Sunday, February 28, 2010

Confession of a selfish father

Tomorrow is Holi. Sonny will spend the festival of colours with his mother's side of the family. He will be there for a couple of months or so. Wife was looking forward to this period as this is her first really extended stay with her native family, especially her mum, after our marriage. It was amazing to see the way she and mum-in-law confabulated about so many things, from the correct posture and position to feeding the child to number of layers of clothes to wrap him in, to decide how hot the water should be before bathing him. Mum-in-law was here for all these 17 days, besides my own sister who had come down with her two kids for spending winter vacations with us. It was great to have them here, as well as my own parents. Though I did change and wash nappies occasionally, it would have been too much for me to do that sometimes as frequently as thrice in five minutes and that too at about 3.30 in the morning.

But these days were busy for me in so many other ways and to be honest, I don't quite mind this break.

Tomorrow may be a different story, though!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Effective Fixation

Psychologists shouldn't get involved with their patients. Teachers shouldn't fall for their students. Editors shouldn't get obsessed with the books they are supposed to be only making ready to go to print. In the last case, there's nothing overtly ethically dubious, or so I think, hence, I'll continue to read after lunch, Chapter 3 Learning, Motivation, and Performance from P. Nick Blanchard and James W. Thacker's Effective Training: Systems, Strategies, and Practices, 4th ed, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010). Why am I so hooked to this chapter is perhaps because of some contextual reasons. It is that time of the year when we get to know the result of our yearly performance assessment as reflected in the increment letter we get. That of course makes one nervous, excited, disappointed, elated, but on the whole, I think, this gives us a time to self-evaluate honestly without being influenced by any external seduction of a raise or a bonus. Also, as I start a new year and new projects come my way, I want to be more deliberate about all that I do this year and, thus, find myself interested in theories of motivation, learning, etc.
No, there must be another reason too. As I read this, I also recall my years in teaching, both in formal and informal settings. I was eligible to teach after my MA, but except the fact that I cleared an exam, I didn't have any formal training in how to teach. It is interesting that those of us who teach undergraduate or postgraduate students did not have to bother with teaching methodology or theories of learning. We did it with a gut feeling. I think why I am enjoying this chapter is beacause I an subconsciously comparing how I taught and how teaching/training should be done. I am thinking of things I did right and things I didn't.
Anyway, can't spend too much time pondering over this. Lunch time is over. I need to get back to business.