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A school is an institution where students are taught by learned people. School plays an important role in each and every one’s career. Students of today are the citizens of tomorrow. Schools are the first institutions, where a child comes in contact with other children under the guidance of teachers. Schools are better known as formal institutions, where education is given in a systematic way. In formal education a curriculum or syllabus is provided to specify a particular grade or standard. School is a place where children learn basic things like manners, discipline, and punctuality.

School is a small society, where all types of faith, creeds, religion and secular values are developed and practised among the children. It is said that such in a societal system schools are the backbone of the society. The purpose of schools must be preparing children to compete in the global environment. People often say that schools greatest failure is that it focuses too intensely on academic subjects and fails to equip students with the real life skills necessary to cope up with the world.

Victor Hugo said that “He who opens a school door, closes a prison”. So educational institutions are the true seats of learning and develops culture among students. The students, who are really anxious to learn, can develop healthy habits only in the schools. In a school we are taught how to move in society, how to behave with others and how to progress in life. It is a training ground for him. Here he forms new associates, comes in contact with children of different temperaments, ideas, culture and habits. It is here that a student prepares himself for the stage of life. So the right type of school is important for him. There is no specific time or age limit to learn something new. Some new things we can only learn from experience.

Man, through the ages, has undergone many changes from time to time. In the last couple of decades, a variety of serious attempts have been made to improve schools. The 20th century made huge steps in developing computer education in schools and colleges and reached a higher level that made our life much easier. People learn through their entire lives. At this point some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age and spend most of their time on school studies. This will help them to succeed in the future.

School Farewell

27th February ……. a very special day and an equally special date. There are some days that remain etched in our memory bank forever and go deep down to the memory lane. This was one such day, our School Farewell was hosted with great pomp and show. Endless jubilations and some tears too. Discipline is a word that one detests in school but suddenly it made so much sense because we were now thinking of making our place outside the four walls of our alma mater. It was now our tool and a weapon to conquer our dreams. So much was said yet, so much still to say.

Father Andrews came near the dais for the usual sermon. In his deep and penetrating voice, he said…

‘Dear ladies and young men around…. I have very little to say, I have already said enough.’ We could not believe our ears, he had addressed as ladies and men and he didn’t have much to say. So, did that mean that we had really grown in stature and we were now expected to take the banner of our school far and wide.

Then in a firm voice he said…

‘Ladies be women of substance. Have grace, have understanding, have humility. It all goes a long way……

All the men out here, be men enough to own up your mistakes. Don’t say what you don’t mean and when you say something stand by it. Don’t let down people and become trustworthy.’

His last speech was a gist of all that he wanted to imbibe in us. We too wanted to imbibe it and bring glory to the name of our institution.

While the eyes were numb, the shoulders were laden with a deep sense of responsibility.

‘The STARS will now transcend over different land and spread their light around.’ said Sister Fulgentia.

‘transcend over different land..’ the line kept hammering in my sub-conscious.

My heart was humming…

‘Give me some sunshine, give me some rain

Give me another chance, I wanna grow up once again’

I was fighting back my tears and holding the high tide of sentimental waves that were hitting me from all directions. We belonged to St. Augustine High School, we had not known a different land. Yet the command was given.. the demand was made. We had no option but to follow. My mind was reminded of a verse from a famous poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.”

Written back in 1854 and actually for a different situation, it was somehow making sense. Sense or no sense but that is exactly how I felt. Stepping out of School was almost like entering a battlefield but I was not prepared…

Suddenly, I wanted to hold on to everything around me and stay on forever within those protective four walls. But the more I wanted to hold on, the more it was slipping away. In those few moments we learned a lot. We learnt that times change, situations change and people around will change too. Saying goodbye was not easy. It meant leaving the farewell hall and walking out of the campus knowing that we won’t see the same people, in the same way again. It was hard, very hard.

The core opened out, for there was a hurry to say all and know all before we left all…..

As we stood near the podium, facing a gathering of over five hundred, our entire school life flashed back as if it was just yesterday. Sadly it was yesterday, but it didn’t mean that we had to forget the past. It simply meant that we had to move on and treasure the memories. Letting go didn’t mean giving up. It meant that we had to accept that some things are predestined to be a part of the past. We wondered what life was.. we guess it is truly strange.

..It sometimes gives you no podium and sometimes no speech…

..It sometimes gives you the best speech but no audience…

..It sometimes gives you opportunity and sometimes no courage…

..It sometimes gives you courage but no moments left to share…

..It sometimes gives you dreams but only while you are asleep…

..It sometimes gives you sleep when you ought to chase a dream…

..It sometimes gives you desires that you don’t deserve…

..It sometimes snatches what you most deserve…

..It sometimes gives you life when you want to live no more…

..It sometimes gives death when you are dying to live…

..It sometimes gives you dreams and sometimes hopelessness…

..It sometimes fills you with hope and sometimes empties you within…

The final Goodbye.. was empting us from within.

We were staring at each other and exchanging blank looks. Wondering if we were just puppets and the show-time was over. May be or may be not. Or were we mere players, much like the Shakespearean idea of the world being a stage where all actors enter and exit at a predetermined time.

Campus life defined our life, each day was a journey and each day added a special meaning to our existence. We had given more meaning to that meaning. We had lived life to its fullest and most importantly to our fullest. The simple joys at school and the honest friendships had left an indelible mark on our mind. The memories of school days were engrained deep in our soul. They were simple yet beautiful. Memories lived once but would now be cherished forever, joy for ever, on and on.

For the last time we sat to play ‘SCHOOL TRUTHS AND SCHOOL DARES’ in the school lobby. All these years we weighed what we said but may be the final tears that rolled at the farewell party had put us slightly off balance. We were very nostalgic and totally vulnerable. As if we had already lost a battle and were to be de-throned soon. Our land to be forcibly snatched away….

Our world was now drifting away. It was hard to believe that school was over. No morning assemblies, no bells to be heard, no school bus to board. The place where we had spent almost fourteen years appeared cold like some foreign land. No attendance register would bear our names. The familiar corridors and the classrooms had an air of silence. Everything around us was strange and awkward. Something was hurting us deep within. Our hearts were sinking like the unsinkable titanic and we were desperately holding on to each other..

The buildings, the lawns, statue of Mother Mary were all adding to our nostalgia. While passing through the church in the morning, I read the quote written on its display board, “We collect things because our hearts are empty.” I read it like I would ordinarily read the quote on church wall every day but before long, I knew there was much more to it than those simple words that I saw upon the first glance.

For a moment, I was motionless. We had been going through a reflective and stressful phase in our lives. We were preparing ourselves to say a good-bye to our alma-mater and the heart and mind were in constant conflict. There were examinations ahead of us but we had still spent a large chunk of our time in getting autographs, clicking photographs, remembering phone numbers and jotting down addresses. The albums were made and moments were being preserved. Maybe we were destined to meet again and maybe not. Would the farewell photographs be the last picture clicked together or were we going to be like a boomerang or a yo-yo – that strikes back to its original position again and again.

But strangely and truly, this phase was very captivating. I felt low, as if is there was nothing substantial in my life? Is it that despite spending fourteen long years in school my heart was unquenched? Was there some emptiness inside? Did I need to fill it.. more and more of such thoughts clouded my mind. I wanted to clear the clouds before they would make my eyes numb.

Were my relationships short and shallow? Did I thirst for long lasting and strong bonds? I was gripped in a maddening realization that I had done too little and cared too less. Then, suddenly my thoughts wavered in different direction and I said to myself, ‘If there were no relationships and strong bonds, why did I have such sentiments?’ And I got the answers to all my nervousness and the confusion.

There was panic because there was fear of losing something. We collect things to refresh our memories, give us joy and solace. How can a human heart be empty? For there were memories, memories all the way. Some of them may fade away but there are some that shall cling to us whether we are sad or happy. And this non-futile affinity of associating and holding on to things, to memories will enable us to smile in a sad hour. Even in the best of our times, it will make us humane enough to shed a tear for our fellow-men in pain. Thus we shall be reminded that good and bad times are not forever, it is only the situation that makes it so. We collect things so that our hearts never get empty.

Ask and tell….. then part ways and move in different directions. Our relationship was precious, it was special. We wanted it to last till eternity but for sure the roads were now different and a golden era of our friendship was over. Time was gone.. tides were high.. the hearts were sigh. The future was unknown, the first inning was over.. about the second we had no clue.

Technology, A Bonus to Education

During the ancient period and dark ages, the learning standard and process was very limited. This was as a result of few or no innovations that aided in the educational system. Students usually grab all that has been taught to them, but on few of them go further to research on topics and learn more. Fortunately, this generation has been counted lucky to expand and widen their academic knowledge with the aid of the internet and other fast devices.

Though more than one quarter of the world’s population do misuse the internet for various obnoxious activities and fraudulent acts, it still remains a great advantage to those who knows its worth. It has indeed aided in the academic sector in various perspectives which cannot be compromised. To the teachers or instructors, it has given them an ample opportunity to gather more knowledge, facts and issues to disperse to students. This enhances learning process as the students get to gain more from their teachers and their scope is broadened. With this trend, the students are entreated to learn more and the teacher on the other hand acquires more.

Another advantage that has helped the educational system is the online study. An individual willing to study in a given institution can follow their programs online, and after a stipulated period, he or she obtains a valid degree or master’s degree. This is a great boost to education especially for those who are not opportune to be present at such institutions to follow up. They can now earn online, do some projects and assignments with their computers or other devices.

Students themselves are not left out here. They are the most gained. After classes, a student could use the internet to proceed on topics, carryout various and numerous researches, perform designated projects all to his own benefit. T is only the dependent and myopic students that rely wholly on their teacher and what he gas to offer at any given time.

Other electronic devices borne by technology like; audio books, personal digital assistant, etc assists students in learning process. The audio books are great learning tools specifically documented for individuals with reading disabilities, impaired vision or physical disabilities; thus aiding the physically disabled in their own learning. The personal digital assistant (PDA), an essential minimized computer can be of help to students. It has standard features including a planner for keeping track of assignments and activities, a to-do list, a note pad and alarms to keep students on schedule. The scanning pen which is a perfect tool for library research and other reading activities. This handheld device scans texts as it drags along the page. The pen displays the words on an easy to read screen, speaks them aloud and provides definitions.

Indeed, technology has really profited education so much in a dimension that has reshaped, reconstructed and restructured the learning process globally. Nelson Mandela of South Africa said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Education still remains the sure path to success and should be given adequate support.

I found a friend

A precious possession,
who always stays around.
To laugh and cry.
Celebrate or sigh.
But never part or say goodbye.

The frenzy of maddening media and an ever-evolving circle of friends both new and old marked the month of October. Little did I realize that the glitz of glamour and the new-found glory had to be handled deftly …..

I was among the top three finalist of the ‘STAR TV National Talent Hunt’ coveted competition. Winning the title meant enormous cash prize and an enticing trophy. This ‘trophy child’ had the burning desire to study abroad and winning the show was the sole key to unlocking my dreams and fuelling my ambitions.

My heart was pounding; I was dancing light feet and building a vast virtual world. This chase, this chaos led to a swarm of strangers engulfing all around. Amidst it all, I was referred to RJ John, my official dance-partner for the final round. In face of the amazing mystery that surrounded him, he became immensely important right from the first phone call and the first ‘Hello!’. Unlike others, he hadn’t praised my talent, rather he doubted and quizzed. His questions, his queries opened a plethora of scattered data-bits in my mind. The answers needed deep speculation and reasoning. He wanted to know it all and he was in some haste to find out… my relation with my friends, my intentions, my objectives. He had to chisel carefully and create a conspicuous variance to pre-define a winning edge. I was keen, keen to answer & keen to learn.

All this was happening on the digital media amiss the tete-a-tete. I had called him on his official number but within minutes he had jumped on my whatsapp sharing his mobile (a rarity amongst people of this profile). I was glad since it was an indicator of having made an excellent first-impression and that affirmed his attention. He advised freely and helped openly. He was subtle in suggesting and beckoned carefully but corrected immediately. He had become my self-acclaimed guru who was friendly and blessed with a perfect sense of judgement and precision.

Within a fortnight, he was spying me on my facebook through a legal friend-request. Quite involved, he would call at his convenience, talk at his leisure and work patiently to choreograph the dance-sequence. We were exchanging numerous messages, anecdotes, quotes, pictures and videos. Did the ease of media dwindle the line of control?… Was he a friend?.. Was it mutual?..

Now moving from fiction to reality, I was to meet Mr. RJ at an award ceremony. So, as soon as I reached the prestigious auditorium I dialled his number, the only known face person in that august gathering. He greeted me warmly and signalled to usher in. I entered, pushing the heavy door and began to glance at every eye-ball trying to figure out who RJ was. He had very few and dubious pictures on facebook and I was utterly lost in the attempt to match the ‘still’ with the ‘real’. Reality of course was even stranger, Mr. Stranger was strangely missing from the scene…… I was surprized yet hastened my steps to occupy a corner seat close by. Was he busy?.. Had he got stuck?… well, whatever, even if RJ was missing, I had to sit through the show since Ms. Jevani had sent me a personal invite.

Positivity of thoughts doesn’t always mend your mind and I was indeed feeling low. My phone which was already put to silence-mode started flashing some bright light. ‘Light in darkness’ is always a good omen. And Hey! wait, that was RJ calling, I immediately looked near the entrance. How silly I had been, he too must have had trouble spotting me. But the voice on the phone indicated something different…. He was spelling out instructions, ‘look to your left, extreme left!….. come right here!!..’…

So the lonely lady was graciously welcomed by this warm gentleman sitting in the fourth row at the extreme end of the auditorium. Indeed very hospitable! (sarcasm intended!!). Nevertheless, I paced my steps and reached the other end. Surprisingly(!), he also stood up, walked a few steps, smiled and shook hands, ’Hi! Chanchal…..’
‘You have come alone?’ He was asking the obvious. Nonetheless, I answered and I was totally intrigued by his smiles and friendly overtures. Within minutes I was addressed as ‘tu..’ and he seemed like some long lost childhood pal. New friendship, new connect. I enquired about his life, work…. and the conversation spun a yarn of goodwill around us. We sat through the show smiling, listening and clapping. The icing on the cake was his impeccable wit and utterly smart one-liners. I was completely at ease.

It was his arena, his people; media and other RJs surrounded us soon after the show. Quick assumptions are made when any lady is spotted next to a man. The confusion was grave but he wasn’t ruffled a bit, and politely corrected everyone. He was too mused but quickly turned around and said, ‘hey, you stay at a distance…. this will be trouble.’

But friends don’t create trouble, they create bonds. We were bonding. He was my host, comrade and friend for the entire evening. He courteously took me around and we cheerfully mingled with all. A streak of fun, laughter and pranks laced his persona… To him, my I-card sounded like an invitation for dinner, my media coverage was hyped and I was labelled a poor-company who avoided hard beverages and heavy food and was supposedly thriving on air and water. Little did he know that I thrive on friends & relationship. A lot of interesting topics were debated & interesting tales were narrated. Impressions were captured and time was beautifully spent. The conversation went on and on, making it tough to wrap up and leave for the day. In this ‘fight-for-first’ fiercely competitive world it is indeed a challenge to find two strangers who would compliment and praise each other. We, from the very onset, were praising in plenty. Good relationships can start at any point; they are not defined by age, name & gender.

The next few months were exhilarating, I was happy to have found a real pal. He indeed was. There were discussions, arguments, jokes and a surprise element always up his sleeves. Surprizingly we had loads of similarities yet there were few and marked differences. But a strange telepathy connected us and we could read each other’s mood-and-mind. There were ways to balance both aggression and depression. This connect rejuvenated our spirits. And this was no short stint of friendship, it was for keeps and I truly believed that we are never-too-old to make new friends.

Good time flies, it flew. Next morning was the final round and RJ’s bouquet reached even before the dawn of the day. I was to face the judges for a question-answer round. The required information was meticulously fed, and the right tone, pitch, intonation and pronunciation were repetitively rehearsed. The day was indeed immaculately planned to perfection, the dance sequence enthralled one and all. The applause was thunderous, the blueprint of my success was hand-crafted to reach a pinnacle whose radiance shone like diamonds in his eyes.

The next day………….. I waited for the usual messages and call……… but it all disappeared… RJ vanished and I was alone, all alone…….. in isolation, in illusion, in delusions..

Teaching Science with a Smile and Learning with Rhythm

Being fortunate enough to teach all subjects in primary and Science in class VI and class VII. This method of teaching Science through rhymes and poems proved very successful and there is a significant improvement in academic performance.

The purpose of this innovative method is to present several topics in Science to children. Using these approaches, children learnt poems and have written poems that convey different science topics.


Students will be able to:

  • Identify science topics
  • Discuss the science conveyed in each poem
  • Memorize the poems with the identified topics
  • Write their own science poems

Teacher will need be manage to try this innovative approach of teaching Science, sets the true spirit of integration in science. Here is an example of inter-disciplinary in school subjects of Science, English and Drama. A teacher role is never confined to one subject or classroom. This method can bring a change in school environment and encourages co-operation and co-ordination among different departments.

The various teaching aids that can be incorporated are tape recorders, video tapes and play back equipments. Books on poems. One could take up the duration of about 2 to 3 weeks depending on student’s vocabulary and teacher’s inspiring encouragement.


Step 1: Simple poems which have real meanings to the students should be collected by the teacher.
Step 2: The poems should initially be read aloud to the children with explanations about the content. The rhymes in the poems should be emphasized.
Step 3: Gradually, there should be a transformation from simple everyday poems to science poems. Here, it becomes imperative to explain the poems bringing out the science concepts depicted.
Step 4: The students should note the Science concepts. After a reasonable number of poems have been studied and the children have shown considerable interests, they should then be encouraged.

Teaching Science through poems surely put a smile on the faces of the children. As much as is possible, the lessons should be recorded on audio and possibly video tapes and can be showcased during open house. As a Science teacher, I demonstrated resourcefulness in teaching. Co-operation between the Language and Science Departments is the key success factor behind this concept. The poems learned during a particular lesson are recited in class, school assembly and later at the school “Open House’ where the parents can be invited.

Learning outcome:

The level of success of this lesson is determined by the general interest shown in learning science by the students. The students are able to carry science beyond the four walls of the classroom. Also, the number of new Poems contributed by the students should be a good measure of success. Student’s latent talents and creative skills are easily captured through this activity.

Poem by class VII students with little guidance from teacher

If you want to know how a plant grows
It takes water, air, sunlight and makes cellulose
Every plant can do this fundamental process
And we can call this photosynthesis

Unlike me and you plants take carbon-dioxide
And they make oxygen and stop us turning blue
Every plant can do this fundamental process
And we can call this Photosynthesis

It is a miracle flow all chlorophyll captures
Sunlight in the leaves of the plant and trees
A plant of any size can do it thrice
And not green so we can’t be photosynthesized.