What does peace mean to you?

Friday is a 1-8 day; to conclude Peace Week, we’ll spend a little time thinking about what ‘peace’ means to us.

Metro cardWhen I think of peace, I think of the Delhi Metro. Sometimes people ask me how this can be– the metro carries 2.5 million out of Delhi’s 18 million people each day; it’s almost always too crowded to get a seat, and sometimes you really have to squeeze in. How can that be peaceful? For me, the answer has to do with diversity, equality and sharing.

On the metro, I see are all kinds of people: young people, old people, short people, tall people– stand-up-straight people, lean-against-a wall people. On the metro, I can get most of the way to work with just 13.5 rupees. If you’ve got Rs. 30, you can ride a train all the way from HUDA City Center to Jahangirpuri–more than 40 km. We all share the same space and we all get where we are going at the same time.

The metro is not perfect. But peace isn’t about perfection. It’s about learning how to share space with people from all walks of life. It’s about traveling together, not racing ahead. That’s I don’t leave home without my Delhi Metro Smart card, and that’s why I think the metro is the most peaceful place in Delhi. What does peace mean to you? Where do you feel at peace, or where do you see peace in action? If you have a minute, I’d love to read your comment!

Welcome!

Welcome to All Kinds of Minds, a blog that serves the Advisory, Study Sk Academic Support classes in AES M103. You can read more about my philosophy here. You can find the Academic Support course overview here and the Study Skills course overview here.

Ms Khanna and I are planning a great year. Blog picWe are so glad you are here where we celebrate diversity in learning styles, language and culture; we agree with  Temple Grandin when she says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” We will be working this year to use the strength of our many minds to do some exciting thinking.

I am very pleased to be working with Ms. Khanna this year. She received a B.A. in Commerce from Delhi University and has four years experience at AES in the elementary and middle schools. Ms Khanna  has recently completed a teacher training program in IGNOU, Delhi, so she is also a certified teacher!

I’ve been teaching for 18 years; I’ve spent half of my career as a general education classroom teacher and half as a special educator.  This is my third year teaching Middle School at AES; I also taught fifth grade here for six years from 2005-20011. AES is a unique school, and one of my favorite places to teach and learn.

My three children will be studying at AES this year–I have a son in twelfth grade, another son in tenth grade and a daughter in eighth. You will probably see them around the school. Portland is the American city I’m proud to call home. I was born in Iowa, and I still return to the Midwest to visit family from time to time.

Reading and writing is important in my family. My partner is a writer; her second book  came out in 2012 and she is nearly finished with her third. She now works as a community organizer for the Deepalaya Community Library Project, which she and I started with the help of AES colleagues and fifth grade students way back in 2008. The Project has grown from an after school read aloud program serving a dozen children, to a full scale library with 500 child and adult members in the Sheikh Sarai Phase I area. I volunteer there every Monday and most Saturdays. You can learn more about that project here. We can always use more volunteers.

In my spare time, I read and write poetry. This summer I read several collections of poetry, including Life and Times of Mr. S, by Vivek Narayanan; Anamnesia, by Arun Sagar; and Saudade by AES’s own Anna Citrino.  I also write poetry and am hoping to finish my first collection in the next couple of years. Here’s one that was published in Mint Lounge a few years back; it tells some of the things I love about Delhi.

Students, I’d love to hear what kinds of reading or writing you did this summer. Why not leave a comment below? Parents, you are welcome to comment as well, and I hope to meet you all at Back to School Night later this month. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas to share, do get in touch. The contact page will show you how.

Peace in our community: the Delhi Metro

20130919-203952.jpg Student’s asked me why I thought of the metro when I thought of peace in our community. For me the answer is simple. We share this city with sixteen million other people. Every day, 2.5 million of them travel by metro. I’m one of those people.

On the metro, I see are all kinds of people: young people, old people, short people, tall people– stand-up-straight people, lean-against-a wall people. On the metro, I can get most of the way to work with just 13.5 rupees. If you’ve got 30, you can ride a train all the way from Huda City Center to Jahangirpuri. We all share the same space and we all get where we are going at the same time.

The metro is not perfect. But peace isn’t about perfection. It’s about learning how to share space with people from all walks of life. It’s about traveling together, not racing ahead. That’s why my crane and I don’t leave home without our Delhi Metro Smart cards.