Saturday, June 13, 2015

Thank you notes for the MSI visit - lessons in collaboration and intimacy

After the MSI visit, each child was asked to express themselves about their experience to the Institute since the station programs are all sponsored.
Yesterday we sat down to work on our thank you notes. I do not know if it's all the break from any sort of academic work or whether it's the fact that they could relate the activity to a real life experience they had, the girls worked on their samples with so much enthusiasm and joy.
Shruthkirti wrote a full blown essay with my help about her experience. I'm always surprised by how she gets her spellings all right without ever doing a spelling drill. I think it's the photographic memory from all the reading. I also liked her thought process, her logical way of writing rather than following a set pattern. I would suggest something and she would refute it giving explicit reasons. Prior to this essay she made a rainbow colored fish with its mouth open. The idea is to put the easy into the mouth with a piece of paper saying PULL , to pull the essay out! We had arrived at this idea together and she improvised on it and executed it beautifully. Way better than my initial imagination!! Of course's a given now right? Chellu and design...they go together.
She later on worked on a Learning Chain idea- mine originally and intended for Shreedhari. But later opted for a real food chain and so Chellu took it up. It was such fun talking with her through the project and coming up with the finished project. I'm starting to see that the girls are very willing to work on something when they see it as a collaborative project with me rather than as a being dictated to type of thing. It also changes my attitude towards them . The finished learning chain project was awesome . I really liked what created together.
Shreedhari made a drawing a colorful fish and of the MSI itself. Asking her if she would like to work on something else led to interesting conversations. She felt like she wasn't good enough and always did sloppy work unlike her sister. I'm so glad she expressed her diffidence because I got to talk I don't detail with her about how none of that is true. She was smiling and ready to go at the end of the conversation. She then beautifully did the food chain with me out of her own accord.
When we finally went to the post office to mail all of the samples, all of us had a happy, satisfied smile on us. This has got to be true learning - where one feels not only happy , curious, interested doing something but also has the satisfaction of finishing it.
And on days like these I also know that the real learning was the conversation with Kunju about her abilities, the real learning was the collaboration with Chellu. The finished project was only a side effect really.
As always thankful for an experience like this. The best part of Hsing is the intimacy in learning. Infact it's the intimacy that's the TRUE learning! 

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