Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Tired.

Yes I'm tired.
My long lazy mornings have been replaced with work.
My mom works at the Centre for Special Education located in our school campus, I've mentioned this before. When my exams ended, I'd asked her to call on me if any of the classes were short-handed.
Two weeks into my vacation, just when I was settling into the lazy morning routine, she tells me I'm needed.
So I start at Maushi's class, cluelessly teaching 3rd grade math to kids who are bout 9 or 10. But Maushi's class always has more than enough help, so I switch to Tina's class.
Tina's class has about 7 kids, 6 of whom are autistic, 1 of whom has behavioural problems.
Mornings are taken up by language classes, where everyone goes to the front and answers questions about themselves...with a lot of prompting.
Then Tina has a different lesson every day, yesterday it was fruits, the day before that it was opposites. Heavy and light, big and small.
Then is break (by the time all this is over, it's 10.30) and all the teachers and volunteers settle down to chat as the kids eat.
After that starts work for me. Functional academics. Like, English, Math and all. Really simple stuff. But with these kids, you never know. Sometimes they work fast. Sometimes it takes an eternity, They stare blankly at you while you prompt and prompt and in your head you're begging them to tell you the answer because they KNOW it and you KNOW they know it......
But it's fun work. It's better than uselessly lying around at home.
A couple of days ago, I had to use these foam shapes to teach math to someone. They were rather tempting to play with....





Meanwhile, yesterday was mom's birthday. We normally try new restaurants on birthdays, this time we landed at a place called Kargeen, very well known, but none of us had ever been there, because we thought it was mostly arabic food and sheesha.

Yeah right.

Firstly, it's a beautifully done outdoor place, almost like a fantasy at night, with glass lanterns and strings of lights, a fountain and trees. The food is OUT of this world. I ordered a Philadelphia sandwich, Mushrooms and cream and onions in a baguette, and had a tough time finishing it, it was so so so good....

I must go back there sometime...

wowie.

Also meanwhile, I'm reading Doctors by Erich Segal. Read it, it's brilliant.

12 comments:

ki said...

Hey! You're doing some good work man... :)

And Doctors is one of my fave reads. Have fun finishing it. :)

Akshaya said...

hey yeah doctors is amazing ....all the more reason never to go for medecine :-) !!!!

Jack said...

Mystique,

I really appreciate good work you are doing to teach challanged children. May I request you to always keep those who are less fortunate than us in mind and do something for them.

Take care

Janani said...

i want it...........give it to me when ur done with the book...............

Quicksilver said...

Wow. Teaching was something I always dreamt of doing. Enriching and rather satisfying at the end of the day, don't you think?
Looks good on your CV too.

Sakshi said...

So nice...!!! Great work. Btw- Doncha Love Eric Segal... I love his books...

Espèra said...

Wow. I wouldn't know how to do anything with them!
And I'd get frustrated very easily too. And I have those coloured things too! Although I've never managed such pretty stuff. It's called Rangometry, right?
[mine was, at least.]

Mystique said...

2 ki: thanks! and yes, doctors was great.

2 aksh: hahahha so so true.

2 jack: Thanks...

2 jan: but you see, it's not mine.

2 quicksilver: tiring, too.

2 sakshi: awwwwww

2 espera: yes!!! Rangometry!!! :D

Poison said...

We were told to read doctors just cause we're in a bio section. Sheesh. I rebelled and didn't read it.
But my friend did, and though its a love story, the love story doesn't begin until near the end of the book.

Mystique said...

2 Poison: yup, the love only starts at the end. And it's not too much, it doesn't take over the story.

Perakath said...

On a re-read, the language in Doctors begins to seem impossibly stilted and stuffy. Most Erich Segals are like that, actually. IMHO.

Anuj said...

So what's it like to actually interact with such kids?

I mean, I got some idea from your post but I really want to know more.

I wonder if I can use technology to automate and optimize their learning experience. Think about it instead of using physical shapes with the help of a physical teacher we could for example place the shapes on the table and guide the child through voice interaction. What I am thinking is basically vision processing mixed with probability. I want the program to see the response from the students and optimize itself and what it is teaching accordingly. So with something like this you'll have one to one interaction with a machine of course, but in the long run I think that humanization of the machine is possible and we'll see something like this emerge.

Sorry if I didn't make sense.

P.S. - I would love to volunteer someday when I am in your vicinity. For now if you have any IT related tasks then drop me a mail and I'll help you out.

P.P.S. - You really shouldn't give so many personal details out on the internet, you never know where the next stalker is lurking do you?