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Thought of the week:
"There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it."
~ Napoleon Hill ~

Hello everyone!
Napoleon Hill talks about the qualities of a winner. I imagine those must have been the qualities of the people who brought us to victory some thirty-odd years ago. This week's RS is dedicated to that day when we welcomed the first sunrise over the horizon of a new nation. Those who lost their lives in the struggle for this victory had dreamed a dream of Bangladesh, and it is our responsibility to do what we can to fulfil those dreams in every way we can.

This week, we've received dozens of articles regarding Victory Day, and I must say, it feels good to know that our Liberation War hasn't quite been reduced to mere rhetoric as yet, and that it means something to the youth of this generation. Let's hope the spirit continues, and we can take the initiative to move on and take our country to new heights of glory.

Moving on to the business at hand, the polls for the RS Awards are still open, and the voting continues till December 23. So if you haven't voted yet please do so, and help us decide what to do with the RS in the coming year.

The categories are:
a) Best Page (Nominees: Cover, Switchboard, The Beat, Centre, Scribbles, Backpack)
b) Best Column (Shout, Tête-à-tête, BD Bytes, Study Buddies, Sites Unseen, Game Review, Movie Review, Anime Review)
c) Best Columnist (Pick from the respective authors of the above-mentioned columns)
d) Best Writer: (AES, Ayesha Mahmud, Durdana Ghias, Hitch-hiker, Jennifer Ashraf, Lancer, Maherin Ahmed, Maliha Bassam, Marwa Nur, Niloy, Nusrat, Rohini Alamgir, Sabrina F Ahmad, Shayera Moula, Tahiat-e-Mahboob, and Tawsif Saleheen)
Write in and tell us, in around 100 words what your favourite pieces were, which issue you liked best, what you like/dislike about the RS, what you miss, who you miss, and what you'd like to see in the RS in the near future. No slang please… give us your honest opinion. You can also point out our biggest bloopers this year; for the RS boo-boos section. It's all in your hands now.

Mail in your votes to theconnection123@hotmail.com, the official mailto address for the awards.

Well, that's all from my side. Take care, and see you next week!
Send your polls, opinions, and queries to thegirlnextdoor1@hotmail.com or teteatete_tgnd@yahoo.com

This writer is an RS Award nominee. To vote for her mail to theconnection123@hotmail.com

By The Girl Next Door

Rising Soap
The grand tour

This week, I'll attempt to leave the silliness and tomfoolery aside and let the readers take a peek into the workings of the Rising Stars, and the real madness and mayhem that goes on behind the scenes.

Thursday mornings: The Rising Stars reach your homes, while you idly flip the pages, some of you commenting on the poor graphics and bad quality of write-ups, some of you scanning for printing errors to pick on, and hopefully some of you actually reading the pieces with a smile, it's scrutiny time for the RS team. We sit in our own homes, pouring over the magazine, cringing over our mistakes, and taking notes.

Thursday evenings are when we have our weekly meetings. Usually chaired by the Girl Next Door, these meetings are about collecting assignments issued the previous week, and discussing the plan of action in the weeks to come. If members like AES (who's been out of action for a while) and Crucified (no she doesn't carry a tuna fish, but likes to pretend anyway) are present, it becomes a diss-cusion where the RS is picked apart and tempers are raised as the members try to defend their positions.

Tawsif and Taskin, our in-house funny guys try to maintain peace with their witty wisecracks, while Shayera Moula, with her hyperbolic imagination, is laughing away at everyone's antics. Finally, when the bickering leads to a point where the rest of the office is about to evacuate because of the noise pollution, TGND calls it a day and kicks everyone out.

Friday: The RS members open the mail to receive a memo from TGND, which carries the minutes of the meeting, instructions on assignments, and usually threats, bribes, and whatever else it takes to get them working on their pieces. We smile, yawn, and go back to whatever it is that we were doing. Well, most of them anyway. Sitting at her workstation in Chittagong, Jennifer Ashraf is smiling as her fingers dance over the keyboard. She has sent in her work long before Thursday, and now she's writing back-up stuff. Towards midnight, the RS ladies meet online. That's Jennifer, Shayera, Durdana Ghias, and I. File transfers and gossip pepper the conversation, and the mail folders begin to fill up. Every week, we think, "This week, we're going to breeze through."

Saturday: Unless the sun's risen from the west, the only things ready for print are Niloy's columns, Jennifer and Shayera's pieces, and mine, if I'm on the cover. There is nail biting suspense as the graphics people throw a fit. There are illustrations to be prepared, piles of proofing to be done, and of course DBB (the RS editor) to worry about. The clock ticks on.

Sunday: The RS team has finally sent in all its assignments. The joy experienced by the sub-editors is short-lived as they realise it's time to sit with the mail from the readers and other contributors. Wearily, they suffer through deplorable grammar, despicable typos, and outrageous opinions as they sift through dozens of entries in the search of material that is relatively printable.

Monday: If you ever need to visit the RS office for anything, do NOT go there on Monday mornings. It's pasting day, and everyone is in the mood for murder. Tempers flare, threats are issued, and the volume of shouting is deafening, as this is invariably the day when the network and the Internet decide to play games with us by refusing to co-operate. The old Bangles song "Manic Monday" was written for us.

Tuesday: By now, the editor and her weary sub-editors have done their best, and the main graphics people are working furiously, trying to make the hastily put-together magazine look good. The people at the printing press are tapping their toes and checking their watch, wondering if the deadline is going to be met.

Wednesday: It's off to the presses for the RS! While the editors and graphics people breathe, the RS team nervously counts the hours till the fruits of their labour (?) are readied. Back at the office, another team is busy processing the online version, so that you can read your teen magazine even when you're not in the country.

Thursday: The RS comes out, and the cycle is completed…or started…whichever way you look at it, and the magazine you are holding in your hands, or scanning through the Net is a labour of love and teamwork. So sure, it's tough, and often it's a thankless job, because the short memories of people remember only the mistakes and not the achievements, but we wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

By Sabrina F Ahmad
This writer is an RS Award nominee. To vote for her mail to theconnection123@hotmail.com

Shout out

Hey people!!!
Another year has nearly ended faster than we could think up excuses for not keeping our resolutions. And what an amazing year it has been! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have helped this column by sending in those numerous messages. It is you all who have made this column a success and I am really grateful for that. On the 30th of this month we will be having another special issue, where we will again remove all the usual rules of the column. So you all can freely message your near and dear ones, and you can be rest assured that we will definitely print your messages! Thank you all again and enjoy the column!

Hi people
I have great news to tell you. I have got a niece the 28th of November, 2004. So, now I have become an uncle. She is very cute and looking very intelligent. I have named her - Ajanta. Do you like it? Now bye from:

Happy birthday to Dad and Medha,
Wishing the happiest of birthdays to the best father and sister in the world. Just knowing you are there and that you care makes my world a happier place.

Hi Farhana,
What's up pal? I really miss those days when we used to talk a lot about our lives, when we used to laugh together, when we used to feel sad together and lastly when we used to spend our best times together. But, there's no use pondering over what's gone. Let's move towards the future which lies ahead and hopefully a future that will favour the great friendship bond of Farhana and Banna.

Dear Sokhi,
My loving wife, happy birthday to you. Thanks for being so caring towards me.

By Crucified
This column is NOT responsible for any negative (or otherwise) outcome of the messages printed in it. Please do not abuse the column by using it to play pranks etc. Also, all email addresses will be printed at the reader's expense and we do NOT take responsibility any inconvenience to anybody.]


An honestly completed application form

This is an actual job application, a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida...and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!
NAME: Greg Bulmash
DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.
DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.
LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.
MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.
PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.
MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?
DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.
DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

Compiled by Jennifer Ashraf





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