with my justification, by any means.
Much later, i knew how serious these kids can be when Choden once complained that i had taught small kids wrong concepts. "What was wrong?", i accused her vehemently. "You taught them that there are no ghosts?!".  Hmm..
Well, the last week, we had some touching moments when we bid farewell to a lady teacher as she had to leave to some foreign countries to catch up with her family. I have had my foreign excursions but it was more of trauma being in that foreign slum than any fun. How i wish to go to America!:). Well, i would try to update things about America if i had to suddenly take my flights to attend some seminars in NYC but for now, i must conclude here:)
Good Day, friends!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Khenpo Karpo and the Vajra Treasure

We had loads of good things post mid-term break. Firstly, it was Choe-Shey by the reputed Khenpo Tshewang and as my Principal announced, it was a good omen to kickstart our second session with his blessings. Just yesterday, we had another equally reputed khenpo, Khenpo Karpo, from Lhuntse who was kind enough to drop by at our school and give us yet another blessing.
Infact, i do not know much about the first khenpo but it is said like all learned men,he is famous for his own wisdom. He regularly gives talks on religion in BBS(Morning Session).
However, Khenpo Karpo deserves some explanation. According to a reliable source, it is said that Karpo followed normal life of a villageman in Kurtoe(Lhuntse). He toiled in his field with a spade and tended his cattles like any other folks in the village. As he worked in his field, it is said that the handle of the spade got so worn out due to his repeated use and probably due to his grip, that one day there wasn't anything left to hold that metal spade(he "finished" the wooden handle!). I do not need to elaborate on how sincerely and ruthlessly he toiled in his agricultural field.
On another account, as a villageman, he also had to attend Woo-la. At one time, he was working on the
Mongar-Lhuntse highway along the road clearing the debris with a crowbar. While trying to remove a big stone, the crowbar broke into two pieces like a dried twig! He was 35 by that time. He took those signs as a call to religion and that was when he renounces worldly matters. He got ordained as an ordinary monk, and with his hardwork, earned himself a place to learn under the late Dudjom Rinpoche. It is said he was one of the trusted pupil  of the late rinpoche.
Khenpo Karpo gave us Wang with a small Dorji. But before blessing us with that Dorji, he exaplined us thus.( I had the good fortune of seeing the Dorji at a very close range).
That Dorji was originally discovered by the great Tibetan Terton Ratna Lingpa(1403-1479) from Pema Koed(present day Arunachal pradesh) offered to the ruling nobility of that region. Changing hands, it was reached to the late Dudjom Rinpoche(also a nobility of Pemakoed). He later gave that Dorji to one of his sons, Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche. Shenphen Dawa went to US(?) and built a Dratshang to start his own teachings and while doing so he entered into huge financial debt. In order to clear away the debts, he sold that Dorji to a wealthy Bristish for 50,000$.
As a student under late Dudjom Rinpoche, he heard that story from the Rinpoche. Since then he made a personal pledge to get that treasure back for the sake of his master.
It so happened that while he was overlooking the construction of the famous Guru statue in Lhuntse, a British tourist happen to visit the site. Upon conversation with him, Khenpo Karpo found out that the tourist knew abt that Dorji! The tourist gave him the e-mail address of the British who had that Dorji. Then, through countless numbers of correspondance via e-mails, he could finally convince that British on why he should return the 'Ter'.(Khenpo karpo convinced him that the Dorji would be used as the main Nangtens in the Guru statue in Lhuntse).
Thus, it reached to Bhutan in May, 2012. Ever since it is with Khenpo Karpo wrapped around his neck!
As he was blessing us with that Dorji, a circular rainbow was seen around the sun(all of us saw, some took the pictures while i regretted not having a camera that time!). You would say it was just a coincidence but it surely was a good omen!

I would try to write about other things that our School did in the next issue. For today, we are quite busy for Tomorrow's program, Drup Tshe Zhi(First Sermon of Lord Buddha).

(Khenpo Karpo did explain about the "Ter" to all the gathering before he blessed us with that Dorji. Other abstracts are oral version which are not researched. The circular rainbow was fact!)

Khenpo Karpo Blessing with the Treasure Vajra
The Circular rainbow

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I and my lazy times!

No doubt, i am one lazy species. During holidays, my life revolves around my laptop, Tv, food and Choden in whatever order that interests me. The heaviest outdoor activity that i force myself to do is visit our kitchen garden. I haven't contributed anything in that lush garden except for few blue prints on how to plant peas or potatoes. Choden had executed those blueprints manually without any alteration. So you wouldn't argue why it shouldn't grow so nicely.:)
Despite, i have also tried to integrate organic farming in the garden. Few months back, i have helped explain what a compost is. I even suggested vermi-compost to her but she disliked the idea since it would mean harming insects.
Well, anything that Choden does, truth be told, turn out good. I have been reminded numerous times by my freinds since college days to scrible things about my love life but i have tried to abstain from it as i don't feel too romantic as you might imagine. Moreover, few relationships that i mindlessly indulged during my youth didn't last longer than a season. But they were beautiful moments as well. I wouldn't exchange those treasures in my memory for anything else.
But now married happily with Choden, i would like to tell things about her. I know she wouldn't even know how to read this but i wanted to write badly about her all these years. Shorter than me by a half foot, she beats me in looks if anything else! Often i joke with Sera who inherited my looks but her mother's brain about her bleak future.(In my family, we have self-proclaimed ranks: Beauty queen=Choden, intelligent king=Me!!). Now you can understand why i joke with my kids.
 Infact, she is a year younger than me who dropped her education at 9th grade. Tiny she is but there is a mountain of gold in her heart like i have in my nose!
Slow, steady and relatively brighter than most housewives, she does quite a thing with hardwork. Her life revolves around her kids, me and her chores while i would indulge into passing cheeky comments in whatever she does. Often,she would forget to cook the meals while she weaves, namely Yathra. I wouldn't budge an inch. I would rather wait for her without complain than roll up my sleeves and cook! So mean huh?:)
Sometimes she goes on with her hand loom for a long time that i have to put on spurious imitation that my ulcer has suddenly captured all the battlefields in my stomach. She would then put aside her loom and warm me my tea. She would wake up early and weave again much to the regret of our sound sleeping neighbours.
She once tried her luck into that infamous Dhaka Sales. I must admit it prospered well but i didn't want her to do that either. I would cajole her that human wants are unlimited lest be satisfied. I would want her by my side for every hour while her business took her to different places compromising time with the kids and me as well. My aging mom was baffled when i said she quit Dhaka Sales. "She earned more than what you earned monthly", she chided me in a phone call. "We are not poor", i would argue with her. My mother thinks, teachers are the poorest of all civil servants!
At one time, she tried making stuffs for the school children since we stay at a close proximity to the school. She would prepare Puri, Alu Dum, Alu chop, chilli Chop etc and sell it to the school children. To be honest, i didnt like that idea again. She did that for a year and quit upon my insistence. :)
Of late, she is back into something new: Oriflame! She does all the cataloguing and calls her relatives in search of a prospective customer. She calculates each rupee of profit she would make if she sold an extra night cream to her lady friend. That gives her time. She weaves in between and sells it in the Yathra factory that is so prevalent in Chumey. In between, she tends to her garden atleast once a day! The other day, a neighbour friend suggested her,"why dont you pull up your vegetables little bit higher, it grows faster!". It was a subtle joke hinted at her incessant visits to her garden.
I had the first of my garden peas last week when Choden cooked delicious maggie for the breakfast. I wasn't aware of it till she told me about the green peas in my maggie!
So at times, i think over, why all fuss? She shouldn't be doing all these single-handedly.
At one time she wanted to put up a small hotel nearby by the school. I lied to her that i have applied transfer the coming year!
Hmm..sometimes i think of all these alone.

To be continued.....

Oh well, i have tried to put up few photos of Choden's garden: hmm..not working. I haven't saved it correctly. Next time please. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Random Pitures of my Family.

Sera, Nima and Dawa

Choden and the Sillywit!

Flexing muscles:)
Learning from Sera
sera posing up.
Dawa and Choden
Drying bananas for future:)

Hmm.. these are few photos from last winter.(I am simply trying to learn to insert images in my blog, thanks due to the recent Chiphen Rigphel workshop!)

The Midterm Break.

I let my fingers unfettered in my blog after successfully completing computer workshop today. I am glad that i could avail this opportunity while most of my other friends lazed their midterm break. The good thing about attending CRP workshop is that you get free lunches, tea and biscuits. I and my like-minded friends, have like-minded appetite for free stuffs. We competed regularly not in the class but during the lunch time.
All in all, it was fruitful attending the 10-day workshop in computer.
Emboldened by it, i wanted to revamp my dull-looking blog. I requested Choden not to disturb me for sometime since i would be busy decorating my blog! Now you see, how it has changed? The black template that you see in my header is due to a beautiful sunset picture at Norbuling captured during the last winter. God knows why it became all mighty black! And dont ask why the header template lengthened more than usual. I wish i knew how to undo it.
Finally, here i am, defeated as before. I withdrew my enthusiasm to decorate my blog.
I dont really know what to write about at this time. I had nothing interesting during my break than to learn computer basics. We covered quite a load of topics in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Internet and so on. I wanted to go Gelephu and have some time with my parents but mom dissuaded me from it. She warned me of the incessant rain and how Norbuling has been cut off with communication these days. Just a day before we have heard of some unfortunate man being carried away by the river while he tried to cross it. There wasn't much furore about it since it happened in a remote gewog in some southern district. If similar incidences did, by fluke, occur in a district like Bumthang or Thimphu or Paro, the whole personnel from the Gyelpoi Zimpon's office would have rushed to console the bereaved family. But it was a touching sight that our beloved HM did grant an audience with the Late Gopa's family.
At this time, the rivers in south have become menacingly ferocious. But there is little one can do to avoid it and that is why you would see the NA and NC representatives from Gelephu warming up their chairs mutely. There is no use crying foul against nature's wrath. Come winter, those rivulets would once again dry up while the Maukhola would have some bamboo across her curve. They lovingly call it a "Bridge"!
That cyclic fashion has worked for more than half a century.
Therefore, i promised my parents that i would visit them during the winter but not this time. I am more curious following news about Higg's particle than risk my life crossing that cocky Maukhola!