Thursday, February 16, 2012

Din 168: "Remain a beginner till the end."

I've missed this. I've missed the nervous excitement of just working. I just want to work and study, study and work, from 9 in the morning to 9 at night everyday. (Oh, wait, that's what the rest of my life is going to be.) I slept at midnight, got up at 9, didn't take my customary nap, and yet am feeling fresh as a daisy and jittery as a coffee addict.

After "calling it a night" last night, I spent another hour working on the Gyaan Ghar website. (Oops.)

This morning, I composed an email to a potential GG donor over breakfast. I then drafted a letter to GG Board Members as Dadi and I snacked on some kinnows from Nanaji's farm.

Before I knew it, it was time for class! It was wonderful, of course, to get reacquainted with all the students and have a chance to observe the teachers in action.

But what absolutely blew my day out of the water was a conversation I had with an eight-year-old student after class. Even if you have never clicked any of my hyperlinks before and never plan to click one again, please click here to read about this talk we had. I learned all about counseling at Sasha Bruce but never thought a child could open up like this. Manisha opened up like a flower.

I have done my best to paraphrase our conversation, though Manisha shared so much. One thing she revealed was that she really misses her best friend, who is out of town right now. I can certainly relate!

Later in the day, I met with another extraordinary young woman. Vandna, a sophomore, is our oldest student. During class, I had taken it upon myself to teach her English grammar. However, I soon deferred the duty back to Miss Gurpreet, as I've never learned the "future perfect continuous" tense in English, and didn't want to teach her incorrectly, big as my grammar ego might be. That's right -- Ratna ran into a grammar-related hurdle today! Anyway, Vandna and I met in the evening to discuss her college options: whether she should take a three-year computer engineering course straight after tenth grade or graduate twelfth grade before searching for a degree program.

The questions I asked her were simple.

What is your favorite subject? Why?
What is your dream job?
When you think of the perfect future for you, what do you imagine?

Her answers were precious.

Economics. It comes the easiest to me and I enjoy it.
I'm interested in accounts and banking.
I dream of my signature being required for some action to be taken. I imagine managing other people, and being able to do something for them.

So for now, it seems like the engineering course isn't the right fit for Vandna, but Dadi and I plan to meet with her family and her to discuss it further.

Back in my room, I received an email informing me that it is Daniel Kim's birthday! (The email was from Daniel Kim.) An optimissimum (*cringe*) diem natalem to Danny Boy, one of my best, wisest, and most intellectually unpretentious friends.

I've spent the last few hours catching up with Varlet #1 via email, helping Dadi beef up her Facebook profile, updating my various blogs, and writing Certamen questions. May my every day be this energetic and energizing.

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