Monday, December 6, 2010


Basic Body Parts with pictures

Disclaimer: 30% of this is based on facts (including the video), the rest pure imagination.

The other day I had sat with five Level 0 (least bright) children at WM Center with the net book to go over the Body Parts video lesson. Names of the students are not relevant, as you will realize at the end of this report. I was able to activate the video showing head, eye, nose, etc., but the audio was not there or was very feeble. Perhaps it was in 'mute' mode. Not wanting to fumble with the net book in front of the children, and thus expose my net book illiteracy, I allowed the video to run without sound. I hushed my ego by making it believe that it was a shrewd strategy on my part to judge if the children could come up with the right words on their own by seeing the pictures, or even try to read the words seeing the letters appearing on the screen.

Normally when they see a word start with H, they will either say Head or Hand, but the pictures accompanying the words helped choose the right word. When it came to distinguishing between Hand and Arm or Leg and Foot looking at the picture alone, which could be confusing even to a trained teacher, the words helped. Occasionally, seeing the children try to pronounce some words, I helped them by sounding the first letter, e.g., mmmmm................, nnnnnn....................., fffffff................ , for Mouth, Nose, Foot, etc.

Lastly, the picture of Stomach appeared. (see pic.)

Now, Stomach, you will agree with me, is perhaps a word the WM Center children had never come across, let alone used, having had no occasion till now to write leave letters on a monthly basis citing acute pain in that part of the body. For ages, stomach ache has been the excuse most preferred by everyone from school kids to executives to housewives to escape not just classes but several other situations because of its unique distinction of being an ailment that can't be disproved by teachers, colleagues, bosses, husbands or even doctors. As if having never heard the word is not bad enough, the word itself is a complex one, looking from a Level 0 kid's angle. It not only cunningly starts with a double consonant but also ends with one, making life difficult for the children and the volunteers.

To come back to my narration, when the picture of Stomach appeared, there was a sudden silence and after about 2.0003 seconds I thought I have waited long enough and started to say and had gone as far as 'ssssss' when suddenly, all the five kids triumphantly cried out in unison, "Simran!"

Well, I thought, either the children, assessed as level 0 by us volunteers who consider ourselves to be somewhere in level 122+, could read my mind or I have developed a new skill of group-communicating through telepathy. For, I can’t truly say that the name did not occur to me.

Note: None of the above, except for the contents of the video, is true. Including the allusion that I don't know how to turn on the speaker in the netbook, because I know how to do that. Yes, when I say I know, I just KNOW, okay? If you don't believe me, ask Sim......... NO!.......I was only about to write 'ask simply anyone'.

Can't 'stomach' this kind of stuff, eh?

-- RR