September 11, 2010

9/11 promises on 9/11

I tried to learn touch typing before also, but like everything else I left it in between. But then about 3 months ago I gave it one more try and made my wish public, promising to give regular updates on the progress made. I did keep on making progress (hitting a few obstacles also in between), and today I have my average speed close to 40. Making my efforts public worked for me one time. I want to try it again. 

1. Weight 60+ Kgs: This one may sound a bit funny, but seriously its not about the weight issue. I myself don't like what I see in the mirror, it undermines my confidence and I have decided to change that. I don't really know what my current weight is but I want to get it to minimum 60 Kg. And its easier said than done. My body is not customized to gain weight easily. So if I achieve this target, this may just be the hardest thing ever achieved by me. 

2. Promises be kept: I boast about how I keep my promises. But in reality, there have been many instances where others have suffered because I couldn't keep my promise. And most of the time it is because I didn't do the things that had more priority. And the reason for that was, I was in control my mind rather than controlling it. So now, either don't make promises or do everything to keep them. 

3. Don't wait to be late: Again seemingly simple but hardest code for me to decode. Wherever to reach, whatever be the time, 90+% of time I reach late. Sometimes, it is because of some unavoidable reasons but other times I feel my mind creates some mental block which causes me to delay or get busy in unnecessary stuffs, thus getting late. So many times I have tried to change this behavior but I guess it has become second nature. And there is nothing to be proud of this habit. 

4. Concentrate to Meditate / Meditate to Concentrate: I have very short attention span. Its hard for me to concentrate even for 15 mins, even in things that I like. I can't stay calm in pressure situation. I have tried meditation to improve that, but I was amazed to see how vehemently the body resisted to it. The mind becomes restless, and I start to feel its a torture to sit quietly for sometime. I even start to doubt whether I am actually meditating or not. 

5. Either be one or forget it: Yesterday I was really disappointed to see my performance in a certain coding test. I accept no one can claim to be the best coder but I think I am not even half good a programmer as I consider myself and tell others to be. I considered it my passion. But if you write code in weeks then you should have serious doubts about your aptitude in programming. This year if I couldn't become a regular programmer (meaning coding at least somewhat everyday) then I will cease to call myself a programmer. 

6. buzzRSH > 50 posts: This one is the 5th post on buzzRSH. If I could get onto half century mark well before next 9/11, then blogRSH will make debut online. And I fail miserably in this endeavor then God forbid, buzzRSH will go offline. 

7. Its a funny issue: I have been getting complaints that I am not the same old RavS, that I used to be about 2-3 years ago. While I think some change in behavior is justified, but becoming someone else is uncalled for. I think I have become a bit too serious about trivial things and am holding onto a lot of grudges. But challenges can be faced without looking depressed. So lets get the old RavS back. 

8. Learn/Do something new: Learning never ends in life. There are so many things that I would like to do/achieve in life, at some point. But when you say at 'some point' you are procrastinating. There will never be a 'right time' to do anything new or different in life. This (sic) is the right time. So, what will I do new in next 365 days? I have no idea right now. But what I have learnt in life is that you learn something when you truly want to learn it. If your intentions are to impress somebody, then you most probably won't learn it. 

9. Stop being afraid: "I fear no one."... Its a popular cliche'. So easy and cool to say. But I am not afraid to admit, I am afraid of a lot of things. There have been many instances where I felt something inside stopping me to do what is right. Not being adventurous/courageous stops you from growing personally. This is certainly not what I want. 

Alright, so these are 9 things that I would like to do for myself. But there are 2 more things that I need to do, more for others (read family/friends) than for me: 

10. Get (a) mobile: OK stop being paranoid about mobiles. Go get one, it won't kill you. After all the blog posts and reasons you give, you gotta admit, you need to get one, if not for yourself then for others. And most of those 'others' are people who care. Its official now, I am getting a mobile before I turn 23. When exactly? That is unknown. Yeah its not really a big task but a task anyway. 

11. Get employed: Doing a 9-5 job is not what I dream of everyday. But for the sake of family, this is the most important thing to do right now. We will see what else can be done in life, but right now, go get a job. I have to be realistic here, I have good chances of getting placed somewhere or other but I have not been given a guarantee, so I must do what I should do, to ensure one. 

Right.. Above 11 points sound like New Years Resolution no? In a way, its a new year for me today. It was so easy to write these 11 points and sounding like I am going to become a Superman from today onwards. 

Changing 1 thing in life is difficult, here I am talking abut 11. These problems are embedded deep in my life. It can't be rooted out in a day(otherwise I would have done it long ago). So, even if I am able to sort out half of these it will be the biggest achievement of my life. I don't promise myself to achieve even one of these. I just want to give an honest try to all these things. Like the one never gave. So even if I fail, I will fail spectacularly. 

Happy Birthday RavS

September 05, 2010

My Idea... of an Ideal Teacher

"Teachers teachers everywhere, everyone has to preach
Teachers teachers everywhere, not a single to teach"
I have been a student all my life. And as a result, have encountered teachers of every kind based on region, language, gender, color, and physical appearance. They being a teacher, these criteria does not matter also. But may be barring a few, most of them haven't been able to meet my high (impossible?) expectations. But this post is not about showing negativity and disappointment. This is about positivity and hope.. that may be aliens will teach us someday.

I myself have been a teacher in some sense (teaching my brothers, and being a part time tutor). But I know I am nowhere near the perfectionism that I want from a teacher. But that does give me some idea about what I, as a student, want from my teachers. Here is my idea of an ideal teacher:

1. Impartial: An ideal teacher got to be impartial towards students and give each student the same time and support, keeping personal perception aside. She (from now onwards, 'she' implies 'he/she') must give more marks for the same question, only because it deserves them, not because the answer was written by her favorite student. Many a times, I have been guilty of getting better marks this way, and believe me I feel really embarrassed.

2. Understanding: Is it too much to ask from a teacher to be understanding? If one becomes a teacher, does she stops being a human? Its a known fact that, not every one has as high IQ as me (no, don't laugh, I am really intelligent!), some students need more time to understand the concept than others. Anyone can teach students who can self study, to teach the students with low motivation towards the subject is the true test of a teacher.

3. Patient: So many times I have heard teachers telling students to ask any concept 'n' no. of times, till the time they don't understand it. But it is amusing to see the same teachers getting irritated when the student is unable to understand the concept even after the third attempt (may be n=3). When I was a kid, I used to get beaten by the teachers for not knowing the alphabets. I learnt them properly only in 3rd standard. Today, I ask myself, what difference did it make in my life to learn alphabets 4 years later than what children normally do? Was it justified to get slapped and scaled on the palms?

4. Adaptable: The field from where I belong keeps changing overnight. In this scenario, it is unacceptable for a teacher to be rigid about her teaching methods. She should be ready to accept that a student can find a better solution to a problem, he/she can know more than her. An idea should not get rejected just because its not mentioned in the book. Anyone would love to go into a class, where the teacher is innovative in her style of teaching. Takes real life and unimaginable examples rather than copy book examples.

5. Knowledgeable: It never hurts when your teacher is the master of the subject, truly passionate about the things that she teaches. It only gives a student confidence that he/she is in the right hands. But to tell the truth, I give a rat's arse about the teacher's knowledge of the subject, as long as she meets the above criterias. If the teacher is willing to do the hard work, ready to accept her ignorance about a topic and willing to learn with and from the students, it doesn't matter to me, whether she is a B.Tech or a PhD.
"I may not be the best of the students.. But that is the precise reason why I deserve the best teachers"
PS: In junior classes I studied about ideal gases only to be told later that there is nothing like an 'ideal gas', but its poor cousin the 'real gas'. I think an ideal teacher is an endangered species, if not non-existent. So, my real teacher will be:

1. Hot: I mean not metaphorically but literally. If her temperature remains high all the time, this will mean nobody will dare ask the questions (such a waste of time). The syllabus gets over well in time, and you can concentrate on better things in life. Also, when she is burning hot, that means she will take loads of holidays (she is not well stupid), implying loads of free classes.

2. Sexi(st): Its been a long since boys have been victims of discrimination in the class. Its time girls should also get the know what it is like to be beaten, just because you are not a boy. Grr..

3. Charming: There I said it. She doesn't know anything about the subject? No problem. She can't solve even the basics of problems? I will manage. She doesn't think she is qualified to be a teacher? You are in majority, mam! All I want is that she (here she implies she) has a nice personality, good looking face and sweet voice. If you can't be easy on brain then just be easy on eyes and ears. Just don't make the 50 mins of an already boring class a torture for me.

Happy Teachers' Day!