A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Red October

Reader discretion advised, as this post is more or less a vent.

And no it has nothing to do with that wonderful film, The Hunt for Red October, though I must say that it has certain elements of despair and helplessness seen in it, but that film sort of ends well, and that is the hope with which this too is written, that on Sunday next, 1 November, 2015, I shall write of how the acid tests and the baptism by fire went.

October is at once a happy month, mid way, because it is a darling daughter’s birthday, but it is also a month where I tear myself up, lose a lot of hair, to pulling, and to stress. I’ve just come away from a very pertinent read on teacher responsiblity, and teacher health (LINK) and it suddenly came home to me, that YES! the amount of sleep teachers, these days, lose in this month has to be rather catastrophic. Really. I’m serious.

"We're popping bubble wrap because it's cheaper than tranquilizers."

“We’re popping bubble wrap because it’s cheaper than tranquilizers.”

So what causes this? Simple. It isn’t just lesson preparation, though that too is part of it. It is the pressure of grading end of term papers, computing endlessly to decode/encode grades. And no, it isn’t because, like the kids in class, we do last minute work. There really is a need to give of oneself during this month in a way that sometime, to my jaundiced mind, seems like way beyond sacrifice! (I warned you, this is a rant! Do feel free to continue reading 😛 ). Also the happy event of Open House – a free for all session of tirades, smiles, advice, complaints, appreciation, thinly veiled threats, between the stakeholders in the system – takes place around this time. I have a great time at these thingys, though I am sure this isn’t so with many of those in my fraternity. It is a period fraught with foot-in-the-mouth itis – by all and sundry. The takeaways from these sessions range from despair to howlarious laughter. More on that some-day. Back to the Red October.

stressed

What adds to this particular brand of torture, for “teachers” is that this is the season of “fests” – read inter-school competitions. Now, yes, while we have to help our learner group manage this alongside their academics, and let me tell you, they do it beautifully 🙂 , there is the added responsibility of supervising them, at practise, or if you’re interested, training them, monitoring them, mentoring them. This is just one part of it all.

The next part that I shall share has to make it known in no uncertain terms that even though the medieval forms of third degree are passé, they have evolved into other forms, especially for those who work in schools. The rack was one such device, which I do believe has found itself insidiously creeping into the system. While the earlier device was tangible and intensely physical in the way it inflicted suffering, I have discovered the the new one, or rather the revised one makes one spread oneself so thin, stretched in different directions, reaching out to responsibilities that are varied in nature, either self inflicted or generously transferred upon one. At certain points, one isn’t quite sure what one is supposed to do, but with the profound faith in oneself, and a power somewhere that will lead one onwards 🙂 one manages to do ’em all, with whatever degree of finesse one can. The degree of suffering varies, and is usually directly proportional to the level of involvement out of sheer interest or responsibility foisted upon one as a result of perceived or intentional interest espoused in certain areas. (at the risk of insulting your intelligence, I shall given you a simple example. You, as a teacher, like poetry, know how to type fast, are interested in Drama, and have a great interest in music. Western. Somehow or the other, along with the grading, report card work, you will also find yourself mentoring kids in poetry, writing, music and drama, taking class (ir)regularly, and end up with a some position in the conduct of the event. The thing is you love all this, do this, and therefore are spread very thin. The Rack, in action. )

"I'm desperate to hold on to our good teachers."

“I’m desperate to hold on to our good teachers.”

So why the rant? All of a sudden, the D-Day looms. The participants are ready. The schools gearing up. And on ground zero of the event (believe you me, if the event takes place in your home turf, it s no less than Ground Zero- the impact is inexpressibly traumatic 😀 ) the ones up front taking the flak are those in charge of the conduct of the competitions on Stage. That’s right. Stage Duty is a greater danger than Stage Fright. You can run away with your Stage Fright, but with Duty, you gotta stay put, face the fear, dig in, brave it out, and hope to God that you’ll come out of it, wits in tact. The frazzled, hassled, harried lines that etch themselves on your face are nothing. The real damage is done, within. 😀 😀 You’ve got ulcers by the dozen, and several hair roots on the head have sealed permanently. Not to mention the zombie like state that is going to be hard to recover from 😛

It’s going down, this week. Want a ringside seat to the drama unfolding? Come on over, the CBSE Kalotsav, in our District takes place at the end of this week. 28, at our sister institution, 30, 31 at ours. 🙂

stressed5

I got cookies. I will buy chocolate. And I hope it will rain. This is directed solely at the young lady who knows the lines mean something, to her and me 🙂 One of our recitation sessions.

Well, I’m a survivor, and I know that all my colleagues are too. So good luck to us, as we host the show, and to our participants, young prodigies, each of them, for a fine show to put up, at their moment! Please do hold them in your prayers and wish them luck! Go on, bring it on!!

25 October, 2015

The delightful cartoons all belong to their owners, and have been taken from a google search on stressed teachers 😛

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A Talent for Being Oneself

… is an amazing gift to have!
And that in itself, is perhaps, is a talent that ensures everything you do in life, you do with great contentment, in the confidence of being who you are, regardless of what anyone else wants you to be.

She’s got that gift. This girl, this lovely young woman, this precious heart, who has come to me, a daughter and a friend and a sister, and more than that, just being herself, beloved and loved.

Chronologically, it has been just over four years since we’ve “met”, but you know how it is that with some people, you “know” them the instant you talk or meet! It has been the same with her, and the other daughter I’ve welcomed into the family 🙂 The knowing, ah! the knowing.

Marriages, even between communities in the same faith, with similar backgrounds are minefields- heck! within the community too, “love”/”arranged” wala… no exception 😀 , but this lass, as I have already mentioned, along with her lad, has not let it change who she is, or changed others for herself. I find this ability of hers, in managing to be her, no matter where she is and with whom she interacts, to be the one wonderful defining quality that makes her so her 🙂 ❤

Pratibha, meaning the talented, the gifted, the light … my dearest daughter in law, celebrates her birthday today. Another precious year awaits, filled with much love, laughter, happiness, good health, hers and her loved ones’ 🙂 , much baby talk, sweet nothings and days quite breathless, and some with the quietude of peace and stillness (though with Nainu around that would be premium 😛 )

Dearest dearest Parukutty, you are loved so much by each and every one of us! May God bless you abundantly with the freshest and purest of things that life can offer, with slices of tang and spice and sweet to relish along the way!

Happy Birthday Darling girl! Stay sweet, chirpy and YOU, always!

Loads of love and hugs, Amma ❤ and the brood at home – Appus, Parus, Kutts, Mia Mommy and Kunju, Changaru, Ammini, along with the extended family of Naana, Naani, Ammai, G’mman, their kids ❤

Happy Birthday Lady in Red!

Happy Birthday Lady in Red!

Let life be that dance you'll ALWAYS want to do! And yes! Got a lot of the kids in there :D

Let life be that dance you’ll ALWAYS want to do! And yes! Got a lot of the kids in there 😀

14 October, 2015