Learners' Collective Newsletter 36: Yr 2021-22
4 July, 2021
The events of this week will linger in our memory lanes for a long time to come. Like someone said that, we are the sum total of all our experiences. Be they positive or negative - make us the person that we are. And we truly missed all those who could not make it. Hopefully they will join us in all our future expeditions.
We are gearing up for opening the Centre, right now the timings are 9 am to 1pm. Actually what all things happened in the beginning of last week is a blur but we will try to recap:
Nothing particular to share. We had geography, problem solving, grammar, reading and finance. Our only hope is that they will still attend all the sessions they have signed up for from tomorrow.
We made biscuit sandwiches with fruits. All those who didn't have biscuits tried the same recipe with khakras. One of the advantages when this was being conducted at home, is that the whole kitchen is available to us to try different combinations, in case we didn’t have the main ingredients.
Five of our kids who had enrolled for IPM exams have successfully taken it today. It was conducted online with utmost vigilance. The results are now eagerly awaited.
For those who don’t know IPM Exam- it is a math competitive exam evaluating mathematical skills, mental ability, calculation speed and critical analysis. These exams are available from grade 2 through 9.
We boarded the bus at 6 am from Dadar and on the way picked up the entire gang and reached our destination called Poshera, a village in Mokhada (a taluka in the Palghar district) in about 5.5 hours. The bus journey was fun and none of the kids slept like we had expected and instructed. They were giggling and yapping away to glory. It seemed they really missed each other.
We received a warm welcome from Bhaskar dada and his team. After a good sumptuous meal Bhaskar dada told us the program of the day - paddy farming. What to do and how to do? He led us to a field full of rice saplings and his team showed us to pluck each sapling one by one, while his other team got a field ready for cultivation. Lakshan bhau tilled the field with a tractor and the team filled it with knee deep water. A slush of clay was created for us to transplant the saplings. All of us together bent our backs and replanted the saplings in the entire field. Kids rolled in the slush and had fun of their lifetime. Few of them we couldn’t recognise after they were coated on all sides. Few of them didn’t get down in the field for fear of their chappals getting dirty and sheepishly stepped aside.
After a back breaking and knee hurting work in the farm we went to the nearby fresh water stream for a dip. Pictures of which you must have already seen. We figured getting them to take shower one by one would be a task, so community bathing did the trick.
After such a long journey and the tough work, all the kids were fast asleep by 9.15. I am sure you would have wanted to witness that. At night few of them were talking in their sleep, few were growling and a few rotated like clocks. But all were up by 6.30, bright and all smiles. Few went for a walk near the stream and few went for a walk in the fields. Few just sat soaking in the atmosphere. Then we went for a hike to the nearby hill, the view from there was splendid and pristine. One child broke her sandals and yet climbed the entire mountain - all the way up and down. Another one did cartwheel wherever she could find a flat piece of land and the youngest one jovially climbed telling her stories.
After hiking down, a dip in the stream was proclaimed mandatory, so back we went. Tidy and ready then we made plates made out of palash leaves that we plucked on our way down. After the meal, everyone diligently collected their items and packed their bags.
The thing about trips that we realised is, there is ofcourse a learning objective (or experience) but there are so many peripheral learnings that usually go unnoticed. Like taking care of one’s own things, bracing up for whatever unknown things are coming your way. Being patient and understanding that this is not a place to put their guard down or throw tantrums. Above all managing relationships with other kids and people around them.
Big kudos to our children who took everything that came their way with a smile. And it is indeed a big step for those parents who sent their kids with us. We are humbled by their confidence and trust they have shown in us.
That’s all for now. See you all tomorrow. Waiting for an exciting week ahead!