Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Spring Song of love and joy


 Strains of a love song waft on  the wind,   of   a
 World    so   happy and  young!  While flowers
  Sway    in  unison, and the  trees  nod  heads in
 Unison, for  the  season of  Spring,  of   love ‘n
  Birth   is   nigh!  And  the   world  sings a song!


   Exotic   scents of  flowers  rare,  cloy   the   senses
  With  richness of spice  and  herb. The  new  dawn
  Of   promises   breaks through the horizon,  kissing
  The  petals with golden lips.  Bright pastel   colours
   Of   petals wild,  soothe the eyes  with exotic  balm!


And I,  the wanderer, drink in the bounty of Nature!
Intoxicated   and   high,  on a cocktail of scents  and
Sights  while  the tender breeze caresses my cheeks,
Like  a lover so dear! The promise of a  new world,
So full of  joy  and song lightens my steps as I walk!

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Epiphany Church-Gurgaon, Candle Light Service

A candle-light service took place place in the Epiphany Church Gurgaon on the twenty-first of December, 2011. This was wonderful moment for all those who were present. For me it was an emotional moment as it was yet another home-coming that too during the Christmas Season. There was singing of Christmas Carols, and reading of nine lessons. The Presbyter-in-charge presided over the function. Both the churches were beautifully decorated with decorations and lights. I took some photographs which I have pasted below:






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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Christmas Get together in the St. Thomas School

We had a wonderful staff Christmas Get-together  in the school on the twentieth of December-2011. There was singing of Christmas carols followed by a staff-lunch. Without saying more, I have pasted below some photographs of the occasion:



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Friday, 16 December 2011

How does the quest for Higgs boson, the “God particle” affect us?

A few years back, there was much fanfare about the research going on at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. People voiced their apprehensions that smashing protons together would produce a black hole which would swallow the whole world.This didn’t happen! Now, there is much excitement in the scientific community about the possible discovery of Higgs boson, or the “God particle”! The on going research in quantum  Physics has started challenging the laws of physics as we know them.I wonder if this recent possible discovery wouldn’t perhaps challenge the principles of the physical universe as we know it?
The foundation of the physical universe rests on predictability. This predictability is being challenged by the principles of Quantum Physics. For example in our physical world, you aim a ball at a particular spot and if your aim is good, then you know that will hit the particular spot at a particular moment, and the sound of impact feels good! But, then what happens when you fire a proton? You don’t know where it will strike, because in the world of quantum Physics, it has a random movement which cannot be as accurately predicted as the physically lobbed ball! Our world is based on predictability and when predictions go wrong, chaos results! It is perhaps a human tendency to impose uniformity and order on everything that we observe! This is how the human brain works, is perceives the whole world in a rather ordered manner.
Quantum Physics deals with the study of matter at  the sub-atomic level. This study is increasingly exposing the existence of Randomness at the sub-atomic level! First we were told that the smallest indivisible form of matter was the atom. The ancient Greek Democritus termed the smallest indivisible particle of matter as the Atom. Research by scientists further discovered the electron, which was followed by the discovery of the proton, and then the neutron. Later experiments further discovered even more sub-atomic particles. Among these, two sub-atomic particles are massless, namely the photon of light and the gluon. Now, its seems as if scientists at CERN might have yet again discovered the Higgs boson, or the “God Particle!”
Such discoveries seem to open the doors to exciting possibilities of time travel, teleportation, and others such, “phantasies” dreamt by the science-fiction writers of the past! H.G.Wells wrote about time travel in his book, The Time Machine, he even wrote about space travel in his book, The War of the Worlds. Today, space travel is a reality! Then there was Jules Verne who wrote about underwater travel in his book, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. We all remember the Star Trek series that were telecast on T.V. Who knows, teleportation might become a reality one day! While no doubt most scientific discoveries have benefitted Mankind, a few however have also harmed Mankind, as for example, the dropping of the Atom bomb on Hiroshima! No doubt, we require immense maturity to be able to handle such discoveries as the Higgs boson!
How much does God want us to discover? I remember the story of the fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid and married her and went to live at the bottom of the sea. When he become home-sick and wanted to return top-side, the mermaid gave him a box, which she forbade him to open. On returning topside, he realised that time had not stood still, and that everyone he knew had died. Now he wanted to return to the world beneath the sea. There was no mermaid, so he against the mermaid’s instruction opened the box. We all know what happened after he opened the box! One often wonders if through our excess inquisitiveness, we might not be opening a Pandora’s Box! Man is an ever inquisitive child trying to open locked doors, and sealed boxes which might hide monsters that he might not be able to restrain. Perhaps it is better to let some doors be locked and some boxes remain sealed! There is a never ending quest for  a Holy Grail that might help us to one day overcome the limitations of the physical world, there is a quest to achieve immortality, and perhaps a desire to perhaps extend our stay in this world as we know it.
We all know that this Universe will not last forever. The big bang theory suggests that the Universe is expanding until one day it will implode! Is there a way of reversing it? The Sun will one day expand and consume the Solar system, it will become a white dwarf star, and further collapse into a dark hole. Can we and should we think of a possibility of evading such a fate? Presumption and conceit in excess can be harmful. Can we therefore, play at being God and get away from it? Nature has set a fine balance or equilibrium, can be challenge this equilibrium and still get away from it?

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Need for Self-Evaluation by teachers in India

Self-evaluation plays an important role for every learner. It is as important as getting a feed-back from every nerve and muscle while doing a stunt! The trapeze artist needs a lot of information while doing his stunt, whether it is the wind on his face, or his sense of balance, or what his eyes tell him! Psycho-motor functions require constant feed-back whether the act includes a simple function of walking, or, perhaps even walking the tight-rope! So, then, what about higher-order learning skills? What about preparing for the board exams, shouldn’t the learner be trained in the skills of self-evaluation? What if feedback on performance and preparedness for an important exam comes from the student himself? How would it be if the student evaluates himself, judges his own capabilities? Won’t he or she be responsible for his or her own performance? The learner would at least learn how much more effort would be required to achieve the desired goal! We always blame others for giving us poor marks. Would we blame ourselves for the marks that we award to ourselves? Would we  blame ourselves for awarding ourselves poor marks  like we blame the examiner for awarding poor marks to us? We are very happy to shift blame on others for our short comings, but then what would happen if we were to evaluate ourselves? The New Testament very clearly states, cast out the beam from your eyes before removing the speck from another’s eyes! This statement very clearly speaks volumes about the need to introspect, and meditate, to identify our own weaknesses before attempting to criticise others.
If exams are meant to assess one’s grasp or understanding of important principles rules, and theorems,   then shouldn’t assessment tools include tools for self-evaluation? A recent experiment in Bhopal attempts to expose students to the concept of self evaluation. I quote below an article appearing in the Financial Express website as follows:
“Bhopal: In a novel experiment beginning Wednesday, about eight lakh
students of Class X and XII of government schools will appear for
their half-yearly examination and evaluate their own answer sheets
after few hours.
After solving the three-hour long question paper they will break for a
well-deserved lunch of 30 minutes. The next three hours will be
devoted to writing down the model answers and the evaluation scheme
that will tell them how to give numbers.
Madhya Pradesh does not boast of a good academic tradition but it has
given the state an excuse to undertake experiments like these to
improve the quality of education and students.
The latest one stems from the students’ inability to score highly,
which becomes a handicap when they compete with students from other
states. For example, very few board toppers from MP score more than 90
per cent, the cut-off benchmark set by many institutions....
“The self-evaluation experiment will make students aware where they
score less after weighing their own answers with the model ones and
knowing how the marks are given,” said P R Tiwari, the state Academic
Coordinator of Directorate of Public Instructions.
The teachers will carry home the answer sheets evaluated by students,
re-evaluate them, and share the marks with students. Of course, the
marks given by the teachers will be final. While students will have to
use red ink to give marks, teachers will use green ink.
The exercise will be repeated thrice before the board examination by
which time, the authorities hope, students would have faced their
demons about examination and conquered them.
The experiment has attracted mild criticism from the teachers’ body on
the ground that students will have to spend a long time in school on
the day of examination and will leave them with no time to...prepare
for the next paper. The experiment was not without its share of
teething troubles. The first question paper emailed to principals
across the state leaked in Jabalpur two days ago and was available in
the market for a mere Rs 40....http://www.financialexpress.com/news/mp-students-to-evaluate-own-papers/887660/”.
This is a novel experiment for education in India, which attempts to highlight the importance of self-evaluation. Self-evaluation helps do away with the role of an external examiner, thus doing away with the excuse of fixing the blame for poor marks on an examiner who might have been in a bad mood while assessing the answer scripts, or an examiner who might have been too strict in his or her evaluation! Today, we need effective tools for self-assessment and self –evaluation. It might be argued that these tools already exist in the form of sample question papers in refreshers and help books, the so called, ubiquitous, “Guides!” But then, often these sample question papers are not standardised, and their difficulty levels might be suspect!

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Annual Christmas Function at the St.Thomas School, Jagadhri

The school hosted the annual Christmas Function on the 13th. of December 2011.We were graced with the presence of the chairman of the School, the Rt. Revd.Sunil Singh, the Bishop of the Diocese of Delhi, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Also in our midst were Revd.Prabhakar Malhan, the Secretary of the Delhi Diocese, Dr.A.D.Lyall, the Vice President of the Diocesan Education Board, and the clergy from Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, and Jagadhri. The teachers and the students had worked very hard to make the program a grand success! The few snaps available to me have been pasted below:

The Principal, Mr. Rodrick Rajive Lal addressing the gathering

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

WFCS,Jagadhri Christmas Celebration-2011

I was invited to attend the WFCS function at the Christ Church, Jagadhri on the 14th. of December 2011. Although I was there only for a brief period, I was able to see how happy everyone was. Some important office bearers of the D.W.F.C.S. were also present on the occasion.Dr.Meena Gupta, the President of Delhi Diocese WFCS, Mrs. Mary Michael, the Treasurer of the Delhi Diocese W.F.C.S., and Mrs. Usha Paul, also of the Delhi Diocese W.F.C.S. were  present. There was singing of Christmas Carols, welcome of the office bearers, and the Pastor’s Sermon on the significance of the Advent Season. He also talked about the important role of the mother in bringing up her children in the true Christian spirit, her importance as a teacher, and a builder of character in her children. The President of the D.W.F.C.S., Dr.Meena delivered the greetings of the Bishop of the Diocese of Delhi.




Sunday, 11 December 2011

Preparations for the Annual Christmas Function of the St. Thomas School, Jagadhri

Preparations are on at full steam for the Annual Christmas Function of the St.Thomas School which will take place on the Thirteenth of December.We hope that the weather holds on, and that everything goes on smoothly. Ultimately, it is the level of preparation and the cooperation of all staff members that makes any programme a great success. The students have been working very hard, and their teachers too have been putting in a lot of effort. I wish I could name all the teachers for their hard work, but then it might not be taken kindly by those not named. The photographs given below tell a story which is of the moment as the practice took place.




Yes, it was their day, the children’s day, and what more than the fact that they should have fun while rehearsing for the Annual Christmas function!

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Saturday, 10 December 2011



In a mood of dejection saw I a sun-flower smile at me!
I   smiled   back  at  her, my  dejection  turned  to  joy!
The  white   blossoms   drove  away   my  dark   mood,
They drove away the dark clouds letting the sun shine!
I thank Nature for  gifting me  these lovely blossoms,
So full of life, so full of joy, e’en though with short life,
Me   think  what right  have I to be so downcast when
The  blossoms deliver  smiles  so tender, full of  love!
Whites,  yellows,  lilacs,   and  roses but be   colours,
To  dispel the pall and gloom that darkens  our lives.
For to see so sweet smiles would be blessings bright,
Gods gifts to a world full of melancholy and sadness!


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