Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Go Crazy …. It helps you LEARN and WIN

His Kannada examination is just the next day. This boy of 9yrs doesn’t really seem to understand the flak he gets from his teacher; nor our sad plight standing in front of the teacher as if we’d done something unpardonable. He is miserable in the language. He has been studying the language which is not his mother tongue for the past 4 yrs, though. And his mother makes him learn or by heart just before the exam.

The value of time is best understood or felt on the day before the Kannada exam for us and for the little boy too. Time ticks and he still is in the first chapter mugging up the answers. A silent prayer goes out off my heart to the Almighty to save us this time and bail out this poor and innocent boy. 

Luckily for the boy and for us, the Almighty does show mercy and get him through, and save us too each time. We sighed …with a big relief. Thanks to his mother for the unfathomable energy to drive him up the wall and make him cram the insurmountable amount of stuff in the subject in the shortest timeframe.

This boy should be taught the language in the vacation, we decided. We instructed him to read a lesson before breakfast, thinking this would make his little brain to remember fast. I carefully observed that this boy reads the one stipulated lesson and leaves the book and switches on the TV. (Our efforts finding a suitable teacher to teach him were in vain)

Almost 20 days have passed, and each day while he starts to read, this boy, stutters and mutters like he has been doing past so many years. What could be the reason?

I couldn’t fathom what went wrong. I’m equally crippled with the language. My wife is the only one who can barely read if not can understand every meaning.

An idea struck me, when he announced he finished his daily ritual of reading the one lesson: Hang in there, my son! Don’t just read it; Just go crazy about it.

Develop a Passion 

Our passions are shown in our daily activities. If you want to be a writer inevitably you’ll be found reading a lot of either news paper, or magazines or books. Your best friend comes and sits in front of you and patiently been waiting for you to finish your reading sojourn; but you never seem to know that a human figure sits in front, or even stepped in to your place (that’s how I used to read anything written in English).

This is your passion. You can rest assure yourself that this is your calling. If reading is your passion and inevitably you would write. Those thoughts and the corresponding phrases are recorded in your subconscious permanently. Once you trigger them they start belting out in full force, which you’ll be amazed at.

Go Overdrive 

It is just not enough if we do little by little in learning anything. Especially, writing. Writing takes a long process to get a grip on. It needs to be a rigorous exercise. You need to write on anything immediately. If you’re reading, you should read the best article several times and many times over. Even writing anything should be done with craze. Nothing should satisfy you. You need to see and write different drafts. Initially if you’re called to write you wouldn’t be surprised you’d get the best copy at the first instance or somewhere in the middle after number of drafts. 

My writing too hadn’t improved till that time I went on a feverish pace reading, and devouring everything at my sight. Ever since, I’m introduced to the internet it was an addiction of sort for me. Today, I’ve the confidence that I can write easily. 

Fatigue? Never! 

The more you read, the more you’re interested. The more you learn, the more you’re fired. The lesser you understand, the bigger will be your efforts (‘cause you’re crazy about it). Boredom, fatigue never touches you. Have you observed how a small toddler pursues a balloon? He moves farther as the balloon is pushed by his feet and he’ll never be tired of holding it.

Even a child too never gets tired of his playing or of his/her drawing. He pursues it with so much patience. “It’s simply craziness”, you end up telling to yourself about the child. 

Relent Not 

I told my son, don’t relent. Never stop with one lesson. Take it to two and three and four till you’re exhausted. Remind yourself the rewards you get, or the accolades you receive from your teacher and to yourself (you start liking yourself and you start believing in yourself). You feel proud of your achievement. You’ll be the role model to the world. 

I tell him look at me how I slog and read on the net. I sit hours together reading, reading and reading blogs. And I tell him that  I quit my job; knowing fully well that I’m technically-challenged (he helps me sometimes technically) and would like to strive to make big and, be a reputed writer who has a body of work to show to posterity. That’s to him – my son, and the world.

He knows my frustrations and my fights over the phone and often to myself. And still looks at me and say … “you’ll be a great copywriter one day as you’re crazy”. And I tell him “you’ll be a winner all the way as you’re crazy”. 


Judy said...

You see, Solomon? I learned something new today. Had to google Kannada, me who took so many world languages in college, including Swahili!

I can sympathize with your son, although if he is 9 and he's been taking lessons for four years, he must have been 5 when he started? I do think it is a little easier starting second and third and fourth languages when you are young.

The part I liked most about this post was when you talked about how important reading is in developing outstanding writing skills. I love to read and usually spend 1-2 hours in the evening reading as much stuff as I can. The more we read other authors, the easier it is to find our own writing voices.

You are doing great. You kept me entertained with your story. That's a good sign. : )

Solomon said...

BTW, I'm curious to know what Swahili is. I would find it out.

It's very difficult for the child to grasp the nuances of the language if it's not spoken at home. It's really a tough job for a parent.
I personally learnt that to learn a language or skill it's just not enough if you do bits and pieces; but we need to go crazy about it. Only then, we can learn it faster and speedier.
Thanks for your generous words. I felt happy that you were entertained through the story.
Your posts too are quite interesting and very informative, which I like to read!
We value your comments most.

janice said...

You are a devoted person and adore your family, Solomon. That comes out in everything you write. My first job was as an English teacher. I taught people whose first language wasn't English. They gave me a sense of wonder at how much of our souls and personalities we manage to express in languages which are not our native tongues.

You are right to read a lot - and you visit good blogs! Collective Inkwell has two different styles. Dave has crisp, fresh writing. Sean's is more lyrical. Both are good. Mary, at Write to Done and Goodlife Zen, writes beautifully. Nadia, as you know, writes well and from the heart, too.

As you say, all good reading improves our writing.

I wish you and your family well!Thank you for honouring my site with your visits.

Anonymous said...


Good post. So you are crazy about writing, are you. Well, so am I and I see we share something else, too. We are both technically challenged, although I can readily see I am the more technically challenged of the two of us.

The proof of that statement is that I have been spinning my wheels and going nuts trying to even get my blog basically set up for a month now. Ah, well. . . so it goes.

Sometimes we have to just buckle under and keep at it until we figure out the technical things that are so easy for others.

I like your ideas about your favorite pursuit. I am in there with you when it comes to never stopping. I can hardly break away from my reading and writing to eat or bath. Somehow I manage both, since my wife will kill me otherwise.

And, yip, you are doing the right thing by your son in telling him that he needs to buckle under and work hard now so he can enjoy more the accolades that will come his way later as a result of his hard efforts now.

Take care, Solomon. Until next time,

Your fellow crazed writer and witless technician,


Solomon said...

Hi Janice,
I'm so glad you visited my blog. It's quite a humbling experience.
Ever since, I saw your comments in CIW I thought here is someone who comments with genuine interest. I'm little surprised to see all your comments are extra large in the blogs. That shows that you're very generous person with a good and loving persona.
I think if you're inherently a loving person, that shows in your writing and your actions, too.
I'm a fan of both David and Sean. I haven't visited both write to done and goodlife Zen recently. For Nadia , she too is a wonderful writer and a good person.
I'm honoured by your presence, and all those who visited by blog.
I can't thank all of you enough. I'm happy that I came to know you all through the wonderful blogging.
Thank you once again

Solomon said...

Hi Lawrence,
Thank you for your visit to my blog and the beautiful comment!
Frankly, all this you see here in my blog was done by a friend from Malaysia. He did everything for me and asked me to take over.
Regarding, our pursuit reading and writing. I like it so much and quit my day job as a copywriter to dedicate more time and also to venture on my own as a freelancer. Often, the journey is very tough and tiring; not able to get good clients.
Thanks to my wife who believes in me that I can make it.
Regarding my son, I quit my job for him and partly to the politics in ad agencies. I want to be near him while he grows up and simply be with him.
I want to see your blog in full force very soon.
I'm so happy you visited and look forward to more visits!
All the best!