Friday, May 28, 2010

Idealistic, romantic and realistic : Walt Whitman

Born on May 31, Walt Whitman is one of my favourite poet whose poetry is idealistic and romantic - in rhymes and rhythm to thoughts. His prose has been realistic. His poems have often voiced for peace during the Civil War and what I like about the Poet is, every poem has something to say - so human and concerned with a message - which you will find in Comments on his work. This reveals the Poet's nature, emotions and kindness towards things he perceived. Here is the Profile and his works.

- Walt Whitman Other Literature Profiles Index

If you love poetry and are even writing or wish to write better, here's Poetry Pages on Kidsfreesouls and you can look forward for more as I frame more Poetry Learning pages. You can read a couple of my poems written with random thoughts and do put 'Like' on this post if you are on FB or comment on my blog post.

- ilaxi patel

Newspaper for Kids

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sherlock Holmes - a Different Character?

In 1916 Arthur Conan Doyle made a declaration that would impact the rest of his life. He stated his belief in Spiritualism. Could it be? The man who created the ever-logical Sherlock Holmes believed in ghosts?

Born on 22nd May, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a British writer, creator of the famous Sherlock Holmes, the world's best known Detective. Check his profile and read on Sherlock Holmes on Kidsfreesouls.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Who loves broken marriages? They're made in Heaven!

International Family day was on 15th May. Here's my Post article on Family, relationships and 'Divorce' :

Values count and they do, especially when a couple is on the verge of a broken relationship and an almost ruined married life! When the vows are taken, it’s always the sun and the moon and the stars but a couple of days, months and years roll down to realize the stars always are shining in the sky and to reach there, a lot efforts take to check those difference of opinions and emotional outbursts.

Sacrifices and its from either side. Couples often forget the small yet big meaning of life – to be together is adjusting, forbearing differences and sacrificing. Family bonds come with love and couples leave behind their influence and impressions to their children. Parenting role plays an important part in lives of kids. Children are dependent on parents for their every need and as they grow up, it is fondness and security that calls for from parents.

Times have changed and this day, we find 'Divorces' on a rise. Crash boom goes the wows broken to head for a divorce! - Stop, Think, Compromise, Adjust - for Kids' sake, parents need to Grow Up and manage their responsibilities gracefully. Divorce is no solution. It affects both the partners emotionally, economically and socially. It becomes complex for a single parent to appropriately care for the child. It gives an uncomfortable feeling socially as in social context, it is considered a caste out deed and unacceptable attitude with taken as granted that the couples are both at fault possessing qualities of ego and intolerance. Children could equally experience a feeling of anger and isolation if they are at an understanding age and for those who are very young, the realization at a later age is embarrassing.

Every thing in life happens for a cause. Even a Divorce. Before taking an action, every parent should, ‘Stop, think and act’ – Confronting situations is a pain but binding by law and taking decision is more stressful. Separation is risky and should be taken seriously. It is not a game where you can play with your own self as well as with the children. It is Stress in relationships that break the family bonds. Nothing ever should be compromised that keeping relationships intact because it is said, ‘Marriages are build in Heaven’ and who are you to break it? Nevertheless, it is the freedom and emotions that rule the minds and more important is ‘Self Esteem’ – to value self and to be self accepting.

In India, as per the Hindu Act 1955, marriages broken can be due to the grounds of adultery, desertion, cruelty, conversion, mental disorder, diseases, renunciation, etc. However, lately family disturbances are on a rise and as a result, a joint family is not an acceptable idea to many which ends up to break in relationships. This trend of ‘staying alone, staying happy’ is somewhat a shift in family lifestyle which lived under one roof, in unity with joint families where the parents, grandparents, children and grand children lived together in earlier times. These joint families are almost breaking as members of the family are getting separated – some or the other reason and those couples who are more modern and living on edge, find it inconvenient to adjust and sacrifice – for the sake of the family, for the sake of kids. Intolerance is on back seat as ego surfaces with stressful situations from all sides creating an environment of breaking bonds. Suffering comes from all ends and if you ask people around you ‘What do you worry about?” In comes the answer:

80% - worry about family

75% - worry about relationships

60% - worry about health

50% - worry about small things

50% - worry about What if…..

There are people around in India when surveyed upon said:

80% - worry about money

85% - worry about keeping relationship intact

75% - worry about losing self respect

Loss of a dear one, health concerns, careers, etc are many other worries that Indian people worry about. However, 75% people worry about relationships – To make or to keep intact or stop from breaking!!!

Well, here’s answer to Stop Worrying and stop – think – save Relationships. Stop taking the drastic step of the most unwanted word ‘Divorce’ because it can never bring in happiness but add to the stress and worries. Instead, it is more wise to compromise, adjust, let go, forgive and forget. Relationships are Hard but Ego is harder. The ego has to be trained to dissociate itself from whatever ideas of attachment come into the mind. Discovery of self is important and once, either of the couple understand their ego and shrugg off to accept self and remove negativity from within, there comes understanding – accepting each other as they are and improve upon their mistakes, believe in each other and live happily.

A few tips with identified Emotional Intelligence facets might help all :

Optimism : Consider what is positive and right – be optimistic
Assertiveness : Saying what one thinks. Confront – telling what your wants. Exercise power and opening up. Sometimes silence don’t speak words, it makes one suffer.
Emotional energy: cope with frustration, anger, conflict or pressure. This emotional energy need to be charged.
Self esteem: Value self and be self accepting.
Courage : Face challenging situation and take action that is right
Self Direction : Make decisions, set goals. Keep family alive.
Tolerance : Be tolerant, patient, accepting and cooperating – This is a major part where people fail and relationships go haywire
Consideration for others : This is being considerate, helpful, being honest and responsible. Most of the time, when responsibilities are overlooked, ego issues pop in and distances are broadened.
Sociability : Enjoying company of all. If isolation finds way, frustrations, stress pave in way to break up souls, for sure.

International Family day and all I could think was writing on Family and relationship. So, here I hope this post article might give an insight to stop the Family from Pressure – the involvement is whole family – Parents, grandparents, couple and even people around them. After all, who loves broken marriages?

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning to write poetry or a story in few sessions is not a miracle!

Edward Lear, an English writer and artist, became famous for his humorous poems for children. Born in London on May 12 1812, Lear's first book of poems, "A Book of Nonsense" (1846) ranks as a masterpiece of children's literature. His best known "The owl and the Pussy-cat" became a classic too.

That old man of Melrose
Who walked on tip of his toes
But they said it ain't pleasant
To see u at present
You stupid old man of Melrose

Well, Limericks is a form of humorous verse. It takes it's name from the city of Limerick, Ireland. No one knows how or where the form originated. It became known after Edward Lear made the form popular with his first "A Book of Nonsense (1846). The Limerick is a poem of five lines, with strong beat and rough anapaestic rhythm (i.e. de-de-DUMM). It is written in Poulter's measure, a Folk Metre that consists of 13 beats. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth, the third line rhymes with the fourth.

Parents often come to me and request that their kids learn to write poetry - Just because their poetry need to be selected and they have to recite at a Recitation competition or get it printed in the school magazine.

Learning to write poetry in two to four sessions is not a miracle. Kidsfreesouls suggest Poetry Soup Ideas and here's some simple steps:

1. Build Vocabulary - two-three-four-five-six letter words - Be familiar with words and just words
2. Rhyme words - Find all rhyming words and make a list
3. Select topics from Poetry Soup - Write on school, hobby, animals, etc.
4. Say some Tongue Twisters - To get familiar with rhyming words with pleasure when you say "Betty bought some butter, but the butter was bitter, so betty bought some better butter, to make the bitter butter, better."
5. Let imagination swirl - Write down all your great ideas.

Now, when I talk of Rhymes, words rhyming together give a musical chime of sound and this is the reason why rhyme is so much used. I am fond of rhyming words and I think, Internal rhymes also add music. For eg.

"The Ice was here and the Ice was there,
The Ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a sound!"

Vowel and Consonant sound words like long open vowels and soft consonants like l, m, n, v, w, z, etc produce sweet, soft, soothing music. Alliteration is yet another way to add zing to poetry. Repetition of words and phrases in poetry not only emphasize the meaning but often give musical effect to the poem.

For eg. "In ever climbing up a climbing wave" (Tennyson) or "The western tide crept up along the sand, And o'er and o'er the sand, And round and round the sand" (Kingsley)
Another thing I observed while writing Poetry. Poets have three ways of making us see mental pictures as we let our Imagination soar higher to pen down:

1. By Description : Describing a scene, character, real or ideal, in words. Eg. Henry Longfellow's 'Rain in Summer' (Search in Google Here)
2. By Figures of Speech : Such as simple, metaphor and personification. Compare one thing with another.
3. By Picturesque way : A poet can call up for a picturesque image with descriptive words like, eg. "All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody sun, at noon" (Coleridge)

Imagination and Emotions - two things to blend for an appeal. And which other poetry can go best than 'Daffodils' by William Wordsworth (Search in Google Here) - It touches the heart as we recite to end up,

"...They flash upon that inward eye, Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils."

Well, here is Edward Lear's Profile (Born on 12th May) and Limericks by Edward Lear.Also find Poetry Learning Pages and My Poetry here. Enjoy!

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Cop 15 failure and future progress on climate - transforming cultures

I was just reading the Environment column that I placed on Kidsfreesouls and my attention was here on the words of Chris Flavin of the U.S.-based Worldwatch Institute. He believes that future progress on climate “will be driven more by domestic economics and politics rather than the international negotiating process.” It is suggested that the future UN climate talks should focus not on overarching agreements but on practical goals like providing funding for poor countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change, accelerating international cooperation on technology, and coordinating a global effort to protect the world’s remaining forests given their capacity to store large amounts of carbon.

Thoughtful view and I completely agree that nations do need to adopt policies and technologies to keep carbon footprints in check and transform cultures. Here is a ppt on what you can do for the community and why culture change is so important. Here is a copy of the State of the World 2010: a preview - Stay tuned to Kidsfreesouls for Environment column and Watch this space for World watch Institute - a vision for sustainable world. Also interesting is the Life cycle studies section.

Parents and teachers may take a look into the Environment section and maybe you find some worksheets to chart out for kids and even come for better summer activity planning activities on environment.

- ilaxi patel

Newspaper for kids