Notice: Hiatus to focus on A levels

I’ll be sitting for the AS’ level exams soon. It starts on the third of May and ends on seventh of June. I don’t like to cram before an exam, so I’ll just read condensed notes and key points.

On a different note, Happy Labour day in advance.

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ARC (NetGalley) Review: I Saw An Invisible Lion Today

 

Description:

Quatrain? What kind of train is that? Actually, it’s a poem! Quatrains are poems with patterns of rhyming words. Award-winning author Brian P. Cleary explains how quatrains work—and shows some of the many ways they can be written.

I Saw an Invisible Lion Today is packed with poems on subjects ranging from grandmothers to muzaloos to make you giggle and howl. And when you’ve finished reading, you can try your hand at writing your own poems!

Product Details (Amazon):

 

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Series: Poetry Adventures
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Press (April 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467797316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467797313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces

 

Review:

Whether or not the Invisible Lion in question is Aslan remains unknown, however, what I do know is that this anthology is clear cut and precise which makes it easy to fathom for children who have not been introduced to the poetic form known as Quatrains.

Not only does Brian P. Cleary clearly illustrate what a Quatrain is, he explores this concept by demonstrating it through various Quatrains of his own making which have different rhyme schemes such as ABCB, AABB, and ABAB. Moreover, he goes as far as to mention that Quatrains can be standalone stanzas or an entire poem in itself.

Furthermore, the contents of this collection of assorted poems are brought to life owing to the adept hand of the illustrator Richard Watson.  I couldn’t think of a better way to broach Quatrains to a layman.

Not to mention, at the conclusion of the book, Brian leaves lots of helpful references to further explore the subject matter and develop a knack for it. I do imagine this will be a helpful handbook in a classroom setting for those charting waters in Quatrains for the first time at an early age.

With this in mind, I do highly recommend this anthology to those in search of an anthology which will serve the dual role of teacher and text.

Rating:

Justification: Ideal for the target audience.

ARC (NetGalley) Review: Leave This Song Behind

 

Description: 

 It’s been 10 years since the last book in the Teen Ink series Written in the Dirt was published. Now, a whole new batch of teen writers has emerged with their own unique voices. Leave This Song Behind features the best poetry submitted by those writers to Teen Ink over the last five years.

The pieces in this book were chosen because they were so powerful that they stood out from the rest. Teen Ink editors took a deep look into each poem’s strengths then divided Leave This Song Behind into seven sections based on the poetic techniques or qualities that moved them most. Vivid sensory details made some poems shine; others caught their attention with simple, sparse language. Still others were chosen because of their thoughtful use of form; compelling stories; strong figurative language; unexpected connections and wit; and fresh writing about familiar topics.

Dig in and let these brave young voices capture your heart and mind with their passion, their pain, and their amazing poetry!

Product Details (Amazon): 

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (April 26, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757318967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757318962
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

 

Review:

‘Leave This Song Behind’ is an inspired anthology containing at its heart an impressively diverse spectrum of poems. I’d go as far as to wager that there’s something in it for everyone.

For me ‘Write What You Know’ and ‘Fractions’ struck a chord. I could immediately identify with the poetic persona of ‘Write What You Know’ because I too have been struggling for the last year or so with my Pure Mathematics & Statistics class. To put it simply: Mathematics is not my strong suit. I’ve invested countless hours day in day out, week after week, and still flunked the class. As you can imagine the reaction from my academic supervisor and peers was all but understanding, as a result of which their image of me has diminished greatly.

Be that as it may, the academic year as a whole has been fulfilling. I’ve gained ground in debating, Model UN, as well as power point presentations to say nothing of how much I’ve improved in interpersonal relations. As a whole the poem sends the message ‘Stick to what you’re good at and don’t dwell on the things you can’t do’ which is advice that can be appreciated by people of all ages.

With this in mind, when one feels like the poetic persona of ‘Fractions’ that is to say “One third of a person” at 3 AM in the night, the positive mindset embodied within ‘Write What You Know’ can be of use.

In a word, it will be hard to “Leave This Song Behind” as it has had an impact on me that is rather difficult to put into words, but it is always a nice feeling to see the youth invigorated and given an opportunity to voice themselves.

Rating:

 

Pythagorean Cup

 

What if happiness is contained inside a Pythagorean cup? Overflowing happiness would then simply drain away and empty the cup completely. This is why it is important to listen to Mr. Micawber’s advice and live within our means.

Similarly, if we apply the same concept to knowledge, it would be difficult to learn if one were to be satisfied with a certain level of knowledge or overestimate themselves. According to the Dunning-Kruger effect relatively unskilled persons suffer from an illusory superiority as a result of a meta-cognitive inability to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their ability accordingly instead of letting ideas/perceptions stagnate.

IBMC #10 Pursuit of Happyness Challenge

Click on this link to be redirected to the happiness challenge

AN: I put Y instead of I in happiness because of the movie and how it changed the way I saw a few things. Always thinking about “I” is not happiness… that’s being self centered.

Welcome to the last task. This one is pretty easy!

“Happiness is … ”

Complete the sentence and grow it. Keep it a maximum of five hundred words or less.

 

Happiness is … being profoundly disappointed in society’s definition of happiness which is akin to individualistic consumerism and making a conscious decision to move away from that mindset to look for something more in life.

What I wish to seek out is good company.

No not this kind of friend

 

Along with self sufficiency.

and great analysis:

Happiness= good company+ self sufficiency+ great analysis.

Happiness is not the following:

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IBMC #09 Mooreeffoc: The Be A Baby Challenge

IBMC Challenge Number 09 (Highly recommended)

This is perhaps the most interesting challenge of  IBMC’s repertoire of tasks. I suggest everyone give this a shot…

As a baby everything around is new to them. They slowly learn things by keenly observing how each and everything is done. It’s a pleasure to watch a baby learn new things. They learn that they need to cry to get something. They learn that they need to put forward their hands to reach out for something. Many such slow incremental things accumulate in order.

Now the task is if you were to see something with a fresh new perspective, what would it be? Give a baby step to something and explore this new perception and dimension with your engaging thoughts. You can give a fresh meaning to a new word, sentence, concept or anything weird or meaningful.

 

 

 

The word comes originally from Charles Dickens, who used it in his abandoned autobiography. He was sitting in a London cafe one day and noticed that “Moor-eeffoc” is “coffee room” spelled backwards; Dickens was looking at the establishment’s name from the “wrong” side of the window. G.K. Chesterton and J.R.R. Tolkien later used “mooreeffoc” in print to mean something suddenly seen in a strangely new way. (You might say that David Lynch films are full of mooreeffoc places, objects, and people.)

 

The idea of  incremental albeit continuous good change is followed by the Japanese, they call it Kai (good) Zen (change). It was coined in the book of the same name written by author Masaaki Imai.

If I could actively seek out something to see in a fresh new perspective it would be school and the joy of learning. My experience with school is like a complex number: it takes effort to get to the root of it as it is negative. I have to “Imagine” a way to get to the bottom of the problem but the solution eludes me like an axis tantalizingly out of reach of an asymptote.  (a joke in poor taste?)

As far as education is concerned school provides the necessary tools to extract information and refine it. After all, questions are typically modeled in adherence to bloom’s taxonomy.

This type of Higher. Order. Thinking (HOT) sharpens the mind in such a manner that people are more ready to cope with novel situations that their textbook does not give them a go-to answer for. Think about it really, if all you had to do to be successful in life was follow a textbook without question, wouldn’t you really be the best you could be already?

^ inherited wealth (donald trump)… or people who have inherited the wisdom of their forefathers without ever being formally taught(inherited knowledge)

 

It doesn’t do to only have a great plan, execution of the idea or the presentation of the information is what might make all the difference.

For the longest time now I’ve viewed the joy of learning as deriving a sense of satisfaction from getting the socially acceptable test score. What happens when one tests poorly? Condescension from peers obviously!  Unfortunately as of late, that doesn’t seem to cut it. My motivation appears to stem from wanting to gain deeper understanding of how things work. During my years at school… esp. (year 8-11), I was routinely shut down by teachers whenever I asked more than one question. Retrospectively this made the process of learning a painstaking as well as arduous process. If I asked for alternatives to tried and true methods, none were offered…

Recently I came across the types of learning such as but not limited to these:

It is not fair to blame the teachers as they have 40 minutes to achieve the complicated task of teaching a classroom of children that each have their own strengths and weaknesses as well as individual learning style, though I would have appreciated it if they didn’t teach to tests and instead explained each subject in a broad scope so individual’s could perform well on tests anyway as they have the requisite skill set to analytically approach the questions and subject matter instead of just a particular range of predetermined questions.

What I’ve learned is that learning is a lifelong process and I need to proactively seek out what works best for me. As of this moment, listening to Claudio Monteverdi’s music while sipping a cup of tea and reading condensed notes which I elaborate or annotate is what works best for me. Failing to do that, listening to an interactive lecture works wonders as well.

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IBMC #08 The Nursery Rhyme Challenge

 

Click here to be redirected to the challenge post

You are going to enjoy this. You will pick a nursery rhyme and make a new interpretation of it. You are free to make edits to that rhyme and then give an interpretation. The only ultimate restriction is that there has to be rhyme and a new context to it. Let your imaginations flow.

 

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! (Dr. Suess)

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And
you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll
decide where to go.
You’ll get mixed up,
of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with
many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great
tact and remember that
Life’s A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)KID, YOU’LL MOVE
MOUNTAINS!

 

I have chosen not to edit it, as I like it the way it is.

People are for the most part free and responsible agents determining their own development through acts of the will. In the comic book universe, Darkseid pursues an anti-life equation which can force any living creature to bend to his will. In symbolic terms this represents the notion that without free-will or the ability to act of our own volition we are not essentially alive.

In ‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’ Dr. Suess educates kids about how they can hone their intellectual acumen and sharpen their wits to achieve their dream. It also serves as a reminder about how at the end of the day we have our own objectives which we set for ourselves.

That being said, it can also act as a cautionary tale about not getting subsumed into the wrong crowd. The advise that we should step with great care and tact, because life is a great balancing act is priceless. Our free will allows us to choose what to do, but at the same time we have to remember that every action has a reaction which if Newton is to be believed is often opposite and equal.

Furthermore, 98.75% chance of “guaranteed” success is ironic to say the least! Truth be told, the world does not owe us an IOU, besides, success is highly subjective, hence there is no one size fits all approach to it.

When it comes down to it, we’ve all moved a mountain. For that matter, it could have been a mountain load of paperwork and with a deadline to boot, could have been that volcano project in second grade or even a bottle of Mountain Dew.

All I know for sure is that the messages replete in this poem are pure.

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IBMC #07 The Newspaper Challenge

Click this link to be redirected to the challenge post

You are going to pick up a news paper article. Either online or take a snapshot from the hard copy paper. Use appropriate reference for the article you have used. You need to debate and discuss your view points on the selected article.

gran dad.PNG

My Grandfather was a productive man. During the Bangladesh Liberation war of 1971 when the field marshall’s men were looking for him to put a stop to his pro-liberation poetry and songs, he had hid in a small room of a house which was within close proximity of a remote village. In the midst of this  difficult chapter of his life, he chose to put his time to good use. How so? With him he had carried  an anthology of Emily Dickinson’s poetry, as a result he utilized the spare time on his hands by translating the contents of the compilation into Bengali.

Of course, he was like that for  most of his life according to various accounts. Once, when he was abroad working on a thesis of his, he almost worked himself to death. Fortunately, his friend who was also pursuing a degree at the same university came to check on him after he was absent for a day. My grandfather was found lying in bed unable to get up owing to a mind numbing amount of pain from his back which was a result of poor posture. Apparently, he spent a great deal of time at his study desk hunching over one tome or the other.

Recently, few people aside from the intelligentsia of the nation remember him or his work. A point often overlooked by my generation is that innovation does not come in leap or bounds, and that history should not be learned for the sake of history… to be sure if one builds on the foundation laid by the past  it is possible to internalize the wisdom of ages past and avoid pitfalls. On a positive note, I knew him to be a man who lived to write and contribute to shape a better tomorrow for his posterity, in this case, I have ruled that the intention was more important than the result. With this in mind I’ve found my closure.

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IBMC #06 The Mass Media Challenge

Click here to be redirected to the IBMC Challenge

Alexander Graham Bell inventor of the telephone

 

Geist the magician is a character from the video game dot hack link. Geist is german for Ghost. His end is ultimately tragic and memorable.

 

task-6

This challenge has asked this of me: Connect the picture above, a poem about a ghost, and something about a telephone in order to come up with a synthesized writing.

On the telephone I overheard

by means of cross connection

the strangest conversation

someone named Geist hated laggards

all he cared about were results

being a master of the occult

he planned to work his magic

to bring about a fate so tragic

it gave me goosebumps

thump thump thump

beat my wretched heart

giving away my position immediately

Geist vociferously vowed vengeance

 my phone choked in horror

as its coils of telephone wire recoiled in shock

I proceeded to make a run for it

outside, gasping for breathe

I stopped to catch the view

of what I knew

to be the last sun set

I might have the luxury to admire

 

 

 

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IBMC #05 The Not-So-Quite Quote Challenge

Click here to be redirected to the challenge

“If two people were simultaneously reading each other’s thoughts would the same thoughts be echoed for all of infinity?” asked Mehmet

“I’m confused at times, should I sound alarmed, should I echo the feeling?” pondered Hazeel out loud

“What good would come of creating a recursive feedback loop of confusion? One has to accept that there are things one won’t come to know about or understand but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This art of mind reading is not a precise science, best not conflate it with thought policing.” continued Hazeel.

“Haha, that’s just the thing, over thinking and over analyzing creates problems that aren’t there in the first place. Take for example the paradox of the honest and dishonest guard. Why not just walk out the door from which one entered the room in the first place?”

“You need not answer all the questions! You can just laugh and laugh again.” concluded Mehmet.

“You speak my mind Mehmet. Alas, sometimes thinking that one is hopeless and with no chance of success secures such a result. Giving up is a surefire way to fail. It’s hard to think it is easy and easy to think it is hard. Negative Thoughts- they do what we don’t ask for!”

“Well said Hazeel, I would like to add that it takes courage to admit for all to hear ‘I knew it! I don’t know!’, Pyrrho he was a skeptical man and he based his school of thought around the idea that we should not let our cognitive biases or allegiance to a cause dictate how we perceive the truth… perhaps he had the right of it…”

“Speaking of Paradoxes, what of koans? At times we pretend to think on one, but actually think everything else! It taught me that asking too many questions can be an exercise in futility and it’s best to just ask good ones.”

 

 

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