My student is making progress.

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When mother of my six year old student initially came, she was  worried about her kid who was reluctant to write with her.

Her son was enjoying doing reading at home. He could answer comprehension questions well but when it came to writing, he simply refused to express his thoughts.

Mother wanted my help and I was eager to try.

On first day, before starting our class, I took him to window and asked him to explain what he was seeing outside, he replied that the grass was green and the sky was blue with white fluffy clouds in it.

It was our warm-up session. After he did reading from manual, I encouraged him to move toward workbook and worksheets.

At first, he got confused because I was asking him to do something which was a least favourite thing for him.

In order to show my love for him, I gave him a quick hug which brought smile on his face. Later, I asked him to give me a high-five so that I could check his energy level.

He liked that activity.

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Before start of the class when I was going through this worksheet, I prepared some questions that could help him in writing better about picture but it didn’t require much effort on my part as being a kid, he loved imagining what was going on in a house and wrote about a person who was sleeping in it.

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This, I’m poem he composed is lovely and close to my heart.

I’m happy that my student is enjoying doing writing with me.

I’m small and my age is six.

I wonder why the sun is shiny?

I hear your secret.

I see a walking monster.

I want a new pencil box.

I’m small and my age is six.

I pretend to be a spider man.

I feel hot.

I touch pencil.

I worry that shopkeeper won’t give me a bat.

I cry when my sister hits me.

I’m small and my age is six.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

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When my cousin who’s about to complete his University expressed his dislike for James Hilton’s Goodbye Mr.Chips, I became defensive and wasted no time in suggesting that story is not that much boring and while we were busy sharing our thoughts, my uncle who himself read this story in his intermediate course intervened and also showed his lack of interest about the atmosphere in Mr. Chips.

It’s been thirty years that Mr. Chips is a part of intermediate course in my country and for some time a debate is going about removing it from syllabus.

Mr. Chips is a story of a school teacher about which it’s said that Hilton created this character after his father.

Originally written in 1934, the story is adapted into cinemafilms and two television presentations.

When some people are of the view that it should be removed and replaced by some modern tale, my mind takes me back to the time when our teacher would ask one of us to read a chapter from Mr. Chips and later she would translate it in Urdu for us.

At the end of lecture we were asked to prepare notes from guide books.

It was her way of teaching literature and this is the common way in which the novella is taught to our students in colleges.

Eminent Professor Bhem Singh Dihya from India always reminds his students that literature is a study of life and we cannot study Mr.Chips without establishing its connection with life.

In life, we often meet persons like Mr. Chips. They’re ordinary in appearances but they possessed some some special qualities.

Hilton’s character Mr. Chips knew how to teach languages and with this quality, he succeeded in leaving strong impact upon generation of students in his time.

Mr. Chips was a sincere soul and as a teacher, he did hardwork to achieve a high status at a Brookfield school.

How can we say that the world of Mr. Chips has grown old when themes of sincerity and hardwork towards one’s job are still relevant in our society of 2018?

Another criticism which is put forward by the opponents of this story is about love affair of Mr. Chips. They consider Katherine and Chips relation dull and boring.

Unlike modern tale of Twilight series, the love affair of Katherine and Chips was such that there’s lack of show of emotions in it but the reader needs to study the underlying theme in this love story of Katherine and Chips.

Katherine’s influence changed not only chauvinistic attitude of Mr. Chips but also altered him in a way that he became more effective teacher in a class.

How can we consider such kind of love dull when its influence alters personality to that much extent?

It somehow takes me back to 2008 when suicide attacks were common in country.  Once it happened that while we were in class a suicide blast killed dozens of policemen near our University. Confusion erupted among students and phones started to ring immediately. Other teachers informed our Professor but he continued giving his lecture.

Our minds were so occupied with the situation outside that we didn’t grasp a thing from his lecture.

Now, there’s a scene in Hilton’s story where Mr. Chips in the midst of bombing not only kept on teaching Latin but also carried on cracking jokes so to divert the attention of frightened students in his class.

Our teacher on that day in our University class didn’t try to calm us down. He only wanted to complete his lecture and though he succeeded in doing so, he unlike Mr. Chips failed to leave any impact upon his students.

When my cousin is of the view that reading Mr. Chips is a mere waste of time, I’m of the opinion that it’s not the time to say good bye to Mr. Chips. Literature never gets old. It can’t be associated with certain time period and keeping this in view we still can learn a lot from Mr. Chips.

 

 

 

For Whom the bell tolls

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It’s been a day that I’ve finished reading this novel and still I’m finding it difficult to get myself detach from this powerful narrative.

There is a power in simplicity and by the time I was at the last paragraph, I was convinced that a writer needs not to use only flowery statements to convey his message.

“For whom the bell tolls” written in a backdrop of Spanish Civil war, is regarded as a best work of fiction. It’s a tale of an American guy Robert Jordan who is on a mission to blow up a bridge. So, here goes a story of almost four days which the writer skillfully expanded on 300 pages.

Hemingway is known for his unique style of writing. His journalistic background helped him in producing the best work in literature. The concise, clipped and abrupt sentences depict his telegraphic style of writing.

Today, while thinking about “Robert Jordan” as a typical Hemingway hero, I came to understand the meaning of the term “grace under pressure”. For, reading some last paragraphs of novel were an intense experience.

I don’t know why but the last moments remind me of the movie “Van Rayan’s Express”. My father love this dialogue.

“If only one gets out, it’s a victory”.

I won’t like to appear as a “spoiler” here. So, if you haven’t got a chance to read Hemingway and if you love reading war stories then you’ll enjoy reading this tale. Here is a beautiful passage from the book.

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