Archive for November, 2010

Any question?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

For me - a diverted/diverting teacher - questions from my students are extremely important.

Frequently happened, in the class I just displayed the subject over the projector or wrote some stuffs on the white board … then talked a lot about many things not related to the subject.

Most of my students know well my habit of turning my Statistics class in to a story-telling session.

Unfortunately, many of them appreciate my stories more than the lessons.

A student from my class who later turned to be my young colleague one day gave a very strong evidence of the way I teach.

In the teacher room, she proudly screamed, “I remember a story you told us, remember, Ma’am… . the story of numerological coincidences between J.F.K. and Abraham Lincoln?”  I stunned. A decade passed, and the girl still could retold the story in perfect details.

“What do you remember about Statistics? Maybe you could also teach Statistics”

She shook her head, grinned and whispered, “None and  Big No !”


So that’s why questions from my students become my warning systems…

They put me back to the right track …

I mean … back to the topic/the lesson /Statistics

Most of the questions revealed, right after I finished the traditional - almost rhetorical - question,

“Any question?”

Thank God, I still remember asking this question between stories.

Though, some responses came surprisingly…

While scrutinizing the table of binomial distribution, a girl whined almost cried

“How do you differentiate  “maximum” from “minimum”?

The question paused the exploration for some minutes…

For some students this question is even not considered question.

Embedded in their mind that “less and equal” mean maximum and “greater and equal” are minimum.

But for the young girl max and min were only about confusion.

She led us to go some steps back before continuing the lesson.

She alerted me to maintain the pace at the right velocity and direction.

More often the “any question?” question follows without any response.

But one day, a student raised her hand …

I was explaining statistical measures: mean, variance, standard deviation and some common coefficients.

She asked, “how do you get the mean, variance and standard deviation for a single data?”

“A single datum,” I corrected her and continued, “Why should you need all the measures when you only have one datum?”

She got a question for an answer.

Oh …

Over all, I enjoy questions from my students.

They are the sign of my class’ attentiveness.

One evening, I already extended my good bye to my class.

Two girls approached me.

“Could we ask you something?”

I was flattered.

I was proud that my lesson attracted two young geniuses.

I nodded.

“Where did you buy your stockings? They are very nice.”

Geez …

I almost fainted.

After all my sweat and tears, they only noticed my stockings???

My second to the best stockings!!!

They should see my best ones!!!

“Ma’am, where did you buy the stockings?”

Should or should not I answer this question?

[there is sometime such a thing like a silly question, but please do not stop asking me question ...

through your question I learn ... remember what Phil Collins sings in Tarzan the movie: in learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn ... to my students]

In love with a princess

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

You may see how weak I am now.

You have to hug me, my feet are no longer firm.

You have to hold me, my hands start to tremble.

I might not hear all your voices,

and I begin to lose words.

Silence is all I have now.

It is where I keep my princess alive.

A princess whom I met  in Bali,

some time during my short vacation,

more than an half century ago.

A new limousine stalled on the roadside.

The young joyful driver - who was also the owner of the car - seemed to enjoy the situation.

He laughed and seemed indifferent to the complaints uttered by a rather cocky grand dame - whom I presumed was her majesty - the queen.

[Later, I learned the young spoiled guy was the big brother of the princess.]

My princess was the last to come out from the vehicle.

Her shiny charcoal long thick hair, first entrapped me.

Then, her big black eyes hypnotized me.

I was never a member of any royal family.

I never knew how to greet a princess.

I had doubts, the sweet princess would ever notice me.

But she smiled friendly, and sincerely said her simple “hi!”

By these, she ordained me a knight …

A knight who forever in love with a princess.

[To my uncle and auntie: love you always, remember you always]


Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

November 9, 2010; 16:something …

I was on the bus on the densely jammed highway not so far from “Halim Perdana Kusuma” the military airport.

From the window, I saw a light blue striped airplane flew lowly.

It was about to land.

The woman sitting next  to me commented, “It’s Obama!”

She was right… Yup, it was the Air Force One …

The radio-man from my micro-radio-and-mp3 player confirmed her excitement.

The rain was poured heavily.

The lightning lighted up the gray sky.

Without releasing Michelle’s hand, the number 1 person in US went down the stairs of the plane.

At last, the longed long Barry came …

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