Day 74: Teaching sisters-to-be

I miss the Thursday escapades in Bethany Special School. Since we’ve completed our planned two month stint there, we moved to a different assignment and as my luck would have it, we’re off to teach Computer literacy to a group of Sisters and nuns in training. Remember the punctuation first meeting?

From get go, I was shocked at how disorganized the whole thing was, because SrA was more concerned about building up the paper pile than getting work done. We eventually started, 30minutes late, and I realized that we had a task ahead of us. Some of these girls, sorry sisters, were touching a keyboard and a mouse for the first time in their lives. We had to start from pointing to the parts of a computer and move up.

They were all extremely eager to learn and keen. They listened to us like children and giggled when they had a word typed. The little pleasures of being a teacher were clear.

There’s a definite cracking between SrA and me, and that is showing by the day. I could sense a lot of the disconnect through the session, and it was obvious that A would be the meat and us the bun. SrA and I are clearly poles apart. She’d sweet talk anybody to get a favor; I’ll dig my own grave by calling a spade just that. She uses her religion as a handicap to procure little goodies along the way; it’s that system of unwarranted reservation that irks me about our policies. She will sit back and let another do her job for her; my self-respect would rather have me pull a nightouter than have another do my job. Poles apart.

You and I are also poles apart, S. I like to laze and relax, while you like to steer that wheel and zoom by. And yet, we’re good pals, no? Maybe SrA can be the shower to your doglife!” Scotch 


Day 68: Punctuation

Our next series of teaching practicum is with a bunch of girls “learning” to be sisters and nuns. We’re specifically teaching them computer literary, because it’s a critical skill for them to be successful as sisters of God in the future. Forgive my sarcasm in describing the assignment; after spending two months with the Special school at Bethany, I’m a little let down by the assignment to serve such a small, narrowly focused and limited group. My professional ethics will ensure that I give this project my utmost and some more. But, I’m convinced that the ulterior motive attached to the assignment will make it an unsatisfactory experience. Only time will tell if some major life transformations are due in the next four weeks with them.

It’s a group of 13 young girls, mostly in their early 20s, and from as far off states as Jharkhand, Bharti, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh. As a part of their nunning efforts, they are all at a convent near the Uni, specifically to learn English. We spent an hour with the group, learning their current skills in computers, what they would like to learn and why, and we received some very varied responses.

  • They all like the color pink
  • Some could barely state a two-sentence introduction about themselves before their control of the language became a barrier
  • They all started life like regular kids, learning computer science in school to become engineers, before God beckoned to them
  • A number of them described each other as being ‘Happy person’
  • “I want to learn whatsapp and Facebook”, a few said
  • A girl described the one to her left as ‘She is very punctuation’. I am torn between gaging the effectiveness of their English lessons while also contemplating if they really need this foreign language to survive in their line of work.

Here’s to four weeks of a different kind of teaching practicum.

OK, OK. Four weeks of a new kind of rant, eh? Nom, Nom, nom!” Scotch