Tag Archives: Education

toxic productivity and workaholism

A few days ago, a friend of mine told me that the increasing amount of work she received was “killing her.” Now, this was a statement not meant to be taken seriously as it was just two friends joking around. But, for some reason, I couldn’t let the statement go. It got me thinking of all the times I pushed myself beyond my healthy limits by pulling all-nighters to finish assignments, cramming information into my brain for a test till I literally couldn’t think about anything else except that test, and stressing myself out way too much just to finish some futile project. Which lead me to the question, why are we so obsessed with “being productive” or overworking ourselves?

We all know how incredibly fast-paced this world is now. People are always in such a rush to finish their work. Sometimes they don’t even take breaks or relax, as they’re afraid of lagging. As the years have progressed, more and more workaholics have emerged. The term workaholic was coined in 1971  by a minister and psychologist Wayne Oates. It is used to describe someone who feels the need to work incessantly without any rest. For some people, work is an addiction. They just can’t bring themselves to stop.

The typical “started from the bottom, now we’re here” genre of stories is one which has been told for ages. The idea that if you work hard enough, one day you’ll be successful and rich, has been drilled into our minds since we were kids. We have glamorised the idea of productivity and workaholism so much that we brag about our unhealthy work habits to people. Equating overworking ourselves to the point of an actual mental breakdown to success is extremely toxic and something which definitely shouldn’t be done.

Toxic productivity and “hustle culture” is famous all around the world. For example, in Japan, nearly one-quarter of the companies require their workers to work more than 80 hours of overtime a month, according to a 2016 survey. These hours are unpaid and under-appreciated. Japanese workers on average didn’t use 10 of their paid vacation days, and 63 per cent of Japanese respondents felt guilty for taking paid leave. Even in India, students working themselves to the point of death is sadly common. 

Depression and anxiety levels are at an all-time high. If this workaholic culture continues to stay in place, then the consequences will be harmful. Serious reform needs to be taken. One way to do this is to model our systems to that of Nordic countries, like Sweden, Finland etc. These countries have the best qualities of life,  with Finland being ranked as the happiest country in the world by the United Nations. Their people get adequate working hours with good pay, healthcare, and a better quality of education. Their leaders are young and care about the quality of life of their people. Many lessons can be learned from them.

While waiting for big changes to be implemented, there is a lot we can do on our end to try to reduce stress. Taking regular breaks from work is crucial. Prioritising your mental and physical health and realising when to take breaks is another thing which needs to be practised. Remember, you cannot achieve everything in life, so there is no point in stressing over things beyond your control. Learn to let go; things will surely get better.

Sources: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/japan-has-some-of-the-longest-working-hours-in-the-world-its-trying-to-change.html

jane austen: The witty feminist

The year was 1787. Delegates were gathering up in Philadelphia to draw up the US constitution, Russia had declared war on Turkey, and an 11-year-old Jane Austen had just begun writing poems and stories for her family’s entertainment. Years later, somewhere around 1796, Austen wrote her first full-length novel, Elinor and Marianne, which was published in 1811 as Sense and Sensibility. The book was published anonymously, with the cover simply stating, ‘By a Lady’, and was well received. Little did she know how big her impact would be on the literary world, and how her legacy would be kept alive years after her death.

Jane Austen’s name and her work is still popular and influential, and known by many. Born in 1775, Austen remains a mysterious figure to the public. The primary reason for this being the burning of the many letters written by her, by her sister Cassandra. This was done to prevent any embarrassment because of the merciless and witty tone of her letters, though some fragments of those letters are still preserved. She was the seventh child in a family of eight. Austen had a near-death experience when she suffered from typhus when sent to Oxford. After her recovery, she was sent to a boarding school in Reading but returned due to the exorbitant fees which had to be paid, and never again left her immediate family environment.

In 1787, Austen began writing, mainly focusing on poems and stories. These were written purely for her and her family’s entertainment, and she had no intention of publishing them. It is estimated that she wrote 3 plays during her teen years. At the age of eighteen, Austen began working on Lady Susan, an epistolary novel written in the form of letters. This wasn’t published until 1871 and has been described as Austen’s most advanced early form of work. After finishing Lady Susan, Austen’s first full-length novel was written. It was initially written under the name Elinor and Marriane but was later changed to Sense and Sensibility. Though it was well-received, Austen’s best and most well-known book was Pride and Prejudice. Set in rural England in the early 19th century, it starts with one of the most iconic lines in literature, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” It has been cited as an influential text and is a beloved book in the eyes of readers and scholars, even 200 years after its publication.

Austen’s work and style of writing were unique. She is known for creating fierce, independent and strong female leads, who are capable of identifying their flaws and correcting them. Her work also interprets and criticises the British aristocrats and the upper class, and deals with economic and class distinctions. In a time like the 1800s, where women were discouraged from writing and publishing books, and many female authors took up male pseudonyms for the publication of their work, Austen was seen as a rebel. She chose not to take on a male pseudonym, and simply published her work under the pen name, “A Lady.” By not marrying, she challenged the notion that a woman without a husband wasn’t capable of supporting herself. Austen has been named as a feminist icon by many.

Since publishing Pride and Prejudice, Austen has written many novels, which include Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Several adaptations of her work in the form of movies and shows have come up. Her books are studied in prestigious universities around the world, and her work has been appreciated by many scholars and philosophers. Though she may have died in 1817, the witty Jane Austen and her work remain timeless, and never fail to fascinate the new generations.

the tourism industry

Today’s article aims to ruin yet another thing people like- travelling. Who doesn’t love vacations? We get to take a break from our daily monotonous lives and experience different cultures, see the beautiful local architecture, eat local food etc. Not only is it relaxing for the tourist, but also beneficial for the locals. Many countries around the world depend on tourism. It brings in money and supports local economies. In 2019, about 4.2 crore jobs were created by the tourism sector alone in India, which accounts for 8.1 % of the total employment in the country. However, there are two sides to every coin, and the other side is unknown to many.

Let’s start with travelling. Getting to your destination requires some sort of travelling by planes, trains, cars etc. The main problem with the aviation industry is of noise and air pollution. In 2010, the aviation industry carried 2.4 billion passengers and that number is predicted to increase to 16 billion by 2050. It also produces 2% of all human-induced carbon dioxide emissions globally. Choosing to avoid flying and taking a cruise instead? Good luck with that. A week’s worth of travel on a cruise is responsible for depositing about 210,000 gallons of human sewage into the ocean. It is also accompanied by many other problems like air pollution and destruction of coral reefs. If that isn’t enough, they also mistreat their workers. Cruise ship workers suffer many problems like long work hours, terrible pay, and inadequate healthcare.

Now, assuming that you’ve reached your destination, the troubles don’t end there. Often the locals have to go through hell, just so that the tourists can live luxuriously. Although it cannot be denied that the employment bought in by this industry is necessary, people fail to look at the kind of jobs being created. The main kind of employment created is low wage and seasonal, with no hopes of any promotion in them. Tourism is also expensive, and prices tend to be higher in tourist destinations. This means that the locals have to pay exorbitantly high prices for daily products like petrol, vegetables, fruits etc. The governments sadly pay more attention and give more importance to the tourists rather than their people.

Even animals cannot escape the adverse effects of tourism. Wildlife tourism is a multimillion-dollar industry and causes great harm to animals in their natural habitats. Endangered animals are drugged just so people can take photos with them, to flaunt their lifestyles on social media. Scuba diving is an activity enjoyed by many on vacations. Yet, its impact on marine life cannot be ignored. Breakage of coral colonies and tissue damage from direct contact such as walking, touching, kicking, standing, or gear contact and water pollution is common in tourist destinations.

There are many problems with this industry which are overlooked. However, we simply cannot shut all forms of tourism as many countries are dependent on it. The COVID 19 pandemic has shown us how some countries can be negatively impacted if tourism is stopped. So, reform in our methods of travelling is crucial. Some ways by which we can achieve this are:-

  1. Minimise waste generation 
  2. Support family-owned and local businesses by buying merchandise and souvenirs from them
  3. Try to find out ways to minimise your impact on wildlife 
  4. Do not travel by cruises or planes. Try trains instead 
  5. If no alternatives to flying are available, then choose direct flights

 Sources : https://www.atag.org/facts-figures.html

https://www.businessinsider.in/transportation/working-on-a-cruise-ship-can-be-brutal-but-two-lawyers-who-rep-cruise-line-workers-explain-why-even-terrible-cruise-ship-jobs-can-be-attractive/articleshow/66797307.cms

The picture of dorian gray

“How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young….If it were only the other way!”

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

A narcissist can be described as someone who has an excessive interest in themselves. While self love is important, narcissists take it too far. They think of themselves as superior in every way whatsoever. Their admiration and obsession with themselves can challenge extremities, sometimes even lead to their ruination. In Greek mythology, Narcissus, a hunter, was cursed to fall in love with himself. He admired himself in the river waters each day, until his despair about the fact that his own reflection couldn’t come to life and love him killed him , leaving behind nothing but a narcissus flower. The word itself is derived from his name. A similar theme is addressed by Oscar Wilde in his Gothic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Dorian Gray was Wilde’s first, and only published novel.It was new and compelling, providing us a peek into what goes on in a human soul, even though its initial release was quite controversial.Set in Victorian England, it tells the story of Dorian Gray, a man who, after seeing a beautiful portrait of his, falls in love with it, but grows distressed at the idea that the portrait will remain young and beautiful forever as he grows old and ugly. He desires that he himself remains young forever, while his portrait ages. Mysteriously, his wish is fulfilled. The man remains youthful, whilst his painting bears the marks every sin he committed, growing uglier by the day. Eventually, he stabs the painting with the same knife he used to murder his friend, perhaps to absolve himself from his wrongdoings. However, when his servants rush to find the source of a cry, they find Dorian’s corpse, old and withered, with the painting looking as beautiful as the day it was painted.

With appreciable vocabulary and vivid metaphors, Wilde manages to convey the slow corrupting of Dorian’s soul, egged on by his friend Lord Henry Wotton. Wotton’s character was crucial for the plot, as he was the one who poisoned his mind with the idea that beauty is the only thing worth pursuing. Had it not been for him, Dorian wouldn’t have driven Sibyl, his love, to death, nor would he have killed Basil Hallward, the artist who created the painting, and regarded Dorian as his muse. As the story progresses, he found it easier to shut off his conscience, and do what pleases him.

Throughout the book, Wilde keeps up his theme of aestheticism, and subtly manages to convey to the reader the shallow nature of tangible beauty, and how too much focus on it can destroy the soul. He manages to create a world where art meets reality. Wilde’s words present a perfect study of human selfishness and vanity, providing a perfect look into thr human soul. It has gone down in history as a classic work of literature.

the brontë sisters

The Brontë Sisters: Anne, Emily and Charlotte were some of the greatest contributors to the literature we love. Their books didn’t abide by the norm. Instead they were original and creative. The sisters had a talent for giving their characters depth and complexity which only few writers could pen down. They created a legacy which has been passed down for generations. Yet, their lives weren’t always perfect. Tragedy was regular for the Brontë’s, with the deaths of first their mother, and then of their two older sisters.

Emily Brontë

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

-Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Emily is best known for her only piece of work ever published- Wuthering Heights, an original and exciting book, portraying the dark and twisted face of love.  She published her works under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. Her inspiration could be found in authors like Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. Emily was described as the shy and mysterious one in the family. The second youngest, she found occupation as a teacher in Law Hill School.

Yet, she had to return due to her fragile health. Her book, Wuthering Heights, was published in 1847, yet she didn’t live to see the success of her novel. She died at the age of 30, a few months after her brother Branwell’s death. It is said that she had grown so narrow and small that her coffin only measured 16 inches wide. Her work is now regarded as literary classic.

Charlotte Brontë

“’I am not an angel,’ I asserted; ‘and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.”

-Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Charlotte was the oldest of the surviving Brontë sisters, who published her works under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, to veil her gender from the public. She was employed as a governess, a job she didn’t like, due to the abysmal treatment she received from her employers. Her first manuscript, The Professor, never found a publisher, but her second one, Jane Eyre, was her most famous and well known work. She was one of the few authors, who wrote the book from a female perspective. A governess, who falls in love with her employer, yet discovers that his crazy wife has been locked up in the attic the whole time. It was dramatic and ground-breaking, and found great success as well as positive reviews from critics. She published her last book, Villette, in 1853. The last surviving member of the family, she lost all remaining siblings within a span of ten months Brontë died at the age of 38, along with her unborn child.

Anne Brontë

 “What a fool you must be,” said my head to my heart, or my sterner to my softer self.”

-Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Anne was the youngest member of her family, and the least known, partly due to the delay in the re-publishing of her book The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She too worked as a governess, but was later dismissed by her employers. Her debut novel, Agnes Grey was published in 1847 under the pseudonym Acton Bell, which was based largely on her own experiences as a governess. She drew inspiration from real life for her writing. This concept of realism was common amongst the sisters. Her second work, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, is described as a shocking and disturbing contemporary Victorian novel. Yet, it was well received and an instant success. Anne died at the age of 29, shortly after her sister Emily’s demise.

thank you for your insecurities

Take a look in the mirror. What will you cry about today?  Is it your big nose, or those pimples? Not good enough.  How about those stretch marks, or that awful cellulite. While you’re at it, maybe be mindful of those hideous hip dips, or that unattractive hairline. Congratulations, you’ve just discovered some brand new flaws in yourself. What’s that, you love yourself just the way you are? Hmm, maybe take a look at this effortlessly gorgeous supermodel we’ve hired to advertise our product, and all these insecurities are sure to come flooding back. So what’s the solution? Buy our brand new futile beauty product, to fix these horrendous faults in you. Once you’ve bought them, we’ll just point out more and more blemishes in you, so you keep giving your money to us to hide what you cry over each night, while we peacefully sleep in our multi-million dollar mansions, made with your tears and powered by your defects. Whatever your insecurities are, we will always have something to market to you. Thank you, for being insecure.

What you’ve just read, is a satirical example of present day marketing and media. In today’s world, there is an array of beauty products in the market, ranging from skin whitening creams to anti-aging shampoo (yes, that is a real thing).The idea of spending your hard earned money on something as superfluous as this, is completely barbaric. Yet, somehow their clever marketing tactics have convinced you that if you don’t have the latest Kylie Jenner lip scrub, your life is insignificant. In the patriarchal society we live in, the modern day woman holds herself to incredibly high standards, and resents the fact that every aspect of her life is not effortlessly flawless. Her worth isn’t tested by her qualifications, but by how she looks and presents herself, because god forbid a woman be anything but attractive and perfect.

The millions of creams, gels, and powders manufactured every day are not only made by poor children in third world counties for minimum wage, and tested on animals , but also packed with harmful chemicals like parabens , phthalates ,BHT etc which have been linked to different kinds of cancers, reproductive issues, and even liver damage. Alas, why would billion dollar companies care about any of this when they can successfully alter the perceptions of millions of young, impressionable children about their bodies, so that they hate themselves enough and  are compelled to buy more and more of such products to “fix themselves”.

Speaking from personal experience, such campaigns and commercials slowly chip away at your confidence, and lower your self esteem to an extent from which recovery is difficult. They convinced teenagers all around the world that their knowledge and credentials are worth nothing if they don’t live up to a certain beauty standard.  The idea that if you don’t look like the charming super model, who they so eagerly cast in their advertisements, then your existence is meaningless is genuinely one of the worst things you can ingrain in a young child’s mind.

Is this the best we can do? How can we prevent further damage from happening?  Our main weapon in this fight is education. Educate yourself about what you buy, watch documentaries, and read books to avoid falling victim to such sneaky tactics. Work towards being less materialistic and superficial. Remember, every flaw you point out about yourself means more money for the  corporations living to profit off of your insecurities. So the next time you see such a commercial, pay no attention to what they say , you’re beautiful just the way you are.

FULL ACADEMIC FEES?

Corona!Corona!Corona! Well, you know who else is taking full advantage during this pandemic? Of course our government. First I thought the increase in petrol and diesel prices was due to people not abiding by the rules and taking this pandemic lightly and the government has taken a wise step by increasing the prices. And yes! I was wrong…not surprising, right?

-The Education system especially globally is also responsible for making the poor people poorer and the rich people richer. Providing education should be free right? But the government does charge fees. There’s nothing wrong here but during this pandemic instead of getting together and doing everything that they can in the field of education, they charge full fees? Har cheez ki haad hoti hai(everything has its limits).

-Not only the students are being forced to pay full fees but also the teachers are getting 50% or less salary. Why is this happening?

-During this pandemic, more than 10 crore people will be unemployed, out of 5 every 2 employees are facing a cut in the salary(this was found out in a survey) 5. 31% are confident they’ll find a new job soon

How will you manage finances after a job loss?

Read more at:

We cannot expect during this time especially, the government to be so stone hearted instead of showing empathy towards the students and their parents and understanding their burden they still choose to take full fees.

-The FACT is students are attending online classes, teachers teach from home. The major problems faced by students-Even though a middle-class family can afford a laptop for their child what about villages? some institutes don’t start online classes till all the students pay the fees.

2. It has also massively affected productivity and student’s social life and learning. Many students participating in home-learning programs say that the workload of online classes is more than regular classes.

The problems faced by the teachers-Apart from the students’ teachers too face problems of not receiving their salaries for the past few months. For this, the excuse given by the institution is that teachers get paid according to their efforts put in online teaching and terms of no.of video lectures, assignments, etc. The question is if students pay full fees why are the teachers not receiving their full salaries?

2. Resources used by teachers for online classes should be provided by the college. So why is no one talking about this? Because of the fear of failure of classes or any other. Just think this would not only provide full salary to teachers but it will also reduce the burden of our parents and the students too. This would be a great achievement for us so why not?

Some solutions suggested that can help in reducing the tension during this pandemic are-

1. The money that would have been spent on buying the canteen food, photocopy prints, etc can be used to create a welfare fund for teachers and pay their full salary.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/personal-finance-news/covid-impact-2-in-5-employees-are-facing-salary-cuts-finds-survey/articleshow/75502876.cms

The despicable face of fast fashion

In the present times, everything is fast paced, and what might be trendy one day, is kicked  to the curb the other. The most common example of this is fashion, specifically fast-fashion. Fast-fashion is used to describe cheap, trendy clothing, which makes the journey from the runway, to your closet and then to the garbage dump, in the blink of an eye. These include brands like, H&M, Forever 21, ASOS, ZARA etc. They  pump out new designs regularly to stay relevant amongst the younger generations, and you cannot escape it. Chances are, the clothes you’re wearing right now are from fast-fashion brands.

Now why is this problematic? By putting out new clothes every month or so, and using extremely clever marketing tactics, they’ve convinced the average consumer that their clothes are “outdated” and they need to keep purchasing from them to stay in trend, thereby maximising their profits every single time. But that isn’t even the worst part. To quench their never ending thirst for money, these brands utilise sweatshops for production of their clothing. A sweatshop is a factory where workers are severely underpaid, and the working conditions are inhumane, ranging from excruciatingly long working hours, to unsafe and unhygienic work environments. Sweatshops are usually placed in third world countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia etc. where worker’s rights are minimal, where rich brands can get quick, inexpensive labour at the cost of actual human lives.  

Since these clothes are mass produced and cheaply made, it is not surprising to know that they go bad after a couple of washes, and are no longer wearable. Each year, the average consumer throws away about 32 kilograms of clothing, adding to the already over filled landfills . It is estimated that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than international flights and maritime ships combined. It also takes thousands of gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt and a pair of jeans, as they are made from a water intensive material-cotton. Further, textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water, leading to the fashion industry being responsible for 20% of the worlds water pollution.

As more and more people get aware of their malpractices, fast fashion brands resort to greenwashing, which is basically presenting a company as more eco friendly than it really is. They make false promises about making their products with organic cotton and recycled polyester. However, they fail to provide sufficient and definitive information, and refuse to specify how much of a garment is made with recycled material. Brands like LuLuLemon and H&M have been recently accused of greenwashing, yet their sales remain high.

It is saddening to see how many people are unaware of these evils, and those who are aware simply turn a blind eye to such issues. How can we prevent this? Our strongest weapon in this war against fast fashion is education. Educate yourself and those around you. Watch documentaries, read books and articles, and convince others around you to quit buying from such brands. Try reducing the number of shopping trips you take in a year. Another thing which can help is mending your old clothes, and wearing them at least 30-40 times to make the most out of them. Remember, every little step counts. Gone are the days when we were blind consumers. Now, the time has come for serious reforms.

Sources: https://www.businessinsider.in/science/news/the-fashion-industry-emits-more-carbon-than-international-flights-and-maritime-shipping-combined-here-are-the-biggest-ways-it-impacts-the-planet-/articleshow/71640863.cms

https://www.greenamerica.org/blog/factory-exploitation-and-fast-fashion-machine

Last day of Internship

So, finally, today is the last day of my internship. This is not related to any news, article or any kind of research, this is just a simple message and a little experience which I want to share. In this period of a month, I learnt a plethora of skills such as content writing, Blogging and more than that I enjoyed to being a publisher with eduindex. I haven’t traditionally good at writing but now I think I did my best even I can do more better. In today’s world, everyone should learn these skills and knowledge as well and we are blessed as we have such a good platform Internshala through that we can use this knowledge or skill even learns from them in such a convenient way. Hopefully, my little experience will be helpful to have the curiosity in young ones.

LEARNING

A Human continuous process

PATTIKONDA:30/07/2020.

Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding,behaviour, knowledge,skills,values,attitudes, and preferences.Some learning is immediate, induced by a single event, but much skill and knowledge accumulates from repeated experiences.

Learning is not a education word. Human learning starts at birth and continues until death as a consequence of ongoing interactions between people and their environment. learning may occur as a result of habituation, operational conditions,classic conditions or as a result of more complex activities.Real learning is the ability to adopt what you know and know-how to do and adapt it under an everchanging variety of circumstances.

A direction of life
  • There are 3 types of learning.
  • Non-associative learning: It refers to “a relatively permanent change in the strength of response to a single stimulus.
  • It includes habituation and senisization.
  • Active learning: It occurs when a person takes control of their learning experience. Since understanding information is the key.Active learning is a key characteristic of student-centerd learning.
  • Associate learning:Associative learning is the process by which a person or animal learns an association between two stimuli or events.
  • It includes classic and operant conditioning.

Multimedia learning or e learning is the modern learning techniques. Multimedia learning is where a person can use both audible and visual stimuli to learn information.Electronic learning or e-learning is computer-enhanced learning. A specific and always more diffused e-learning is Mobile learning.When a learner interacts with the e-learning environment, it’s called Augmented learning. Augmented digital content may include text, images, video, audio.Nonformal learning is organized learning outside the formal learning system.

Domains of learning
  • The DOMAINS of learning is
  • Cognitive: To recall, calculate, discuss, analyze, problem solve, etc.
  • Psychomotor: To dance, swim, ski, dive, drive a car, ride a bike, etc.
  • Affective: To like something or someone, love, appreciate, fear, hate, worship, etc.
  • Transfer of learning is the application of skill, knowledge or understanding to resolve a novel problem or situation.
  • Machine learning, a branch of AI, concerns the construction and study of systems that can learn from data

Factors of affecting learning: Status of students: Physical and home conditions also matter.hereditary: learners are rich in hereditary endowment while others are poor. Each student is unique and has different abilities.Physical environment: The design, quality, and setting of a learning space such as a school or classroom.Goals or purposes,Motivational behavior,Guidance,Interest, Learning activities,Attention are some influences of learning.