It’s dig out, silly!

Teaching can be fun, at least if you’re not doing it full time. That is what I was told and that is what I thought so. And having had worked in the media for long, a teaching opportunity seemed to me like a sensible break. Plus if additional money is coming into your pocket, it’s all the way better.

So off I ventured into the teaching realm on a part-time basis, a totally unchartered venture, in August 2013. I was assigned to teach journalism to final year students of English/EVS and English/Dzongkha at Royal Thimphu College.

Classes began and formal introductions were over. But before delving into the history, definition and canons of journalism, I thought it would be befitting to ask them a question. So I asked, “Who wants to become a journalist?”

Blank faces stared at me – an apparent reaction that perhaps they didn’t want to. “No one interested?” I asked them again, trying to reassure myself. Silence ensued and much later a single hand rose in the air. “I want to become a TV anchor,” a female student in the second row replied.

“Well, this is going to be tough,” I braced up. But days went on swiftly and soon the semester had come to its end.

I went to teach again the same subject for the second time last year. Classes for the fall semester began like usual from August 2014. The first day of the class and I threw the same old question. “Is anyone interested to take up journalism as a career?”Jesus-Christ-Teaching-2031760

Silence ensued. Perhaps another indication of a prompt ‘NO’ to the question. Another grueling task again, I thought. Days, however, continued. Time swiftly passed by, going through numerous assignments – the excruciating part of being a teacher. And another excruciating part is going through the exam papers.

You come across a myriad of answers that you can’t even imagine. At times it leaves one befuddled. I still remember that instance when a student of mine had written ‘…journalists d**k out information…’ while answering a question on the role of journalism in one of the exams. I thought over this statement many a times, wondering what if it’s right. What if? I might go to teach again this time too; oblivious whether I might d**k out someone too who wants to become a journalist.

P.S: Laugh out loud. Just couldn’t help sharing. Please excuse the slang.

Lost in mediocrity?

Are we as proud and gallant Bhutanese starting to lose ourselves in mediocrity? Or have complacency got the better of us that we take it as if it’s an answer to every debacle of ours?

Take for instance our qualifying games for the World Cup 2018. Bhutan earlier lost with 0-7 score in favor of Hongkong. A few weeks later, Bhutan was again humbled by China 0-6 here at Changlimithang stadium in Thimphu.

Not so much so about the fact that we lost or were beaten badly, but we had a myriad of comforting reasoning and explanations after the game. For Hongkong, the players didn’t appear that they were from there and we lost. And in the game against China, they were too tall or professional than the Bhutanese side. Or results were at least better than the one that we had then in the game against Kuwait.

The mere fact, however, is we lost. That we were defeated badly is a fait accompli. We need to accept this fact and then right the wrongs accordingly. The perceptions or the complacent nature that we have now will not suffice. We need to question ourselves. If lack of infrastructure and facilities are reasons for our soccer debacle, such facilities must be put in place. If the present perceptions that pursuing sports is not a career option, then it should be made into a promising career. If investment into sports has been minimal or lacking, increased investment must be made accordingly.cirque15rv2

The complacent perception that ‘we can only do this much’ appears to be not just confined to sports alone. If some of the country’s media are doing wrong and performing poorly, for example, the outright justification is ‘we can only expect this much from the media considering media being a fairly young development in Bhutan’.  There is no cogitation to where it’s going wrong and changing the situation accordingly.

And if our high school students are getting below average grades in English exams, it’s not surprising to hear some justification like ‘English is not our first language’. There is no cogitation to where it’s going wrong despite English language being the main mode of communication in the schooling system. There is nothing like what must be done to change the situation.

We must, therefore, realize that to change these many situations we first need to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we need to change these perceptions first.