Snakes – The Misunderstood Creatures
This month at Ekya ITPL, we had an extremely informative and interesting expert talk about snakes with Mr. Yatin. It started off with simple stories and bits related to the wonderful reptile. We then moved on to the basic questions including why snakes exist in the ecosystem and their importance in the same. I, for one, am very scared of snakes, so when Mr. Yatin told us that they are more scared of us than we are of them, it came as a huge relief. Hereafter, we discussed the animal’s reaction to us. Elaborating on their beautiful form, we got Information on their: body-color, characteristics, common occurrences, diet, and more.
He then informed us about the big 4. These are the venomous snakes and the most important snakes in India, which are: speculated cobra, russell viper, common krait, scaled viper. Then the kids enjoyed a fun game of spotting the russell viper! Moving back to the more Informational side, he spoke about the more harmless snakes, Indian rat snakes (most common), a checkered keelback water snake, striped keelback snake, wolf snake, kukri snake, vine snake, brahminy worm snake, cat snake, Indian rock python and finally the trinket snake which are the most beautiful in Bangalore according to Mr.Yatin.
He then pointed out the differences between venomous and non-venomous snake bites, modes of snake which include chill, defense, escape, and offense. Moving along the topic of venom he informed us about some mistaken identities, where a non-venomous snake mimics a venomous snake, and how to identify species of snake and know if the snake is venomous or not. A common mimic used in the United States for snakes is: if red touches yellow, dangerous fellow if red touches black venom lacks. We were then presented with information about snake bites, the difference between venomous and poisonous and types of venoms, feeding strategies, snakebite prevention, and snake bite care, you could see the amazement on participants’ faces.
Lastly, we had a fun little quiz (which snake is most dangerous and what is the snake) with a tremendous amount of participation. It was followed by a round of quick questions and answer with a very curious crowd. Everything was explained so systematically, I personally loved everything about the session especially the venom part of the session and quiz. It was truly a fun experience learning about the slithery serpents.
By, Dwiti Dhotrekar, Grade 11
Burnout is defined as harming one’s health due to exhaustion through overwork.
Grade 10 is a crucial year and comes with a lot of pressure to score well in board examinations. Last year, the uncertainty of boards, the piling assignments, and having to spend the entire year at home, vexed me. After classes were done for the day, I would still be in meetings for group activities or preparing for presentations.
I had never experienced burnout. I suddenly lost all motivation to study and often had emotional breakdowns. I was tired and irritable because of constantly being in front of the laptop. As exams came closer, the signs got worse. All I wanted was a fresh start, 10th had been going on for longer than a year ( as portions started in term 2 of 9th grade and boards were constantly postponed) and I wanted it to end so I could start focusing on the subjects enjoyed most in 11th. My family was awfully worried as I had completely changed.
Exams came closer, I fell ill with all the stress. My body was crumbling and my mind was chaotic. One day, my phone was buzzing frantically -BOARDS WERE CANCELLED!. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions, but I realized that now I finally had time to focus on myself. Throughout the holidays I indulged in activities that I enjoyed such as painting and learning a new language. I watched movies and spent time with my family and focused on self-care. I started doing light meditation to clear my mind and it helped me immensely
Mental health is a significant topic that must be talked about. Students are affected the most and the current situation is playing against their favour. We need to understand how important it is for us to take care of our mental health.
Having burnout is not embarrassing, it is your body telling you that it is time to put yourself first and take better care of yourself. Don’t go through it alone, confide in friends and/or family and take some time out from your busy day just to breathe and be yourself. Take a break! Start reading that book you bought thinking that you would read it but never got time to. Pamper yourself with your favorite food and a movie. Take a nap, go for a walk. Remember that you matter the most and it will get better!
By, Rudra Ajay, Grade 11, Humanities
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.”
Think about the great listeners in your life and what makes them so strong at this often-overlooked skill. There is a distinct difference between listening versus hearing. When someone is telling you a story, are you listening? Or are you hearing? Are you absorbing what they have to say? Or waiting for your chance to respond?
To be successful in all walks of life, become a strong communicator and listener. Exceptional communication and listening skills are qualities that are in good leaders across the board.
If you want to make your presence felt, gone are the days of being a fly on the wall. To practice bettering your verbal communication and confidence, give yourself that extra push to raise your hand and share what you have to say during online/offline meetings. It might feel onerous at first, but it will pay off in the long run.
If you want to challenge yourself to become a better listener, form the habit of listening more intently in your everyday life.
In each conversation you have going forward, make an effort to listen not just to respond but absorb what the other person says. Take an extra couple of seconds to respond, process, and ask meaningful questions.
This habit will help you become someone that other people feel that they can trust deeply, which of course, is an essential quality of a great leader, and let others be in your august company.
“Spend at least 20 minutes daily with your parents/children: speak for five minutes and listen for 15 minutes. See what happens!”
By, Ms. Shiza Khan, Primary Academic Coordinator EITPL