When in a Preschool, be talkative

My research as a doctoral student is with preschoolers. What this means is that I spend a ridiculously (and yet fabulously) large amount of time in preschool classrooms for data collection. Following are a few of the best conversations I have had with tiny humans, and my take on the same –

  • The one where the kid can’t believe I just come to their school to creepily stare at them for hours, and call it ‘work’ (Part 1)

Kid, sitting on the grass in the playground, staring at me: “Why are you here everyday?”

Me, taken by surprise: “Oh, I do some work here. And I come to meet you all”

Kid, looking supremely unconvinced: *gets up and walks away to play*

  • The one where the kid can’t believe I just come to their school to creepily stare at them for hours, and call it ‘work’ (Part 2, with a different kid)

Kid, looking at me curiously: “Why are you here all the time?”

Me, used to this question now, confident of my ability to answer: “I do work here, and I get to meet you all and see what you’re doing”

Kid, slightly confused, but look of understanding dawning on his face: “So you work for the school?”

Me: “Kind of”

Kid: “So you’re here all day?”

Me, realizing this explanation is getting messier: “No, I also have to go work at my own school after I leave from here.”

Kid, confused again: “So you have 2 jobs?”

Me, relieved at the easy culmination of the conversation: “Yes”

Kid, walking away, murmuring mysteriously: “I also have two different jobs”

Me, wondering whether to follow up, or accept that a 5-year-old believes he has two jobs: *shrug, go back to collecting data*

  • The one where the kid is sincerely worried about these adults being responsible for the world

Kid, at housekeeping play centre, making pretend food: Here, I made you a burger

A visitor to the classroom, the recipient of the food, enthusiastically engaged in pretend play: “Oh yum! This is great! What all’s in here? I wish we had some ketchup to go with it. Also, do you know, there’s a restaurant nearby which serves a burger which is kind of like this. Have you ever been there?”

Kid, with the most concerned look on her face: “This isn’t real food, it’s plastic”

Me, looking away, trying not to burst out laughing, then turning back, and kid staring at me with a concerned ‘is-this-guy-for-real’ look on her face

  • The one where the kid is concerned about my mental health and leads me to an epiphany

Me, walking into the classroom, having just heard a joke and still smiling about it: Hi, M! *smiling at M*

M, with a broad smile: “You’re actually happy today!”

Me, aghast and confused at what emotion she thought I’d been exhibiting every day in class before this: “Am I not happy everyday?”

M, shrugs, walks away, conversation over

Me, to myself: They know about my resting bitch face. Also, it apparently looks like my whole life is just sorrow…what have I been looking like?! *cue existential crisis*

  • The one where I am rechristened (multiple times, and counting)

Kid: “Are you leaving now?”

Me, packing up: “Yes, I am. I’ll be back next week!”

Kid, calmly, and happily: “Okay. Bye Amber!”

Me, stopping in the motion of hitching my backpack onto my shoulder, and looking confused: “Who?”

Kid: “Amber”

Me, looking at teachers, lost: “Amber?”

Teacher, smiling and rolling her eyes, to kid: “This is not Amber. It’s Sanchari”

Kid, supremely unconcerned, looking at me: “You’re Amber now. Bye Amber!”

Other kids at the table, chiming in: “Bye Amber!”

Me, coming to terms with the inevitability of the situation: “Okay then. Bye!”

(Note: I have also been called Rachel and Claire)

  • The one where the kid reminds me to be in the present moment, and chill out

Me to the kid who comes up to me, hugs me (I hug him back), while teacher is calling everyone to the carpet for group time: “Hi. Thanks for the hug. You need to go sit on your spot now”

Kid, fascinated with my papers: “I see?”

Me, showing him the sheet, then getting his attention again, while teacher continues to try to get everyone to the carpet: “You need to be on the carpet now”

Kid to me, still looking at my papers, with a lot of gravitas, holding out his hand in a stopping motion: “Woah. Wewax (relax)”

Me, once again trying not to laugh out loud: “Okay. But you still need to sit on your spot”

  • The one where I got a much-needed reminder of why I do this stuff

Me to kid B, doing one-on-one activities with kid A, while kid B proceeds to climb onto my back, hugging me from behind: “Hey, can you go play somewhere else for now?”

Kid B, moodily: “Why?”

Me: “Because I don’t want (Kid A) to get distracted while she’s doing this activity”

Kid B, emphatically: “But I love you!”

Me, on the verge of tears, melting away: “I love you too. You can be here if you’re quiet”

(Note: Kid B was the supposed ‘problem child’ of the class, but became my favourite by the end of the year. She was the one I always got impromptu hugs from, and the one who insisted on spending her last day in school mostly cuddling with me. I miss her.)

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Here. Not here.

I’ve been in this weird phase for some time now. My mind, unfortunately, may finally be changing into that of an adult’s. Oh the horror! I’ve been doing mostly university work (dissertation, assignments, skill labs et al) and only been a passive observer when  it comes to the virtual sphere.

I’ve recently developed a love-hate (though more like dislike-hate) relationship with Facebook. I’ve deactivated and reactivated my account around 4 times in the past two months. I just don’t find anything useful enough to do on Facebook, but when I’ve deactivated the account, I get all curious as to what might be happening in my absence. It’s like a drug. And I need to get over these withdrawal symptoms. Really. This is one of those instances when you realize why a certain word is used to describe something. Facebook ‘addiction’ makes a lot of sense now, huh?

As for blogging, once again, I’ve been reading a few, skipping a few and not posting anything at all (obviously you know that). Same goes for my craft blog too. Thankfully, I craft just as much as before (maybe even more), but I just don’t post about it.

The reason for this lethargic attitude could be that whenever I switch on the laptop, it reminds me of my unfinished dissertation. This makes me feel guilty and I subsequently do nothing more than mindlessly surf. Yes, I know this is a symptom of trying to flee away from something I don’t wish to do (downside of being a Psychology geek – you tend to analyze all your moods in psychological terms and reach devastating conclusions).

I did however open an Instagram account. Couldn’t resist the filters. And such pretty photographs! Ideal for passive surfing. And then I enthusiastically posted some of my own clicks.

(If you’re a newbie Instagrammer too, then do visit me [Username : sanchari54] and we can hyperventilate about others’ jaw-dropping uploads together. If you’re not a newbie, you could still visit me so that I can gape adoringly at your fabulous work.)

Okay. Must get back to dissertation. Can you see it giving me reproachful looks from my personal folder over there? Ooh look! Butterflies! Golden butterflies!

[I shall return when I’m able to talk sense. Auf wiedersehen!]

Confusing, Life Is.

While growing up, I was always one of those kids who’s ready with a smile on her face if you were to approach her in a friendly manner.
However, I was never the one who would take the initiative to approach someone myself  and basically take the first step. So, you could say I’m an introvert but only till you get to know me.

Now, what with having to grow up (which really sucks right now, y’know?) and all, I’m expected to talk a lot; far more than I am used to. It’s true that college helped me open up and made me more confident, but I still can’t be the one who can talk endlessly about herself. But during interviews or in conversations with strangers  who know nothing about me, I have to express exactly what I am within a small period of time.

Now, this is really tough. It usually takes me quite some time to open up and actually talk about myself, but now I’m faced with the situation that if I do not open up real quick and tell a complete stranger all about how much I’m suitable for a certain thing, I’m out of the running.

I’ve always been fortunate to get a lot of love and affection from family and friends for being one who could listen. And that could happen only because I could also keep shut and listen for a change. But now I see that it is those who were the talkers who can present themselves better in front of strangers in a short span of time. And I’m still stuck, thinking whether I should just say what’s on my mind without thinking so bloody much.

So, people found me to be a serious student and a dependable friend because I could listen attentively. But now I must prove myself to the world by changing this habit of talking less.

Confusing, life is.