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.

 

 

 

The vastness of planet

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The other day, I was reading the story of Helen Keller, when I came across this quote

The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in the leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent.”

So, today, while listening to my inner melodies, that college class came to my mind.

Once, my teacher was busy in delivering her lecture when one of my friend, started to ask unnecessary questions.

My teacher showed great patience but at one point she became exhausted. I remember she drew a large circle on a blackboard and marked a tiny dot in its center. She asked us to explain what that was.

We replied that it was only a circle. She shook her head and a smile appeared on her face.

She said,

The circle represents the vastness of this planet. The world is huge and this tiny dot represents the very existence of human being. The life is a never ending race. So, don’t waste your time in asking purposeless questions.”

Don’t know about my friend but from that day on, I avoid asking unnecessary questions 🙂

Writing 201, Character Study

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I was keenly observing that shy looking person. That plain looking man in his early thirties was nicely dressed. I was thinking that he was not a bad choice to become my brother-in-law when he raised his eyes and asked, ‘What are your majors in college?”

I told him that I was studying Math and Statistics. I told him that I found physics a difficult subject.It was then I saw a brightness appeared in his expressive brown eyes, ripples formed on the surface of a water and he started to explain me the concepts of Physics. To this day, whenever he has a time, he always used it in giving us a lecture about the importance of education in life.

He is average height, dark hair and wears glasses to read books. My brother-in-law is a hardworking man who has received his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Vienna University of technology.

He’s been in teaching for a long time and his students admire him for his cool and calm personality. He’s a dedicated teacher who is always there to help and  support his students.

He’s more like an elder brother to me.Once, I was not able to clear one of my course in the University. I was heartbroken, but he encouraged me. He inspired me and finally I received distinction in that subject.

He’s not a book worm, but he likes to read books and watch movies.  He’s good in cooking and baking is his specialty.

Fathers are naturally attached to their daughters and the big loss in his life was losing his infant daughter. The family got shattered by that incident, but in that difficult time, he appeared to be an epitome of great courage. He remained thankful to Allah Almighty and just after a year Allah blessed him with the beautiful daughter.

He’s an easy-going person, who is mature in his thoughts and strong in his decisions. May God give him a healthy and prosperous life.(Ameen)

A memory from my school days.

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Sitting in my classroom I was observing my teacher. As, she called the student’s names, they went to receive their report cards. I watched their faces with envy, remembering my poor result last year.

Since, then I worked hard but was still afraid.

I couldn’t hear my teacher call my name, and a nudge from my friend startled me. With great difficulty, I walked towards the table. The table was only ten feet away, but it seemed farther to me.

Time seemed to stop. My heart thumped wildly and my hands shook when I received my result card. My teacher was saying something, but I was so nervous that I couldn’t hear her.

Soon, a thunderous applause brought me from the darkness of my fears, and I heard my teacher say, “Splendid job.”

When I opened my result card, I discovered an A+ grade, and all my fears evaporated.

Now, I felt as if I were floating in the air. I heard the chirping of birds. Perhaps, they were also congratulating me on my success.

I was glad that my hard work paid off.

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A day of horrible experience!

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That roaring sound of sirens still reverberates in my ears. There was a scene of chaos. The ambulance drivers were constantly shouting and asking for space and I stood there quite petrified.

All we knew was that that there was a suicide attack near High court and as a result lots of police men were injured.

The High Court was quite near. So, as soon as the news broke out, all the students started to receive frantic calls from their homes. The classes got dismissed. We were told that buses were not likely to come. So, I and three of my friends decided to take rickshaw.

As I stepped outside from the University premises, I sensed the smell of horror in the air. Cars whizzed past us and everyone seemed to be in a hurry.

Soon, the sirens of ambulances added fear and anxiety to the scene. The paramedics were shouting, “Step aside. Clear the area.”  I can still recall their panic stricken voices. Those shouting human voices were enough to make me terrified.

My palms were sweating and my heart was racing. I could feel the strange sensation in my head and I was not able to comprehend the situation.

Soon, the traffic police came into action .In no time the road got cleared and the traffic was diverted.

An elderly man approached us and warned us that it was not safe for us to remain there. Terrified as we were, we turned back.

The roads were blocked and it was difficult for our parents to reach us. We had no choice but to wait. We remained there till evening when somehow the brother of my friend managed to come.

As, I reached home, my family took a sigh of relief. My mother was especially worried for me. My ordeal of the day finally got ended.

There is no denying the fact that that was a horrific experience and today while writing it down, I can find some great lessons hidden in it.

On that day my teacher was delivering us an important lecture. He was called outside by his colleague and was informed about the situation but he didn’t show any sign of anxiety and carried out with his lecture.

The traffic police man and those ambulance drivers all kept their nerves. They wholeheartedly fulfilled their duties.

On my way back to home, I saw young people standing outside the Hospital. They seemed eager in donating their blood.

Many police men died on that day and lots of them got injured.

Yes, there is a blood and horror in this narration but deep in this tale there exist a story of courage and bravery.  As, from my teacher to that lonely traffic policeman and from that ambulance driver to all those young people, there prevails a story of great sacrifice and courage.

My experience had taught me that they all performed their duty very well.I’d like to salute them all.