Monday, January 31, 2011

It's time to gather...he needs help...

Life is a sort of a race. Many go chasing their dreams despite the hurdles they have to conquer. Some succeed and some don't. The tragedy is, in this race some of them face very unfortunate incidents. This is a story about a young man, who had to face an incident like that.

Those who are into blogging knows him as Ilandariya, a budding blog writer who attracted many readers. He was an employee of a television company, when he realized he is losing the hearing of one ear. It took only  one and half years to convert him from normal status to the deaf status. His world became a silent one. Everyone faced the problem of communicating with him. There was no other way than writing the message and passing to him. According to the doctors if this continues he will not be able talk in the future.

However, there is one way to give back the life he had to this young man. There's a little operation to do. It costs 3 million rupees. This is an amount he or his family cannot afford. He needs our help. Let's get together to give him a new life. Please!!

If you like to help: 0772332071 ,0718050116, facebook : 

Bank account Number 71408612 

(Bank Of Ceylon Matale )

Money - Desperately In Need Of Love And Respect

"Hello Anisha"
"Hey, how are you? It's been a while since I met you last!"
"Of course Gayathri, I think this is the first time we are meeting after we left university."
"Yes it is. I do not even have your mobile number. Can I have the number please?"
"Why not, I will tell you. Will you write this down?" said Anisha. Gayathri searched every corner of her bag for a paper.
"Looks like I don't have a piece of paper."
"Me neither." Anisha was embarrassed.
"Don't worry! I'll write it down in this currency note!" and then Gayathri took a Rs. 10 note out of her wallet.

Does this conversation sound familiar to you? Have you ever used a currency note for purposes other than paying for a service or a product? Haven't you ever used a coin to open a tin of biscuit? I am sure you are guilty of at least one of these. We consider these also as crimes.

Although people, who do these, are not practically penalised at any point but just like other criminals, they can also be considered wrongdoers.

Out of all these little crimes, scribbling on currency notes is very common. When a paper is not available, currency notes come in handy to take down notes. Our bus conductors fold all the notes in a nice manner and hold it between their fingers. It looks neat, but it speeds up the tearing of the note. However, nobody seems to understand the gravity of what these people do.

Money is not something we hold on to. It circulates among different kinds of people at different levels of the society. The hundred-rupee note I have today, may have been with a beggar yesterday.
Tomorrow it may be with the President. You never know. During circulation, notes lose their crispness, while coins lose their colour and shine.
We could easily find certain notes, which are taped, and torn on the edges.
Everyone likes to have new notes and shiny coins, else why would they try so hard to get rid of the damaged ones?
Money buys us everything we need for our perfect life; it can give us all the luxuries in life, and it helps us to bring smiles on to our loved ones' faces.
If money plays an important role in our life, why shouldn't we give some respect to our currency notes and coins?

Keeping this in mind, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) has launched a program to create awareness among people of the correct way to handle money. It is not about how to spend wisely. It is about 'how to take care of the notes and coins'.
They have started a series of newspaper advertisements highlighting the importance of 'loving your currency'.

In one of their recent advertisements, CB raised some important questions for the society, giving us something to think. "Have you considered loving your currency notes and the coins we use every single day?"

"We all love to have crisp notes and sparkling coins what would you feel if you get damaged, folded notes with drawings and giving out a bad smell?," inquired the bank. They also open our eyes on a situation we rarely tend to think about - that is how a foreigner will react when they see our dirty notes. This is how it was worded in the advertisement.

"The first thing a foreigner would use in our beautiful paradise will be our currency. What would be his first impression on us? Will that be admiration or detestation?" Then the advertisement queried, "Don't you want your homeland to be inviting, clean and hygienic?"

According to CB Deputy Governor Dr. Dharma Dheerasinghe, hundreds of currency notes are soiled and have writings on them making them useless for legal tender, under the law.

The tendency to mutilate the currency notes have increased in recent years. The distressing part of the story is when banks take money to the CB; the CB's highly sensitive machines detect and reject these notes, unlike the less-sophisticated machines used by commercial banks.

We all need money to live. Therefore, why do we damage and ruin those notes? Let us use currency notes with care, without folding, and scribbling on them.
If someone has written notes like addresses and messages on these; these are identified as intentional defacement and will be charged under the Monetary Law Act No.58 of 1949. Therefore, if you deface them or accept defaced currency like that, the least penalty is it could be yours for a lifetime.

Respect thy teachers

Miss, how come you didn't give marks for this?"
"Because the argument you have written here is wrong."
"But, the answer is correct!"
"The answer does not really matter in mathematics. It is the argument you should get right!"
"That's very unfair! You should give marks for the answer!"

The discussion went on between this teacher and the student, until the teacher walked away from the class with a broken heart. Strange isn't it? A few decades ago, the first advice from a parent to a schooling child is not to hurt the feelings of a teacher. Therefore, this is an alien incident for those who grew up in the society where the teachers were treated with much respect.

At that time, the teachers had the final word. Students respected and listened to them. They believed in them a lot. They were the parents at the school. Unlike in some foreign countries, in the Sri Lankan society, teaching is considered as one of the most respected and sacred professions. It is more like a service than a job. The teacher is person who is respected by any person.

The relationship between the teacher and the student depends mostly on mutual respect.
Teachers are like candles. They give the light of education and guidance to hundreds, wearing themselves off. Therefore, they are the guiders of the future generation. If they teach good manners to the student, he/she will become a good student. Every member of the society is a student of a teacher. Consequently, if those people are good, then the society becomes a wonderful place to live. Teachers often are unsung heroes. They receive a paltry salary and are blamed when a student does not learn, regardless of the learner's ability, but they love their jobs.

People who are forced into teaching do not last long. It takes fortitude, interest, and love of learning to stay in a teaching career. Consider the requirements needed to get into a nursing school and the heavy emphasis on science-based courses. Nursing is not for dummies. Nurses must be intelligent, decisive, knowledgeable, and confident in their ability to think critically. It was probably a teacher somewhere, who was instrumental in making a person as a nurse.

The biggest reward for most academic teachers is seeing students learn. To see a light bulb turn on or see a student experience an "Ah-ha!" moment is worth everything.
The secondary reward is to see students succeed in their careers, turn into wonderful citizens and leaders, and move forward in various professions.

Sometimes, teachers can be too involved with the students. They become friendly with them and love them as their own children. However, students should understand this in the correct manner. When a teacher is friendly, it does not give the licence to the student to treat the teacher as a casual friend or talk to her as they are at the same level.

This friendliness with a teacher should go in line with respect. If the student wants to benefit from the teacher, love and respect are must ingredients. A student who treats teachers with respect, will always receive their blessings.

However, how do we respect? Do we know what to do? Respecting is not blindly accepting every little thing a teacher says. Yet, to have faith in what he/she says. Believe in your teachers.They show you the correct path. Concentrate on what he/she is teaching. Take their advice. The favourite student of the teacher is not the one who matters but the one who listens to and follows his/her teachings.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tuition Forever

It was a wonderful Tuesday morning. Year 4 students had mathematics in the first two periods. After explaining the lesson, it was the time for them to practise. While they were busy with the questions in the book, I called one by one to mark the homework I gave on the previous day. The first student brought the book to me; I marked it and the second one and then the third followed it.

The fourth student I called was a bit hesitant to come; he tried his best to avoid the marking. After a little shout, I managed to make him bring his book. I turned the pages quickly several times, and yet could not find any homework there.

“Where’s the homework?” I raised my voice.

“I couldn’t do it,” he answered in a low voice.

“Why?” Now the whole class had stopped work and looked at this drama.

“I had a tuition class, so I got late to come home.” The reply made me furious.

“What’s your priority, tuition work, or school? You go for tuition to support your school work, right?” I asked. “That’s not an excuse to miss your home work,” I added. “Miss, I will bring the completed homework on Thursday,” the boy replied.

“Why can’t you bring it tomorrow?” I was puzzled.

“No, Miss. I have tuition today too. Therefore, I do not have time to do it. Tomorrow I do not have tuition. So, I definitely can complete my homework,” he replied.

After the incident, I ordered the class to raise their hands if they have not done their homework. Few tiny hands were in the air. When I queried the reason, it was the same - I had classes.

Nowadays going for extra classes has become the trend. From kindergarten to Advanced Level, sometimes at the university too, students go for extra classes. With the competition in the country, one might ask how can we survive without going for tuition? In a way that is reasonable. When a student is in Grade 5, he/she is in a race to score the highest marks. When a student is in Grade 11, then he/she is in a race to get the most number of As. The funny thing in Advanced Levels is, that getting three As is not the trend, what everybody needs is the highest Z score.

There is a good side of this competition too. It gives a push to those who can really do well. However, there should be a limit to it. A child who is talented in other things rather than studies will suffer a lot by this pressure. Sending for tuition will not improve his studies, because his talents are different. He might end up losing both sides. This is a pathetic situation.

In every stage in school life, students have become competitors of this big race. In this race not only students, even their parents and teachers also take part. Along with the students, they also work hard. Parents take their children for tuition all over the country and any time of the day. However, do those little ones have time to relax or even study what they learnt at the classes? They miss their childhood.

In my opinion, tuition classes do play at least a little role in spoiling children. If you pass a town at a time when usually classes are over, you will understand what I mean. Children are all over the road, shouting and teasing one another, it is a total mess. Sometimes passers-by also become victims of the pranks played by these students. Children are always on the lookout for some freedom to do whatever they desire.

Naturally, they tend to abuse the freedom they get in these classes. Moreover, the aggressive marketing campaigns of these tuition stores have been ruining public property with posters and whatnot. Education is not just about subject matter. It is a much wider paradigm, which should touch all other aspects of a child’s life.

Whatever said and done, students will go for tuition forever. With the current education system that is something very difficult to change.

However, there should be a limit. If the purpose of going for extra classes is to get some help for schoolwork, the school should always get the priority.

Children should have some time to play and enjoy their freedom. Burdening them with loads of tuition classes will never bring the result you expect.

You can also read this from here

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The dawn of a New Year!

It is the season for new resolutions, firecrackers and wishes. A brand new episode of our life is starting. It is astonishing to see that the year 2010 has already become a year in history and 2011 is the promising year ahead. Life moves on at a thundering speed. The dawn of the 2010 was like yesterday. Many things happened since then.

Making a year worthwhile is all in our hands. Think about the year you just passed. Was that a happening year for you? Did you do anything sensible? On the other hand, did you just eat, drink, and sleep? Life is short. We hardly have time to think. With the busy lifestyle we have today, time wasted is gone forever. We will fret for the lost time one day.
Making New Year resolutions is one of the fool-proof methods to avoid this. It has become a habit for many. What matters most is keeping the resolution. A New Year is a new beginning, a great opportunity to initiate good things in life. Today we are going to guide you how to make some worthwhile resolutions. Make a change in your life today, and most importantly keep it up.

Making resolutions at the end of a party on New Year’s Eve is very common nowadays. If the person is a smoker, most probably ‘I will stop smoking’ will top his list. A person who has an unhealthy lifestyle will resolute to exercise a lot more, stop eating junk and eat healthy. All these seem to be very good. However, weaknesses in these are they are not specific.

When you are planning to do something, you should have a clear idea of how to do it. As an example, let us consider the resolution to stop smoking. It is not practical to get rid of an addiction overnight. Even if the person determinately tries that, it will not last longer.
Overcoming an addiction should be done in a systematic process. Else, he will deprive himself for some time and will get back to his usual routines, back to his comfort zone. We all like to live in our comfort zones, which most of the times have many bad habits. Therefore, getting out of that needs some serious thinking.
In addition, a resolution such a exercising lot more needs to be specific. The amount of exercise needed should be compared with the present level. Then by setting a goal, we know exactly where we should go. It can be walking few kilometres, or workout in a gym for an hour.

As the common belief, keeping resolutions or attempting for a change is not hard unless we have realistic plans to back up them. The easy way to do this is, make sure your resolutions are SMART. So, what do we mean by smart? Let us have a closer look.
S- Specific M-Measurable A-Attainable R-Relevant T-time

Specific - Always make sure, you know what you are doing. Be specific in what you need to change. Many resolutions fail, because they are not specific enough. Know what you want, and plan the resolution that way. Having a clear view of what you want is getting the first fifty percent of the process right. Write on a piece of paper exactly what you want to achieve and tell a friend too, who will motivate you to achieve that.

Measurable - It is important that what you gain from your resolution is measurable. Refrain from having one ultimate goal. Have a few smaller goals in between. That way you can easily see achieving those ones, and will be always motivated.

Attainable - Avoid setting overly ambitious resolutions. You can resolute to lose 5kg from your weight and look good. However, if your resolution is to be the next Miss world, it is not easily attainable. Then the chances of not keeping your resolution are high. Always make sure your New Year resolutions are attainable.

Relevant - If your New Year resolution goes hand in hand with your daily lifestyle, you are more likely to keep it up. Whatever your resolutions are, those must get along with your daily chores as well. Therefore, going out of the daily routine and doing something extra ordinary is less likely to happen. Choose what you really want. Choose something that will uplift your current lifestyle.

Time - Your resolution should have a clear time period, in other words a completion date. It can be by next year, or within first six months or whatever the time you want. The time factor is very important in the resolution.

New Year resolutions are a great way to achieve something you tried hard, but failed during the past year. It helps to change your life. Nevertheless, do not forget to be smart when you are planning your resolutions.