September 2018

Cover art by Riya Nagendra, II B.A. English
Quote by Nevedetha Swami, III B.Com (A&F)

Editorial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Student-Teachers

– Nevedetha Swami, III B.Com (A&F)

Image source : Sahaana

Have you ever heard of the term student-teachers? Yes, they are students, and yes, they are teachers too. More common in the West, student-teachers teach regular classes on a more formal basis, just like an ordinary teacher. This helps them gain the necessary exposure in becoming full-fledged teachers and developing a solid foundation in their teaching career. They are under the guidance of a senior teacher who keeps track of their progress from time to time.

I had the pleasure of talking to two such student-teachers from our very own college. One of them handled a role outside the College and another within the College.

Sahaana GR is a III year B.Com student. She considers herself to be a keen reader, an ardent Potterhead and a huge fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. She enjoys drawing, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
During her II year, she was a helper in the LPP (Language Partnership Programme) conducted by the Department of English for students to enhance their communication skills in English.

Sahaana strongly feels that language skills are pre-requisites for effective communication. Also, a major interest in the English language motivated her to take up the role of helper.

She proclaimed that being a part of LPP enabled her to learn something new and brush up her existing knowledge. She was able to implement effective study techniques that she devised to help students understand the course material better.

However, she did face some challenges. She said that there was some initial resistance from the students for having another student as a teacher. But she was able to blend in with them quickly, earn their attention and make the classes a lot more enjoyable for them.

She says that her students still remember her, and come up and talk to her whenever they find the chance, and this makes her very happy.

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Radhika (the one in yellow) along with her team memebers

Image source : Radhika

Radhika Ramanujam, a II year PG student, majoring in public relations, likes to describe herself as an avid reader, occasional guitarist, dancer, writer and someone who enjoys soulful activities.

She was a part of the British Council’s Young Learner Assistant (YLA) internship programme, which is offered annually to youth above the age of 18. Her job role involved assisting students of all ages with their assignments and lessons, monitoring their progress, mentoring and resolving disputes.

She proclaimed that she enjoyed her time in the British Council due to its professional working atmosphere and the constructive feedback system. She felt that this fostered a healthy learning environment for both the students and the faculty.

However, greater was the joy of working with fast paced and enthusiastic children, and being able to make a difference in their lives. Even after she had resigned from the YLA programme, she continued to remain a patron of the British Council. Her young students often recognised her and would recall their memories with her. She explains that though she joined the programme with the intention of earning while learning, down the line, the pleasure was much more than monetary.

Though she encountered some challenges during the programme, she did not falter and was able to get back on her feet due to the responsibility she had towards the children.

Overall, she describes it as an exhilarating experience that has made a lot of difference to her.

A Lesson from the Streets

-Sera Grace John, II B.A. English

Last year I used to walk nearly one kilometer to college, mornings and afternoons. The mornings were lazy, but the cool breeze made it worthwhile. The silence was interrupted by few speeding BMWs and Audis on the streets and barking dogs. The afternoons were a lot busier and annoying with traffic along the road and the sun to tan you from tip to toe! On the way, you saw parents from apartments clamoured on one side of the road, holding their children’s bags, gossiping, throwing occasional glances at their wrists and looking at the road every now and then for the yellow school bus while the children were busy boasting about winning some game.

A stark distinction could be seen between the cushioned life of the corporate employees who jogged along the road to shed the extra fat from last night’s pizza and street vendors pushing carts which were arranged with different things to earn a few rupees during the day. A common chord they shared was that all of them had a roof above their heads, though the size and style was different.

One day while returning from college I noticed a person with a different lifestyle. I saw him in an auto one afternoon, in an auto driver’s attire. He was simply killing time by counting the number of cars passing by and humming to himself, from the driver’s seat. The next day, I saw the same person in the same clothes and his auto parked at the same pavement. But unlike the previous day, he was meddling with a mobile while his shirt hung on the seat. For a few weeks together, I saw him in the same way. Some days he was hungrily eating a meal in the back seat and on other days, washing his face and feet on the road from a mineral water bottle.

Only then I realised that the vehicle was his mobile house and he slept in the narrow back seat and made his living with the same. He seemed to be a nomad in the city; travelling places and finding home wherever he went. One seat, one uniform, one meal and one pavement to park his haven was all that he seemed to need! The number plate was his address and the three wheeled vehicle, his home.

I felt little. I have a home to call mine, a flat abroad where my parents stay and a hostel to sleep in and still grumble about the lack of facilities in my hostel room. That room is probably the size of Birla’s storeroom and catered to seven people. We found it really difficult to organise things and all our efforts to be lavish in the limited space were futile. We aren’t happy about it and keep ranting and ‘blessing’ our warden every time a spoon went missing and failed to find it in the messy room or when the study table had to become a dining table.

But this middle aged man’s abode made me think twice before whining about a small hostel room. I learned that you can have big things in life and still be sad about what you don’t have or instead have small, meaningful things and still smile contently. The choice is always ours.

News in Bite Size

-R. Swetha, II B.A. English
-Revathy, II B.A. English

1.India’s Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex in a landmark ruling on 6September. The court heard petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 – a colonial-era law under which a same-sex relationship is an ‘unnatural offence’ punishable by a 10-year jail term. “Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights,” said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who headed the five-judge bench, which gave the ruling. Hundreds of LGBTQ campaigners, who had gathered outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi, broke into loud cheers as news of the ruling reached them.

2.Fuel prices have been witnessing a steep rise for the past few weeks and have breached the Rs.80 per litre mark. While the Opposition has blamed the Central Government for not doing enough to keep a check on prices, the latter has maintained that global crude oil prices and other international factors are causing a hike in prices of petroleum products. India is the third largest importer of crude oil and rising international oil prices are inflating domestic transport fuel costs.

3.The Asia Cup 2018, a cricket tournament exclusively for Asian teams, began on 15 September 2018 in the UAE. 6 teams including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong are participating in the tournament. As of 26 September, India has qualified into the finals. The finals will take place on the 28 September in Dubai.

4.In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhar.It has asked the Government of India to bring a robust law for protecting data and has also announced that the linking of Aadhar card with PAN card is mandatory. The Supreme Court also said that Aadhar cannot be made compulsory for opening of bank accounts, getting mobile connections or for school admissions.

5.The National Sports Awards for 2018 was held at theRashtrapati Bhavan on 25 September. Captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu received the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting award of the country. The President, Ram Nath Kovind also presented awards for best coaches under the Dronacharyaand Dhyan Chand Awards. 20 athletes were conferred with the Arjuna Award.

Crossword

– Maanbu T, III B.A. English

LEFT TO RIGHT:
1) “Teacher” became this when you started college (9)
2) Teaches at a museum (6)
3) Exclusive ink for correction (3,3)
4) Jane Eyre was a ____ (9)

RIGHT TO LEFT:
5) The only time when 85% is unpleasant (10)

UP TO DOWN:
6)In high demand just before exams (5)
7) Requires concentration from students (7)
8) Theory and practice of teaching (8)
9) Both a boon and a bane for students based on your preparation (6)

DOWN TO UP:
10) Another word for “teacher” (5)

division (Sindhi poem #2)

– Madhuri Lalwani, II B.A. English

the midnight of August 15, 1947
my people were asked to flee
their own homes,
stripped of their identities
forced to alien lands
always a stranger to,
and every generation since
has been alien to their homes.

in a way
Sindh wasn’t Sindhi anymore
Sindhis were the only remnants of Sindh.

and every time independence is celebrated
my people struggle a loss unknown to the rest of the mankind,
my people continue to live
and as we live,
lives an undeniable death of
Sindh,
people fail to see.

Toddlers = Best Teachers?

– Nikitha. U, II B.Com (General)

Image source : Huffington Post

Kids. ‘Oh, they’re adorable’, ‘They can be really hard to handle’, ‘They have so much to learn’. It’s amusing how we try to sum up their complexities in so many ways that make us feel like our superiority is safe and intact. What we don’t realize is that kids are always one step ahead; that they aren’t simple enough to be confined within our clichéd understanding of them. Kids are an enigma. Decoding them at times is next to impossible, but when we do try, we are left behind with something different and unforeseen. That something could be an unexplainable bout of affection, a completely new perspective or an answer to the questions we’ve been seeking our entire lives.

Take a minute to think about it. Would you ever laugh your heart out finding a little toy in the same place you found it the day before? And just be so happy and proud that everyone starts believing it’s a big deal? Most of us are probably so busy chasing a new life every day that we fail to appreciate what’s always been there for us, right where we want it. We forget that only if we give them the time and importance they deserve, will others know that said thing/person is something/someone that needs to be respected.

Ever noticed how kids question things we’ve known and accepted for as long as we can remember, and we are left to question if we actually ever knew them? And the only answer we can give them is ‘that’s just the way it is’, when, in fact, we know everything came about with a reason. As we get older, we make ourselves busy enough to assume that someone somewhere would’ve taken care of the what’s and the how’s. We want kids to learn, but what do we give them? Beliefs with no base, prejudiced acceptance, a forced need to fit in and a world that constantly tells them they’re wrong. So, when kids manage to break their way out of these and prove us wrong, the tables turn; we switch roles to become the ones that need to learn.

Kids teach us something with every little move. They teach us how beautiful a feeling it is to show and to be shown love without holding back. They show us that saying ‘No’ to something you aren’t comfortable with doesn’t need you to be physically stronger; that refusal isn’t rudeness, that age isn’t authority. But most of all, they teach us that just because you were crying minutes back and are smiling now like nothing happened does not mean you’re bipolar, a drama queen or an attention seeker; it only means that you have held on to that tiny little light somewhere and are too busy growing up and towards it to wait for others to allow you to be happy.

Anime Comes to Chennai

-N. Pushpamithra, II B.A. English
-G. Anjali, II B.V.A Fine Arts

Image credits : N. Pushpamithra, II B.A. English

The three-day anime convention hosted by Phoenix Marketcity Velachery was unveiled on the 14th of September.

DAY 1:
The anime convention was kick started with an origami workshop which grabbed the attention of not only the anime fans in the mall but also the passersby. The second event raised the excitement to another level with the manga designing contest. Contestants were asked to design a character based on Indian culture and folklore. The most heated event of the day was the Ramen eating contest which had 5 rounds.

DAY 2:
The day started off with a mock Japanese tea ceremony demo. The AMV (Anime Movie Video) contest had all the anime fans in the vicinity jumping and cheering. Next was the anime voice acting workshop for people aspiring to train their vocal chords and talk like anime characters. It was a short and sweet session conducted by one of the famous cosplayers present for the occasion. The workshop was followed by a surprise anime quiz which focused not only on mainstream anime but also on desi anime and manga. The day was wrapped up with the DJ meet and greet with famous anime songs to dance to, karaoke and some events hosted by the cosplayers.

DAY 3:
The final day of the anime con had the most people. The calligraphy workshop conducted by the Japan foundation was a hit among the kids. The treasure hunt event which was held throughout the mall had the contestants running and gasping for air in search of clues. The convention was then wrapped up with the most awaited cosplay competition and some fun performances by the cosplayers who were invited.

An ardent anime lover when interviewed said, “I thought that I’d be one of the few people who’d come; seeing this many people is astonishing! I’m very shy so I haven’t been able to talk to a lot of people but I have met some people who I think I’d get along with. I think these types of events also help promote and develop the community as well.”

The variety of the events surprised us as it wasn’t just focused on anime and cosplay but also on other manga and light novels which aren’t often seen in anime cons. Though the maid café was a little disappointing since they neither had any maids nor the classic maid-café menu, the collection of manga and merchandise at the manga lounge was enough to satisfy us. The merchandise stalls were not only expensive but too mainstream. This can however be justified as non-mainstream merchandise aren’t as accessible as the mainstream ones.

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