Imagine you have a superpower of your choice. However, no one knows about it! What does your superpower enable you to do? Do you confide in anyone? What happens?
If you want to join in the fun just ping the entry back to me.
I’m kinda glad no one is aware, at least not yet, that I write obituaries. Now you probably stopped right there and said, wtf? Or how’s that a superpower. I guess it depends on if you’re alive or dead after I’ve finished writing it. As a child, I was terrified of ghosts, but then I discovered people were much scarier, so I decided to write their demise. That way, they couldn’t hurt me anymore. Oddly enough, whenever I did, they would die the same way I had written, so I explored with causes of death.
Who knew eliminating people could be so much fun. I was…
Festive time is here again. There’s a feeling of joy in the air and we must let it be there. Celebrations through bursting of crackers must be totally banned. It is totally against common reasoning to pollute the festive air with poisonous gases.
Is it really celebration or mindless mass pollution drive? Is it any different from substance abuse? Well there is a big difference indeed. While substance abuse gives momentary pleasure and harms the user. Bursting of crackers gives momentary pleasure to the person bursting it while harming a huge number of people in its aftermath.
The air after Diwali is not worth breathing in. Diwali is the festival of lights. The celebration of victory of good over evil. A celebration to remove darkness from our souls and illuminate our lives with true knowledge. When we turn the very air that sustains us with poisonous fumes the very purpose of Deepawali is lost.
We cannot survive without air for more than three minutes or so. Therefore it is foolhardy to burst crackers for celebrating all that is good on earth. The celebration through bursting of crackers is enough to turn the life-sustaining fresh air into foul life- threatening one.
In the year 2020, many states in India had banned bursting of crackers during Diwali. This step was welcomed by most citizens across those states. Except for some isolated cases, where some people out of habit flouted rules and were later fined, most people adhered to rules and abstained from bursting crackers. The states in which crackers were not banned showed spurt in air pollution which turned severe on the eve of Diwali.
The air became thick with incessant bursting of crackers. Children suffered from nausea and for the elderly and patients suffering from Covid, lung or heart related diseases, Diwali became a nightmare. For most others the air created a burning sensation in the throat as the poisonous fumes were inhaled.
Society has progressed past the need of celebrations that may cause harm to others. While humans momentarily enjoy the view of sparkling fireworks, the animal world suffers silently in spite of no fault of their own.
Therefore, everybody must come together to create an awareness regarding total ban of crackers in all celebrations across the world. Laser shows may be arranged for the public by various organizations to spread cheer during festivities. Let us all come together and help the world heal the ravages caused by the human civilization.
RACER strategy helps in writing the perfect paragraph for your response. This strategy is used when a text is followed with an open ended question.
This strategy helps you to write your response correctly using 5 steps-
R – Reword the question
A – Answer the question completely
C – Cite evidences
E – Explain the text evidence
R – Rewind, reword your answer and sum it up.
Advantages of using RACER
This strategy gives you a layout to form your answer in a specific order. It gives clarity to your writing and helps people to understand your written answer clearly. In order to have a great response you need to do more than simply answer the question. RACER helps us in doing so.
Lets follow the strategy one by one
R – Restating or rewording the question.
In this step all you need to do is reword the question and turn it into a statement. This will form the introductory part of your answer. You need to paraphrase the question using synonyms or different phrases or clauses
2. A– Answering the question in an appropriate manner.
In order to do so you need to understand the question what is being asked. The answer must deal with the specific question, refraining from digression.
Sometimes a question has two or more parts. You must answer each part separately.
3. C– Citing evidences which strengthen your answer.
The evidences will portray how well you have understood the question and whether you can make inferences. You must use quotes(“ ”) if you are using someone else’s exact words.
Be sure to choose the evidence that best supports your answer.
While citing evidences, it is necessary to cite the source of the example. You may use words like-
The author in … says that…
The text states …
In paragraph 4 we find…
4. E – Explaining the evidence. You need to explain the evidence and elaborate what the answer means. You must provide reasons to emphasize that your answer is correct. In other words you must elaborately explain your answer.
You may use words like
This evidence proves my answer as…
This evidence shows…
This evidence means…
This evidence is important because…
This evidence supports my answer…
5.R– Revise and recap by restating your topic sentence through a summary statement.
That is, you rewrite what you have said in the introductory statement but in a different way to make your point clear.
The Sun Goes Down on Summer
I come to the water one last time as the sun goes down on summer.
It’s going; I can feel it slip away, and it leaves a cold, empty spot.
A hole in my warm memories of endless golden days
and dreams as ripe as watermelons.
I’d give the world to make the summer stay.
The water is calm around me.
It’s a warm, silent sea of thought dyed in the rich blues of night and
Why can’t things just stay the way they are?
Instead, the days rush headlong into change
and I feel like nothing’s ever going to be the same.
Soon school will start again. And all the things I thought I’d left behind
will come back, and it won’t be gentle water I’ll be swimming in—
It’ll be noise and people and schedules and passes and teachers telling
everyone what to do.
One more year of homework, tests and grades. Of daily popularity
contests and pressure-cooker competition and heaps of frustration.
The first day is the worst. Not knowing who your friends are, or
what’s changed since last year. Trying to pick it up where you left off.
I’ll look real hard for a last-year’s friend to get me from one
scrambled class to another, through halls crawling with people.
I wonder if I’ll fit in.
Football practice started last week. It started without me.
I had to make a choice and football lost.
Two years on the team and it struck me—who am I doing this for?
It’s just another thing people expect you to do, so you do it.
School is full of those kinds of things—things that sap your freedom,
and keep you from being yourself.
That’s what I want most, to be myself. But that’s hard.
Here’s what I dread most: when summer goes, I go with it.
I go back to school and I change as soon as I walk through those doors.
I have to be someone everyone will like—that’s a law of survival.
What would happen if I just stayed the real me?
would they turn me off? Label me “weird”?
Would I ever get another date?
It seems like so much to risk.
But growing is a risk. Change is a risk.
And who knows. I might discover something of myself in the coming
I might get closer to the person I am—what a discover that would be!
When the doors open on Monday morning, I’ll have a fresh start,
a fresh opportunity to find myself.
I want to be ready.
What feelings does the narrator express in the first stanza of the poem?
The narrator portrays his dismal feelings regarding the end of summer in the first stanza of the poem ‘The Sun Goes Down on Summer’ . He is conscious of the fact that the happy days of summer are slipping away and feels desolate, melancholic and oppressed at the very thought of it. His feelings come out in the saying, “It’s going; I can feel it slip away, and it leaves a cold, empty spot. A hole in my warm memories of endless golden days” He feels sad that his golden days are about to conclude, leaving a cold empty spot in his life. He is upset that his cherished golden days of summer are about to end and he needs to get back to school. The first stanza brings out Steve Lawhead’s depressed and forlorn feelings as the sweet days of summer are about to end.
Now try it yourself and write a paragraph using the RACER strategy bringing out one of the deeper messages in the poem.
The noble ones suffer, While the devils prosper. The ones who serve… Make others happy, Sacrifice their well-being; For the good of others, Are chosen by God, To give trying tests in life.
They burn, they suffer, And fail to see… The cause for suffering, And think, Why Me? While the wicked enjoy, A life of gluttony and bliss; What did I do… To deserve such pain? Is it the result of past sins? Bewildered they wonder.
Why is God so unjust? To fill life’s path with thorns; When evil ones have beds of roses? God gently wipes a tear, And says, ‘You are my soldier, My warrior, my hope. You shall be endowed with power, To restore the order of things.
These incidents are nothing But attention seeking devices To channelise you towards action, Needed to restore faith. You are my arms hand and feet; Through you I work; So that the world becomes, A heavenly place to live… For generations to come.
Do not give up… Feel dejected, or hopeless. Remember it is because, Of noble ones like you, That the world is worth living. Wake up! And work for me! When you come back; It is you that I shall embrace, With flowing tears and love.’
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With every rising sun, humans are accelerating towards a civilization that is more advanced with greater comforts than ever before. The efforts to make life easier, has gained immense momentum in the new era. Each day, a new device or gadget finds its way into the shelves or sites of modern online and offline stores. The surprisingly our lives, as well as our children’s, keep getting more and more complicated and difficult each day.
The students of this age are at strange cross-roads. On one hand they are showered with unnecessary luxuries from the day they are born, and on the other they are gagged with undue expectations which make their lives virtual a hell. At the early stages,they are pampered by their over-indulgent parents, who find it easier to give in to demands rather than confront and counsel children for their unacceptable demands. These very parents at a later stage, put a huge burden of invisible expectations on the children.
The primary cause of stress among the young generation is the cut throat competition in every sphere. Right from their childhood they are exposed to a highly competitive environment in schools. The rat race for getting admission to prime institutions starts early. The overwhelming population which goes on rising every year makes the struggle for existence more challenging each year.
The outcomes of constant stress are proving to be extremely harmful for the mental as well as physical health of students. Episodic stress during exams, have become a common phenomenon. The constant evaluation of students for improving their performance results in endless stress for students; leading to depression, exhaustion, type two diabetes, increased blood pressure and a host of other illnesses.
Sometimes the stress becomes so severe that some students even contemplate suicide as they are unable to see the brighter world of opportunities awaiting those who dare to come out of their dungeons of dark expectations.
The world needs to address the issue of student stress and find a way out to help students escape the whirlpool of expectations that lead to stressful lives. The pandemic has shown us that it is possible to live a life without excessive travelling and unnecessary buying. The less one spends, the less is the stress of earning more; which is the underlying factor behind the break neck competition among the youth.
‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.’
-(John Milton, Paradise Lost)
It is our mind that is responsible for our happiness or misery. Qualified counselors and mentors can help students to deal with their stress. Carving out a hobby time, practicing meditation, doing exercise, having sufficient sleep and connecting with supportive people can help students live a stress free life. However, it is important to look into the matter with utmost seriousness and root out the causes responsible for dragging young minds into the vortex of stress right from their childhood- a time meant for play and mirth.
Childhood should be carefree playing in the sun. Not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.