I have actually got quite a bit of reading done off my list. However, I am not yet ready to post reviews on textbooks of psychology, regardless of how absorbing I may find them. But because I cannot resist, I will say that, if you are interested in brushing up on the basics of psychology, the 6th edition of Discovering Psychology by Hockenbury & Hockenbury is an excellent choice. I especially like the style it’s been written in. It’s interactive and easy to read without watering down the facts. Like most recent edition textbooks it includes the latest research to explain the fundamentals, and this now, makes for a very intriguing read.
This year my goal in regard to blogging is to post twice a week. This is proving to be more difficult than I expected because I had not anticipated the busy-ness of other aspects of my life. It seems that I may have to begin incorporating new interests to post about, apart from my primary interest – books.
A part of my life that has begun to occupy me increasingly is my work. Even though it’s exhausting at times, at the end of the day I always feel glad and bright with all the good that has happened. It’s difficult to stay focused on the negatives while teaching adorable little pumpkins. For a few days I even entertained the idea of becoming a full time kindergarten teacher.
On Friday afternoon there was a little boy in my class who was being extremely disruptive. He was running around the class shouting and jumping on tables when I hauled him off for a talk. (Now he is one of the students in my class who does not speak English very much and with whom verbal communication is pretty difficult. My broken Tamil is as good as his English – which is not much help at all).
So anyway, I was struggling to make him understand what constituted acceptable behavior and what didn’t. He usually just stares up at me and smiles blankly. Then nods and runs off to continue with whatever I just told him not to do. Today he stared up at me with wide innocent eyes and kissed my hands. It was an effort to keep a straight face. It became even more difficult when he bent down and began massaging my calves, all the while looking up at me with those wide eyes as if to say, “I’m sorry. Can we forget about it?” I had to laugh and cuddle him. There are quite a few children in my class, like Mohana Krishna, who are a handful. But it’s impossible to stay upset for too long with any of them.
Another day when the entire class was silently absorbed in work, I heard a lone chair being dragged on the floor. I got up to investigate. There was Yoga Vaishnavi, as tall as her chair, pushing it back and forth while using her Identity card as a cellphone. When she saw me she looked sheepishly at me, sat down, and continued talking softly with her imaginary friend on the “phone”.
I never imagined that teaching kindergarten could be so hugely satisfying. The parents tell me that they hear so much about me from their children. It’s sobering. And even more so that I’ve witnessed them trying to mimic the way I speak and behave. Sure it’s flattering, but it also forces me to exercise more patience than I normally would and smile even when I’m least inclined to do so. It’s thrilling to spend the day with minds that are curious, appreciative of the ordinary, and innovative in ways we’d never imagine. Every day is a new experience in some way and is deeply fulfilling. It’s a compliment when they are in awe of my ridiculous drawings; most of all, when they ask me to teach them how to draw! It’s very endearing when they come to me with their stories and questions; put their tiny hands on my shoulder when I’m sitting; hold my leg when I’m standing. It makes me feel very much like one of the illustrations of Miss Honey by Quentin Blake 🙂