Runnels of emails, homesick boys, spring turning into summer, tax returns and reams of documents for visas, Fluoxetine and P.I.E., the quiet out here has been getting real loud these past few weeks. As I type this blog post, the electricity is playing hide and seek, last night it hailed, I wonder if that caused some trip up in the grid.
This post is a tiny, yet significant little blip in the immense vastness of the internet, a tiny morse-code-like transmission to say, I’m alive and here are some quick updates.
I’ve been teaching English and Art full time at a school in North India and thinking about how education and children are our only hope.
Nelson Mandela said many many years ago that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, and I find myself agreeing with him even today in 2018. Being a teacher this past year has made me stop and ask myself a simple question. A perplexingly challenging and often annoyingly mysterious question. What is a good education?
Is a good education one where we help our students build a spirit of Leadership, one where their convictions are embedded in compassion, kindness, and responsibility? Is a good education one where we support our students to appreciate a spirit of Democracy nudging them to embrace a sense of equality, fair-mindedness, justice and a desire to do what is right for a better world? After all, what is an education if we aren’t creating men and women who will and can eliminate gender inequality, create a safer and greener planet, foster peace, and prevent anyone from feeling unwanted and unloved.
My 4th graders are reading The Little Prince, as a part of their English curriculum and we read this simple yet profound quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This quote really made me look deeper at my deep sadness, and it led me to ask for help. I’ve grown stronger only after I realised that asking for help takes courage and that receiving help takes humility.
“and now here is my secret, a very simple secret. it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”
I’ve found a particular affection and wonder for baking, again, and I’m getting better and better at it. Running cubes of butter into flour, playing with clouds of castor sugar, whisking eggs and sugar, greasing cake tins, spearing toothpicks into a hot cake, drizzling salted caramel to sooth a cool loaf of banana bread, frosting cupcakes, persuading sprinkles to stay put have all added a sense of purpose to my life.
I’ve been reading lots of little and large books. Pestering little, attention-seeking books.Reading, I’ve noticed has a way of seamlessly tieing in my passion for travelling and paranoia of travelling. Let me explain, the act of travelling fills me with dread; whereas the act of reading, alone, seated on Olivia, or in a cafe, with countless beverages to tide me through the host of emotions these books evoke, fills me with joy and peace, I get to travel through the world, both real and imaginary. Isn’t it astonishing how books have the sublime power to transport and transfer us, without the hassle of immigration checks and visas!
So, here I am at the beginning of yet another summer vacation. One which will see me travelling through Kashmir and Leh, Slovenia, Italy and Sri Lanka. I’m certain that my backpack will have snacks, books and medication! I promise to write more, and often. Until next time, here’s a merry little earworm that I’ve been in love with this past week!