Verse time

I find verses from Geeta quite amazing due to the logical structure they offer.
Here is one (mine) translation of one,

a person without skill
does not have intelligence
without intelligence
there are no emotions
and hence no peace either
how can there be comfort
if there is no peace

(The usual translation starts with “a person without connection” and is interpreted
as connection to God, but could also be interpreted as connection to the world.)

Science or Tech?

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There is this love-hate relationship between science and Tech, proponents feverishly arguing since forever. As if there existed a clear line between the two, as if one could be defined and progress without the other. I being a self-declared nomad, rarely believe in boundaries and merrily charter all territories that my inner child wishes.

However, one explanation for the need to differentiate between the two, is the following. When you want to save someone’s life, the idea is not so much about “take as much time as you want but do it aesthetically and efficiently” as to “do it quick with whatever is available”. So practical use of science, respecting the time, space and expense boundaries is Tech, Do you agree?

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The lady who spoke

I was in south India for an academic visit  and shared the university guest-house room with a lady, who was there for a conference.  She was possibly in late thirties. The first evening I was there, she asked me if I would accompany her to a relatives place, she had left some of her medicines there and she wanted to get them back.

Now, I am not particularly social, usually I am quite happy left alone. There is something good to read or a problem to tinker with. However since she had asked and I did not feel like saying no, so I agreed, a bit annoyed at myself and her. “Why on earth do people need company while traveling a short distance within city?” I ask you.  She also spoke very slowly and appeared somewhat dim-wit to me.

A little later in the evening, before bedtime, she removed her wig (I had no idea, she was wearing one). Then she told me about the brain tumor she had survived. How the doctors had said she may never be able to speak again after the surgery. That the medicines were the ones the doctors had prescribed after the surgery and she needed to take them regularly. She told me how her little daughter is proud of her, taking control of her life. It was now my turn to feel like a dim-wit.

We went to her relatives place, got the med.s the next day. The next day her colleagues were planning a day’s outing and at breakfast, someone asked her a question. She took a few minutes before replying and the questioner blurted out, “don’t keep staring at me, reply”. I wanted to yell at the guy but kept quiet. Aren’t we all dim-wits when we don’t know better?

Learning strategies

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I once asked my students. Which learning method you find the most effective? I gave some options like online videos, books, hands on work, classroom lectures and also anything else they wanted to note. To my surprise a very large number of students responded that peer-to-peer learning works best for them. Do you have a learning strategy to share?