Sunday, April 28, 2013

Things at Home

I played good Samaritan yesterday by presenting Choden with a female feline. Atleast now, we have  harmonious promotion of both the sexes at home though we lack it in our National Council. But how can we trust our people.
We fondly named her Sissy, the name that my daughter coined in an unceremonious way. I had to defer to her superior knowledge about names!
Talking of that tiny cat, she has more missions than NASA. I had assumed that Sissy would captain over our store to battle with the rats that play havoc time and again. I hadn't realised how nasty these rats were until recently when they munched my boxers in drawer C. Choden said that it was a bad omen. I said that it was an unwashed boxer that they attacked!
Now, sissy is desired to tackle those problems lest she be sent to an orphanage. The other enemy that she have to rid is frogs. I am unsure whether a cat loves frogs, but sissy is expected to keep frogs on her top menu and make a palatable dish out of it. The third in line, that requires the attention of her arboreal strength is, ofcourse, lizards. It has filled me with creepy fear after my mother informed that lizards' poohs are deadly poisonous and can be truly fatal. Cats loves lizards like we love chickens.:)
If it were not for those reasons, sissy has no rooms here.

Back to School scenes. Nothing impressive. We are learning hard about different types of substances in Class four. I usually ask them questions. They give me wrong answers mostly. I twist their ears for each mistake they make but they are relentless to learn.
"So, you can not still spell it?", i nearly shout at Tshering. She brings her ears as usual. I twist it as i bite my lips with disgust. "Thank you, sir", she would mutter timidly and hurry back to her desk. These kids, they would even thank me for spanking them!
We talk about the next substances: Gases. I tell them there are different types of gases and name them. I teach them that each gas its own typical odour. "You should be able to distinguish the common gases from its smell", i preach them. Simple. Differentiate those gases from its smell. "You should be able to smell those gases and tell whether it is ammonia or Hydrogen sulphide or the gas from your friends"!
They look accusingly at eachother.
"Yes sir", they chorus back like a battalion in a morning drill.:)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More than an umbrella

I didn't realise until recently how terrible a rainy day would mean in southern foothills. Not even your jazzy made-in-Bangkok umbrella would defend you from the torrents. And the lightening. A benign thunder on one such day would sound some million times than a turbulent fart that you would let out after a nights sleep on a cold cement floor. My new smartphone hadn't had luck after being struck down with one of the thunders day before yesterday, while it was left on  the charger during the night. No kidding! Though it was a cheap made in china BlueBerry, it had features like future video games, that i assumed could be played on an omnidirectional treadmill!

Despite the rains, things are smoothly hush-hush these days. Yesterday,the NFE centre near my place got its sorrounding trimmed as the team from the election office arrived here to set up their machines:) I have'nt decided yet about the candidate that would cost my vote but surely i would cast it to one of them. Afterall, 5 years of active service or non-service by these worthy representatives makes all the difference about our GNHed country. One didn't get opportunity to vote in the first election since one was out of station but that was good. I had reasons without regret to point fingers at DPT for its prodigal governance. However, it is going to be different and quite difficult this time. Five parties have legally registered with ECB with nearly 300 candidates in total. That is quite a number. Well, there are other parties outside Bhutan making claims about its mandates but that is of no importance. No country is free from terrorists. However,we are all matured Bhutanese standing on a common purpose of life. We need more happy citizens at home.
There is no use in finding happiness, selling icecream in Oz and coming back with few extra dollars. For the fellow Bhutanese, i would suggest that we toil on our own land and be happy than find places to run errands in foreign lands, for that matter.We have answers for everything at home than abroad.

So i opted to remain at School and cast my vote diligently. Choden had proposed me about her new agenda: join some party! I let out my laugh without control. I told her that retirement benefits are too meagre and that might cost our "live happily ever after". I have personal example from my own father who served in civil service  for more than three decades. Post retirement, he had to downsize half his daily expenses. He does some garden, tends cattles and renders compulsory service to community developments, notably, digging in and un-digging water pipes that always need yearly repair. He drinks occasionally to defend himself from trauma and melancholy, i guess:).
But we have good parties in place. Revolving around the doctrine of GNH, all parties promise us with happiness.

Let us see?!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Teaching Matter

So it was "Matter" that i was teaching Science to my fourth graders for the last one week! I explained them that anything, almost ANYTHING is matter if it had mass and occupied space. After thorough explanation, i would still find few doubting Thomases. To make the lesson interesting, i narrated them this same joke that all of us heard.
"What is the matter?", a teacher once asked the two boys who were fighting. Pat came the reply,"matter is anything that has mass and occupies space".
Nothing happened. Silence. I asked them not to worry since it was a joke only. They looked at eachother and smiled back decidedly.
So, i explain the definition of Matter once again by citing many, many examples.  
 "Ugen, is this a matter?", i show him my fingers and point at my wedding ring.
"No sir!". The class laughs at his boldness.
"What is your opinion, DurgaNath?". "Yes sir", he breaks the silence after a long doubtful time. As slow as a snail, answers take long route before it drops off his mouth. I point at his Gho and ask if it is a matter. Blank.
Tell me something, i plead with him. No answer. I repeat my question so that he gets hint. "Gho ya matter inna?"
"No sir", he replies me timidly. Burst of laughter from the class. I ask him once again at random examples. Pen, books, stones, walls, bucket, comb. He gives right answer for half of the items. 
Hmm.. How should i teach?, i almost scream to them.
 "Fold your arms", i order them! "Now listen to me carefully". I re-do my whole lesson.
This i nothing, i tell you. I tell myself. There are 100 other teachers facing the same debacle. I get consoled that few thousands of teachers undergo same turmoil as i do and on a daily basis.

Well, talking of greener side here, it rained incessantly for few days. Even the best roof would give way to seeping rain in your bedroom. In the morning Choden would say she had to use bowls and buckets at various rooms it leaked at so many places. I am much of a diurnal species. It less bothers me to grasp things occurring at odd nightly hours. Despite, when it rains cats and dogs, i naturally get my most healthy sleep.:)
I suppose i am one sturdy teacher who can shout/teach for full seven periods and still lead my house members to cheer up the boys in the basketball match, thanks due to my sound sleeping regime! 
Honestly, it is a complete taboo in my home to let kids be awake later than 9 pm.

Also, we had the first literary competition in our school. It was an extempore speech competition with a large banner pasted on the multipurpose hall. It read: Extemporary Speech Competition.
I excused myself from the hall.:)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Captain and I

"Who is the Class Captain?", i yelled at them so that they could hear me. I had substitution in class PP since the teacher was on leave that day. Their response surprised me.
"Nga iin La", they raised their hands in unison.
 Amused, i asked them,"15 captains in a class?!".
A tiny but talkactive boy came forward and announced, "I am the real captain, sir". Intimidated by his claim, others came forward and each one of them pleaded to be the real captain! I felt guilty for having asked that unimportant question.
In the midst of that chorus, a girl came much closer, pulled my arms and uttered in sharchop that she was the real captain. "Aye, i knew it was you!", i answered her. Then, another boy came forward and uttered as if in oracular trance that there aint any captains in the class. He raised his hands near my face and his fingers fluttered like  prayer flags, in dismissal!
"Alright, go back to your seats", i asked all of them. "I do not want captains", i gave up my research of finding the leader in class PP. :(
It was like herding some 30 cattle in a meadow surrounded by maize field! A boy boxes another, one of them steps on another's feet, a group shouts while playing game with their desk-mates, some play, shooting paper-planes in the class etc etc. No sooner did the bell ring than i left their class without even looking back at them. "Too tough to handle them", i thought, being defeated at my own strength.

Life has come full circle and i am back in the class teaching those same stuffs for the N th time. Brighter students bring smiles. It makes me a part of their achievement. Dull ones, on the other hand, is more challenging to handle but i do survive at the end of the day. I am convinced that at one point of their life, these students would shine too. I possessed my metallic lustre quite late in life, i gave them my example. Lol.

Choden is back to square one, charting out loads of action plan for this year. I often offer my hand in her office(kitchen!) and help her in her vegetable garden. I lecture her on organic farming, hybridisation and garden ethics.
Same thing, again and again. And again.
Kids are catching up with the new place and their friends.
All in all, it is good to be in a new place, for a change, atleast.