School Truths… REVEALED
Hello! I am Suja.
I am taking you through a fascinating firsthand account of school years by the school children themselves.
Okay! So, first about my name…
Does it sound strange and unfamiliar? But believe me there was no fuss in deciding my name. It was a simple readjustment of alphabets like making a new piece by fixing two pieces of a jig- saw puzzle. My dad’s name being Subodh and mom’s Jaya, the first two letters were carefully lifted and put in order.
Dad’s first, mom’s later or may be Suja sounded better than Jasu.
So, Suja it was…
Suja sits here to chat with you and reveal the interesting anecdotes and deep seated secrets of the STARS. Not the stars of the galaxy, but my best friends
– Surujeet, Tanvi, Anshika and Robin. Five fingers close a fist, here five of us created, celebrated and lived in a world of our own.
This memoir is sure to reach out to your personal reminiscences and make you switch back and forth in time. There is a whole lot on display – emotional, personal and relational mess too.
SCHOOL EXAMS… the fear to fear. Read this and beat your fears.
Real education is what remains, after the entire schooling is through. Nonetheless, there are exams every now and then.
Some children cracked a smart way to this interesting piece of paper. The carbon of the cyclostyling sheet, if carefully lifted, could help to trace the paper. I saw it because the group that was involved in it wanted me to solve it for them. Like knowledge was my key, I guess I was their key for solving the paper.
‘I stick to Hanuman ji approach. Whenever in doubt, just write everything you know about that. The teacher may have some mercy on you and award you marks,’ said Tanvi. Probably it was her tried and tested formula.
‘Tanvi, regularity and learning daily is the technique you should adopt,’ suggested Surujeet.
‘I read and revise my chapters daily. This helps the short term memory to become long term memory.’
‘Surujeet is right. We understand everything, the only challenge is to remember it at a later date,’ remarked Robin.
‘The RAM- random access memory displayed on the black-board and the class discussion needs to be converted into ROM which is read only memory or permanent memory,’ commented Anshika.
Information has to be carefully stored to ease its retrieval later.
‘I have no problems in learning,’ I said. ‘Yeah… the Genius,’ taunted Tanvi.
‘Not exactly but I devise ways to understand, assimilate and remember,’ I countered Tanvi.
‘Ways?’ she wanted to know more.
‘Yes, we are all different and so are the learning abilities. If Shiv and I have to write an exam on the book “101 things you didn’t know about Jane Austen”, he would probably learn the book cover to cover since he is good at cramming and is blessed with a photographic memory. But I would read, understand and devise methods to remember it all,’ I said.
‘Is it possible? How?’ asked Surujeet who wanted to learn the art of learning.
‘Yes, like acronyms – ‘VIBGYOR’ for seven colors of the rainbow namely violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Simple sentences like ‘My very elegant mother just showed us nine planets’ gives out the names of the nine planets in an order – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Apart from this, I use mind-maps, charts and diagrams to understand well,’ I was giving a few of my learning tips.
‘Suja is right. I also use the association method. It really works,’ said Robin.
‘What is that?’ Anshika wanted to know.
‘Relating what you want to learn with something you already know, just like Santa reminds you of Christmas. Now December, 25th, Santa, Christmas tree can be co-related and associated with other things to learn and retain better,’ Robin explained.
‘I remember faces by associating them with people I already know. I guess I was using it without even knowing about it,’ Surujeet was introspecting his own thoughts.
‘Reading makes a full man, interactivity a ready man, writing an exact man and practice a perfect man,’ said Anshika.
‘Yes, indeed, a perfect man,’ smiled Robin.
‘Of course, girls are already perfect. But I stick to practice, practice and lots of practice both oral and written,’ smiled and suggested Anshika.
Exams meant different kind of preparation for different children. Some tried greasing the palms of junior clerks and typists. Some tried the popular test series and question banks for assured success.
A lot of children took home tuitions with the respective subject teachers. Don’t know what they learnt there but we certainly knew they had a lot of ‘exam ideas’ acquired through practice-sheets and assignments.
‘Cram in exam’, ‘miss the test’, ‘notes to cheat’, ‘Learn and retain’ was all happening at the same time.
“Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.” – Charles Caleb Colton
THE CHEMISTRY LAB
(The place had an awful odor of chemicals, spirit and strange gases which at times made the lab really suffocating.)
No less than history
It also had mystery
In all its compounds
And that too abound
Reactions that confused
And catalyst that mused
‘I hope that you have now learnt the real chemistry of relationships?’ the lab asked.
‘Real chemistry? What is that?’ Tanvi wanted to know.
‘Life is made of different people just like the various compounds in your chemistry lab.’
‘So?’ Robin was most curious.
‘You need to understand the balancing of these relations. When any two people interact, there is an instant chemistry but the activity and reactivity of both the substances vary. You can neither reduce it nor can you elevate the involvement because each one reacts as per his own unique pattern. It then becomes some kind of an unbalanced equation which needs to be balanced,’ he said.
‘This is more interesting than the chemistry class. Tell us… please explain..,’ urged Robin.
‘Like the equation H2 + O2 = H2 O… Just see it doesn’t balance, to balance it you have to put effort.’
‘You mean the catalyst and physical conditions that we create?’ asked Anshika.
‘Yes, the two atoms of hydrogen and oxygen need to separate and then the two atoms of hydrogen have to reconnect with one of oxygen. There is energy required in breaking the old bonds and barriers and likewise there is energy and happiness experienced in building new bonds. The balanced equation is 2H2 + O2 = 2H2 O. Do you notice the ‘2s’ that appears in balancing it? Finally two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen blend to create two molecules of water.’
‘Two of hydrogen and one of oxygen?’ Surujeet was good at chemistry but he was now trying to understand the human chemistry… and very honestly this was not his cup of tea.
‘Surujeet, someone may do more, some may do less… just bother about the outcome. This is the golden rule for all relationships,’ said the lab.
‘Doesn’t love help to build lasting relations?’ asked Surujeet.
‘No, not love but efforts make bonds… We require some efforts to break the old bonds and some to make new.’
‘You mean we have to break all old bonds’ I wanted to know this.
‘Not break away, but build, adjust and fully evolve.’ ‘This is so true’ we understood a big lesson once again.
“A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself — to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.” – Leo F. Buscaglia