Our Love Story – A Book Review

I’ve been reading a lot of romance this month, some good and others terrible. This one was one of the good ones and I’m so glad I read it.⠀

Veronica is tired of failing in the B-town, of being sexually harrassed and of letting down her single mother and siblings. She is about to call it quits, to commit suicide, when Aditya Bakshi walks into her life. He saves her, makes her a star. They fall in love and everything is perfect when something terrible happens. Aditya had his secret and now it is out. ⠀

This book was tragic, real and very beautiful. It was not your average Mills and Boon or one of those steamy romances. This was a slow burn, it was a story of sacrifice and chastity. Very different from what I usually read. ⠀

The characters were very well developed. Veronica and Aditya had layers and so did their family members. I suspect that one of the last pages had a cameo appearance of one of the protagonists from the author’s previous work but I cannot be sure ( this was the first of his works that I read).⠀

The language was easy to read and engaging. The events were stretched over a decade and it they unfurled effortlessly. I loved how the ‘villain’ also had a human side to him. ⠀

This is perfect to be read in a cosy blanket – an easy, heart touching yet breezy read. ⠀

Book : Our Love Story by Rohit Sharma⠀
Genre : Romance

Rating : 4/5

Roots of Opera – Glimpse

A mesmerizing art of combining text and music in a theatrical setting is known as opera! Italian in origin, it has undergone several reforms and through several societies before westernizing in the way we know it today. The epigrammatic information given here may not swivel the intricate veins of opera but it surely covers up the main points…

Inspired by the elite circle of Florentine humanists, Jacopo Peri created Dafne – one of the earliest opera compositions to be known. Unfortunately, this orchestration consisting harpsichord, a lute, a viol, a triple flute and an arch lute is not reserved and is untraceable still. Peri’s another composition – Euridice- is alive today and is one of the most ancient compositions to be known.images (12)

It was not until 1637 that opera ventured out of the courts and amongst the common masses. It started gaining popularity and facing inevitable reforms according to different cultures and styles. But this was met by rivalry from people who thought that this reformation would cause opera to lose its originality and its classic elite purity.

In the 19th century, the bel canto movement, literally meaning beautiful singing, popularized giving rise to intricate Italian singing with requirements of high agility and pitch control. Example of this is Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

Then, a new patriotic icon Giuseppe Verdi came along with his more direct, biblical Nabucco. One of his greatest compositions were Grand Opera, Don Carlos and Falstaff inspired from Shakespearean literature. Italian opera started popularizing on international soil after the more realistic compositions of Pietro Mascagni.

Italian opera also influenced the Germans. Though, some of them came about with native styles and original ideas. Richard Wagner, a German composer, conductor and theatre director, had to face many controversies before emerging as one of the most prominent opera composers.

Thomas Arne’s experimentation with comic opera turned into a huge success. His English-language operas and Artaxerxes earned fame during 1762. George Frideric Handel, a German followed by American Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Douglas Moore were great contributors to the English opera. Beethoven and Mozart are still remarked.

Russia welcomed opera in the 1730s with Tsefal i Pokris being the first Russian opera – a seria in three acts- written by Italian Francesco Araia. Mikhail Ginka is the first Russian composer and foreigners like Domenico Cimarosa, Baldassare Galunni and others came to Russia to compose new operas.

In France, Jean-Baptiste Lully revolted against the traditional Italian opera being accepted in France establishing a separate tradition. Founder of the Academy of Music, Lully was followed by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jacques Offenbach.

Facing these auras of times, it has westernized to a certain extent becoming popular amongst many people today. It has far reaching affects with a huge audience around the globe. Opera has developed its own style on every soil but the main theme remains the same being projection of pleasure through music and drama in an artistic way to engross the audience in a good way!

Effective Teaching – Exploring Teaching Methods and Techniques

A teacher is said to have the most important job in the society; the job to shape and mold the future of the society – the children! Therefore, teachers need to focus on their job and turn up with best results.

Educating the children isn’t just about dumping loads of knowledge on them and pressurizing them to memorize the data but it is about actually teaching the children new stuff and making them learn the value of the material being taught to them. The children need to develop an understanding of the subject. And teachers are their guides on this track of life.

For this, there are many effective techniques and methods evaluated over the years. We’ll discuss the specific teaching methods here in this article.

Questioning: Asking questions and testing is undoubtedly the most effective and common way of teaching today. It enables the teacher to assess how much knowledge a student actually has about the subject and how much more needs t be imparted. When questions are asked related to everyday life, it makes the topic much more interesting. It is also responsible for making the class, somewhere or the other, more competitive in nature.

For example, if you’re teaching kids about polynomials, you can start by asking them how much they actually know about algebra or what are algebraic expressions.

Here, even the child is allowed to ask questions to the teacher. This lets the teacher know about the way of thinking of the student and the state of openness of his mind.

Explaining: Sometimes teachers go by introducing the topic and giving a proper summary on it. They share experiences and explain various factors of day to day life in a conversation form. If you are opting for this method, you need to make notes and make sure that your matter is related only to that particular age group. This method demands you to provide the class with examples on every subject or topic you discuss. It is a lively and traditional way of teaching.

For example, when teaching about various life processes, you can start by telling them what life processes are and then giving a short insight on how each one of them individually help the body function.

Modeling: Observing, retaining and replicating – these are the basis of this technique known as modeling or reinforced behavior. As we all know, visuals enable the human brain to retain information much more effectively and for a longer period of time, this proves to be an effective method. Here, various kinds of visuals and ‘models’ are used to demonstrate subjects and differences. It is generally accompanied by explanation.

For instance, if you are explaining closed and open circuit, you can ask the students to make a circuit model complete with a switch and ask them to observe how it works when the path is broken or complete.

It is also observed that students when taught using globes grasp much more than when taught using maps. A model of the earth helps students relate to real life positions and situation much better.

This is an especially effective medium in consideration to children as it prevents the things from going too dry.Selecting the right direction

Demonstrating: Demonstrating the subject is a step-by-step tutorial and very effective in clearing the concepts of the students. It develops an understanding of the process that is being taught right from the beginning till the end. Aids like practical equipments are a must for this technique. This method is not as effective for small children as it requires them to do first hand experimentation which might be difficult for them. But it is very valuable when dealing with older kids. Smart classes and computerized versions of teaching come under this.

Collaborating: “Collaborating” in modern world refers to team work. Dividing students into teams and giving instructions is beneficial in numerous ways. It makes the students aware of a sense of responsibility and team work. This direct instruction technique gives the students a stage to display their leadership qualities and their mental development level. They strive and come out with information helpful to obtain results. It is also a practice for dealing real life situations and overcoming petty distress. This technique spurts essential maturity development of the brain.

Reviewing: Reviewing or revising the material over and over with the class is always a good idea. This can be done in many ways. You can simply rehearse the material with the class. This can help you to tech forgotten material to the class and also clear doubts within the students.

You can elaborate topics while you are at it. For instance, you can ask the student to increase an answer of 20 words to that of 70 words by putting in their understanding and knowledge. This way you’ll get to know what exactly the child has grasped and how exactly he thinks about the phenomenon. You can even ask the students to do small projects on the things taught; like they could prepare charts, etc. Then it can even be used to ask children to merge previously learned information with the latest one and form suppositions. These pre – suppositions may or may not be correct, it’s your duty to correct them.

There are many more new techniques that have taken the place of old world, traditional ways. Role-play, field trips, computers, brainstorming, case studies are slowly emerging too. They are simple to follow and provide efficient results.

No matter what your technique is, remember writing lesson plans and preparing yourself before facing the children. While opting for a teaching method, keep in mind the age group you are dealing with and the topic.

All in all, don’t forget to be comfortable yourself with the topic. Provide the class with a light environment that makes teaching fun and fruitful for both, you and the students. Let the children express their own views. Encourage them to come up with doubts.

And always, always believe in them and I’m sure you’ll excel in your task of educating the children.

Getting your General Education Development Certificate (GED)

GED is a test that results in you acquiring a General Education Development certification. This is a certificate for those who were unable to complete their high school due to some reason but still want to pursue their higher studies. This certification is equal to a high school certificate in value.Retention_Programs_Improve_Graduation_Rates-hero

A high school certificate is a necessity to get a basic job or admission in a college. If you have a specific purpose for getting this certification, make sure the college or company in your mind accepts this in place of a high school certificate. Or else, all your hard work would be down the drain.

To be frank, it is not a very easy task to acquire this certificate. But if you really have the spirit and are willing to do it then you can and will be able to get it! Now about how to get your GED, we’ll have a look into the matter.

Eligibility: if you are a high school dropout you can apply for it. In addition, you have age bars too. But they differ according to the state rules. Some states have it as 18 whereas some as 16, you can inquire about it at the Department of Education of your state.

Preparation: Firstly you need to know what to expect. You are assessed on five main subjects. They are:

  1. Language Arts (Writing): This comprises two parts; English Language and essay writing.
  2. Language Arts (Reading): This comprises five parts; poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction and work place documents.
  3. Social Science: This consist history, geography, civics and economics.
  4. Science: Physical science, life science and earth and space science are included under this.
  5. Mathematics: here you have to be ready with numeric operations, geometry, statistics and data analysis, and algebra.

There are numerous institutions that provide preparatory classes for GED. Even online courses are available for the benefit of those unable to find proper classes in their vicinity. But while filling up be sure to check if the institution is accredited. There are as many bogus classes out there as there are original. You can even opt for self studies but one has to be really determined before taking up that decision. It is hard to be followed later on. So it is advisable that you take up courses.

No matter what means of preparation, remember to solve ample of sample papers before going in for the real thing. Be thorough with question papers so as to you know what to expect actually!

Marking scheme

Each section contains 800 marks. You must get a minimum f 450 marks in each subject to clear. An average score in GED is 500 points in each subject…that’s a total of 2500 points; before going in for that mindset; find out the minimum requirements of marks in the firm or college you are planning to apply later on.

Centre 

Let me state here clearly: GED tests are not taken online. You have to go in person and give the test. If you find sites acclaiming they provide online GED facilities, their authenticity is questionable. The diploma provided can very well be bogus. So before you sit to fill the entry form for a centre or website, be sure to go through their legitimacy.

Cost

It totally depends on your centre. Some charge no fees at all whereas some charge from USD 50 TO USD 100. These rates are exclusive of the charges incurred during preparations.

It takes you at least six months of preparation. The test is of seven hours and five minutes, all the five subjects included. Some centers hold it in one go whereas some conduct it in several sittings. The arrival of results and the certificate may take a few weeks.

You should keep in mind that you’ll be able to pass only if you yourself have the fortitude and are focused. It is not an easy task. A census proves that only 30% students have been able to clear it in the first attempt.

Just relax, free your mind, strengthen your will and surge in to start preparing. Your career lies in your hands. Go for it and grab your future!

All the best!

The week ♡

Greetings to all my fellow bloggers and followers!! This is gonna be my 100th post! Yay!

Sorry for being absent for so long! I’ll explain that!!image

This week was the Dusshera week in India ! It’s Durga Pujo for my fellow bengali’s, navratra for other Hindus and plain dusshera for Punjabi’s. It is a festival that symbolises the victory of goodness over evil! It has a number of stories relating to the Hindu Mythology – one of them being the defeat of Ravana by our Lord Ram. (I’ll get back to that later!)

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So, this is THE MAIN FESTIVAL in our com munity and seriously, this is the week that goes off in a blur of motion!!

A very happy dusshera to all 🙂

The second thing I’d like to talk about is …. Vaibhav Mukim – an excellent author – and his lastest book  GUNSHOT VICTIMS UNITS.

I was sooo lucky to recieve a free signed copy of this awesome book!

No, I won’t reveal the story but you’ve gotta read it on your own! It’s thought provoking, the action is breathtaking that flips the page on it’s own 😀image

Sorry to be brief but I’d elaborate on each and every part of this post later!

Love ya all ❤

Stay Connected !

Learning Grammar – What Is an Antecedent?

To begin with, an antecedent is a word or phrase that a pronoun refers to.

‘Ante’ is a prefix that means going before other things, for instance, ‘ante mortem’ means before death. This implies, ‘antecedent’ come before something, but what? Well, antecedents appear before the pronouns that refer to them. For better understanding, let’s take a look at a sentence.

If pastries are available, be sure to order it.

In the sentence above, ‘it’ refers to ‘pastries’, i.e. the pronoun refers to a noun. So here, ‘pastries’ is the antecedent that the pronoun ‘it’ refers to.

So hereby it is clear that antecedents will always appear before the pronoun. But then there are sentences like ‘when you see him, please tell David that I’ll be late’. What to make of these? As a writer, you should be careful of your usage of pronouns. Using ‘him’ before the antecedent ‘professor’ will cause the readers to be in the dark about who ‘him’ refers to until the second half of the sentence. This is highly undesirable as it makes the reading experience dull and complex.

In the sentence, ‘Breath in through your nose, hold it for a second, then breath out through your mouth’, the audience understands that they have to breathe through their nose, then hold their nose, and finally breathe out – which no doubt is ridiculously crazy! This happens because ‘it’ refers to nose as it is the nearest noun. This confusion may change meanings and turn your nose down. So you must be careful in the usage and avoid misplacement or faraway placement of pronouns and antecedents.

Now have a look at this outrageous sentence, ‘The cake consisted of cranberries, strawberries, kiwis, blueberries and a cherry on top. It was white in color.’ Now that is a ridiculous cherry, white in color! This one is a case of ambiguous antecedents. Here, the readers would naturally pair ‘it’ with the nearest noun ‘cherry’. To avoid this, the sentence can be combined as in ‘The cake, white in color, consisted of cranberries, kiwis, blueberries and a cherry on top.’ Easy and clear!  O one needs to avoid the use of ambiguous antecedents!

Examples of Antecedents

Nina called to say that she will arrive at eight.
Antecedent: Nina
Pronoun: she

The boy who lives next door found his bicycle.
Antecedent: boy
Pronoun: his

The girl who sang the song is tired.
Antecedent: girl
Pronoun
: who

Learning English Basic Grammar – what Is Grammar?

Expressing ourselves effectively to the second person is the key to successful communication. Whether it’s verbal or written, in French or English, it is very important to follow the set of rules pertaining to the particular language. One must be aware of the syntax of the language get one’s thoughts across effectively and efficiently and grammar is exactly what is meant for this purpose!

Echoing David Crystal, “Grammar is the structural foundation of our ability to express ourselves. The more we are aware of how it works, the more we can monitor the meaning and effectiveness of the way we and others use language. It can help foster precision, detect ambiguity, and exploit the richness of expression available in English. And it can help everyone–not only teachers of English, but teachers of anything, for all teaching is ultimately a matter of getting to grips with meaning.”

Grammar in olden days was a glamorous subject or so is pertained by the fact that people in Scotland pronounced grammar like ‘glamour’ and associated it with enchantments and wonderful magic. Though, today the situation is such that grammar is a phobia for many students and not at all glamorous for anyone whatsoever.

Types of grammar

Grammar is divided into two broad categories for better usage: Descriptive and Prescriptive grammar.

Descriptive grammar is the actual study and understanding of a subject and is the way it is spoken and written.

Prescriptive grammar is a set of rules as aids of learning that language and refers to the language as certain people think it should be.

This was just the beginning. Furthermore, grammar has ten types.

Comparative grammar: This refers to the study and comparison of structures of linked languages. As R. Freidin puts it as, “a faculty of language that provides an explanatory basis for how a human being can acquire a first language . . . In this way, the theory of grammar is a theory of human language and hence establishes the relationship among all languages”.

Generative Grammar: This refers to the set of rules that the speaker accepts as belonging to the language originally. In other words, it is the speaker’s inbuilt or rather subconscious ability of producing utterances in a particular language using pre requisite knowledge.

Mental Grammar: This kind of grammar is right there in the brain and persists within all humans. It is the generative grammar that helps formulate sentences that makes sense and carries your thoughts and ideas to other human beings.

Pedagogical Grammar: These are the set of rules designed for students who have the language as their second language, if you get what I mean. As D. Little said about perspectives of this, “Pedagogical grammar is a slippery concept. The term is commonly used to denote (1) pedagogical process–the explicit treatment of elements of the target language systems as (part of) language teaching methodology; (2) pedagogical content–reference sources of one kind or another that present information about the target language system; and (3) combinations of process and content.”

Performance Grammar: This is a description of the set of rules of English in a way that is used by dialogue speakers. This deals with the production of the language. The beauty or sharpness of the language is altered properly if you refer to this syntax.

Reference Grammar: This gives explanations and directions about construction of words, sentences, phrases, clauses, etc. How they are formed and their types are included. Modern reference Grammar books include A comprehensive grammar of the English language by Randolph Quirk.

Theoretical Grammar: This is the study of the vital aspects of any language spoken by humans. This is concerned with clearing the rules of the language and displaying them to all.

Traditional Grammar: This is a kind of perceptual language. It creates distinction between what people are doing with the language and what they should be doing instead. It models historically pure grammar.

Transformational Grammar: This kind of grammar can be referred to as a set of unwritten laws or something alike. These are not pre defined rules but something that are kept in mind while interpreting.

Universal Grammar: This initially organizes the state f mind of the language learner, i.e. organizes human faculty.

Dream – Be the Dreamer of YOUR dream! Let your kid live His/ Her life!

As seen nowadays, from childhood, a child is laden with dreams that are not his own but those of his parents. At every turning point, at every fork of life, he is dragged by his parents. He is led away from his talents and hobbies and told to study. At those moments, parents don’t realize that they are dragging their child away from what he is good at to something that probably is not in his capability. They don’t realize that the child feels enclosed and caged in a world that’s not his at all but the parents’. And that’s the starting point when stress starts building up in a child. A will to fly in the open skies, when suppressed frustrates him!

And when that same child reaches his teenage, he gets unruly. Just like when a caged animal is freed, he goes out of control taking undue advantage of the bit of freedom he gets. And then those parents complain that their teen is rowdy and juvenile. But you tell me now, is it right to expect a child to follow your dreams or to kill his own desires? If a child is good at painting and you force him to be a CA, what else do you expect from him but that he’d paint on his documents instead of calculating and then get kicked out of his job! Duh!cropped-download1.jpg

Parents will have to realize that by dumping the goals they’ve never achieved on their children they are spoiling their lives and are inviting delinquency in their kids, and as the saying goes, a balanced sustenance reaps the pink fruit.

So before forcing your kid to study study and study or compeling them to go in for science stream wait for a second and think if you’re actually showing him the right path or pushing him in for depression! Just befriend your kid from babyhood and instead of obliging him, discuss matters with him and mark my words- a guide is more helpful as compared to a map! So be his guide and not just a bossy old chap ordering away without troubling ‘bout his feelings.596879-6724-23

Super heroines!

They were the “weaker clan”, the “ones who manage the heart and the hearth”, the ones who were thought to be of no importance. Even as they struggled to get  position in the society, they had been discouraged. These were the WOMEN of our country.

Rani lakshmi bai, Rani durgavati, Savitribai, Mother Teressa, were all women who eluded the tortures of the society by fighting with their warrior spirit in their own brave or tender way. They changed the course of actions that could have changed from bad to worse.

One such woman whose actions never fail to inspire me was Savitribai. A salute to the ever gay spirit of her that still dances one earth with the name of “Kavya Phule” and “Bhavan kashi subodh ratnakar”.

A deprived daughter, a young bride, and an unfortunate Indian to be alive during the rule of British in India, Savitribai Jyotirao Phule, was a blessing to the girls and women of India in the 19th century.

Just like every other girl unfortunate enough to be born during that time, Savitribai was deprived of education and was married off at the age of nine. But life never gives you something you don’t deserve, (one may take it positively!) and so was the case with Savitribai. Her husband Jyotirao was one of the most understanding, intellectual and broadminded of men. He educated her, helped her achieve her dreams and was a constant fuel to her fire of imagination.

Not many girls today know about the sacrifices she’s made. Most of us are unaware of the stones showered on her, and a fewer still of us are aware of the taunts and boycotts she has faced. And the reason for this societal torture was that she had decided to take the initiative to open the first girls’ school; that she had decided to be the first lady teacher in that girls’ school; that she had let go of the cast based distinctions; that she had knocked down doors of discrimination based on gender.

She was a woman who changed the history of India, who changed the view point OF girls and ON girls. She strived hard to make the lives of women easier and better. Not just that, she dug wells for the untouchables, fought against most of the social evils haunting the so called ‘lower classes’ as well as the ‘weaker gender’. She did all she could to erase depression and backwardness.

She was a feminist. But more importantly, she was a female! A female who had the guts to bring about a revolution, but a female with no liberty. She was a contrast to those present day woman who, despite of being in the 21st century, live in the 19th century. She was a lesson to those who still hesitate to educate their girls, who still want to marry their girls at their tender teenage. She was an inspiration, and always will be, to those who are born rebels; to those who have the ardent desire to be of service to this world.

Each and every one of the woman mentioned above (and many more who aren’t) had done their part. They had played their roles in the theatre called life to the best of their abilities. And as they departed, they left a message for us all – that we are the writers of our own future.

Today, we can decide and be that sassy girl on the cover page of a fashion magazine – yes the one who will be replaced tomorrow by another sassy figure – or we can strike the match of diligence and write the history by changing our future.

Women, and always will, play a vital part in the synthesis of this earth. Keeping this in mind, I beckon every female to keep the torch alight. Remember, the victory is never easy, but it isn’t impossible!

Jai Hind!images (13)