Brine Pickles' workshop at Omni Books
A passionate teacher, eleven young creative writers and an abstract painter as the photographer what could be missing in a group of thirteen inspired minds engaged in a creative writing workshop? Workshop! Yes, but not a typical workshop one will think of. Rather it was like a pleasure ride experience to learn to work out prose from one of the most favorite teachers- Prof. Dr. Fakrul Alam. Sharing his insights and techniques on writing prose with the young creative writers from Brine Pickles in a rather relaxed-back-at-couch mode was nothing similar to Dr. Alam's usual classroom.
It was Brine Pickles' first workshop after emerging as an individual organization like a new plant beside its mother tree - the British Council. Omni Books at Dhanmondi gladly opened their glassy doors generously for the workshop to be held successfully with both its Thursday afternoon sessions on September 27 and November 4.The Pickles were naturally quite excited to be a part of such sessions where, on one hand a teacher comes closer as a friend and guru and on the other, the learners gain more confidence about their techniques and style.
According to Dr. Alam Sheridan Baker's The Practical Stylist is a useful hand book in prose writing while The Norton Reader, The London Review of Books along with websites of useful literary journals such as The New Yorker should be consulted often. Pickles picked up valuable tips on diction, tone and sense of audience and length in regard to sentence and paragraph construction. George Orwell's essay “Politics and English Language” was prescribed as an instruction manual for the elementary prose writers.
The second session that held on the following Thursday, October 4 was anticipated with much unnerving by the writers who were not supposed to talk to each other about the write-up they were composing.
Bangladeshi writers have much to claim in the recent surge of South Asian English literature. Brine Pickles promotes the voice of the young creative writers featuring identity issues such as ethnicity, race, gender, religion, migration, to name a few. It is the first “performance literature” forum of Bangladesh that provides a platform for budding writers. Brine Pickles has performed at Norwich, UK; led workshop at Savar and Chittagong beside their sessions at different private universities of Dhaka and of course at the British Council auditorium. With its international publication Maps and Metaphors that features writing by writers from the United Kingdom and Bangladesh, Brine Pickles, looks forward to a brighter future of internationalizing Bangladeshi voice. The Pickles are working on their next publication while waiting for Dr. Patrick Daugherty's anthology that covers the writing of young writers from Bangladesh Deshi Dreams II to reach Dhaka after being published in Canada with some of their members' writing on it. Brine Pickles has arranged a tributary bilingual literary evening with the works of contemporary Bangladeshi, Indian and British writers on November 1 at the British Council auditorium at 6. The young Pickles are especially grateful to Fakrul sir and their teachers for all the inspiration and support to keep writing.
UNYSAB's endeavour for MDG and MUN
Md. Naimur Rahman Kushal
Unysab is the acronym for United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh. As the name states this is the youth movement for UN in Bangladesh providing platform for the young generation to convey their voice regarding current global issues such as MDG, human rights and development, environment, disarmament, social justice etc. This unique and prestigious organization was established in 2001 and has been working in different issues quite successfully since then.
Two of the many activities of UNYSAB are: one, to make the people especially the students of Bangladesh aware about Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and two, to popularize the concept of Model United Nations (MUN).
To materialize the aforementioned objectives, UNYSAB has taken a five-year plan to illuminate the young minds of not only Dhaka, but also that of the whole country with the message of MDG and MUN. In accordance with that plan, Chittagong and Rangpur in 2006 and Sylhet and Mymensingh in 2007 have been brought under the umbrella of UNYSAB. Let's have a look at, from our recent tour to Mymensingh, what we actually do to spread the message of MDG and MUN.
The program in Mymensingh was a two-day long program held in Mymensingh Zilla Parishad on September 12 and 13. First day of the program consisted of Inaugural ceremony and workshop on three issues i.e. Model United Nations, Millennium Development Goals and Public Speaking. The chief guest of the inaugural ceremony was Tasneem Ather, Deputy Director CAMPE; special guest was Ms. Momena Khatun, prominent educationalist and ex-Govt official. Among other guests, Dr. Taufiqul Islam Joarder ,President UNYSAB and Popular TV personality Ms. Mim were present in the ceremony.The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Taufiqul Islam Joarder , Ms. Momena Khatum and Mr. Nafiz Imtiaz, Vice-President, UNYSAB.
The main attraction of the second day of the program was 'Debate competition on Millennium Development Goals' participated by 16 teams from different schools of Mymensingh. The champion was the renowned Biddyamoyi High School Mymensingh and runner-up trophy went to Mymensingh Govt. Laboratory High School.Other than debate, there were art and quiz competition in the same day which were highly participatory and appreciated by the crowd. In the concluding ceremony, prizes and certificates were awarded among the winners.
The next station of 'UNYSAB's endeavor for MDG and MUN' is Khulna, the southern most division of Bangadesh. We are really expecting to organize this big event with equally high note which is possible only with the participation by the students and youths of Khulna. So all the Khulna-ites out there, be prepared for Oct 30,31. We are on our way.
(Member, UNYSAB, student of IBA 13th Batch)
NSU Pool Tournament
The Intra NSU Pool Tournament was held on the 5th and 6th of October in HOB, Gulshan 2. Organized by the NSU Sports Club, it turned out to be an exhilarating sequence of events. Starting off with 48 players, it consisted of 5 rounds and the final was played between Turjo and Sayad.Turjo took home the big prize but Sayad was no push over and put up a strong challenge nonetheless. The Faculty Advisor, the Proctor, Iqbalur Rahman Rokon, handed out the prizes to the respective participants. Congratulations to the finalists and also the North South University Sports Club for yet another successful event.
BRACU New Faculty Orientation
“Teacher training workshop” the very name evokes a sense of “a must” for new teachers. And as with any “must do” task, you won't be surprised to find a sense of boredom attached to it as well. However, awareness of all the knitted brows it would incur didn't stop BRACU policy makers from including a mandatory teacher-training workshop for all newly recruited teachers. Having participated in one such workshop recently, I have no doubts in my mind as to how important they are in terms of integration into a new body.
BRAC University held this two daylong residential workshop for its newly recruited teachers at BRAC Training and Research Centre(TARC), Savar on the 8th and 9th of September, 2007. The whole programme was neatly divided into two parts orientation to BRACU and sharing pedagogical issues essential to all new teachers. The day started at 7:30 in the morning. A group of 16 people including both participants and facilitators gathered at the BRACU Dhaka campus to board the car for Savar.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Pro-VC, Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed. He welcomed the group and introduced them to BRAC and BRACU with a short, spirited speech. Once the stage was set, the floor was then taken over by the facilitators consisting of both scholars the researchers from BRAC University Institute of Education and Development (BUIED), who brought in their expertise in this field and practitioners a group of energetic teachers from BRACU, who complemented the theory with practical experience.
What set this workshop apart from regular teacher training workshops is its participatory nature in the true sense of the term. BRACU as one of the most prominent private Universities in Bangladesh is known for its penchant for student-centred learning and accordingly has been trying to foster that practice since its inception. So the orientation to BRACU is not only to what or who constitutes the institution but how the new member can contribute to it. Accordingly, the first half of the workshop was informative, devoted to making the new members oriented to BRACU students, teachers and policies. The Pro-VC was there to validate and add information where necessary.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007