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Saturday, April 26, 2014

F is for FISH is FISH



Last Friday, I went to the university library to hunt for a recipe on how to teach science for my kids in a better way. While in the process of revolving my eyeballs for the best shot to capture the perfect book, it accidentally happened to glimpse the lateral part of a book on the opposite shelf with the title How Students Learn: SCIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM.  
The title of the book was just enough to rape the whole share of my virgin attention on that cool morning. So, without wasting the time, with the book stuffed on my left palm, I tugged an empty chair standing vacant nearby. I followed my ritual of reading the blurb first to investigate whether my mind can release the verdict of acceptance in reading the book.
The blurb was capturing and mesmerizing though. It boasted the inclusion of voluminous pervasive scientific experiments and exciting utility of the book that can revitalize the effectiveness of science teaching within the four walls of the classroom.
Since then, I was not able to complete the marathon of reading the entire page. Hence, I switched to the content page and slipped off to the introduction page by coincidence. My eyeballs remain glued here again.         
The story titled ‘Fish is Fish’, which originally hails from Lionni (1970) was exposed with all flesh-and-blood. Here it goes:
In the story, a young fish is very curious about the world outside the water. His good friend the frog, on returning from the land, tells the fish about it excitedly.

“I have been about the world—hopping here and there,” said the frog, “and I have seen extraordinary things.”

“Like what?” asked the fish.

“Birds,” said the frog mysteriously. “Birds!” And he told the fish about the birds, who had wings, and two legs, and many, many colors. As the frog talked, his friend saw the birds fly through his mind like large feathered fish.
The bird as imagined by the fish    Photo Courtesy: Click the LINK

The frog continues with descriptions of cows, which the fish imagines as black-and-white spotted fish with horns and udders, and humans, which the fish imagines as fish walking upright and dressed in clothing 
Courtesy: Brandsford, John. & Donovan, M. (Eds). (2005. p 2). How Students Learn: SCIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM. Washington: The National Academies Press
The cow in the mind of a fish   Photo Courtesy: Click the LINK
Human being in the mind of a fish   Courtesy: Click the LINK
This story by Lionni (1970) resonates with rhythms of so many philosophical understandings and interpretations. It shares the similar views of the constructivists where they belief that new knowledge is only constructed based on the prior experiences and the ideas of an individual.
The poor fish (as revealed in the story) which has never in its life went out of the pond can only imagine the human walk in their form and a cow  with udders and horns in their form too. The fish has constructed these images based on its prior ideas and experiences which Jean Piaget (1896-1980), the founder of constructivism, coined it as schemata. Piaget firmly believed that our children learn through organization and schemas and construct their ideas through exploration. And philosophers like that of John Dewey and Vygotsky have also supported with the similar ideas of Piaget.
However there is another reason for me to love this story. It has a strong philosophical flesh hanging on the skeleton of this story. This story reveals the truth that our life is a fair game. What a frog can do easily is something that the fish finds it difficult to do. The frog can breathe outside the water but the fish can’t.
So, with this concept of superiority-inferiority imbalances, it gives me a thought whether my weakness is still a limitation to make me inferior than someone who can do it in a better way. Or does it mean that my strengths are really the true strengths to differentiate me separately from others?   
The moral in this story has honestly been a phenomenon that has affected my mind beyond compare. 

“People are always complaining that life’s not fair, but that simply isn’t true. Life is extraordinarily fair. It’s just not centered on you” – Lynn Marie Sager
 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

E is for Excusitis



For the last few days, I had been seriously suffering from an incessant cough of Paralysis Analysis. Due to its inevitable outbreak that prevailed for quite a longer span of time, I had to seal off even several of my professional works inside the envelope of procrastination.
It was terribly tough to grow under such circumstances, though I managed to break off its trouble-cocoon eventually. I found that when the load of works accumulated over the yoke of my brain and when all the works walked together to shake their hands with the dateline, it caused irresistible irritation and suffocation in my mind. The entire organs of my mind starts to get frozen, its hand become unstable and its eyeball rotate its circumference looking for the short cuts to complete all the works at once.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

D is for Destination Disease


I met my longtime childhood friend today in the chat. It was after a span of complete 14 years we met for the first time. Because he has used a strange name in his Facebook profile, I have omitted the friend request for several occasions on many grounds. I am reasonably allergic to entertaining strangers after few individuals injected me the lethal dose of mistrust and spams.

My friend and I exchanged the messages for almost an hour and half. Our talk grossly indicated like punching the refresh button only to excavate the reminiscences of the yesteryears.

Friday, April 11, 2014

C is for Cocktail Party Effect



Of late, I can see myself being consumed by so many thoughts that never transpired like this before. Unlike my childhood days, I have become incompetent beyond compare to brew my attention and focus it on one direction. And many times now, I have realized that even the slightest noise of my friend’s cough in the next room is enough to dissipate my concentration. Consequently, it has undoubtedly made me believe that one key organelle of my Cocktail Party Effect’ system has been impaired as a result of which the total system has collapsed fatally.
Coined by the English cognitive scientist Colin Cherry in 1953, ‘Cocktail Party Effect’ is a phenomenon in which a person is able to focus the attention on a particular stimulus among many other stimuli occurring at the same time. For instance, a person who is capable to listen to a single conversation inside a noisy party hall is one perfect analogy of this spectacle.
Besides, there is another setting that can help us understand more about this terminology.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

B is for Beginning of the End

One of my friend who works in Bhutan has asked me several times to send him a brand new cellphone from Bangkok. I did it a month ago. He was happy that I bought him the right brand that he described. 

But sadly, it has started to give a problem not withstanding even a month. I have instructed to send it back so that I can reach to the same shop. We still had one year warranty period whereby we can exercise our right to ask for either a replacement or reparation.  

I took the same phone to the same shop located in MBK, a giant electronic shopping mall in the heart of Bangkok city. I handed over the phone and described the problems to the owner. He hastily said that I can return to the shop after 20 minutes during which he can inspect and detect the problem.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A is for Analysis Paralysis



Life is not a dress rehearsal many say. But I am still a victim for not being able to chart this statement strictly although I am a firm believer of it.  
At this point of my life, where I am crammed with less time and more works in my menu, I just wish to have additional 24 hours on the face of my clock. I have thousand and one things to take along with me to cross the ‘bridge of finish’ and enter the end zone. And sometimes, in the process of hunting for the best key to unlock the door of solutions, I am often jammed without any space to move front or back. Hopelessly, I have to activate the process again, only to see myself still without a code to reach a bridge so that I can easily cross the river of these hurdles.
I am already engulfed by the tentacles of fear that this syndrome might consume my life down the line. I was never the same before.
Although, I do more walking than just talking and thinking, I am still found in the same basket without any change in color. Life has started off to be more hard and terrible for me because the best choices that I have at my disposal seemed to be the most expensive commodity. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"King Jigme" saved me from further Interrogation



In the class today, we were informed that there will be a mass demonstration of Red Shirts starting from tomorrow in the vicinity of our University campus. Consequently, we were warned to shut down any plans of moving out at least for this weekend.
Frankly speaking, ‘Protest’ is one word that always numb and paralyzes me with phobia succumbing to an extreme anxiety mode. Needless to mention about participating or observing it in reality, I haven’t heard of it anyway back in my country. Thanks to your Majesty the Kings!!! The heaven must have been stunned to discover that a small nation like Bhutan possessed king of kings.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Alphabetical Weak Week



All the days of this week
Brought agony to me at its peak
Computer screen, first, started to turn blank   
Displaying nothing, to be frank
Every small matters turned so big  
Friends came not to relief but dig
Gossip then gave off its nasty smoke  
Halting all my works to choke 

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