The first week of school. Good, God! What a week. I can feel the pressure on my neck which has been bothering me the whole week. We were all excited for the week to begin. I had all my lesson plans ready. Attended the Fire Marshall Training and completed the course and now I am a Fire Marshall for my school (yay!) The day arrived and just before the classes were about to start we get a horrible news that one of our students, a very lovely and well-loved boy, died the previous night in a freak accident. It was so surreal. I can still feel my surprise at the staff meeting. Looking at the crying faces of some of the teachers, I am wondering what is this. Are they serious? The boy who had read the article I had posted in the Classroom portal and responded just a couple of days before school that he enjoyed the article and looking forward to knowing more about it. The student who did very well in my subject and whom I thought can be a very good candidate for GCSE in Computing. I tell you, that day was a terrible day. We had to mobilize for some child psychiatrist and psychologists so that they can help the kids and the teachers deal with their loss. His friends were devastated. It wasn’t easy at all. A week has gone by and still, people are struggling. At least the students and friends are slowly accepting the fact that they won’t be seeing him anymore.
We can only imagine what their parents are going through. Some kids have written some poems, eulogies, etc to be given to his parents. We are waiting until they are ready to receive it. Will they ever be ready? Death is something I always find it hard to handle. This one hit a little too close to home. I haven’t been to the school for too long, but there are teachers who have been teaching him for years and I can’t even imagine what they feel like. All I can think of now is: I am glad to have known him even if it was only for a very short time and may his dear soul rest in peace!
Finally, I got around to start writing about my Padua trip which we undertook just before Christmas. I have two more posts on go, but at least I have made a start. You can head over to Memoirs of my travels to have a look at the posts.
During this week, I have been busy doing my online course on Teaching Computing from Future Learn and completing it, earning a certificate and gaining more confidence in my teaching methods. It was a tough nut to crack. It has been ages since I sat down and completed a course. I register online and forget about it after a week because it is difficult to fit in with the schedule. Apart from that I also finished my lesson planning for the next week for all the classes. It wasn’t easy but I got there in the end. That is why I could get my travel blog going today ( I am skipping my GCSE lesson preparation as I don’t have any classes next week)
My school starts Monday and I am sure it is going to be full hands-on. I do hope that this sinus and cold which has flared up again after a short respite will reduce over the weekend (have found out a herbal medicine which promises to fix it quickly, let us see) It is not a good news with the flu season at its peak now. I do hope that it gets better soon.
After a very long time, I have sat down for close to 3 hours and typed non-stop (also found some time in between to binge watch a few episodes of Mrs Browns Boys). I need a break. People who are enduring the snow and extreme cold weather, remember hot chocolate is the best remedy (like the one we had in Italy); dark chocolate (70%) with very less milk and corn flour mixed in it. You have to eat it with the spoon but keeps your body warm for a long time. Try it 🙂
All of you know that I use a pseudonym for my blogging. Which I think sounds much better than my real name or so I think. My real name (first name + last name) has 24 letters in it. Yeah, just two short of the total alphabet set, but thankfully not all of the alphabets are used. It is not an uncommon name, but it is definitely pronounced wrongly even by most South Indians because it kind of rhymes with a God’s name who is a male deity. My last name (which is my dad’s) is not a common one and it is quite lengthy too. I didn’t think my name would give me stories to tell about until I moved here.
I had to fill up some government applications for which I had to first call them up and give them my details. I did spell out my name, all 24 letters and all, but when the postal application came through, my name on the address had the worst spelling ever. All my ‘a’ was replaced with ‘ay’ and the next letters missed. All in all, except for a few letters which cannot go wrong, all the other letters were wrong. We had a good laugh at that and were thankful that they chose to not fill the form with that name and let me write it. Small mercies.
Next came the gym. When I went there to enquire about the membership I told the guy at the helpdesk that I had been using their gym during my other trips using the weekly passes so I would be on their system. He asked me for my name and when I told him, he asked me to spell it. When I started on my last name after say about 6/7 letters he said ‘that should be enough. I am sure there wouldn’t be anyone else with that surname for sure’ and voila! there I was on their system. He looked at my documents and asked me why I haven’t taken my husband’s name which is much smaller and easier to pronounce. I told him that we weren’t looking to do that and this way we can have some fun looking at people’s responses. He then asked me how long it took my husband to learn my name. Not too long actually. Even though he is Irish, he is aware of Indian culture, religion etc…so he did pick up my name and its meaning faster.
One consultant who called up called me by a totally different name (I think he shortened my first name, but still it sounded so different) and I had to ask him twice before confirming that it was indeed me, even though I don’t go by that name and then continue the conversation.
I know that this is just the beginning and there will be so much more incidents to come. I can’t wait for it. I am gonna carry a small paper with my full name and what they can call me instead, like a visiting card. I think that will be much easier considering the alternative. My husband (I better refer to him as Mr. M from now on) suggested me to learn the NATO Phonetic Alphabet which will come in handy when I have to spell them out so that ‘a’ will remain ‘a’ and not get modified to something like ‘i’ or ‘y’.
In India, just a few weeks before I left (the exact day when Trump got selected), the Government demonetized the 500 Rs and 1000 Rs notes in order to fight the black money in the country. The effects of it both politically and economically are still being felt. The cab driver who was dropping me home from the airport (during my short trip to my hometown) was all for it. He was all praise for the Prime Minister to take such a bold decision. Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, in the long run, is a moot point for people who are bothered only about the short term solution for the lack of currency and how to go about their daily transactions. I am all for it, considering so much black money has been brought to light. But the execution could have been handled a little bit better. The corrupt bank and political people are making it a lot hard for people too. It is going to take a while for everyone to go cashless especially in a huge country like India where daily vendors still deal with a lot of cash. Let us hope that this is a step towards the right direction for the betterment of the country and these hurdles that are thrown in the way are managed effectively and efficiently.
Issue: A lot of voting frauds and hacks happening.
Solution:Let’s all go the old-fashioned paper ballots.
My view: I totally agree. I never liked those electronic voting machines anyway.
Issue: People with black money are depriving the nation of its growth
Solution: Let’s start using the old method of lesser denomination notes and coins.
My view: Either go cash-less or go coin-full 😉 I am going cashless btw.
Issue: Sitting and working for long hours is not good for health.
Solution: Either get a tall table to stand and work or a small table to squat and work.
My view: Standing sounds better than squatting. Squats for workouts is tiring enough as is.
Issue: Pollution is causing breathing problems for people (especially in Delhi)
Solution: Start cycling or horse riding
My view: Horses are not that easily available and there isn’t enough fodder to feed them anyways. So let’s go with a cycle for now. That makes me fondly remember my cycle which was brutally murdered and parts were stolen.
Issue: Modern agricultural methods are harmful to the soil and the food cultivated isn’t healthy enough.
Solution: Go to organic farm methods or old age manual / mechanical methods with organic pesticides and manure
My view: As long as it is not the pills that I have to eat to sustain myself, I am ready to work on a farm to earn my food, if it comes to that.
I guess 5 is enough for today. I am already tired for the day. Rest will come later sometime or may be never 😉