Monday, 25 June 2012

Of Games and Learning

On Friday, Jayasi and I entered Deepa academy (where we will be interning this month), and went straight upstairs to the second floor where we sit and work with the girls for our manual. The girls came in slowly one by one. During this time when we were waiting for the other girls to come, we had interacted so much with this girl who had come early, that we didn’t even come to know for how long we had been waiting there! We had come with the intention of making these children comfortable with us, but here this girl had made us feel completely at home without us even having to realize!
With each passing day, I had noticed the little change there was in these girls, with each day they were a little less conscious upon seeing us and a little more open with us. On the same day during the time we spend for communication skills, we had planned to play the game Chinese whisper and hence explain the importance of proper communication. Chinese whisper is a game
in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. The player should make as much effort as possible to hear that phrase. During Chinese Whispers, a phrase should not be repeated if it was not heard the first time. This player should now whisper what they think was said to the next player, and so on, until the last player shouts out the phrase so that everybody can hear.
The girls seemed to really enjoy the game and even pick up what we were trying to tell them by playing the game. As in the subsequent games the given sentence was hardly distorted, showing how well they had responded to what we were trying to explain. The fact that they understood what we were trying to tell them gave us immense satisfaction.
On the following day, we had reached the academy fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled time of the class, what I saw there really put me into thought. We saw some girls playing carom board sitting in the room inside and they were not just playing carom, they were playing it brilliantly. You had to be there to believe what I am saying. In the meanwhile a tenth standard student came up to us and made the effort to ask us how we were and if we had had our lunch, and so on! I was taken aback the moment that girl held my hand and refused to leave it even after the handshake. Her hand didn’t let go of mine, as if wanting me to guide her, asking for support and comfort.
Today in class, we had to cover basic interactive skills in English, which we decided to teach them in  the form of a game called Passing the parcel.During the game,music is played as the parcel is passed around.Whoever is holding the parcel when the music is stopped is given a task.
The only difference being that whenever the music stopped instead of being given a task, the girl had to ask the girl sitting on her left a Basic English question. One could feel the girls really open up with some extremely witty answers coming up.
It went onto a girl saying that her best friend was a dustbin simply because she liked it. By the end of the session, the girls requested us for a game of Chinese whisper (they call it telephone) but with a Kannada word this time. We happily played it and rather really enjoyed. Though we are there to teach them English, these girls teach us some words of Kannada each day. And to see their excitement to tell new words and teach us makes learning the language completely worth it.

The one hour we spend with these tenth standard girls really takes us away from the fact that we are all by ourselves in this new city away from home, learning to live in an entirely new way.


  1. Going thru your blog forces us to introspect,reminds us life beyond transactions, other dimensions of our presence on mother earth,I am glad you opted for something beyond your academics...keep the good work on and be humane..

    1. I am glad it makes you think beyond the rigmarole of life.And Thank you so much for the encouragement!