Inching towards the finish line…

Chadhti lehrein laang na paye kyun haapti si naav hai teri, naav hai teri…

Tinka tinka jod ke saansein kyun haapti si naav hai teri, naav hai teri

Ulti behti daar hai behri, daar hai behri

This has pretty much my state for the past few weeks…. A lot has been happening in the past few days, not all of it has been pleasant :). Well, to start with we are coming to the end of this academic year, so there are THE exams. I seem to be more worried about how the report cards are going to look than the kids. They’re just there, chattering, laughing, coming to school, enjoying their ice-gola and practicing for the EOY event. But this is as good as it gets with second graders, I mean, seriously they are 6 – 7 year old kids, how serious do you expect them to be about exams. I don’t think I even remembered exam dates and stuff back in second grade.

So anyway, but unfortunately since I’m not six year old anymore, I have work to be done. Plans <and their execution> for the revision schedules and giving out homework/test sheets and grading them everyday. Also the tenth standard SSC exams are on; so all schools function only from 7:15 to 9:45 AM. And this short, a teaching duration doesn’t even qualify to be called a toilet break; so I’ve moved my entire class to the extra class room from 10 to 12 PM. It’s an everyday adventure, holding this extra class. I have to smuggle almost 30 kids out of my class on the first floor to this non-descript unused room on the outskirts of the school. This room is a plain empty room with a thatched roof. It has no chairs, no benches, nothing. There is only one trouble with this: too much freedom of movement, too much space. :) Now we have to be very careful about the noise levels there, as there are cops on the school ground taking care of security during exam hours, this is typically 10:30 – 2:30 PM. Of course, my kids don’t get the logic to why they can’t raise their usual racket and why we have to study in such a hush-hush manner. They are terribly disappointed about being literally so close to the school ground and still never getting to play there. Add to that the zillion toilet-breaks proposed by them….. <of course, all of them are politely disposed as the toilet happens to be next the school>. The thing is that toilet breaks are like a walk in the park for little boys, <Trust me, girls are a lot better or rather sincere> they go stroll round, pick up a few stones, and throw them here and here. So just managing to teach these restless tiny things and keeping them engaged until 12 PM has been quite a task. And Pune getting so awfully hot definitely isn’t helping the cause.

After that, i.e. the school hours and the extended extra class hours, we have been practising for the play and the dance. Needless to say, I’m taking care of the play. :) I don’t want to scar the kids for life by dancing in front of them unless it’s “The Chicken Dance” <That masterpiece performance of mine happens to be an evergreen hit with the 1st and second graders :)>. Anyway, so naturally the dance practices are happening in the only room we have, the extra class room…while the play kids are practicing under a tree outside school. So the initial two and a half weeks of practices have been quite Ok. There are 22 kids in this play enacting an 8 page script. The first couple of days were spent just reading through the script, now we’ve gradually moved to the expressions and emoting part. As slow and tiring the climb was, we are now at a place where kids are reading their lines pretty well.

Amidst all this, I was….well, I’ve been showcasing the worst of my health status for the last ten days. The story was quite simple, I rejected food for two days straight and then food decided to reject me for the next four days. This led to a series of unfortunate events which seemed to have come to an end now. Hence, the absence from this space and any activity in general.

So the event, our EOY performance is on 26th March 2011. With just about a week to go, there is so much to be done…the invitations, light and sound arrangements, seating arrangements for parents and staff, costumes for kids, play sets and backdrops. And of course, amidst all this, the kids will write the TFI EOY exams and we have to grade them and submit the final scores on all subjects before 27 March.

I found the song from Udaan that I’ve started this post with on a webpage that regularly contributes to my quote file. I loved it and listened to it in an endless loop yesterday. It starts off on a relatively low note and by the time it ends there is a lot of positivity and a very determined hope to win.

Udh ja ban ke dhoop ka panchi, chuda ke gehri chaon, andheri chaon, andheri

I really hope that March 2011 ends on an equally high note for the kids and us <the teachers>. There is great sense of pride and joy in practicing hours every day for something and then showcasing it together as a team on the d-day. I see that excitement growing in the kids. They are helping each other with practicing dialogues and intonations, they are reading the scripts at home, and the parents are coming from such faraway distances to pick the kids up after practices. They are putting in so much into this and I really hope the kids and parents leave that day, on that evening….. feeling absolutely awesome. :)


5 thoughts on “Inching towards the finish line…

  1. Chaitra, Talking about Tranquil Chaos, you just described it to perfection. As a teacher, you really have your hands full, but “smuggling” kids into an unused room sounds like a first to me. Between exams and the performance, plus teaching and your own family, I’m not surprised that you were ill – stressed out seems more like it.

    I’m amazed you had time to blog and update your readers. Good luck with the performance and the exams. Hope you can relax afterwards.

    • Penelope, this is a first for me too….but the thing is that our school is a low-income pvt school, there is always resource crunch, be it teachers or the space to teach.

      So “smuggling” is just because if the cops were to complain about any noise, our classes and practices could be shut down altogether. :)

  2. 1. You need to take care of your health,… I know you wont care about you OWN health but do it for the class…
    2. I am missing the play but I am sure with your newfound technmical acumen, you will post a video.. That will work…
    3. This song has been my fav ever since Udaan music was released. he main reason was amit Trivedi.. But the lyrics was the reason I clinged on…

    • @Shikha : Never. The age limit for viewing this content is below 7 years. See, because they have the attention+memory span of a fish.

      @ Anagha : I’m trying to get hold of a volunteer photographer. So yeah, hopefully it’ll be up for viewing. And this song is phenomenonal….beautiful lyrics.

      Also, looks like the the bullet points are here to stay :D

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