Experiences, Hari Katha, Introspection, Learnings, Life, Little Moments, Memories, Milestones, Ram Leela

Sunday School

Today was the last day of the Indian Sunday school. Hari had a pretty good year. He finished the year by winning the culture essay writing competition (topic being my favorite Panchatantra story and what lessons did I learn from it) and acing the Tamizh finals. This year in culture, he got exposed to stories from Mahabharata, Indian geography, and few popular national leaders. He supplemented these with the Amarchitra Katha books from India. Between school and his personal reading, he has amassed wealth of knowledge on Indian mythology. In Tamizh, he made a lot of progress in terms of vocabulary, reading and writing. This will amount to something only if make it a habit to speak to him in Tamizh. So the ball is now in our court.
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I taught Hari’s culture class this year. I have always wanted to try my hands on teaching and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do so inspite of not having any formal training. I pretty much taught this year based on my experience of raising two kids. Working on the lesson plan and the content was the less challenging part, the real ordeal was in managing and keeping a class of 23 kids engaged for 45 minutes with one student helper. Made me realize how much time is spent in classroom management than in actual teaching.

This year I was lucky to have kids who were co-operative and very participative in class. We typically started every class with a prayer. Then, we reviewed the classroom rules – modeling our behavior on BalGanesh – His big ears teach us to listen well, His small eyes teach us to focus, His big head teach us to think ideas so on and so forth. Towards the beginning of the second term, I had an unfortunate accident in the class. A table tipped over a kids’ fingers and rendered him with multiple fractures. From then on, ensuring safety became my no. 1 priority.

Following the review of the rules, we would go over the content. I used combination of role plays, audio cds, and reading to have the kids engaged. I would obsessively review the learning from the earlier class, making sure that there was participation from majority of them. Homeworks were given every weekend. Some days we would wrap up the lesson sooner than planned and play some fun games that reinforced what was taught in class. When it came to tests, I believed in over preparing the kids but setting really easy questions, so they will have an opportunity to shine and feel accomplished.

Overall, I am pleased with this year and have some ideas around what I need to improve for next year. As I said goodbye and thanked my kids for making this year a good first year of teaching for me, a few of them came up to me to hug me, and tell me that they really loved being in my class and would miss me next year…! My heart was thumping with joy! What more could I ask for?
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Here’s is a shout out to my army of helpers:

– Hari for being my benchmark. I used him as a guideline to get a flavor for how much content the kids can handle, what will work, and what will not work. Honestly, without him it would have been like shooting darts in the dark.

– Ram for cheerfully bidding me good bye and wishing me – “Have a good time at Sunday school, okay?”

– Da for truly believing that if I want to do something, I should go ahead and do it. Not for once, he made me feel guilty for trading family time to pursue my personal interests. Instead, he cheerfully saw it as an opportunity to spend some exclusive time with Ram. What can I say other than he is my hero!

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Little Moments for this week (LMT Post)

Serving little moments of joy and slices of bliss from this week:

– The yellow and blue lily dancing a solo in our front lawn.

– The rose bush in the back yard bursting with roses inspite of gross neglect from our end.

– “I don’t remember. I want to learn the numbers from the book mommy. Can you read it to me?”, Ram innocently remarks in an attempt to get me to read to him at breakfast.

– Ram graduating from “I don’t want to wear underwear mommy, I want to wear diaper only.” to “I don’t want the red one mommy, I want Thomas underwear.”

– Ram wanting to wear the said undie all by himself. A few minutes later, he jubilantly declares “Yes, I did it”. I turn back and see that one of the openings is wrapped around his hip instead of one of his legs. He is bending down to figure out why he is feeling uncomfortable and exposed although he is “wearing” the underwear.

– Hari smiling sheepishly, pride written all over his face, as Ram calls him out loudly “hi anna” in front of his mates at baseball game. The glint in his eyes said it all – yes, that’s me, his darling anna and he is mine!

– Hari and I scrambling and working hard for Tamizh exam in the 11th hour. 93 words to be memorized with the right spelling.

– Hari and Ram fighting with each other like Tom and Jerry. Can’t be with each other, can’t be without each other.

– Veggies spring rolls from the routine grocery shopping. Simply yum!

– Genuine recognition at work – got called nice, smart and customer centric!

– Pausing during the morning rush to play catch with Hari and Ram before the school bus arrives.

– Ray, Debra, Maurie, Frank and Rob regaling me with their humor on a Monday night. Everybody Loves Raymond never grows old on me.

– Rasika squealing in delight, flashing her toothless grin as I sing to her on webcam. Hearing Shraddha chit chat on the phone and say “annnnnaaaaa”.

– Pick up notice from the library for a book that I had reserved – The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon.

– My new dance costume arrived- algae green body with maroon border designed with thread work.

Alright then, have a good weekend. And let me know some of your little moments!

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Hari Katha, Life, Milestones, People, Ram Leela

Comeback post

Uncared and unattended, my poor blog is showing all symptoms of slipping into a coma, isn’t it? It’s about time I do everything in my power to nurse it back to good health. So here’s my attempt to get into the habit of writing by jotting some random notes from my life.

– We had a grand Memorial Day weekend. One of our good friends visited us. P is someone I went to college with, but I barely knew her then. It was only when our paths crossed again a few years later, did our friendship blossom in unexpected ways. Fast forward a decade later, we, collectively as a family, bond well. This time around it was special because P is expecting!

– Our house feels forlorn and empty – the kind of mood that fills the air following Deepavali or Christmas. The festivities have passed, leaving you with wishing for more merriment. The festival in our case being, the IPL matches. The cricket crazy child in our house is deliriously happy that his favorite team, Mumbai Indians, won the championship. The scandal around the match fixing is pathetic, I guess greed has no boundaries.

– The very same cricket crazy child is sporting a new look. I am not talking about a new hair style, something bigger. Hari has started wearing prescription glasses. I was a little heart broken – he is only in second grade, and the glasses will hide his killer eyelashes, so on and so forth went my mommy mind. But the child was totally psyched with his new accessory, so I made peace with it. With or without glasses, he is my handsome, who looks even more distinguished with his glasses.

– So what’s the diaper dude up to? For starters, we have given him a new name, kutty chatthan. He doesn’t quite grasp what kutty chatthan means but realizes it has a negative connotation, so he promptly corrects us, “I am not kutty chatthan, I am baby kutty, ok?” Yeah, two year olds are very endearing that way.

– We have started taking baby steps towards un-diapering the diaper dude and when it comes to potty training, who do you think is the authority? Not the mom, not the dad, but the one and only Diaper Fairy. Never heard of one? Us too, atleast not until a couple of months back when a friend mooted the idea. So on days that we have a stubborn toddler who refuses to wear his underwear, we invoke the Diaper Fairy. The journey has just begun, and it promises to be an adventurous one!

– Da and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this May. I remembered the date, but did not quite remember how many years have passed. I say once you have crossed the 10 year mark, does it matter whether it is 11, 12 or 13! What matters is what you have made out of those 12 or 13 years. I am not a romantic person, but I do believe in the kind of lasting love that grows deeper and richer as you walk together traversing the ups and downs of life. I feel blessed to be sharing the journey of life with Da, who is malleable enough to take the form that I need him to be – a problem solver, a sounding board, a guardian angel, or a confidant. Always supporting, always there for us. God bless him!

– The weather is bright and sunny. I get to work from home a lot these days. So have been able to enjoy the warmth a bit more. As I brew my evening tea, I sit by the kitchen door, with my laptop perched on my lap, typing away, with the chattering of the birds to give me company. Working from home also means Hari comes home directly from school. I will admit that there is a part of me that really misses working from office. There is something about face to face meeting and conversations over cubicles that no technology advancement can replace.

– Oh speaking of work and working from home, I got myself an iphone from my company. Before you ooh and aah over it, let me confess that mine is probably the most underutilized iphone in the whole wide world. I have not downloaded a single app. All I use it for is to make calls and check my work emails when I am offline during work hours. Having used the iphone, I can see why it is addicting. It sure is a handy little thing to have.

How are things in your neck of the woods? Anything new, fun or exciting? Do let me know. Signing of for now but hoping to be back more often.

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