Every dad is their daughter’s hero. The one person she admires the most. And I am always awestruck of my father- My “Daddy”. And I am proud to be his daughter, and like some people say, be his shadow.
A cab took me to the hotel from the airport. The hotel was expensive. My daily allowance for a long stay in Sydney was meager. I could not afford to have lunch in the hotel. It was 1 PM and I was hungry.
I told him very politely, “This country provides social security for the aged and the unemployed. Sir, would you be kind enough to tell me why you work so hard and how much you do earn for this hard work?” He listened and said, “It is OK.” I repeated the question and the reply was, “Just OK”. After some time, I asked him again, “We will never meet again and after returning to my country I want to compare the earning of a painter in my country for this work”.
* Touching other’s feet is considered as a method to show respect, convey regards and gratitude in the Indian culture.
Authored By : Dr.Swapan Haldar. This is a true incident from his own life. Dr.Haldar a professor at Presidency University and Calcutta University and author of many books on Mining and Geology. He is also a passionate story teller and believes in sharing his life experiences. We are honored to have him as one of our regular storytellers.
By Linda Urban
In A Crooked Kind of Perfect, 10 – year old Zoe Elias always dreams of playing the piano. Instead, her dad buys her a wheezy old organ. When she starts taking organ lessons everything isn’t turning out as she planned. Then Zoe enters the Perform-O-Rama competition and it’s full of surprises! Zoe Elias finds that things are better for her when they’re a little off perfect!
I loved A Crooked Kind of Perfect because I could relate to Zoe Elias. I am also 10 years old and I love playing the piano. Another thing that I liked was that Zoe was very optimistic. She was mad when her dad bought her the organ but she always kept her chin up. I found it lacking some suspense because the more suspense is better for me.
Because of Mr. Terrupt
By Rob Buyea
It’s a new school year of fifth grade at Snow Hill School for the kids and their teacher. Jessica, Peter, Alexia, Jeffrey, Luke, Daniella, and Anna are all having trouble fitting in and making friends. It seems like the only one who can deal with all these kids is Mr. Terrupt, their new fifth grade teacher. He makes it fun to learn for everyone and doesn’t tolerate misbehavior from anyone. Then a snowy winter accident changes everything.
I absolutely loved this book because there was a great combo of suspense and humor. Mr. Terrupt also has a great personality and he never wants anyone to feel uncomfortable.
Among the Hidden
By Margaret Peterson Haddix
Luke has never been to school, had a party, been over to a friend’s house, or even had a friend. This is all because he’s an illegal third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s spent his entire life in hiding and now that there’s going to be a development right next door he’s not even allowed to go outside. Once all his new neighbors move in, he sees a girls face in the window. Finally, he’s met another illegal third child. Jen is willing to risk it all for freedom but Luke just wants to play it safe. This book was very suspenseful, a bit scary, and I found it very sad. All the same, I enjoyed it very much. I found it sad to hear about how Luke had to live and scary with all their close encounters.
A Long Way From Chicago
By Richard Peck Joey
Dowdel and his younger sister, Mary Alice Dowdel are not happy to be leaving the city of Chicago to go visit their grandma in her sleepy old country town in Illinois. Then they learned that Grandma was as abnormal as people can get. Grandma takes Mary Alice and Joey on illegal fishing trips and uses her shotgun to threaten people.Joey and Mary Alice are now eager to go down to that sleepy old town! What will Grandma do next? I loved this book because it’s hilarious with all of Grandmas wild actions!
|Venant sitting in my office with his published research paper open on my desktop.|
It was spring of 2011, when I started teaching my second batch of students, the introductory biotechnology course at the community college in Baltimore. This batch of students was not as enthusiastic as my first batch. As a teacher, I love interacting with students, so when the students are quite, I still teach but it’s less fun.
The only student in this batch who talked, and talked a lot was Venant. He surely talked on behalf of all students. He had a lot of questions some general, some specific. He had comments and in nutshell he had a lot going on in his mind. He would even say sorry I keep asking a lot of questions, which I reassured him was quite ok. I was kind of new at teaching and he was kind of new in biotechnology so we might have been nervous yet excited in our own ways. The semester passed, he did well, I had a new batch, and things moved.
Being an adjunct, I did not have much chance to follow up with my earlier batch of students. So I met him just by chance in a training workshop, which I was helping conduct and there he was as a student assistant. I asked him how he was doing and he said “terrible”, he had not gained much confidence in lab work and the big question in his mind was “Can I do it” and “Is biotech for me”.
I think it’s important to mention here that Venant was associated with a number of careers including journalism, films and more. Clearly he was here for love of science and now it was not working out for him. I just despised, to see this young man who has changed several careers questioning himself yet again. I told him just one thing, I think I have the solution to your problems and you just have to trust me on that.
Fast forward a year later, I was working full time in the college and Venant was back in my class for two weeks in a brainstorming workshop in cold winter of January of 2012. He was the same guy, with lots of questions but with a big question mark about himself. He had tough time paying bills and nothing seemed too sure. When we did the workshop, I made sure from my end that I let him know how capable he was and how he did not recognize his own talents and how with practice on lab work he would be just very good. At the end of workshop, there was a change. I told him lets move from “Can I do it” to “I can do it”. He sort of agreed to it.
I soon placed Venant in a lab for an internship though despite all apprehensions and within a few days to his surprise, his supervisor planned to hire him. The confidence, the pay and the job got it all together back for him. One day Venant came to me and said” I have a problem”. I said to him “Now, what ?”. He told me he had got admission in a bachelor’s program in Medical Research and Technology at the University of Maryland Baltimore and he also had another offer of a research lab tech job and a potential scholarship at another university. I said to him these are good problems to have, when you get the option to pick what you want to do and we laughed about it.
Now 3 years later, Venant is about to graduate from his bachelors program to become a Medical Laboratory Scientist. He has finished his job after years of success and has a research paper with his name as first author. I think he found his passion, I think he found a respect for himself as a coveted alumini of our program, I think he found a way to believe in himself and to say to himself, I can cross all the hurdles and I can build a career for myself that I dreamed from my passion for Science. I think as a teacher he made me feel proud, proud of his questions, his journey and his future as well.
The picture above was taken once while Venant was in my office. He is aware that I am sharing his story with the world. We hope this story is an inspiration to many other students and also a motivation for many teachers around the globe.
Story Credit: Amrita Madabushi. Or rather Dr. Amrita Madabushi is one of our regular storytellers. She is also a teacher, an assistant professor at Baltimore City Community college. She has been passionate about science and teaching science all her life. This story reflects her love for science, teaching and story telling all at once.
Storytellers coming together over a cuppa had been a thing we wanted to do always. That is exactly what we did this morning. Some of us, the storytellers, got together in a virtual meeting room and had a conversation. A real conversation. Though just a few of us, it was not bad for the first time.
Stories are meant to be shared and not to be confined. Be a part of our story telling journey, share a story. Come chat with us over a cuppa. Like we always say – Stories inspire, stories touch hearts, stories help you retrospect, stories bring back memories and if not anything they most often make you smile.