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To learn or not to learn

There is this much-touted idea that human beings actually like going to school. Of course school is a wonderful place, a place where you can learn a whole lot of stuff and even become a better person, but some can't help but question whether all the effort is actually worth it. Is it? IS IT REALLY?

Dollar, Dollar Bills
I have at many times provided the argument of people who aren't very educated but yet made it big. Many of you love to read Jane Austen and she may be a part of your school syllabus, but how many of you know that she was an elementary school drop out? She had difficulty reading and writing, yet she made it huge.

What about Bill Gates? He is a college dropout isn't he? Yet, he is the 2nd richest man in the world. Andrew Carnegie too is a self-made multimillionaire, yet he an elementary school dropout too! Pete Hamil and Susan Hampshire are best-selling authors and both of them are dropouts too, so isn't that a wonder? And if that's something, you should hear about Arthur Henderson, who won a Nobel Peace Prize and also co-founded the Labor Party, even though he dropped out of school at the age of 12! So where's the point of wasting my whole life studying when people who don't study, make money than all of the teachers in my school put together?

But all these people had things in common, which most of us lack. Take Bill Gates for example, now that boy had a HUGE drive, he was diligent, insanely hard-working and he Believed in his dream. Those are things most of us lack, especially faith in our dreams. Its easier to make us believe that we won't make it, there's too many problems, seems too unrealistic, but all the above examples illustrated weren't damn sure-fire ideas for success...they believed.

Money Can't Buy Class
The obvious argument is, that, it is NOT about the MONEY. Unfortunately, it IS. It is all about the money. Haven't you heard your parents saying 'Those that study drive a car, those that don't drive a rickshaw.', something to that context anyway. The bottom line is, if you study than you CAN buy a car, meaning you HAVE money. But this is not always the case. And even if isn't about the money, a lot of legends of literature and the science worlds were famous drop-outs, so what do the elders say to that?

Ambani Group is supposed to be huge, right? The sons educated and going places? Well, the pioneer of the concept, Mr. Ambani himself was not educated, but rather was a poor village boy with big dreams and huge determination. Isn't that something? And Ambani dreamt what was considered impossible, to link his countrymen all across, he had a vision, which people ridiculed, but with this fierce determination, he made it. All the while transcending boundaries, keeping his head right, keeping his dream in sight, he made it. There were failures, but a strong hope of success, more traits many of us lack.

Jungle Skills Vs. Classroom Talent
Now, Colin Powel may act as a war tactician, but he is responsible for so many deaths. Even with all his education and George Bush's education they couldn't mount a proper war, least of all improve their country's economy. On the other hand Sun Tzu, was a man who merely lived in the JUNGLE, no education there, yet he is still considered the greatest tactician in the WORLD, EVER. Now, I am not saying become Tarzan, but its just that EDUCATION doesn't prove a ticket to Ali Baba' cave. So should it really be so stressed? In this competitive world, yes, but if you are a jewel, forget the books. Isn't that the best idea you have heard all day?

What education doesn't teach you is how to be determined, how to believe, how to make the impossible possible, how to never give up....some of life's most valuable lessons are learnt outside the classroom, right in the heart of the streets and the harshest learnt in the gutter.

Wise Words Quoted
When I was in school, the school didn't want me. I changed school and I didn't want that school. I went to provide education and hated it. Finally realization hit: I HATE STUDYING. Yet, witnesses will say, even without straight A's, I haven't had a bad life. And its nothing compared to the major ones, who made it so big, earning so much more than their teachers, that they can't be seen. But those that have seen teachers, always stop to thank them...so it's not all bad. However, next time, parents hit you with the must study, remind them of all the stars, sport stars, movie stars and entrepreneurs who made it big, without virtually going to school.

Alas, however, not everyone is lucky and even the smartest individuals in the world are big fans of insurance. And in today's fiercely competitive, a good education is that insurance, which along with a little hard-work, will provide a lifetime of luxury. So even though my sentiments may be a little against the whole concept, I will soon go back to my homework, because education is a top priority. And one thing that all famous drop-outs have in common is that they hate being known as drop-outs and believe that with more education they could've gone further…so their advice is to never neglect your education. So here's to mathematics and a soon a highly successful life.

N.B- The writer is not serious and emphasizes the need for education. He just wants to be the most educated person in the world.

By Osama Rahman

Ma er dowa v2.0

What are the exact factors upon which depends the amount of jhari that a child receives from his or her mother? Is it the love that she feels for the child? Or perhaps the suppressed anger, frustration, or in extreme cases, even hate? Maybe, it's because inside every mother is a young child screaming to come out, but it can't, and so it takes out its anger on the actual child.

Chances are it's none of those things. Um, maybe the last one, but probably not.

Through extensive research and staring at walls and clouds, we have come to an acute hypothesis, namely the “Ma er Dowa v2.0” hypothesis. v2.0 because it's not final, and certainly not the first. Ma er Dowa 2.0 states as follows: “The amount of jhari a child receives is proportional to a bell-curve of the distance he or she is from home, and hence, from the mother (or father).” The majority of this hypothesis is based on the saying that “Out of sight, out of mind” which has been previously proven for relationships; now, we are just extending it to parents.

Case in point: Take a typical smarter child. He's a straight A student, who's the last person to get on his mom's nerves. He likes to go out once in a while, on adventures small and big. But, that's another story. Say, he's done with his accursed GCE/GCSE exams, and now he's just applied abroad. Mom's all teary eyed, but knows it's for the best and gives the child his much deserved blessings. And he flies off to the magical land of golden opportunities. For around one year, he's completely free from the vice-like grip of his parents. Like they say, when the mice is away, the mice will play. In layman's terms, staying up all night long, while participating in exciting parties, which does not necessarily mean booze. But, that's yet another story.

Zoom back to homeland, and he's back in familiar ground, where everybody knows his name (everybody knew his name elsewhere too, though), everything tastes oh-so-good: the breeze in his face while riding a bicycle through an empty road is simply heavenly. While he's riding a bicycle, something happens. It rains. And it's been such a long time since he felt rain on his skin. So he decides to get wet and catch a tiny portion of the Bangladeshi fever. Regardless of what his mom says; it's fun! Jumping around by the drain side with the “tokais” after so long is even fun-ner!

The cloud finally looks down and envies the fun and decides to halt its downpour, consequently triggering a few hormones in the child's mind and reminding him that he has to go home and that a time limit actually exists. Lullaby-ing to his lullaby he heads back home dripping wet, with a slight fever and a running rose. Not to mention his stinking clothes, all brown (I am not being racist here) and dirty from the dirty puddles - all of this helps in causing him to be temporarily well… dirty. He takes his first step back home after the day; and the drama unfolds!

The protagonist is the kid; the antagonist is the mom; while the cause of the drama is a breakage of curfew, whose range is from 10 to 11 pm. And, oh boy, does it unfold. It unfolds like it has never unfolded before, prior to the last several hundred times it unfolded. Shouts and screams echo throughout the household and the neighbours wonder and ponder to themselves about that irritating boy with the weird clothes and the weird behaviour, and about how he rightly deserves all his justly received assumed punishments. And so the day ends, screams and yells still ringing in everybody's ears like shots from nights of mid-1937 when Japan began its full invasion of China staging the on coming of World War II.

The sun rises. And everyday is a new day, full of new and wonderful potential; potential for productivity, for goodness, and for more adventure. However, the damage has been done, and the mom isn't going to let the prodigal go that easily. The prodigal son, however, is prodigal and he will go, regardless of what his mom says or thinks. Because, come on. Regardless of what his mom says or thinks, it's fun!

And naturally, that was not the last time. The whole summer goes by, more jharis and blessings are endowed upon the wayward son, and all for naught, of course. However, when summer comes, fall's definitely not far away. And it's time, once again, for that tearful goodbye between parent and child, whereupon more blessings are presented for the welfare of the son and may everything he does prove fruitful, and all that jazz.

And so, one wonders, ponders and follows a reasonable path of infallible logic, ultimately coming to our one last logically infallible hypothesis the admonishing ability of a dear mother that is proportional to a bell-curve of the length or distance of the child. However that has been only proved for jhari scenarios; the blessings are, on the other hand, carried on indefinitely. That is ironically the irony of “Ma er Dowa v2.0.”

By Adnan M. S. Fakir & beb-E

To build a global personality

With a commitment to constantly improve education standards worldwide, Macmillan has tied up with Educational Assessment Australia (EAA), a division of University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia and has launched International Assessments for Schools (www.iais.emacmillan.com). This is a global assessment service for schools since 1967. The IAS is conducted for students of classes 3rd-12th standard/class - in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Computer Skills. The assessments test the understanding and application of the concepts in each subject that a student of each class is expected to know on a regional/national/global standard.

The real benefit of these assessments comes to the participating schools. The schools get to compare the performance of their students across classes, subjects and concepts in the region/country/internationally. They get to know about the strengths and improvement areas for the school, teachers and students. This can work as a virtual performance evaluation, mapping and improvement system for schools in Bangladesh.

On the event of the 2008 IAS launch in Bangladesh, Mr. Debasish Biswas, Associate Vice President of Macmillan India Ltd said that the team is extremely encouraged by the fantastic response generated from Bangladesh during 2007, and that is what brought them back here this year to conduct this international level assessment. "More than 10,000+ students from 70+ reputed international and national schools had successfully participated in the 2007 IAS from Bangladesh," he says.

One of the highlights of the IAS 2007 was that 88 students across Bangladesh won Gold Medals for their high performance. They were the top performers within the country scoring more than 99% marks, and 29 of them were awarded the University of New South Wales Gold Medal as highest achievers among 14 participating countries.

This year, the International Assessments for Schools (IAS) is about to begin in Bangladesh, which will begin from August 31 and go on till September 1, 2008.

Macmillan contact persons in Bangladesh:
Santanu Bhadra
Email : sbhadra@macmillan.co.in / santanu27@gmail.com
Muhammad Shofiul Alam Shohan
Email : shohan_macmillan@yahoo.com

The Bangle angle

We would have thought that you could do something with bangles besides…wearing them?! This week we'll show you how you can do something different with those old mismatched bangles that you've got packed away in a box.

Incase you don't have any old ones, you could always buy a few dozens of glass bangles (or any type you want) within 60 bucks.

Step- 1
Take a few bangles and use them to form a chain. Try different colors of bangles. You can use scotch tape or thread to connect one bangle with another.

Step- 2
Repeat step- 1 and make several chains. These chains don't necessarily have to be of the same length. Experiment and try out different ways in which you could set them up.

Step- 3
Having done that, find a suitable place to hang them (use thread): it could be the entrance to your room, your window etc.

Dust your bangles every now and then because I'm sure you don't fancy having spider webs in them!

By Nayeema Reza


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