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Friday, September 30, 2011

News or Gossip?

In this press conference held for Ra.One movie by Youtube & ShahRukh Khan, someone from the media asked SRK, "With one month left for the movie release, you are not getting enough sleep because of all the promotional activities. When there is just 2-3 days left for the movie release, would you also leave eating & drinking" - I have to translate into Hindi now, for the effect: फिल्म की रिलीज़ के लिए अभी एक महिना बाकी है और आप कह रहे हैं की आप ठीक से सो भी नहीं पा रहे हैं, जब फिल्म की रिलीज़ को सिर्फ तीन-चार दिन रह जायेंगे, तोह क्या आप खाना पीना भी छोड़ देंगे?
And it followed by 'stupid' questions like these all through. Poor SRK can't get away from answering these questions. I open up the leading daily in the morning & the headline on the first page is usually something that is the most recent happening - Anna Hazare's campaign, a massive earthquake, thankfully something around sluggish auto season...anything.

Come to the next piece of news - to the right of the headlines & sometimes if there is more recent happenings, just towards the end of the first half of the paper, and these start off:
- girl kidnapped by the servant
- wife plans murder of her husband
- students shot dead in ragging
- 15-yr old kid in coma after a disastrous accident...

And 2nd page, 3rd page, 4th page...and many more snippets in almost all the pages - is only this! What are our journalists & news reporters up to? Are they out on as they say, their hectic schedules only to report these issues? These parts of the pages in the newspapers - can't they be filled with some meaningful pieces of news? I would want to know if there is a murder at the toll plaza because it is something that would be an information that I have to know, but I am not at all interested to know if a wife has planned her husband's murder along with her boyfriend - even if she was my next door neighbour forget about she being in NCR!

Does media needs intelligent people? Is there a dearth of sensible people getting into media these days? Or is it that these news pieces are easy to capture, happening all around & so to fill the space or may be to meet their targets (not sure if they have to report so many news pieces a day/week/month? I am sure it is definitely like this with many doctors these days: मैडम आपने इस महीने किसी मरीज़ को नहीं भेजा टेस्ट के लिए, इस हफ्ते तो भेजना होगा मैडम कम से कम २ लोगों को! doctors: ". )
Well, if the mass wants only gossip & no news, then well, be it the leading daily!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I wish I had a teacher :-)

2001 is when I left teaching (I am not that old, I was too young when I taught :P) them, a couple of my students send me wishes even now - 'Happy Teacher's Day!'. I always valued the teaching profession more than any other, it is a profession with uniquely, immensely valuable responsibility - to make or break a life. Though I am an advocate of 'we don't teach, they learn themselves', I also advocate that we facilitate the learning. I bet if you have good teachers, you can learn much better & make a significant change in your life - even if it is 'destined' otherwise, as some may say.

I changed 14 schools in my schooling, the moment settle down with one school, it would be time to move with no valid & logical reason actually - well, that is a different story altogether. I want to say I never had a teacher who made an impact till 11th. When I asked questions to my teachers, they never responded in a way I understood - ultimately I ended up unhappily mugging things for the exam & without understanding, I had to get good marks in the exams, that was the criterion to be called as a good student.

When I started my 11th standard, my Maths teacher was amazing - she had good hold on the subject no doubt, she wasn't a very good 'teacher' per se, but she had great passion in the subject. She used to follow herself while teaching, it was as if she was learning herself while teaching, and what an impact it made to understand the concepts. All 'whys' were answered before asking. When I used to refer the notes & books later, things never before were as clear. The class used to be of 3 hours & I always felt it was less - what a difference a teacher can make, even if she was extremely strict that it would become a talking point if a student ever saw her smile!

But I could have her as my teacher only for the 2 years, may be the 2 most crucial years (at least they were, for me!). I did have good teachers during my college days too, but something I always would want to change back in life was my opting Mathematics as major. It sounds very 'heavy' as a subject & when you say to others but I wish I had opted for some professionally valuable course. It got compensated with other studies that I did later, though, but still! One thing is some concepts in Maths if you know well & apply them, many things become extremely simple.

Because of the Mathematics (pure mathematics as they say & not applied), it was a challenge to learn professional skills & since I mostly worked in small organizations, I learnt things myself - a major contribution to my life with this practice has been my experience in the company Educational Initiatives Pvt. Ltd. [I had promised them I would go back & retire there, I wish I am able to keep  my promise.] Almost all the concepts I require in my work that I know today, I learnt myself. The tendency remains - any problem that I face with, I refer many available open resources to learn things myself before asking someone. Almost 10 years of learning myself now, it takes time but it is amazing, you become a very good teacher when you learn yourself since you explain to yourself while you learn.

But, I just wish I had a teacher (may not have been a proper classroom teacher) who would teach me the way I understand, take me through various aspects of any subject I want to learn, step by step, explaining all the 'whys' & 'hows', then I would have probably been where I am now, quite a few years back :-)