Saturday, October 19, 2019

For POETS UNITED ~ Moonlight Musings: the Interactive Edition, #3 ~ We Planted New Trees





Come in the shade 
Remember the dead tree gives no shelter'.


Teaching English Literature to a class of Business Studies students was a great challenge. Both boys and girls found it without purpose. ‘What do we business studies students have to do with Literature, was a frequent question.’ This change in the syllabus was  difficult for students  to accept. For me it was like planting a new tree in a barren area. Love of literature and understanding it as a reflection of life, with all sorts of negative and positive aspects was my foundation of learning. 
The Literature course outline preparation was the responsibility of the Faculty member concerned and to fully convince the students to study Literature along with Business Studies.
 I began to reflect, put all my literature cards on the table, and looked for the right direction. ‘Pray, sacrifice something to the Gods’ ‘Aeolus Blow and Transform’ and Lo Aeolus blew hard, a paper landed right on my desk. 18th C~‘A Literary Research Paper and a Book Presentation’ will do the magic 
Announcing the syllabus I could see students smiling. The first reaction was satisfactory. ‘Charles Dickens 18th Century Novel ‘Hard Times’ study will reflect the state of labor laws, industrial growth and economic conditions, a novel of your choice will be presented and you may conduct research on any aspect of Literature, that is an open choice’ More smiles around  told me that the ice had broken. Literature gave free space for individual decisions
‘Who Moved My Cheese’ the book by Spencer Johnson brought the final applause. One student presenting it said, “Every two or three years we had to change cities due to my father’s job. Packing and unpacking exhausted me completely and I began to dislike the frequent change. I would cry at the moving time till one day father gifted this book to me. Reading it helped me to understand and accept the concept and necessity of ‘change’ in life and this changed my life too.
I never cried again. The cheese was all eaten and new pieces had to be placed.’  
This presentation was the pinnacle of success when  ‘change and addition in the syllabus was finally accepted and enjoyed

8 comments:

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I found this a fascinating tale; and I loved your solution to the problem.

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

Thank you Dear Rosemary

Magaly Guerrero said...

I'm smiling from ear to ear, Anjum. There are few things I love more as seeing the magical process by which students, of any path, get to realize that words are everything. Also, I'm going to reread Hard Times and Who Moved My Cheese? just because!

Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

Dear friend Magaly Thank you for the lovely encouraging words..yes words really truly matter I am so honored by your kind thoughts and visit.You will enjoy the reread of both the classics.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is such an inspirational write!❤️ I am overwhelmed by emotion after reading your words and admire the way you handled the students! Kudos to you! You're an amazing person and poet!❤️

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

Dear Sanaa Thank you for your kind and loving words It is all the Almighty's blessings.

Marja said...

Oh wonderful You are an inspiration for these young people and to instil a love of literature gives them a present for life. Loved reading this

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

Thank you Friend Marja My first teaching chance to two groups of 50 each...at the National University of Science and Technology Islamabad, young adults with sharp alert minds , would ask lots of questions but it was fun making them read novels and discovering Corporate Poetry
regards

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