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Schoolhouse Rock - Aaboo Kheireni, Nepal

... ah the joys of teaching. Standing in front of thirty students packed into a tiny, humid, brick closet, talking til I'm hoarse in a language that they don't understand anyway. Running for cover when a windstorm picks up and lifts our corrugated tin roof right off our heads because the large rocks on top are not large enough. Checking homework and discovering that all the answers are exactly the same, mistakes and corrections all. Running to patch a student's finger which has been half sliced off from trying to sharpen his pencil with a razor blade. 

Using a wooden plank that serves as the student's seating bench for a science experiment and breaking it in half (oops) and then patching it back together for the students to again sit on. Starting a computer class in a tiny closet with one computer and fourteen students, and on top of that, the owner of the computer demands that we take our shoes off when we are using the computer, so the room absolutely reeks. Watching my students melt in a pool of their own bodily sweat in our tiny brick sauna, while I struggle not to faint in the hundred plus humidity. Taking the students up to the school field by way of crawling through a hole in a barbed wire fence. Oh, and have I mentioned the toilets, well maybe I shouldn't. Yes...the joys of teaching in Nepal.

My fifth grade science class working in teams on playground physics


But, have I mentioned the highs! When the children actually understand a difficult concept. When I see them doing fractions and know that everything they now know about fractions, I taught them (although using a pie for an example is not a good idea because they have never even seen a pie before, let alone tasted one.) Teaching the concept of pulleys using some twine and a few students's arms (it went off better than it sounds save for some rope burns) and then having them doing complicated pulley calculations.

Watching the gas molecules in my third grade science class's play on the three states of water, bounce off the stage in their excitable state. And seeing the school newspaper, produced by my seventh grade english class, come together, although for awhile, it looked uncertain.

class three cuties

I came up with the 'bright' idea to have my grade seven english class create a newspaper as a fun way to practice their english and creative writing skills (which seem to be woefully lacking.) But the execution went far from smooth. First, to come up with the topics. Once a list of newsworthy and some not-so-worthy topics were generated, there was a fight for some and absolutely no interest in others. Then came writing the stories. Oh, the pain of remembrance. They had absolutely no idea how to begin. Some students were completely bewildered by the lack of fill-in-the-blank and  matching exercises that they were used to. Others, because everyone had a different topic, at a loss of who to copy from. A few students I assigned some advertisements, and goodness knows how long I spent trying to teach them how to write compelling copy. Then it was a fight to get them to write just one slogan! 

Then there was Nawaraj, one of my best students for speaking (and talking back) in English, and also my laziest. His grasp of spoken English was the best (and unfortunately the cheekiest) but I could not get him to turn in his work on time, and I still do not believe in the Nepalese method of whacking someone over the head. Then I would check someone's story and recognizing a different student's handwriting (you think that they would at least copy it over again.) 


But then, there were the students who really got into it and tried their best. What a joy! One day, we came up with a list of names for the newspaper (all the usual combinations of Nawa Jyoti and words like Post, Times etc.) but at last settled upon the excellent "The Legend of Nawa Jyoti." 

When it all finally began to come together, the children got so excited and came up with clever and witty ideas for it. Since the paper was to be published around Nepali New Year, the students requested me to 'place an ad' for them wishing everyone a happy one. I was the editor and contributed an editorial article, as well as the standard english grammatical corrections which became fodder for many lessons. And now ... I would like to present a few selected articles from the Nawa Jyoti English Boarding School newspaper "The Legend of Nawa Jyoti."  

Class five - all my little scientists

IN BIG GAME,  ARCHIT WINS OVER LOTUS! by Prakash Kumar Shrestha  

Prakash (class7) & his siblings, Bikash & Prabina (class 4)

We have four houses in our boarding school. The names of the four houses are Marigold, Rose, Archit and Lotus. Among these houses Archit and Lotus are important houses. Archit and Lotus played an important game before the 2nd terminal examination on Mangsir 22nd 2056 B.S. In this game Ganesh Thapa was the best player of Archit. He scored three goals against the goalie Dhan Bahadur Lama of Lotus. Johny Gurung was the best player of Lotus house. He scored one goal. No other players scored goals for either house. There were no fouls in the game. The goalie of Archit seems to be better than the goalie of Lotus. The goalie of Archit blocked two shots on goal while the goalie of Lotus blocked  four shots on goal. At last Lotus gave up three goals to Ganesh Thapa giving Archit the win 3-1.

Nowadays, Football is very popular in Nepal, as well as in our Boarding school. In my view, Ganesh Thapa is the best player of our boarding school, so I am going to interview him.

How long have you been playing football?

Do you have fun at the games? Yes, I do.

How many people are required to play football?

For how many minutes is the game played?

What types of ground are needed for this game?

What type of shoe is favorable for football?

Which is the best season for this game? Why?

Do you play other sports? Which ones? Yes, I play other sports. Basketball is one of my

Who is your favorite football player in the world?

From whom did you learn to play football? I learned to play football with my brother.

In 1998 A.D. which country won the World Cup? France won the World Cup game of 1998 A.D.

What is the prize in that World Cup? Gold is the prize in that game.

Who is your favorite football player in Nepal? Hari Khadka is my favorite football player in Nepal.


NEW COMPUTER CLASS by Prem Kumari Darlami

At Nawa Jyoti E.B.S., a new computer class is being offered to the students. Our volunteer teacher, Miss Ann-Marie is teaching the class. The class is being held at the Ganga Computer Institute in Aaboo Khaireni. In the computer class, fourteen students are learning, however there is only one computer. The room is very small and it can get very crowded. The students have to take their shoes off to go to class, so unfortunately, it smells in the room at these times. But recently, Ganga Computer Institute bought another computer and now the students are very happy. Both computers are very new and modern. At first, everyone was very excited and wanted to use the computer right away. So that there was a little fighting to be first, but everyone did very well. Now with two computers, the students have alot more time working on the computers. The students pay one hundred rupees per month and go to computer class twice a week. Recently, the class was changed and now fewer students go to class at one time so that they can practice everything that they are learning.

The importance of computers lies in their use in and industrial work. We can learn in as quickly as one

TITANTIC MOVIE REVIEW   A Must-See in Cinema Hall! by Johny Gurung

Titanic, the American movie was a true love story. I like this movie very much. The main actor is Leonardo Di Caprio and the actress is Kate Winslett. They are very beautiful. This movie is my favorite and it is good for everyone to see. It will really affect you when the ship is hit by the iceberg, and also when the ship broke into two parts and sank. These are the best effects of the movie. At that time, everyone's heart was very afraid because many people were dying, but it was also very exciting.

This whole movie was told from beginning to end by Kate Winslett's character when she was eighty years old. In the beginning, Leonardo's character was poor while Kate's was rich. They meet on the ship. When Leonardo first saw her, he liked her. All the passengers went onto the ship and it started the voyage. Some days later, Leonardo and Kate came to love each other. They enjoyed parties and were very happy together. Again some days later, all the passengers and sailors are having a good party. They are enjoying the party but unfortunately, there was a big iceberg in front of the ship. When the sailors saw it, they tried to bypass the iceberg on the other side but there was a little mistake and some of the ice hit the ship. There was a hole in the last engine room. The water came into there and the force of the water was very strong. The engine was damaged and the ship began to sink. The people on the ship are very afraid and crying. Some people are loaded onto lifeboats and sent away. On one boat Kate was there but Leonardo was not She saw him and immediately jumped off because she loved him very much. So much so, that she did not want to die without him.  The ship filled with water and broke in the middle part. Finally the ship sank with such hard force, but still they are still alive and so happy. They tried to stay on a floating piece of wood, but it would sink because they were too heavy. Leonardo wanted Kate to climb on while he stayed in the water and died.  It is such a good love story.

In this movie, there are also some reasons that will make some people feel bored. Why? Because when there

Lastly, I want to say that everyone should watch this movie in the cinema hall, not at home on video cassette. At home, this movie will look very small and will lose your interest and not be as enjoyable to see. But in the cinema hall, it is very big and it also shows the whole scene. Thus it will be much more exciting, interesting and enjoyable to watch.

don't you agree?

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