16 March 2007

Carpe Diem - Seize the day

First thing first - this is the song Pravahame.. Swararaagaa Ganga Pravahame

Yesterday I got my Start-Deutsch-I certificate. I am done with the very basic level of German. I am supposed to understand small notices or even small ads you find in new-papers. I am not yet expected to speak well. I guess it would take another year to reach that level.

Trust me, German is not that easy. I am not cribbing, learning Tamil was 100 times easier. The reason is that I am a malayali and I can relate to Tamil well.

German happens to be an entirely different language with all different rules and constructs.

In the past courses, I was attempting to learn the language without translating the whole thing to any language known to me. Yeah, means - by hearting it. I was doing that well. I did it because I didn't want to translate everything into Malayalam/English to understand. I wanted to understand German in German itself - some kind of boot-strapping. I was very successful too (apparently, I happen to be the topper in the class - just to prove that I was not wrong with my approach)

Towards the end of the course, I had to force myself to start thinking in Malayalam to really get the thing. Anyway I shall be sticking to the policy of learning German in German.

- flash back -

Once in Chennai, I was going in an auto. Guru was with me in the auto. It was somewhere near Santhome (the route of bus 12B).

Guru : Hey kuttan, you think in Malayalam before you speak. right?

I : Of course. My thoughts are in Malayalam.

Guru : That is one of the reasons why you are very fast. Even before you start the sentence, you have the whole thing in mind. And you say it out as fast as you can.

I had to agree with that. It took a long time for me to adjust the speed of my English. Chechi used to tell me to reduce the speed.

Anyway, I can't say now which is my language of thought. For counting I use Malayalam for sure. Surprisingly, priyakkutti uses English to count. She doesn't know this. But in the depths of her thoughts, counting happens in English.

Like the above one, there were many things which made me decide to learn German in German. That will help me to think in German. Thinking in German will help me to master the language easily.

A word about my teacher. She is simply a lovely lady. She definitely comes in the category of Pramode sir of ICLabs, Balakrishnan sir of PCT-classes, CPR & HAM of IITM and all those great teachers I've had. At times I feel that Daniela teaches even better than everyone mentioned above.

I have my reasons: all others had their languages to teach whatever topic they wanted to teach. But, from the very beginning Daniela is showing the art of bootstrapping. She speaks only German in the class room.

At present, her students are a little experienced, but I can't imagine how she managed to communicate with us without using a single English word in the beginning. Hats off to her.

I am really very grateful to her. I can feel the hardcore respect for her. Let me put an example for respect. Pramode sir is like a friend to all of us. Still I can't speak with him just like I speak to a friend. There is some *deep* respect for him which always keeps him at sky-level.

I never believed that the duty of a teacher is to teach well. That is the traditionally believed notion. According to me, a teacher's job is to get the student fall in love. Fall in love with the subject. Then student needs no one's help to learn, learning becomes making love with the subject.

All the teachers I mentioned earlier were following the strategy I mentioned.

Fine, the blog is going in a flow and I got to wind it up now. The length of the entry is directly proportional to the amount of boredom it creates and inversely proportional to the number of people reading till the end and (finally +vely commenting). :)

I can't leave without mentioning this one more thing. Today I completed first 25 years of my life. Wow, that's cool! I was surprised by the number of wishes I got.

I still don't get a feeling that I've grown up. The seriousness hasn't come to me. I know, the seriousness I just mentioned would never come to me. I want to remain always like this - dynamic and I would always.

But not everyone shares my point of view. Some of them think that I've grown enough to start saving money. I had told them that I wouldn't save even a single penny until I turned 25. Now I got to find some excuse ;)

That's all for now. Lot more to write..

After all, you came till here. As a reward you listen to this song, relax yourself for a while, then move on to the next web page.

Manjal prasaadavum nettiyil charthi (Chitra Rocks)

Signing off, Sands

PS1: TAG@IITM and CC@IITM were deliberately left out because they just taught well, didn't motivate enough like others.

PS2: AMP, in case you are reading this post - I shall reply to your mail soon.

PS3: Carpe Diem is a Latin phrase which means seize the day. Basically, the message is "LIVE your life".


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

u gave me a new phrase
"carpe diem".. sounds good

TAG , CC -- I differ