Examination Pep Talk

We all have had them. We all have faced them. We all have studied for them. I am talking about
examinations.

As a student in a regular school with a common education system, I also have to face many examinations. An examination is nothing but a huge compulsory test to determines our educational future. They are always stressful.

For examinations, you have to study a lot. A lot in the sense that you have to study 23 hours a day. My
final examinations are coming up on 25th February. I am anxious for my test, but I don’t usually think that I am because I believe in one thing – What will happen will happen for the best.

I can’t change the future, nor can I let the fear of failing take over me and knock me down to the ground. Don’t get me wrong – examinations are important but you shouldn’t be afraid of them because letting fear take control is as bad as failing.

Let me explain with a few examples:

  1. When you join a new school and are scared of embarrassing yourself, you will keep thinking
    about it and soon, you will.
  2. If you go for a job interview and are scared of stammering, you will keep thinking about it, and
    not concentrate and will end up stammering.
    Having fear is okay, but letting your fear take over you is not.

Monthly Special #7

Students Don’t Spend Enough Time Reading Books

These days students don’t spend enough time reading books. There are too many diversions in the form of digital media. They want to do everything like watch sports, plays games, catch some movies, but reading is not a popular hobby. While all other activities are good but too much doesn’t allow time for reading.

Reading is important. It increases skill in a particular language. It improves concentration. It expands vocabulary and makes one learn and think of new things. Reading is fun because it is like a movie going on in your head. It is a special tool to develop imagination.

Reading is not popular among children. This is the problem but there should be a solution, right?  I have two ideas to share-

  1. Schools can start mandatory Reading Clubs for all students. Students can read for 30 minutes, weekly. At the end of the month, they will summarize the book they have read and share their thoughts.
  2. Communities can start Book Exchange programs, where people of all ages can trade and donate books for others to read.

Neighborhood Animals

We can’t go outside due to COVID-19. Maybe we can but we have some social restrictions. As we rarely went outside during the lockdown, birds and animals in the neighborhood thought this is the same as when there were no homo sapiens. They believe they had the whole world to themselves or maybe they need to check on us, humans. I have observed this change in my housing society area, too.

The first change I observed was with the pigeons 🐤. They are roosting in our Air Conditioners and used one of our plants as their nest! Read more about this story by clicking “here”. Then, there are the bees. I can see a big beehive in the apartment across mine. And the bees🐝 hover into our balcony garden and even stung my mom once. My mom was in pain but she said the bees are good beings; they are needed for pollination. She is happy to see some butterflies, too, and we are seeing a few other birds, like sparrows.

The second change was – monkeys 🐒. That’s right – you read it correct. Our society is built where there was once a forest. When the monkeys noticed that the society was partially empty, during the lockdown, they took over. Some new vegetable and fruit shops had opened inside our society and the monkeys had a gala time, every morning. I even came across a family of monkeys eating bananas and the baby monkey was very cute. Children tried to play with the baby monkey but the adults scolded them as the mummy monkey could have attacked them to protect its little one.

I like cute dogs but I am also afraid of street dogs 🐶. While cycling, I parked my bike in a corner to take a walk. When I went back to get my cycle, I heard barking. I looked back and found a dog near my cycle. I left it there and asked by father to help me get my cycle out. It was a very scary experience. Sometime back a few people took the stray dogs and left them in an open space far away from the society. It was not that far away though! The entire family found its way back into our society.

Do you know, when it rains, we even have snakes 🐍 in the society garden area! A couple of years back, snake charmers were called in to catch a few cobras. We even had a video taken.

My mother says, when humans encroach about forests and open areas, and build houses, it spoils the natural habitat for these animals. Last year, close to our society, a fishing cat 🙀 was seen. It was all over the news. We did not go out to play because it could climb over the walls and injure the children. Many other states have reported seeing leopards in villages, and busy roads, and captured them on camera!

Has the animal kingdom also come too close to you for comfort? Comment down below.

The Re-Beginning of My School

My school recently started again after the winter vacations (That literally lasted just 13 days) and I was really nervous for school. I started thinking what could happen. Maybe I embarrass myself or join a class late. I was worried that I may wake up late as I slept until 10 in the morning during the holidays. I had submitted all my homework timely so I didn’t need to worry about that.

Exactly like the holidays, I slept late but my father woke me up by 8 which is exactly one hour before when my school start which was perfect. I got out of my bed by 8:10 and brushed my teeth. I made my daily milk in 15 minutes and drank it all in 5 minutes so the time was no 8:35. I opened my laptop and quickly had my bread and butter (I don’t like PB&J) and was ready for school by 8:50. I fiddled with my Rubik’s Cube and joined my class.

I said Hi to all my classmates and watched the videos my teacher was showing. It was nice. Then, I proceeded onto my next class at 9:40. It was Western Dance. I was really excited as we were starting a new song. I was even more excited as it was “Mic Drop” from BTS. I danced to it and sprained my ankle. Then it was my English class in which we discussed a poem. It was then Math, in which I actually showed a lot of energy. Then, in the lunch break, I basically just wandered around my house.

After lunch, it was the Sports class, we learnt about Table Tennis and the forehand drive (which I still can’t do). After that was Science, in which we had to bring batteries (which ma’am called cells and then I was afraid she asked for Human Cells). In Hindi, we had to show our Holiday Homework.

After all this, I’d give the first day of school an 8/10 and 4⭐.

My Laptop Camera

I had a problem with my Laptop’s Cam – even though my laptop was brand new. The camera was working fine but after a Windows 10 upgrade it stopped. This problem had been reported by a lot of people so we thought it was a software issue. We even formatted the laptop and tried from the scratch. 

For my Half Yearlies, we had to have a plan for the camera was to be on. My parents found an external camera (which was 10 years old) from Lenovo. It worked quite fine for time and it also had a zoom wheel- which was great. 2 months later, it stopped working- like my computer couldn’t take it. It was throwing warning signs from time to time, such as blue screens and restarts.

Well, for PT II exams, we ordered another camera from a company called “Zebronics” which had a weak clip but was much modified. In fact it did not arrive on time so I had to take a couple of tests while on a phone camera. The Zebronics camera worked fine but somedays the audio wouldn’t work. My father was convinced that the laptop needed to go to the HP workshop.

At last, during my winter break, we called HP for help and they tried their best – they changed the camera on day 1, then the camera wire on day 2, and finally the man from HP took the laptop to the service center. He got the motherboard changed, and the camera started working. It was win after 3 months – and now I hope all will be well.

The Best Tips If You’re Going to The Mall

After we went to the mall on New Year’s Eve, I realized I needed a checklist to remember what to carry with me on a trip to the mall. My favourite character, Young Sheldon, also carried a backpack for his visit to the mall but my backpack contains a different set of items than his.

You should always carry an emergency backpack when you’re going to the mall. Here’s what you can keep in it and why –

  1. Extra mask – If your original mask gets dirty.
  2. A bottle of Sanitizer- If you have to clean your hand and there’s no washroom nearby.
  3. Handkerchief – It’s never wrong to dry your hands after washing or clean your face after a meal.
  4. Water – Your own so that you don’t need to buy a plastic one.
  5. Food – If you get hungry and its not time for a meal yet. I mostly recommend cookies in the maximum quantity of 10-15.
  6. Tissue/Toilet Paper – In case you gotta go “No.2” and there’s no TP. Also handy to use in place of a handkerchief, though not environmental friendly.
  7. If you’ve come to watch a movie – Your movie ticket – There’s no safer place other than your backpack for your movie ticket. But these days most tickets are on the phone, so may be you can skip this one.
  8. A pack of gum/mint – If you’ve had onions in your meal.
  9. If you’re a kid -Toys- Only if you think that you’ll get bored while the adults talk.
  10. Your phone – Your phone is actually much safer in your bag than in your pocket as it has lesser/no chances to fall out. Keep it in your pocket if you use it regularly.
  11. Your medicines – It’s good to have a few handy medicines, like my mother always keeps headache medicine.
  12. Your favorite book – Just to read while doing something else like waiting for someone.
  13. An extra box for food – It’s not nice to waste food and if you have left overs you can keep in your own box instead of wasting packaging material.
  14. A plastic bag – If any of the item has a 1% chance of messing up your bag. You can also use the polythene to cover up the inside of your bag.
  15. Your pencil box- If you want to draw something or write something 📝.
  16. A handy-dandy pocket notebook- It’s something you can draw/write on📝.

But who’s going to the mall this year, not me!

Monthly Special #6

New Year’s Eve – 2020

It was a wonderful day, cold enough to for up our glass doors covered with beautiful curtains. I got out of bed, opened my bed, opened the curtains, and started writing my initials on the glass door using the fog. I brushed my teeth, ate my breakfast, and sat, thinking about mountains and the snow. I really wish it snowed where I stay.

I wore the shoes I’d gotten at Christmas and went ahead for cycling. It was foggy so I only cycled for 45 minutes. My lunch was super delicious- chicken drumsticks with Indian bread and paneer.

The day was great, and to my surprise, we went to the Shipra Mall, in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. I bought some donuts, and my parents bought rose wine.

Suddenly, I remembered that I had my coding class so we rushed back home. I was really scared that I’d get late for my class so to distract myself, I made a few resolutions-

  1. I will finish reading 5 books in a week.
  2. I will write regularly on my blog and get more followers.
  3. I will get good marks in all of my exams.

I really was happy and even more happy when I had pizza for dinner. I stayed up all night and when the clock hit 12:00, I went out into the balcony and felt a sudden change in temperature. Turns out, it was the beginning of coldest temperature in 15 years in Uttar Pradesh with a freezing temperature of 1.1 ℃. And so began a whole new decade after we ended New Year’s Eve of 2020, joyfully.

The Nature Trek (In the Pandemic)

You may have read my blog about how I miss travelling due to the pandemic. We are even afraid to out in our neighborhood and are just staying inside. After Diwali, I have started cycling again and on 26th December, my parents decided to visit a bird sanctuary (The Okhla Bird Sanctuary), very close by to our house.

I was excited and we reached there around lunchtime. Luckily, for us, there was not much crowd. We saw a beautiful lake or rather a barrage of the Yamuna river, nestled within the high rise of our city. There was a nice sunshine and a variety of water fowl in the distance. I saw a kingfisher, too. But, I was disappointed as I was hoping to see many birds.

My parents explained that early morning is the best time for seeing birds. Bird-watching is a hobby requiring patience. I have read that we need to sit quietly in a shed and watch the birds with binoculars and refer to books with pictures about birds.

We walked within the sanctuary and after so many months, my smartwatch logged a 5 km (3.10 miles) walk. It was nice to stretch one’s legs and breathe in the fresh air. I was glad it was a winter walk because the snakes of the sanctuary were in hibernation.

While I may not have seen many birds, I realized one need not go to far to be with nature or discover a new place. There are hidden gems in our city, too. We just need to find time to discover them.