Category: school

Man maketh the clothes #MondayMusings

Man maketh the clothes #MondayMusings


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A few weeks back I attended the investiture ceremony at my niece’s school. There she was, right in the front, in her spotless white salwar-kurta, her hair in a neat little bun, a smart cap on her head. My heart filled with incredible pride as I watched her march by and accept the head girl sash.

Her salwar-kurta reminded me of my school days. Till we were in class ten we had uniforms – a sky blue blouse with the school initials in a beautiful cursive on the pocket, neatly tucked into a matching sky blue skirt. I still think of it with happy nostalgia perhaps because school was my absolute happy place. Also, that sky blue was so very different from the white, grey and navy of all other schools. We were ‘different’ and that somehow translated as ‘better’ in our young minds. We were a cut above the rest and that uniform was an inherent part of the feeling.

In class eleven, the school did away with uniforms since we were now technically in Junior College and we were free to wear whatever we wanted. That was our first taste of freedom – freedom to wear our own personalities, our first tentative steps in the world of ‘fashionable’ wear.

And yet, so in love we were with that uniform, that a bunch of us continued to wear it at least few days every week. It seems strange now. Why would one choose a uniform, that of a junior class, when one could pick simply anything from the wardrobe? But we did just that.

By the time my sister got to junior college the no-uniform rule was gone and the girls were given a cream and blue salwar-kurta ensemble. How everyone resented that! First there was the whole idea of a uniform and then this – no smart skirts, but this shabby shapeless thing.

Even my classmates and I, who were by now in Colleges and Universities across the country, hated the thought of girls from our alma-mater wearing that ‘behenji’ dress. It somehow diluted our cool-quotient, or so we believed.

How very wrong we were, thought I with the wisdom that comes with age. I looked on as my niece accepted the flag from last year’s office bearers and delivered the Thank You speech. She did so with amazing flair. The way she marched, the way she spoke, the way she carried herself, I barely noticed her clothes, nobody did. All we saw was an accomplished young girl, solemn and earnest, eager to shine in the new role she was being entrusted with.

She completely rocked that salwar-kurta!

In that moment I realised how stupid we were and I was so so proud of the level-headedness of this new generation that wears the LBD with just as much panache as the salwar-suit.

Clothes are after all, just an enhancement of our inner selves, nothing more. Mark Twain was way off the mark when he said Clothes maketh the man; definitely not true for young women, not any more.

 

Linking up with #MondayMusings at Everydaygyan

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Parents’ guide to basic vocabulary

Dear parents,

The other day I was at a programme put up by the children in school. By the end of it I found just three or four parents watching it with me. The rest had either walked out already or were milling around near the exit.

For some reason that got me all worked up. I thought it was rude and impertinent. This one is for the ‘walkouters’ – a basic vocabulary guide.

To begin with, there’s this word in the English Dictionary – ETIQUETTE. Here’s what it means, and I quote: the customary code of polite behaviour in society.

You understand that? Obviously not. Had you understood even the E of Etiquette you would have known that it is rude to get up and leave in the middle of a performance, however small, however informal, however inconsequential.

You might of course have urgent business to attend to, you’re an uber busy person I know, and you have the right to leave. However, in such a case you might want to sit at the back so you can leave UNOBTRUSIVELY – you do know what that means, right? Leave in a way that is not conspicuous. Got it?

So as I was saying, you might want to leave without disturbing the tiny handful who do know what etiquette is. It is only polite to show some CONSIDERATION, another word that’s strange to you I presume. It means kindness and thoughtful regard for others. You might like to exhibit some kindness towards this tiny lot by not stepping on their toes as you walk out gushing over the performance of the apple of your eye.

There does exist, of course, the possibility of sudden unforeseen and urgent business coming up. However, chances of such business cropping up right after your own child’s two bits are done is rather remote.

There’s another word that might interest you, called DECORUM. It means behaviour in keeping with good taste and propriety. You might want to understand that word because chances are the D word is among one of the things you hope your ward will learn at school. Well how about practicing it yourself first? Or is it, that once you’ve written out that fat fee cheque you think you are absolved of all responsibility of teaching anything at all to your child? Least of all by example?

He is watching you, and learning from you remember that. So, I suggest, when you set out from home bring along with you a bagfull of PATIENCE, that’s the capacity to accept or tolerate because, the thing is, when you are invited to watch a show at the children’s school, you are invited to watch the ENTIRE show – the complete show, you understand?

Oh we know you are busy people, the rest of us of course have nothing to do but if we sat through your child’s performance it is only fair, that you sit through that of ours, that’s called RECIPROCITYthe practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. (Oh and by the way let me clarify that one of my child wasn’t in the show at all while the other one was done way before the end.)

If you cannot spare that one hour how about letting your ward perform exclusively for you right at home? That way there’s no trouble for anyone. Brilliant idea, eh? I knew you’d agree.

Lastly, you do have the option to simply BEG OFF the occasion which means to gain permission to be excused from. Do that. Don’t come. So that the rest of us can enjoy the programme in its entirety.

Thank you,

A jobless watcher of school programmes and maker of unnecessary lists.

 

Although its parents I’ve spoken of, we stumble upon such people almost every day. So tell me which are the ones that get your blood boiling?

 

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Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

Ensuring Your Child’s Safety in School

Ensuring Your Child’s Safety in School

Today I host a special guest on my blog. She’s an author, a blogger and a mom. We first connected through her book We Will Meet Again, which I read and loved. We went on to bond over more books and of course parenting. Meet Tarang Sinha.
 
Tarang is a freelance writer and author of We Will Meet Again, a mature love story. Her writing has appeared in magazines like Good Housekeeping India, Child India, Woman’s Era, New Woman and Alive. Her short story, Dilemma, has been published in a bestselling anthology, Uff Ye Emotions 2Her supernatural short story, It Rained That Night, is available on Juggernaut Books. She is an avid reader and blogs @tarangsinha.blogspot.in.
The last few years have seen an alarming number of incidents where the safety of children in schools has been compromised. While the onus of ensuring that the school is a safe haven for each child remains on the authorities, Tarang here, talks about what we can do as parents to keep our child safe.

 

That day I wasn’t feeling well, so my husband went to pick our toddler from the play school. The school was within walking distance  – purposefully chosen. It was I who (dropped/) picked our child from the school every day. The teachers had never met my husband.

Although it was his father who was going to fetch our child, I was feeling jittery. How would the teacher’s react? Would they refuse to hand him over to my husband? They would definitely make a call to confirm. I thought.

After a few minutes, my husband got back with our happy child. I was disappointed and displeased. It was irresponsible of them! The next day I broached the question. The answer I received left me dumbfounded.

‘He looked like S’s father,’ the teacher said sheepishly.

I mean, really?

I changed the school.

The recent incident at Ryan International School is scary, heart-wrenching and infuriating! It seems there’s no order and security. A similar case was reported (in a different wing of the same school) last year too.

School is a place where children spend a large part of their day, so it is very important to ensure that they’re in safe and responsible hands. Apart from government initiatives and efforts by schools, we, parents, need to be alert and aware about our child’s safety.

Tight security

It’s important to check if the school has a good level of security system. The current school my son goes to, issues two guardian’s identity cards and it is mandatory to show up with that card at the time of dispersal.

Observe if the security guard questions strangers entering the premises.

Verified Staff

Security guards and ayahs should be skilled, caring and verified. Check if your school gets their police verification done.

Safe transport service

This is a thing I dread the most, sending children to school in the school bus. It is convenient, I know, but parents should keep a few things in mind when using school bus for transportation:

  • Trained (and at least one female) attendants on the bus.
  • You must have the name and phone number of the driver/conductor
  • The driver/attendant must have parent’s record with phone numbers
  • You must have the number of the vehicle

Making Your Child Aware

‘He who knows others is wise; who knows himself is enlightened: Lao Tzu’ Click To Tweet

Your child stays away from your doting arms and anxious eyes for a long time. It is important for him to be independent and aware.

  • Make her/him aware of good touch and bad touch
  • Encourage him to share. Talk. Ask about his day in school every single day, no matter how busy you are.
  • Teach him how to behave; how arrogance and violence are unbecoming.

For Child’s Mental and Emotional Well Being

There are several cases where children experience mental/emotional torture in schools but they hesitate to share it, maybe because of fear or shame, or lack of openness from parents. Keep a watchful eye for any striking changes (they may turn into a recluse or may behave aggressively) in your child’s behavior.

If you notice any sudden change in his behaviour, talk to him/her. Do not hesitate to discuss your concern with your child’s class teacher or even the principal. Notice if they’re friendly and approachable.

Possible causes for mental trauma

  • Abusive behaviour of teachers or any other school staff
  • Sexual harassment
  • Bullying

Communicate with you child

  • Never avoid if he says something objectionable about the school/staff/schoolmates.
  • In the parent-teacher meeting don’t just talk about your child’s academic improvement. Mention if you have any concern regarding school management.
  • Show your interest in your child’s friends. Talk to them when they visit. It’s not just about courtesy. You must know who your child’s friends are.

Tips to make your child comfortable so that he/she doesn’t hesitate to share his/her feelings

  • Don’t pester him with your urgency. Give him some time but watch him silently.
  • Keep your tone and approach friendly. Being stern would create a distance.
  • Share your own childhood stories and tell him how you made some silly mistakes. It will encourage him to open up.
  • Agree with his thoughts for now. Make him understand later.

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Have you ever faced issues with security at your child’s school? What did you do? Share with us.

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Bodyguard – A #Review

The Bodyguard – A #Review

Book Title: The BodyguardAuthor: Ruchi Singh I was eager to pick this one up as I had read Jugnu, by the same author and loved it. The premise was deliciously different and the cover was enticing. What’s not to like with a brave strong heroine and a rich handsome hero in a sort of role-reversal? That’s […]