Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When 24 Hours Seem So Little

The blog has been very slow. It's not that I totally don't have the time but the brain seems to be in a constant state of whirl these days. And it's not that I haven't been writing. I have. It's just that the writing of the past few weeks was of a different nature, one that required lots of discipline and concentration. It's also the end of the school year, usually more work awaits. And decisions too... having two hearts about one makes decisions very difficult.

I've been reading.... stuff which I normally don't read. And I've been doing lots of thinking too. Crossroads, not a major one but at one, nevertheless. The History course I signed up on Coursera, run by a Princeton professor has just started too. I do not know whether I'll complete it. The course itself feels daunting. World History from 1300 and a 750-word essay every fortnightly. I listened to the first video lecture two days back and I think I will enjoy it but am not sure whether I can find the time. Something usually must give for something one wants. But I shall just give it a shot. I learned quite a bit from my previous course, though I did not complete it. Had to give up towards the end when other pressing matters came into picture. I kinda miss my uni student days.

This was Daughter's school project. A house built with rolled up magazine papers. Many hours were spent rolling up those 'paper logs' but she enjoyed it immensely. Very enthusiastically, if I may add. Her bro was never this enthusiastic. My both kids are poles apart.

And that project jolted from the recesses of my grey matter, memories of paper toys. When Son (and neoghbour's kids) were small, I used to print these paper toys from the net. Those days it was called paper toys. We'd spend days (during the long break at the end of the school year) cutting, folding and gluing them together. Much of the work was tedious as the cutouts had to be precise. But we 'built' many stuff; the Eiffel Tower, the Mississipi River Boat, Big Ben and many more. Those models sat on our piano for years until the dust won the battle and I had to throw them away.

And that memory got me moving again. I discovered that there are so many choices these days and many of them are very beautifully designed. I picked one which I thought should be easy enough to 'build' for my girl, so as not to discourage her.

This is the result, after hours of cutting and gluing. St Kieran's Church in Glendalough, Ireland. It was built in the 19th century. We had fun doing it. It was fun just to read up a bit.. a church made of stones. In medieval Ireland, round towers served as landmarks. Monastic settlements were often the centre of activities. I am not very familiar with Celtic history. But this little project was good cos it made me read up a bit. So this was our project! 8)

And, the new National Education Blueprint was announced. Just like its predecessor, it looked real good. Am in the midst of reading through it... the report is around 270 pages. Gone through about a third of it. Old stuff, new way of repackaging. What I wonder most is whether the delivery will fail. We've got to correct our 'skew' before we can see real improvement. Double standards will always mean just that... unethical practices. So how can ethics come out of unethical practices?

Recently, I'm beginning to hear more of my friends saying how their schools are glossing up marks so that the school's overall report is better. It seems some school heads are telling their teachers (directly and indirectly) to add marks to students marks so that they'll pass. With SAPS (marks go online), passing percentage reflects a school's standing. See what I mean about ethics.... cos as the competition heats up, worse things will come out.

2 comments:

PreciousPearl said...

well, i still have to wrap the little kambing's exercise books for her.....

AJ7 said...

Don't they have those slip on plastics for the books?