Newsletter Issue 21: Yr 20-21
Happy Makar Sankranti! Happy Pongal! Happy Lohri!
We are two weeks into the new year already. Time never stops flying! First few updates:
We had some issues with our internet connection for the past one week. Now we have changed the vendor and the internet is restored. So kids could see their weekly dose of AVs, which followed up with a discussion. Questions like, what did you like in the video? What did you find objectionable or weird? What was funny? Just a way of reflecting on our choices.
There's a kite flying workshop on 17th Jan Sunday from 4 to 6.30 pm. All kids are invited. Location is at Poorva’s Apartment Terrace. Exact location will follow in the WA group.
We conducted the judiciary on Tuesday this week, instead of monday. The reason was many didn’t come and we wanted to wait for a full corum. The agenda had the usual feature of the topic of housekeeping. We have made a decision of creating a “Grievance Committee”. Now we have a complaint and also a grievance box. The need for this arose from the fact that few children were expressing frustration, sadness and anger on others who didn’t actually do anything against the rules. We can’t technically put a case against them. So we created a forum where kids can come together with some neutral party to sort out their problems. Facilitators want to stay away from this as long as possible. The kids will completely manage this committee.
Chemistry, Geometry, Algebra, Grammar, Math, Geography, Hindi sessions are all going well. Some are making very good progress. At least that's what we feel like. Some younger ones are sitting through the sessions only because some of their friends are attending. Not much is being done in the Arts corner these days. No one is willingly picking up things like drawing, painting, etc.. On the other hand, it looks like drama fever is consuming their entire attention and interest. Some have found interest in board games too. Few were surprised to see that we have as many board games in the cupboard.
कर के सीखॊ
We had different sorts of activities this time. Enough of carpentry, we said and let's open things up. The KKS team had got some instruments and we had collected some broken household devices and some non functional ones. We opened a CD player, camera, two phones and an oscillometer.
We opened a phone handset and were marvelling how tiny they were. The biggest of the components might be as big as a whole moong and the tiniest would be the size of a grain of sand. Circuit board, resistors, capacitors, front and rear cameras, vibrators, micro phone, speakers, etc. These are the members of this world that put together gives us the most powerful tool that humankind has ever created.
Next time when a phone is vibrating we all now know what component is making the buzzing sound.
Ashik Krishnan who is associated with Travellers University visited us. Travellers University is a learning community that supports individuals who are interested to travel and learn from their experiences. He shared some unique stories for their travels. Recently they had conducted a cycle yatra in Kerala for a week, where all the 16 participants (equal number of men and women) didn’t carry money, food, phones, watches and not even identity cards. They carried mere belongings like, two pairs of clothes, tooth powder (no tooth brush), two bed sheets and an ordinary cycle. The destination was unknown, they had no idea where they would stay after every night fall. They were to not even ask for food unless offered and in turn for every help they did some shram daan.
I know the questions that arise in your mind, why would I willingly put myself in such a situation? Is there a Plan B, if something goes wrong? Ashik didn't have answers to these questions, he said its ok to not have answers but to be in the exploratory stage.
We have been thinking of engaging a gymnastics facilitator, since many kids expressed interest in some kind of focused physical activity. So we had a trial session today. We played games, back arches and cartwheels. The feedback from kids is positive so we plan to continue with this facilitator for at least once a week, mostly on friday mornings.
Now we need to find a music facilitator. In case you know of anyone who is good with kids please let us know!
Fridays are also days for kids to present their projects. Today we had a child who picked up an interest during one of the sessions and made a power point presentation for us all. We would like kids to pick such projects and individually research and find topics of their interest.
You might have already tasted our friday food. We made lots of it, the only condition was that whosoever wants to eat, had to help in the making of til gud ladoo. Kids made different shapes, big spheres, small spheres, cube, mickey mouse head, modak and poop shapes. It was fun and there aren’t too many nuisances to it. It is as simple as it can get. We put the ingredients one by one, mixed it, rolled it and ate it.
That’s all for now. We will leave you with these thoughts by J Krishnamurti.
“True education is to learn, how to think and not what to think.”