Archive for the ‘Personal Stories’ Category

Anyone who has taught before or is teaching now will vouch for the fact that there is nothing more rewarding than imparting knowledge to those eager minds, who sit there absorbing it all like a sponge does. The responsibility that comes with playing that role is immense and a labor of love.

So when I volunteered to coach the Middle School students here one of the topics for the Science Olympiad I was thrilled to bits. It was more than 15 years back that I had taught students; the last time was while I was a student in the University here and was a ‘teaching assistant’- teaching Biology 101 to freshmen.

 

Science Olympiad is taken quite seriously here and is conducted at the middle and high school levels. The students compete with other schools and the winning regional teams go to state level and then onto national level. The dedication of the coaches is inspiring and they are all parents who go out of their way to volunteer their time, after work hours and on weekends.

Our school was lucky to win the Regional’s last year winning in most of the 23 odd topics that go into the Olympiad such as Wright Flight, Disease detectives, Ecology, Building bridges, ornithology, Fossils, Bioprocesses and so on.

 

The affection the students show and the eagerness they have for learning is infectious. Some of them are so bright and respond enthusiastically, while there are the others who amble in and just have fun.

Sharing pictures of the 2009 school team that won and my group who were a part of the school team. The parting letters from students are cute to read and the ceremony involving handing the trophy to the vice-principal was a riot; mainly because it involved the students getting a chance to shave the head of the vice-principal every time they win a trophy. Isn’t that cute?

I’ll sure miss coaching the teams in future …it was a fun experience while it lasted though!

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On Writing

Posted: February 24, 2010 in Personal Stories
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There are times I am forced to pause and contemplate on the urge to write; that had become an obsession at one point. From poetry, fiction to non-fiction and personal stories the words flowed serenading my inner voice, making me more voluble than before. I realized an introvert needs to be heard too at some point and giving voice to thoughts is a seemingly easier way to do it. Somewhere along the line I found that words had taken control over my thoughts and had starting dictating them to pen them down.

That’s when I figured if one cannot get rid of obsessions and the propensity to be led by them, then atleaset weaning oneself  from  the hours spent on them to the exclusivity of everything is necessary. But an addiction that is most welcoming in my mind and one which I cannot rehab under any circumstances.

Writing for newspapers/media is an altogether different expression of thoughts, indulging more in the observatory power and its presentation ; one that I enjoy doing. Presenting facts in such a way that the reader’s interest is sustained and directed towards the presented event, leaving an imagery in their mind’s eyes as was experienced by the person reporting it.

The joy of expressing oneself in words and letting it hang there somewhere seems significant to a writer and I am no exception. An indulgence I crave for and give into often.

After all isn’t life all about  pursuing dreams and setting goals- if reached or not?

Bringing Up Mom!

Posted: December 22, 2009 in Personal Stories

 

 “Dashing through the snow

On a pair of broken skis

Over the hills we go

Crashing into trees…

The snow is turning red,

I think I lost my head,

I woke up in the hospital

With stitches in my head

Jingle bells, Jingle bells…”

 My junior #1 is belting out the kids version of the original song. His improvised microphone is a hair brush and is standing on a stool to get a better view in the bathroom mirror.  He combs down his hair first then combs it up and finally settles for a weird style saying ‘it’s cool!’ It changes everyday just like his whims and fancies.

He comes bouncing down the stairs two steps at a time with mismatched shirt and trousers. My quizzical looks yield an “It’s OK, so what?” look from him. Style is not something they worry about obviously when they are 5-year-old.

 Iam taking the boys with their friends to the Science museum assuming it will keep them busy for half a day. How difficult can it be managing these boys, I say to myself?

 What a darn fool idea! Really!

Having become adept at multitasking I ‘m driving down the highway with my eyes on the road, one hand on the wheel, another wagging a finger behind at the kids and my ears tuning in and out of their conversations.

I cannot help joining in and giggling occasionally. One sample of the conversation goes this way:

They are doing a pretend phone conversation:-

 “Trrring, Hello!! Can I talk to your kidneys?”

“No, Kidneys are sleeping, sorry!”

“Get a life kidney’s!”

“Sorry, I’m dead now” 

And they burst out into peels of laughter…

 “Trrring, Hello! Can I talk to the dust-mite at home?”

“Sorry he can’t come to the phone…he got sucked into the vacuum cleaner yesterday…”

Another round of laughter…and the conversation goes on…

 “In the ocean the mighty ocean

A fishy ate some beans…

 Fishy farted, Tsunami started…”   

  It continues into Grossology 101. With three pairs of XY chromosomes at home and testosterone in different doses, nothing on earth can gross me.

“If you can’t beat em, join em!”

There is no scientific explanation for the affinity of boys/men to bodily fluids/emissions! Not even writing about the ‘burping contests’ the boys have…

  If only I had a couple of gentle daughters life would have been different?? I ponder…

   Lately the hobby for juniors has been bug collection. We have different plastic bottles with different bugs in them distributed all over the house. I must confess I have had nightmares of these creepy-crawlies slithering under my pillow. The junior # 2 runs around with ‘lady bugs’ in jars. Those are his favorite. Sometimes I set them free when they don’t notice and blame them for not closing the perforated lids tight. In addition we have the ‘roly-poly’ bugs in pots outside along with ‘earthworms’ as science projects.

      His other science projects include mixing all kinds of solutions with turmeric, chili powder, sugar, salt, honey and whatever else he can lay his hands on. The research project is left for ‘growing’. He actually believes something will grow in it other than fungus! Without us noticing the projects have gotten into the fridge and after several days when I discover them, I am left wondering if my cooking was that bad!

 Sometimes the juniors walk around like Robots with outstretched hands repeating

 “System Malfunction, need to destroy, need to destroy…Beep! Beep!”

‘Oh! Oh! Here we go again,’ I say.

There’s always action! They are mostly bouncing off the walls and when they are not, one of them is falling, another running around in circles or hollering that he spotted a “daddy-long-leg” (a spider of sorts) and wants me to be the ‘Lady in shining armor’. Being equally scared of creepy-crawlies I join in the yelling. Finally the real knight in shining armor aka Senior comes to the rescue!

   During family time discussions, Junior #1 declares he knows whom he is going to marry when he grows up. Senior asks him what if the girl likes somebody else instead and Junior #1 promptly answers

“It will be a triangle then and I will deal with it like in those movies.” Hubby and I laugh hysterically at his simplicity. What an easy solution to a simple problem!

  Junior has already decided that he will be the CEO of a company making cars and that ‘space age cars’ will be what rolls out of his production unit. I am left wondering what makes today’s kids so much more confident than in our days, when I hardly knew what was in store for me the next day.

   Everyday is a learning experience, a roller-coaster ride, a lesson in parenthood. Everyday is a new episode of Calvin & Hobbes.

Everyday is a new chapter in my discovery of the intricacies of parenthood. Sometimes I watch in amazement at my ‘creations’ and sometimes …Suffice to say there is never a dull moment!]

   At the end of the day when I’m bone tired and dragging myself around…and the little tykes come up and wrap their arms around me and say ‘Mommy I love you” my world spins a little faster with all that unconditional love, making every moment special and worth all the trouble!