Today I went with Rahul and Ridhi to their learning center, in a village called Ramdwari some 90 kms from Lucknow. Rahul and I had made the Arvind Gupta DC motor for today's class. They were thinking of doing a few sessions on energy with the older children, just exposing them to new ideas, try to draw out questions from them etc.
I had very interesting discussions earlier with Rahul on energy, electricity, magnetism etc. It's interesting to engage with an inquisitive person from a non-science background on these questions, uncorrupted by the terms and definitions we learn in science. I thought he made a good science teacher, getting the children to look at different aspects of the motor, and asking questions that made them think.
The learning center is run in the courtyard of a house, and there is a boy in that house studying in class 11. He goes to a private school in the nearby town, a bright boy, very keen about studies, having high aspirations. Apparently he found chemistry difficult, and Rahul and Ridhi had told him that he could talk to me when I visited. Had an interesting session with him, in fact I spent most of the time we were there with him only.
The setting was so quaint- he even brought a table from inside his house and we were sitting on both sides of the table looking at his book with Rahul and Ridhi engaging the students in the learning center in the background, and the rest of the family looking now and then while they went about their business!
Quite a bright boy, studying chemical equilibrium and electronic configuration and stuff on his own from his books, in Hindi. Very eager to learn. He had some questions for which I didn't have good answers, but I got him to write his questions for me, and I told him I'll try to find out the next time I came. He was very clear about which topics he knew well and which portions he just couldn't make sense on his own. A trait you often wished most students in Sahyadri had ;) . I hope to go a little more prepared and spend more time with him next time I go.
I was thinking on the way back that I would love to stay in the village overnight, and go for long walks. It's such a beautiful and quiet countryside. Far-off place. I think this boy's family wouldn't mind if I stayed at their place for a day. I was thinking I'll ask them the next time I visit.
- Kishore A