Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work. Show all posts

26 May 2013

Translation of a Teacher's Dream by Students

I am a dreamer and have thousand things going on in my head. If I hadn't become a teacher I would have died of frustration. School is the place where I can express myself freely. I translate my personal dreams into spaces in school and spend sleepless nights of satisfaction. My students enjoy my wild ideas and become part of them, often adding their share of craziness. We work endlessly during our holidays and learn to celebrate work as art of life. I harness their talent and make them polish their skills. Students are treasure house of talents.
My school is right next to the river but strangely the campus is very dry and dusty. I had a refreshing feeling at a water body in sight would chill our mind and then planned a pond in the park. It took a long time to bring the mental picture on the ground but my VIII C students had the required skill to give shape to it.
I consulted two engineers but for a project of our scale students are the best engineers. My friends generously donated cement and love, and kezang prepared her best fried rice for my class during the long concreting hours.
More than the pond itself, the time I spent with my students gave me deep insight into their lives, about their families, and their life during vacations and at home. It's very inspiring to discover that many of them have worked as temporary labourers and paid for their schooling expenses. While the kids from well to do families take so much interest in learning from the experts friends. It strengthened our bond as class and as team. Tomorrow morning they will be so proud to see the whole school admiring our pond.
Following is a glimpse of our journey in creating the pond, in picture over a period of one month.
The First touch.

Groundbreaking (helping hands from Basketball team)

Laying foundation 

Concreting during a holiday

The shape is formed, first layers concreting done and watered for strengthening.

Trying out Colored-cement for the first time- Polishing was done with help from 5 experts from senior classes.

First Guest to my Pond is my Family- Sunday Morning 

Isn't it refreshing? 
Now the pond is waiting for fish, turtle, frog, lotus, or anything that will survive there to give students visual of some aquatic life. The least we have planned is to shift 8 fishes from school fishery farm (8 fishes because it's class VIII's work) and put 29 beautiful stones, each with roll numbers of my 29 students for, what they call, Long Remembrance.
When I have luxury of time I would like to share about amazing projects my teacher colleagues have done in Bajothang too because I think I am being very selfish my sharing only about those thing me and my class did on my blog.

Disclaimer: No teaching time was wasted in building this pond because we did it during weekends and holidays. And no contributions, in any form, were asked from students except their free time and skill.

28 October 2012

Sunday Syndrome

This morning our class of 35 teachers were strangely silent in the morning hours. When the chief lady, Ms. Phuntsho passed by our room, she wasn't happy with us. She interrupted our session to let us know that we were not in a prayer to be so solemn. She went on for some time trying to ignite our spirit, and concluded by stating she found 'teachers in Wangdue are not as interactive as those in other Dzongkhags she worked with.'
I had to jump in and inform her that, "actually we had very interactive sessions yesterday with some topic taking us to hot debates. It's just that you happened to come by when we are in 'Sunday Syndrome' mode." I didn't know if there was something called 'Sunday Syndrome' but she knew what I was catching at so she laughed, gave me a sweet sour looks and explained with apology.
Picture from Mirror News
Our body and mind are both so accustomed to taking rest once in every seven days ever since we knew Sunday, and when sunday is taken out of our week our minds go into standby mode. I always thought Sunday was just a state of mind but today I realized it's an unavoidable day in a week. It takes hours before our mind finally give up on Sunday Syndrome and agree to function normally. Sunday was supposed to be the only day I don't disappear after breakfast and my daughter enjoys it, and Kezang keeps so many things waiting in line for us to do together on Sunday but today I disappeared after breakfast and couldn't be helpful to Kezang- both are disappointed. Ironically it happened for a GNH workshop. It even took our Saturday. But I must admit it was worth, perhaps the only weekend in the year where so much is learnt.

P:S: Just found out that there is a phrase 'Sunday Syndrome' already in use, though meaning little differently than the context I have put in.

28 December 2010

Beautiful Sunset in Samtse

Sunset in Samtse: Forgive my friend's Antique Camera
After the exams were over I sat down with my wife and planned our vacation. We subtracted the day I will be occupied in workshops and also the days that will go in making the journey to and fro the stations. Finally when all the obligations were slashed off, what was left on the calendar wasn’t enough to reignite the excitement we had long stored.

To make the mood worse, 18 Bhutanese perished in plane crash for the first time. As the list of the victims appeared on TV my heart ached, it ached worse when I realized they were families on divine vacation; vacation from which no one returned. How chillingly it made me realize that everyday we are together with our family is a vacation in itself, every journey, every meal, every joke, everyday… it was harsh but a bold reminder that every date on the calendar needs to be counted.

And thus our plan for this winter changed altogether. We packed our bags and started our vacation; I am on paid vacation with my family to Samtse. The journey was boring from Wangdue to Thimphu because I have always driven that road. But now when I look back, it gives me cold feet; a bus accident killed nine people. That driver must have taken that road hundred times more than me and yet he faced the worst nightmare, can I afford to take that road for granted? One girl from my school lost her life, a boy suffered broken spine and a teacher colleague suffered two broken ribs.

Breakfast in Dantak canteen near Babesa was cheap and satisfying. All my life I travelled in buses and had lunches where drivers loved or the owners demanded. But this time I stopped where we got yummy, clean and fresh food. I waved hard on Bhutanese restaurants on the road in revenge and headed straight for Taktikhoti. We Bhutanese need to learn the basics of business.

But the road from Tsimasham to my lunch place tested my patience, driving skill and eye sight. Thimphu Phuntsholing highway has always been under construction- rough reminder of a country in the permanent state of development.

I always loved Phuntsholing, here is where I first met my wife some five years ago. Weather is pleasant at this time of the year. Street are filled with people, I mean the Jaigong streets, where every Bhutanese empty their purse. Of course, Phuntsholing is no different from Jaigong, after all most of the businessmen are Indians. Who would want to pay a bigger price when on the other side of the wall you get it so cheap?

I honked the honk of my life, and perhaps my car must have thought I have gone crazy, on the road to Samtse. It was worth it; here I watch the last sunset of 2010 with my family and I must admit the sunset in Samtse is so beautiful!

06 October 2010

Dear students III

When you feel the cold in morning hours, see the greenery fading away and leafs falling from tree what comes to your mind? Don't be philosophical and tell me it reminds you of impermanence of life. As winter sets in you should be better worrying about examination. It is unfair though that an exam decides your course of life but fairer part is that you have the power to choose how you write your exam. Destiny is not written in one day; it is drafted and edited according to choices you make day after day.

Writing your exam is closest to writing your destiny and therefore there is need for serious considerations. Of
course I see a lot of you getting busier by the day but I am concerned still of some important aspects which we take for granted. As a student myself, I would spend enough time on studying the content and I would gamble with certain chapters' probability of coming in exam having read through many past question papers. By the time I set foot on the threshold of exam hall I would be fully ready. But I never really came out with good score. And you see, it doesn't matter how well you know, at the end of the day what counts is how well you scored.

Now the question is what went wrong in my preparation? After this many years I have found the answer. All the while I forgot to physically prepare myself. I realized that until exam time I have never sat in one fixed place for over an hour, I haven't written more than two pages in one go, and I haven't spend hours thinking hard, not ever until exam. No matter how much you know, as you keep sitting for longer duration than you ever did your body denies you proper functioning, then you start losing focus. Your fingers were never used to writing for three hours and therefore even your fingers ask for excuses. And most importantly, your attention level fades away after sometime and you can hardly recall what you know. This is how you come out of exam hall defeated.

I remember telling you in assembly about this thing right in the beginning of the year, and I am hoping you are
doing your regular physical training for your exam. Weekends are the best times, please give yourself three
hours of non-stop sitting and writing, without toilet, water, music, mobile and friends. If you haven't started
yet, you are not late.

I can't assure you great marks because it will also depend on how much you studies but I can at least guarantee that you can bring out everything that you have inside. I am not sad about things I didn't know but about things I knew, which remained unexpressed.
Best wishes

30 August 2009

I Let My Wife Leave Her Job, and didn't let her regret...

We had lived apart for over two years after marriage and I thought that was too enough. But coming together could cost us a job, hers or mine. Mine we agreed was more secure being a government one, but what about hers? Well it was hard to agree upon, without having a promising option waiting. Hers was equally decent though private owned and she had a lovely workplace. She had too many good friends to leave behind unlike me, who was just an alien in Bajo yet.

Her friends knew me far lesser than she did so they had all sorts of suspicions; they shared the stories of so many new marriages being broken and women being left helpless. Her plan shocked many of them. After a while even I got myself soaked in doubt. What if somehow our marriage failed, would she find her way back? I have seen so many innocent girls being ripped of their jobs for their love only to fill their lives with tears. I knew deep down that I was not going to make her regret. That was just one side of the issue, while the other still waited for answer.

She was a working woman with habit of shopping for cosmetics, walking into beauty parlors, and dinning in good restaurants at the end of the month. Could I with my dry salary afford to treat her with her womanly basics alongside the regular household expenses and rents and clothing and so on? She may not ask for all these understanding my stand but how could I let her live a life full of silly sacrifices when I had confidently and promisingly led her off her good working life.

I suffered all these fearful energy running through my body. I couldn’t discuss the issue with my dear mother even. I had made all the choices so far and should put up with what comes hence forth. As of my wife she trusted me enough to let me think us out. And there I had made the righteous choice.

I proposed a business prospective in Wangdue. We talked it over days. Many ideas we discussed and evaluated. Cloth wholesale could run well but who will frequent the long road to and fro supplier? Same with the grocery shop and also cosmetics, in which she has greater knowledge actually. We put forward many ideas and crumble them off, as Abraham Lincoln says, “If I have six hours to fell a tree I would spend five hours in sharpening the axe.” We did right that.

Finally, this bold idea of Video Game parlor seemed right for us. We called it bold because in this we only have to worry about the initial investment. Then updating the games is necessary, which means some pieces of CDs. I did a rough estimation of how much we could earn in a month and pleasantly the worst case scenario gave me Nu.30,000 per month, which is more than three times my salary-in-hand.

I went to the bank for loan, and there I met many of my friends applying for vehicle loan. I envied them but I knew I had my priorities in order. I invested just about a hundred thousand in five sets of PlayStation consoles and TV screens. She resigned and we moved together. For more than two months the gaming sets laid in our storeroom. It was a long fearful moment with the loan adding up its interest and we waiting for a vacant shop to start up.

My wife grew pessimist by the day but I didn’t lose faith. In due course I designed the furniture and the signboard.

Exactly the day I was done we got a vacant room in Bajothang, some minute walk from where we live. And we began our business. It was a blast. It attracted young and old alike. We got our names, PlayStation uncle and PlayStation Aunty. When we oversleep on Sunday we would have kids knocking on us to come to shop. On weekdays she could have the whole morning for herself. In evening rush-hour I would go to help her with tea and snacks, and wait for my chance to play. Since I play a lot I discover lots of tricks in the games and kids beg me to teach them. Well I do that and attract more of them. Some kids come there daily and spend hours watching the fortunate ones, so I let them play for free some times.

After a month in the business my wife told me once, “You know, I feel the freedom kissing me. I can walk to the shop at my own time in my own comfortable garments, sit there and watch kids play and get paid. If I want to take rest I can just close the shop and walk back home without having to write an application of leave. And look, at the end of the month I have got more than four times my salary to count.” This was more than what I wanted to hear from my wife. She was happy and so I am.

The last December completed six and a half months since we opened our shop. We have recovered the initial investment besides our luxurious daily and monthly shopping. And last May we paid up the loan which was actually for fifty five months. Then I have applied for vehicle loan and now I drive a car and I still have the shop like the hen that lay golden egg.

I have everything a normal man wants in life; car, computer, laptop, Plasma TV, washing machine, refrigerator, sofa set, luxury bed, and a happy wife. I am not showing off my property here, in fact what I have doesn’t even qualify to be called as property but I am just trying to make a point that I have not let my wife down by let her leave her job for me. It’s all about one informed decision in life.

28 August 2009

I am on Tshering Tobgay's Blog

Opposition Leader Tshering Tobgay keeps a blog, of course everybody knows it, but I knew it somewhere in May this year. I had 12 blogs since 2006, and never thought I would go crazy over them some day. Only when I started reading Tshering Tobgay's blog regularly I came to know that there are lots of Bhutanese blogger. Some of them were featured on his blogs ever since. When you read my blog you will see that only this year I have taken it seriously. All thanks to the man. He has great duties to fulfill for our country yet I am amazed by his thoughtfulness in taking time out and inspiring us by featuring new comers and not-so-common blogger on his widely-read blog.
This time it's me with some friends and I am humbled when I saw my picture there. Thank you so much for motivating me. I will make your effort worthwhile.

14 August 2009

Speeding Up Your Computer- Some Tips

Well here am I with the post I have promised, but sure it isn't going to be so big as I thought because Mr. Kong's checklist is meant for making up a good client computer on a network, meaning much of the options on the computers are disabled (something you won't like).

Try a few of the following tips and see if they appeal you enough. I am impressed though.

Right-click My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Performance Settings... > Visual Effects > Adjust for best performance
(This removes most of Windows XP's bells and whistles and greatly improves performance

and then

Advanced > Virtual Memory > System Managed size > Set > OK > OK (Click No to restart.)(This enables Windows to manage its own Virtual Memory for low memory systems.)

Right-click Desktop > Properties > Desktop > No picture > Black background

Screen saver > (None) screen saver or 'Blank'

Appearance > Effects > Uncheck all except

"Use the

following method to smooth edges of screen font"

Settings > Resolution > 1024 × 768 pixels for 17" monitor. Colors set to 16 bit. (Removing desktop wallpaper and reducing colour depth reduces video memory use (usually taken from

main RAM))

Click Apply.

Advanced Settings... > Set font size to 120% (for better word clarity on 17" monitor) > OK > OK (Click No to restart.)

Start > Run... > "msconfig" > Boot.ini > Click /NOGUIBOOT and Timeout = 3 seconds.

Now restart Windows XP. There will be a blank screen for a while because no graphics is loaded.

After Windows XP is logged on, uncheck the remainder.

Try these also!

Open My Computer > Right click on C: hard drive> Properties > Uncheck "index drive for faster searching"

Do the same for all hard drives.

On My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View > Uncheck "Automatically search for network ..." (This speeds up opening Windows Explorer and browser.)

Right click My Computer > Manage > Services and Applications > Services > Server > (Right click) Properties > Startup Type = Disabled. (This disables File and Print sharing on the workstation. Saves RAM if you are not sharing files/printers on this workstation.)

Control Panel > Sound Settings > Sound Scheme = No Sounds.
(This removes Windows sounds (however, the computer can still play music).

Control Panel > Security Settings > Disable Automatic Windows Updating. (This reduces unnecessary internet traffic. Keep one or two fast computers to 'set to notify'.)

Control Panel > Remove Windows Components > Remove all unnecessary components (e.g. Games, Accessories except Calculator and Paint, MSN, Networking, Outlook Express, Messenger) (This removes unnecessary Windows components. You can remove IE if you are planning to install Firefox. However, if you remove IE, you cannot use Windows Update from the workstation.)


In addition have you used CCleaner software? Well this does magic in fixing registry errors, and remove temporary and deleted files (you know deleted files still occupy space in your hard drive.) Just download this 3.2 MB software and install; it is very easy to use.

And what about Disk Defragmentation? You did it before? Well this process that is there in your computer, which will arrange the files in your computer memory thereby freeing a lot of space.

Finally, I bet you know this: Antivirus! You must have one installed on your computer. Will two do better? More than one is as good as not having or worse! So just have one. Update it as required. Never let anybody open there storage devices in your computer without scanning. Sometimes you have to be unkind.

13 August 2009

Let’s call it a day!

The whole day I was with computer and usually by now I would have long gone into slumber but you know when something is achieved you want to try your luck on another. Infact today I achieved more than just something. Mr. Kong Ming was on his fourth (may be fifth) visit to our school. Precisely he is a volunteer from Singapore working in the MoE for Bhutan WIRED Project sponsored by his government. He was actually our facilitator but necessity made him a great computer troubleshooter.

This morning we began our work on setting a domain server which is meant to connect the five member schools, Bajothang HSS, Drukgyel HSS, Chukha HSS, Punakha HSS and ChumgangLSS with MoE to share resources on the new teaching method (the soul of the project). However, there were million things to be done before we could actually begin;

· The Operating systems (Windows Xp) must be upgraded to SP 3 (Sp 3 Patch is 316 MB and requires 24 hours to download, god! What is wrong with the Broadband?)
· Windows Xp must be the Professional Edition (not Home Edition) (Gosh, many of the computers are installed with the Home edition; each reformatting process takes about an hour)
· The Internet browser should be Firefox (of course this is not so hard)
· The computer must have good Antivirus software (Where do we get good antivirus in Bhutan? Well Symantec is there, pirated though just like all other software)
· And the worst of all was, the computer speed must be good and that takes the most of the energy…I think I will give the whole chunk of tips to speed up your computer in my next post

  • The actual server setting can be done only after a few days it seems...

Mr. Kong skipped his lunch and didn’t mind missing the dinner but I did. I often reminded him, “Let call it a day” It was he who deserved rest and he did seem to want it. By and by we stumbled on hundred problems and made me a better computer man (well I am thought of as a computer repairer in the area) and the best part was the speeding-up-computer tips, of which Kong has already made a checklist (I will really make it in my next post; I do have his permission) When we finally came out of the computer lab it was dark and raining. It had never occurred to me that there is such great charm in calling it a day after sweating myself to death and coming alive out of it with lot of thing to keep for a life time…it didn’t end there though…we continued more troubleshooting after dinner on my computer…ha ha ha my eyes are aching so bad I think let’s really call it a day!