Exams end, Happiness begins

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Learning is fun, but exams are not !

Today is the day which i will remember throughout my life. I gave the last exam (Geographic Information System) of 20 years of academics from Nursery to M.Tech ūüôā In future if i do a PhD, may be i will give more exams but as of now this is the last one.

Assuming there are 10 subjects to study each year. 4 exams every year – 2 tests, a half yearly and a final. This means 40 exams every year for 20 years. OMG i have given around 800 exams till now !!! Even i can’t believe it ūüėČ But even after giving so many exams i always had exam stress. That’s because i am a perfectionist. And since 100% perfection is impossible to achieve, i was never 100% satisfied with my preparation for exams. Till the last moment i felt i could do something more. I know grades are not everything, its our attitude and work that defines the direction in which we move ahead in life. But still i was always worried. The stress, the tension, the anxiety OMG !!! I am sure exams are the biggest stress causing agents in a student’s life. Anyways the exams have ended for me for now. And i am very very happy ūüôā

Seriously, can’t a better technique be devised to test one’s understanding of a subject. Are exams the only way out ? Is it right to study only for doing well in exams ? (Most do that !) What about the stress which sometimes degrades our performance in exams ? And also are we not limited by the syllabus of the exam ? (Who has time to study something extra, right!) I was lucky to take two courses which are graded differently. Its called Mandate oriented learning, a technique devised by Prof. Srinath. Click here to know more. I liked it a lot as it gave me the freedom to study topics as per my choice and style. It aims that the class as a whole has a collective understanding of the subject and thus we got a platform to share what we understood with one another.

Life itself is an exam and every day is a new challenge. I am sure after giving ~ 1000 exams i am ready to face the exam of life ! It is probably the most difficult exam as the syllabus is unknown, it is a surprise test, you cannot copy from anyone, no one can teach it, it can only be learnt by one-self, others can only share their wisdom. But however hard it may be, bring it on !!! I am ready ūüôā

On a lighter note, i would like to share my happiness with all of you with this video. Enjoy!!!

With an image, video and text in this post, i can also submit this in the Weekly Writing Challenge РMultimedia Storytelling.

Road to Success

Idea Credit : Weekly Writing Challenge: Clicking Through the Pages

Road to Success

Image:Stockphoto.com

“Success” has a different meaning for different people. It might mean wisdom, money, recognition, fame and so on. In my opinion success denotes achieving one’s goals. Thus anyone can be successful. Anyone can achieve their aim. Anyone can walk on the road to success. There is no secret of success. Nobody is born successful. Its the qualities and skills which make a person successful.

Now here is a test to check your direction on your road to success. In the end it will also suggest where to improve, in order to increase your chances of being successful. So lets begin –

1. Are you passionate about something ?

Do you like doing something, without which your existence is meaningless ? Is there some skill or hobby which you love doing ? Do you have a goal to achieve in life ? Is there something which you would happily do even if you are woken at midnight ?

If yes goto page 2 otherwise goto page 3.

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name – Jayati

Jayati : Winner

My parents decided to name me Jayati when i won the first battle of my life. I was an underweight, ¬†premature baby. By God’s grace and care of my parents and elders i survived and thus won that battle. That’s how i was named “Jayati”. My parents wanted me to successfully win all the battles of my life ahead, to face the challenges bravely and to stand out as a winner. I have tried to do my best to achieve this aim till now. Everyone faces challenges and crossroads in life and i started facing them since the day i was born. So i guess i have more experience now than my peers ūüėÄ

Although Shakespeare said that What is there in a name ? i believe that a lot is there in a name. Name is our identity. It is how we are known to others. I have also analyzed that in most cases one can find the traits of characteristics of name in people. For e.g. people whose names are related to music are usually good musicians or singers, people who are named after gods or goddesses are usually successful, people whose names mean beautiful are usually pretty. This is not the case all the time but as per my interaction its mostly true.

I just love my name. Actually speaking i am proud of it. I love my parents for giving me this name. I have tens of nicknames but my actual first name “Jayati” is my favorite. I like its sound. I like its spelling. I like it in every possible way. I like that it begins with the letter 10th letter J. Thus i will never change my name !

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

This week the Weekly Photo¬†Challenge¬†was to present my interpretation of “Pattern”

Luckily i got to see so many patters in nature this week.

Have a look and enjoy ūüôā

So many shades of blue ūüôā

See the sun’s rays out of these clouds

A Natural Cloudy Heart

Sea or Sky ???

The green pattern of a leaf

Designer Bark

Krishna Kamal or Passion Flower

I could not choose one out of these ūüôā

Which one did you like the most ???

Self Esteem vs Ego

Angel vs Demon

Ego can be defined as the feeling of “self”. I don’t think ego is bad. Ego is just knowing the difference between ourselves and others. As the popular quote by Aristotle goes –¬†‚ÄúKnowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.‚Ä̬†Everyone must have a sense of self-respect and self-esteem. Without these two qualities, the world starts extracting unjust benefits from us in every possible way, which is not good. Also its a big gift to know one’s self-worth. However when this ego is boosted more and more, a person starts having a superiority complex by which he starts feeling that he is superior that everyone else. And this may include one’s parents, teachers, elders and other wise people. And i think this is where the problem begins. So further, lets consider ego in its extreme form and analyze it.

Due to highly egoistic attitude, people start taking things for granted. They consider that they are the kings and queens of the world and even start behaving like that. And worst of all, they also expect others to treat them in the same way ! I can say that such attitude is highly¬†detrimental specially for students. If students consider themselves the master, then there is no way in which ¬†their master (teacher/Guru) can give them knowledge. As they say, how can a teacher fill a cup when it is already full. Socrates said, ‚ÄúThe only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.‚Ä̬†We need to ¬†empty our cups before comings to our Gurus. And believe me there is nothing wrong or¬†embarrassing¬†about it. Its always good to make a fresh new start.

Its always good to be respectful and humble. ¬†Our elders may not be always correct (they are also humans like us) but we must always remember that they have more wisdom than us because of their experience. They have seen more life than us and i am sure there cannot be a better teacher than life. We must not always blindly agree with what others say, but at the same time we must have faith and respect in them. We must not confront them rudely however we must be able to express our views to them. They are our well-wishers and work towards our best¬†interests. So instead of disrespecting others, i feel that it is always better to look at the positive aspects of others and try to inculcate those qualities in ourselves. ¬†After all who are we to judge others. I think if we feel the urge to judge someone then we should rather judge ourselves. An awesome thought i heard today which made me think all this is – “Even the cow gives milk only when you sit down near its feet on your knees, and not when you ride on its back.”

There is a very fine line between self-esteem (the angel) and ego¬†(the demon). ¬†Only the smart ones can see the difference between these. This is the thing which we need to master. If we can determine whether our actions will boost our ego or our self-esteem then we can consider ourselves to be “wise”.¬†To the ones who want to be wise, here is a quote by Confucius which i like a lot –
“By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.‚ÄĚ
I think is some cases its wise to learn from others¬†experience¬†as well. I consider myself blessed to have such parents and teachers who always encourage me to express my views and at the same time argue and stand for my views. “Lucky me !” ūüôā

On a lighter note here is a news flash !
“The earth revolves around the sun. This might upset a few out there who still think that the world revolves around them.” ūüėČ

Realization – A new “ME”

Note : If you feel that this post is all jumbled up or that the sentences do not link each other or anything else then you can stop anytime. Today my thoughts are all jumbled up, filled with thousands of questions and so this post may be like that.

Every month, few students from our college visit Swanthana and Desire which are homes for special children. I always wanted to go but either i was too busy with my assignments and projects or i was not brave enough to face the reality. Today was the last trip of this year, and i had decided that come what may i will go, i will face it.

We a group of 11 started at 8:30 AM from college. Most of them had visited the place atleast once. I was the one who was going for the first time. I was apprehensive, what will i do, will i be able to make a few kids happy ? Will i be able to bring a smile on their faces ? Will i be able to control my emotions in front of them ? Anyways we bought a few things for the kids. After a bus journey and a long walk we reached “Swanthana – Care for the girl child with special needs” at 10 AM.

Swanthana

At first look, i found the campus good. There was a garden blooming with flowers and a play-area for the kids to play. When we entered the building was spic and span. We entered the common room where all the girls from the age group 1 – 15 years who were physically or mentally challenged were present. As soon as i entered a little girl came and hugged me. The kids were so happy to find so many people around. All of us interacted with them. We played games with them. We blew balloons for them. They were so happy playing with balloons and bursting them. We moved some of them around in wheel-chairs. I still cannot believe its so easy to bring a smile on their faces.

Till then a Sister along a some¬†attendant¬†girls prepared lunch for then. I fed a few girls. Just talk to them and they¬†smile¬†or respond. Even though they cannot reply back in our language they can very well show their emotions. I was surprised that some of the girls were very smart. One of them “Acchu” had a problem in her legs. She played a lot with us on the wheel-chair. She knew how to read and write. She knew the names of all the other girls. Another one “Divya” was not well. But my friends told that she likes to be independent. She has some problem in her limbs. Yet she can draw and she even eats by herself. She can recite poems. She talked a lot with us. She knew both English and Kannada. Get well soon Divya ! I will bring oranges and grapes for you next time. I was just awestruck. Some of these kids were so smart. They just needed love and care. After lunch they were back in their rooms. All the rooms were¬†segregated¬†according to the age group of girls. The rooms were clean and well maintained. Probably it was time for their afternoon nap, so we waved them goodbye left with heavy hearts.

These kids are also like other kids. They are special children. They also need love and care. They also need attention. They can also feel just like us. They are also “Human Beings”.

I salute the Sisters who¬†sacrifice¬†their lives in service. Visiting such places for a day is easy, but taking complete care of them 24/7 is very difficult. Swanthana is the only place in Karnataka for the girl child with special needs. I don’t know what would have happened to them if it was not there. Sisters, I salute you !

All of know that physically and mentally challenged people exist. But its a completely different story to visit them and spend some time with them. After this visit, I have so many questions in my mind. Why do these kids are this way ? Did they do something wrong and became like this as a punishment ? If yes then what can be soooo wrong ? Or else there is some other reason ? Why did their parents leave them ? How could a mother leave her new-born child in a dust-bin ? How can some parents be so cruel ? Do they ever feel guilty ? Do they even know if their child is dead or alive ? Do they ever secretly visit to see them ? What is the best option for the parents to care for these kids ? After all even the life of parents takes a twist ! Even the parents who care for their special children, what do they feel ? how do they see their child struggle each day ?  How do some people like the Sisters decide to dedicate their complete life to them ? How can they be so self-less ?  What about these kids ? Are they lucky that their life was saved ? What do they think ? What do they feel ?

We get bored doing same work. These kids have the same routine daily.
We get bored eating the same food. These kids eat the same food daily.
We get bored staying at the same place. These kids lie on the same bed forever.
We get bored by the clothes we wear. These kids don’t have a choice.
We complain for the smallest problems in life. These kids are happy with the smallest pleasures.

I thought a lot ! May be i will be able to find the answers to my questions. There must be some reason for such kids to come in this world. May be they come to make people realize what life is. May be they want us to show how hard life can be . May be they want to bring a new realization in us. May be they want us to stop grumbling and crying for petty issues. May be they want us to look at life from a brighter side. May be they want us to be more loving and caring. May be they want to build a better tomorrow.
May be … Who knows …

Someday everything will make perfect sense.
So, for now, laugh at the confusion,
smile through the tears and
keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.
~Paulo Coelho

Cisco Girls in Technology Experience

What will you say when you get a chance to visit an awesome campus of a top company, see the work they are doing, learn many new things, get to interact with numerous like minded people and have a lot of fun ? In my opinion it is a perfect example of a day well spent. And this is what i experienced at the Cisco Girls in Technology Event held on March 16th, 2013 at the Cisco campus in Bangalore.

The preparation for this event had started long back. We were to compete with various teams and present a topic assigned to us. Overall it was a great learning experience to give a presentation online on the Web-ex tool. We also got the chance to interact with teams from other colleges. Our mentors from Cisco guided us and gave us feedback. The winners got to present on the D-day.

A group of 14 girls from our college got the opportunity to participate in this event. We reached the campus by 8 AM. We were all awe-struck with the beautiful and huge campus. It was green and well maintained. I am sure everyone must have thought of it at a perfect workplace ūüôā Well we were done with the registrations and had a tasty breakfast.

The event started with a welcome note where around 100 girls from various colleges participated. We were introduced to the main motive of this event which was to have more women at higher positions in the organization. Statistics say that a large number of women quit as it is difficult to balance the personal and professional life. Cisco is trying to come up with strategies that will help in reducing this trend. And Cisco GIT is one such step. We were motivated to be passionate about technology, so that no problem can be big enough for us.

Next session was on Cisco Technology Trends where we could see the current market trends and Cisco’s involvement in it. The best part was “Tele-presence”. Using this technology, people at far off places can interact with each other as if they are having a round table conference. We interacted with the girls from Chennai. We came to know about “Internet of Everything” which¬†brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable.

Next was the lab-tour. Here we could ourselves see the amazing work done by Cisco in diverse areas.

The first was Health-Presence. Using this technology the doctor can treat the patient from far off places. It can send heartbeat, blood-pressure, pulse etc to the doctor. The doctor can then diagnose and sent the prescription back to the patient. This system has been actually used during the floods in Raichur.

Next demo was on Cloud Computing. We got to see their servers and other resources. We also had a demo on how a user can easily demand for the required resources on a cloud and access it within seconds. We were also demonstrated how the admin manages the cloud.

Last demo was on the Security and Maintenance at Cisco.  We saw the complete system which manages their security. We were told about the smart-doors. We could see the live streaming of various Cisco offices. Cisco is also doing great work for protecting the environment by conserving the resources. The complete lighting system is automated. They have won a platinum award for this.

After these demos we were all very hungry. Tasty food was ready for us. We had a sumptuous lunch while interacting with the Cisco team.

Next it was time for presentations. All the teams gave the presentation on various topics and were thoroughly questioned by the judges. In the end top three winners were declared. Then there was certificate and goodies distribution. The event ended with a vote of thanks.

Overall it was a great day packed with lot of practical learning and fun. Interacting with industry gives a new perspective to us. We are able to judge the gap between the academics and industry and then we can decrease this gap. Thanks a lot to Cisco for the awesome day!