<%-- Page Title--%> Write to Mita <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 121 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

September 5, 2003

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Dear Mita,
I am a 17-year-old boy studying in a reputed English medium school in Dhaka. Ever since I was a child, I stammer. No one in my family stammers except, occasionally, my elder brother who stammers while uttering some words. My case is worse. I constantly get stuck and find myself in embarrassing situations. Because of this, my self-esteem has taken a serious battering. I don't have the confidence to speak out freely because I know that I will get stuck somewhere. Please advise me on what I can do to cure my problem. I know this might not be your field but I am hoping you can suggest something. I'd also like to know whether speech therapy is available here.

Dear Depressed,
Certainly speech therapy is available; you should contact doctors who deal with patients of stroke, paralysis, etc. However, that is not the only solution. You will have to build up your self-esteem in other ways also. For example, try to excel in other fields such as sports, academia etc. Develop good, stable and meaningful relationships with people. All this will give you self-confidence and will automatically raise your esteem. Stammering is as much a physical problem as it is psychological. It can be effectively treated with a combination of professional therapy and a sympathetic environment.

Dear Mita,
I am a 21-year-old student at a university in Chittagong. Last year, a teacher proposed to me. At first, I rejected him, but a few months later accepted his proposal. We also became physically involved. A few months ago, I learnt that I was pregnant. He is pressuring me to destroy the child. But how is this possible for me as a woman? What is your opinion?-Stuck

Dear Stuck,
My opinion is that you have become involved with an irresponsible person. The decision regarding the child has to be taken by both of you after considering all the implications such as your health, your family situation, etc. Realistically, society will blame you for everything and he will go free. Please make sure that this does not happen. Both of you must bear the consequences of your actions as any step that you now take will have a serious bearing on your future. You must also take advice from your

Dear Mita,
I am an engineering student and serious about my studies. I attend classes and study regularly. But I can never concentrate before my exams. I feel that I am well-prepared and need only a glance at the material to refresh my memory. I go about doing other things before the exam. But the night before, I feel like I have forgotten everything and need to start studying from the beginning and end up doing badly in the exams. What should I do to be able to concentrate on my studies at those crucial times?

Dear Student, (I do not want to call you a dunce!)
Some people who are very bright have the same problem. However, it is very important to realise that doing well in exams is not only about how bright and intelligent you are, but also about how well you can convey the information that you have absorbed. This is about process and most importantly hard work. There is no substitute for hard work or slogging. You will have to be motivated enough to study before your exams, otherwise no matter how brilliant you may be, you will not succeed. I cannot give you a formula for concentrating but I will tell you that all your brilliant intelligence will not be recognised if you cannot show this translated in numbers.


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