LC Newsletter 42: Yr 21-22
13 Aug 2021,
Time passed rather quickly this week, isn’t it? Maybe it's because we have had one of the busiest weeks. Few highlights for this week were:
It was a regular meeting this time, with very normal agenda points. It was one of the rare meetings to have finished on time. Phew! One of the key points was to finalise projects for all the kids. Baring a couple of them, all kids have something that they would like to do for the project day on the 26th Aug. We hope you all had some discussions about it at home to vet their appetite..:)
The movie we saw was Spirited Away (Japanese animated fantasy movie). It is a story of a small girl, Chihiro, whose parents are trapped in a magical spell and responsibility falls on her shoulder to fight against a cruell, selfish, powerful sorceress to rescue them. The sorceress runs a bath house for spirits and ghosts. It is a battle which Chihiro wins with her courage, hard work, honesty, and relentless hard-work.
What adds on to the credit is its a first, hand-drawn, non-English film to receive Academy Award for the Best Animated Movie. The picturesque scenes, powerful facial expressions, and imaginative spirits kept us all glued to the screen.
As you can see our writing feat is showing promise. The second copy of our newspaper is out. Please give your honest feedback on the email since that will reach them directly. We have been trying to find different ways of engaging kids so that they can explore writing, you will see some of them in the coming edition. What we observed is that there are also advantages of directly typing in the software which they are finding as something of a novelty. They are writing, expressing, editing, coordinating as a team and publishing. As far as we can see this is a “one stone, many birds” scenario.
Something that glued the adolescents this week was discussion in the session of body-systems about transgenders. This curiosity was brooding for a long time. Almost all of them had seen or met a transgender. The questions about what is the difference is sex and gender, what is trans-gender, does this also happen with females or only with males, what challenges a person can face being a transgender, why do they beg to earn, can transgenders legally marry, what is LGBTQ, would you accept a transgender if you come across in your family/friends/society, would you mind if they decide to marry and why? It finally ended up planning the next dedicated session on the same topic.
We figured there’s a lot to learn by just sitting silently besides our adolescents when they are talking among themselves. What they think, what they love and hate. They are growing into their teens, which is seen in their bodies and outward demeanour. They are becoming more argumentative and independent. They are also delving into their favourite time pass of these days. Talking about their crushes. Yes...in our times it was called boyfriend/girlfriend talks. This is what has caught their imagination and is their source of mutual bantering. Gone are the days of poop talks. We assume this too will be replaced by something else.
Recently I heard them arguing about religion. A very honest and hearty debate. Though I was itching to participate and intervene, good sense prevailed and I kept quiet. Silently I wondered how they do make sense sometimes..:)
After many weeks we had our talking club session. In this session what we do is sit in a circle, just like all other things in LC, then chits are passed with words written on them. This time all the words belonged to different emotions, like, happy, joy, sad, cry, irritating, disgust, etc. After thinking about the word for two minutes we had to speak for a minute about what that word meant to us. After this we also played the game Fabler, which literally means making fables (or stories). It was fun making stories from random words that pop in front of us. It sounds weird and hilarious.
We have been playing impromptu matches among ourselves. It is sometimes as organised a play as cricket or sometimes it’s just placing tyres above one another trying to aim the ball through them. A detailed discussion on who plays in whose team is done and then the rules are discussed and debated over.
This time’s menu was fruit confusion, oops fruit fusion. Actually, it was planned to be something else but as you know too many cooks change the menu. It was a medley of cut seasonal fruits, crushed peanuts and powdered jaggery. It tasted absolutely delicious like a dessert. Two of our 8 yr olds took charge of chopping, mixing, serving and cleaning. They didn’t have anyone else disturbing them and they did not get distracted.
Elenor who had previously come to visit us is doing her trial period. She likes to play with dolls and is very keen to learn ballet.
Veda, who is only 3 months old, came to visit us. She thoroughly enjoyed interacting with a few kids and completely took to the vibe of the place. How did we come to know? She cooed, gurgled and slept soundly in the noise. She was accompanied by her cute sister Aisha, mom and dad.
Bhargav, a 5-yr old visually challenged boy, was brought to LC against his wish by his mother. He was howling “Let’s go”. He had a patch on his better eye, which was used as a therapy to stimulate the weak one. His mom could spend hardly 15 minutes, but all the children in LC got curious about why the child was crying and what the patch on the eye was for. I always wonder what would bring the sensitivity in children, towards mentally and physically challenged/ differently abled people. I think growing together in LC is one of the best opportunities.
Food for thought
This time we are sharing one of our favourite and great thinkers of our times in Alternative Education.
That’s all for now...until next time, take care and stay safe!