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Tips for the HSC examinees

Although by the time this article gets published some of the major exam papers would be over, here are some last moment tips for this year's HSC candidates

1. Filling up the OMR sheet is a real pain in the neck, yes. But there's no helping it. Try being very careful not to mess up at least the role and registration numbers when you're darkening those annoying circles. However if you DO mess up, there's no need to freak out. The board usually instructs the invigilators to be helpful towards the students, so after a little 'jhari' they'll eventually sort out the situation.

2. You have to be careful about using the same signature as is in your registration card while signing the attendance sheet, otherwise your answer script may get disqualified. Always keep at least two photocopies of the admit card and the registration card with you. You never know when they might come in handy.

3. Traffic jams are inevitable. So, make sure you set out for the exam hall at least a good hour and a half prior to the exam.

4. Do NOT pay attention to rumours of “proshno out hoise”. They'll only waste your time.

5. Always keep both black and blue-inked pens in your stationery box. Whichever you write your answers with, use its counterpart for doing complimentary highlights. This creates a really good impression even if your handwriting belongs to the 'khichuri' category. Besides it's proven that neatness of a copy is always considered a plus-point.

6. If you take extra pages, do make sure you fill up the page code circles properly because they won't be counted otherwise.

7. Bangla exam is of course a DLH, which means Dhumaya Likhte Hobe. So brace yourselves because it will get ugly…at least your writing fingers will. Make sure you take extra pens for this particular exam.

8. The math paper is usually easy (remember the word 'usually'), but lengthy. Not staying up late the night before a math exam has its good effects, so give it a try.

9. Revise all the important one-liners for Physics and Chemistry. They're easy marks-earners.

10. THE CALCUALTOR IS JUST A MACHINE and it WILL give out wrong results if you press the wrong buttons, duh! A re-check of calculations never bites, you know.

11. Choosing the figure-related and abbreviation-elaboration type questions for Biology is a wise thing to do. They save time and also add easy points to your GPA.

12. Although Bangla and English are generally considered the deciding factors in getting a 'golden five' (GPA five in all the subjects), there have been numerous incidents of people missing out in unlikely subjects like Chemistry, Physics etc. So if you are aiming for the 'perfect score' you must be equally serious in all of the papers, including the fourth (optional) subject.

Wishing all of you good luck for the exams!

By Raisa Rafique

Champions League 2009-Unpredictable

This year's Champion's League has been anything but predictable. Those who have already put up their money for an obvious Barcelona vs Arsenal final (never United), should ask for a refund, because you never know till you know and that is a lesson that we have all learned this year. Perhaps Arsenal and Manchester United may have been the only teams to expect smooth sailing, whereas Chelsea vs Liverpool would be a close-knit affair and not much could be prophesised about the Barcelona/Munich affair.

However, Manchester United barely scraped through, though how much they deserved to do so is questionable and Arsenal also went forward, having the added advantage of Senna's absence. Barcelona crushed a hapless Bayern side, but the second leg did have some lessons for Hiddink's Chelsea side, when it comes to taming the rampaging Catalans.

Whereas Arsenal breezed through the semi-finals, Manchester United overcame the odds by becoming the first English team to gain victory in Porto's Dragao, an absolute fortress. Though the result could not be foretold, United have had a season where they are used to overcoming the odds. Cristiano once more underlined his brilliance and put to rest any further doubts on whether he could perform during the big games.

Back in England, Arsenal exploited their advantage thoroughly, running havoc with their beautiful football and scoring the perfect goal. Theo Walcott opened the scoring in the 10th minute after he received a beautiful back-heel from the quick thinking Fabregas. Two more goals followed and Arsenal went through sweeping past Villareal, 4-1.

Having routed Bayern 4-0 at home, another goal-feast was expected at Allianz Arena. However, Bayern put up a gutsy performance and managed to hold the game to 1-1, salvaging some much needed pride and providing breathing space for Klinnsman. Ribery opened the scoring with some brilliant individual skill only to have Keita equalize. The much-heralded potency of Barcelona's attack was questionable and many wondered how much Chelsea would expose the Catalan's very rarely seen defensive frailties.

Stamford Bridge was home to the most exciting encounter this year, as Chelsea's 3-1 advantage almost equalled nothing when Liverpool struck two quick goals in the first half. Lampard became the hero when he scored his second in the dying minutes to level the game 4-4 and ensure that Chelsea go through to the semi-finals.

Throughout the game, Chelsea's defensive errors were repeatedly brought to the fore and having conceded 7 goals in their last two games, Cech looked a shadow of his former self. How would the Blues tackle a goal-hungry Barcelona side whose top three strikers have over 80 goals between them? The Catalan's three-pronged attack would prove to be a handful for any side and with Ashley Cole suspended, the threat of Messi, Henry and Eto'o seems ever the more menacing. Lampard conjured a miracle the last time these two sides met, so would the inspirational mid-fielder have something up his sleeve this time around as well?

The all-English semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United is also an exciting affair. The rivalry between the managers goes back many years and Arsene Wegner would like nothing better than to score one over his arch-nemesis. The question remains whether the young Gunners have enough depth in their squad to upset the EPL leaders. Whereas Manchester United enter the contest off a 1-0 victory over the intimidating Porto and also having one eye on the Barclay's race, Arsenal go through on the back of a heavy 3-0 victory. This mouth-watering tie promises plenty of fireworks.

Only the dumbest among us will dare to hazard a guess as to any of the outcomes and since my qualifications are intact, I predict an all-English final. Can Youth overcome Experience? Will Barcelona's dream run finally end? This year's semi-final sees teams full of quality and perfectly capable of matching each other. Stick around for an exciting climax.

By Osama Rahman

Peace and conflict resolution workshop

As we enter the new century, war has been one of the most pressing issues till date. In Sudan alone, over 300000 people died till date of war and starvation. One must be asking how it can be resolved or how they can assist in the improvement of the world's conflicts. This is exactly what 'Peace and Conflict Resolution' workshop conducted by a worldwide transformational movement 'Jaagoron' in association with the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) aimed to demonstrate. The day long workshop conducted by Dr. Amr Abdalla, who is a Professor and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs for UPEACE, was held on the 17th and 18th of April in the Jaagoron office.

When one thinks of conflicts, a large scale picture of countries going to war and casualties come into mind. Even though that is a part of what a “Conflict” can be perceived as, it also has a broader function. If one thinks about it, conflicts happen in our everyday lives, starting from issues dealing with parents and their children to a quarrel in a busy market place. Through this highly interactive workshop, the participants were able to tackle conflicts, promote reflections, sharing of experiences and peer-to-peer learning.

Throughout the day, participants were able to gain the valuable knowledge about how conflicts develop, its intervention, conflict management, resolution and transformation, as well as develop negotiating skills. One of the most interesting parts of the workshop was the role playing task where the participants were placed in real life situation and had to use their knowledge and skills learnt to resolve a conflict. This exercise brought out a lot of interesting and helpful ideas from the participants who, with the help of Dr. Amr Abdalla, could tackle the situation quite skillfully. In the self evaluative Thomas Kilman test, the participants were able to assess themselves in their style of Conflict and also received guidelines on how to improve their Conflict styles.

In the end of the workshop, everyone was honoured with the presence of Mrs. Zohra Tajuddin (wife of late Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmad) who distributed the certificates among the participants. The workshop ended with an inspirational speech by the President of Jaagoron, Taz Choudhury, who quoted the five principles on which the organization is based upon. To change the world, one had to change himself, and that comes from a good heart, resulting in good thoughts, directing that into good actions, making that into good habits, and overall changing one's character. His speech truly motivated and inspired all those attending the workshop.

Overall, the workshop was a great success and the participants went home with a source of inspiration and a solid knowledge base on how to resolve conflicts and apply the skills in their daily life to be the best in their fields.

For more information on 'Jaagoron', please contact Secretary of Media and Public Relations Turaj Ahmad (turaj.ahmad@gmail.com)

By Sumaiya T Ahmed



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