Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !

Quiz Time



1. Name the Asian country with the capital Bandar Seri Begawan celebrating its National Day on this date i.e. February 23.

2. Which famous Italian composer wrote the popular ‘Le quattro stagioni’?

3. Which Oscar-winning classic is based on The Seven Pillars of Wisdom?

4. Which omnivore is usually used to find truffles, a fungal fruiting body, that is a prized cuisine delicacy?

5. After whom is India’s first dedicated meteorological satellite named?

6. What famous discovery did the British Egyptologist Howard Carter make in February 1923?

7. The Chinese New Year which began on February 14 is the Year of the…?

8. In the story ‘Jack and the beanstalk’, which musical instrument did Jack steal from the giant?

9. Two of the greatest Indians, ‘Chacha’ and ‘Bapu’, were trained to practise a profession. What is it?

10. Which king was responsible for building the imposing ‘Vijay Stambha’ in Chittorgarh?

11. ‘Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka’ (Made of Hundreds of Flowers) is the National Anthem of…?

12. Which is the only planet in our Solar System that is less dense than water?

13. Which of these States has less than two MPs in the present Lok Sabha: Tripura, Meghalaya or Mizoram?

14. Name the village which is the origin of Lord Voldemort’s maternal and paternal ancestors and where he was restored to bodily form in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

15. In ice hockey, how many players from each side are allowed on the ice at any one time?


1. State of Brunei Darussalam
2. Antonio Vivaldi. ‘Le quattro stagioni’ means ‘The four seasons’
3. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’
4. Pigs.
5. Kalpana Chawla
6. The sarcophagus of Tutankhamun
7. Tiger
8. Harp
9. Law
10. Rana Kumbha of Mewar
11. Nepal
12. Saturn
13. Mizoram
14. Little Hangleton
15. Six

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, The Hindu

Filed under: Young World Quiz

Communicative English Class IX: New text books

Formative Assessment – English Course (Communicative Language & Literature) Class IX Initial PagesCommunicativeLiteratureFA-BeehiveFA-Moments

Interact In English – Main Course Book : A Textbook for English Course (Communicative) Class-IX Initial PagesUnit-1Unit-2Unit-3Unit-4Unit-5Unit-6Unit-7Annexures

Interact In English – LITERATURE READER : A Textbook for English Course (Communicative) Class-IX Initial PagesUnit-1Unit-2Unit-3Unit-4Unit-5Unit-6Unit-7Unit-8Unit-9Unit-10Unit-11Unit-12Unit-13Unit-14Annexure

Interact In English – Work Book : A Textbook for English Communicative Class-IX Initial PagesUnit-1Unit-2Unit-3Unit-4Unit-5Unit-6Unit-7Unit-8Sample Question Paper


Filed under: Downloads, , ,

National Science Day 2010


National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February every year to mark the discovery of Raman effect by C.V. Raman.

In India every year 28th February is celebrated as National Science Day: “National Science Day” is commemorated in the honour of Sir C.V.Raman for his legacy, who discovered Raman effect on 28th Feb. 1928.

Importance of the day: It was on 28th February 1928 the great Indian Physicist Sir C.V. Raman discovered Raman Effect while working in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. It was a great achievement and for that he received Nobel Prize which was the first Nobel Prize for India. Hence the day is of great importance for Indian science and scientific community.

HISTORY : In 1986, NTSC took initiative to get the Government of India to designate February 28 as the National Science Day (NSD) which is now celebrated all over the country in schools, colleges, universities and other academic, scientific, technical, medical and research institutions. On the occasion of the first NSD (28 February 1987) NCSTC announced institution of the National Science Popularization awards for recognizing outstanding efforts in the area of science communication and popularization, which have been given annually since 1988.

Objectives and Events: Besides commemorating the event, National Science day (NSD) have several objectives. Here are a few of them:

  • NSD gives an opportunity to bring issues of science on to center stage
  • It highlights the contributions of science to human kind in the domains of disease eradication, energy production, space exploration, environmental issues, information technology etc.
  • It emphasizes biotechnology’s impact on agriculture, environment, health, industry and pharmaceuticals.
  • It gives the space for exchange of thoughts on the gospel of reason and experimental observation that helps scientist to acquire mental and intellectual excellence.
  • It provides the information on application of science in the daily life.
  • It motivates to inculcate scientific temper among the school children.
  • It lists the initiative steps taken by the scientific community to disseminate the knowledge to the future generations.

Events: Several programs are organized focusing on the above objective. Prominent institutes come forward for the celebrations with remarkable programs. Eminent scientists of the present day give seminars on the most happening subjects of the science. Science exhibitions are conducted by the students in schools.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

An exhibition of Books on the theme going on in the library from 22-28, February 2010. Visit the library.

Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

Encompass: The global Book Club


EnCompassCulture is a worldwide reading group, the place to find your next book and talk about books with other readers from around the world. It has full details of over 10,000 books for all age ranges and is full of useful features.

Filed under: Website of the week,

The making of Imran Khan


IMRAN KHAN — The Cricketer, The Celebrity, The Politician:

by Christopher Sandford

(Visit the Library to read the Book)


Reviewed by S. RAM MAHESH , The Hindu

Imran Khan is among the most captivating men cricket has known. Remote, forceful, mysterious; born to lead but in essence an introvert; and a man who relentlessly courted greatness, Imran demands a richly researched treatment if one is to appreciate his proclivities, his humour. Christopher Sandford meets this challenge in this nuanced biography. Having written on Roman Polanski, Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney, and Godfrey Evans, among others, he understands the complexities that tincture icons; more to the point, he understands how to evoke them.

“By the time Imran was old enough to take an interest in his surroundings, the struggle for the character and soul of Pakistan was well under way,” writes Sandford. The sights, sounds, and smells of Lahore during Imran’s childhood are reconstructed — neither a happy nor an unhappy childhood, as Imran describes it, but a secure, serious one. Sandford writes evocatively, exploring his lineage (“he clearly inherited qualities from both sides of the clan, the spiritual instinct and sporting prowess of the Burkhis and the dour application of the Niazis”) and elaborating on the capers of his childhood. “As a six- or seven-year-old, Imran had regularly run for more than three kilometres from one end of Zaman Park to the other, a contraption [kite] painted like the Pakistani national flag fluttering above him …[he] enjoyed his food, particularly the heavily spiced curries … and was known to attend extended performances of Qawwalis.”

As a fast bowler

Sandford traces the onset of Imran’s patriotism, the creation of his celebrity, and the maturation of his leadership. But it is the study of his evolution as a fast bowler that provides the book its je ne sais quoi. “Imran was not only an accomplished bowler, but a visually thrilling one,” he writes. “From a low, crouching start he accelerated with a sprinter’s poise and balance in his approach to the wicket, which culminated in a last-second propulsive leap and a virile, full-stretch whip of the body.” Each of these aspects is examined. This makes for instructive reading, for Imran transformed himself from a bowler of moderate speed to one of searing pace.

The temperament came naturally to him, who rebelled against bowling “line-and-length stuff.” The propulsive leap was suggested by a young New Zealand batsman at Birmingham’s indoor nets, and the run-up was streamlined after watching Dennis Lillee and Michael Holding from close quarters during the World Series. As Imran reveals, he was always after penetrative pace; what’s remarkable, though, is how he put them together, experimenting so successfully that only Jeff Thomson, among his contemporaries, was significantly faster.


The book is full of interesting episodes. A young Imran refuses to make Sadiq Mohammad a cup of tea, and calmly watches the senior player’s bemusement at not being obeyed. Two decades later, when Mushtaq Ahmed attempts to lift Imran’s bags, the captain says ‘thank you’ and insists on carrying his bags himself. He asks Abdul Qadir to cultivate a “pointed French-style beard” because it both unsettles the batsmen and works with the women. During a night out, Garth le Roux, his Sussex team-mate, asks him to come, meet some women, and Imran, with a glass of milk in hand (he is a teetotaller), says if girls want to meet him, “they can bloody well come over here.”

Sandford also looks at Imran’s batting and his sense of humour. Beautifully orthodox and capable of “full-bodied” stroke-play, he was nevertheless curiously diffident about his abilities. It was not until his innate competitiveness was triggered (and he was forced by injury to play as a pure batsman for a while) that he displayed his batting ability, averaging 50 in the last ten years of his Test career. As for his humour, the accounts are conflicting.

The book has much to commend itself. The blurb describes Imran as being “equally at home in London nightspots like Annabel’s and Tramp and campaigning among the slums of Lahore,” and Sandford develops this theme masterfully, his intent to inquire into, not judge, this apparent incongruity.

The writer also succeeds in capturing the magnitude of his achievements as Pakistan’s captain. There are a few quibbles — surely Imran’s defining international performances deserve a greater play, as does India’s perception of him — but they do not detract from what is a rewarding work.

Filed under: Book of the week,

Start Science Sooner


Excellence in science education must begin in kindergarten

By The Editors

From the March 2010 Scientific American Magazine


Good science education at the earliest grades is supremely important, but in most classrooms it gets short shrift. Studies have found that children in kindergarten are already forming negative views about science that could cast a shadow across their entire educational careers. When researchers interviewed kindergartners from typical classrooms, barely a third of the children showed any knowledge of science, whether from school or other sources. Many children said that science was for older kids and adults, not kindergartners like them. They talked of science being about magic potions or dangerous chemicals; they said science is hard, science is not interesting, and “I am not good at science.” Ask a room of five-year-olds to draw a scientist, and you will likely get lots of pictures of white-coated men in laboratories. Furthermore, even before first grade, fewer girls than boys say they like science.

It is perilous to generalize about anything in the U.S. education system—quality varies enormously from classroom to classroom—but science has long been a poor stepchild to mathematics and reading. One report noted that science instruction in the early grades “occurs sporadically and rarely engages children in practices that encourage rigorous and reflective science learning.” Science is high on the list of subjects that early-grade teachers feel ill prepared to teach. A 2009 study found that Head Start children in Florida ended their pre-K year with significantly lower readiness scores in science than in any other domain.

Of course, teachers need to make difficult trade-offs in the classroom, where many worthy subjects compete for precious little time. If more science is to be taught in kindergarten, what should be removed to make way for it?

Maybe nothing. Educational psychology researchers at Purdue University have developed an approach for teaching science in kindergarten that integrates it with language. The combination not only makes science instruction more appealing to teachers who are very mindful of language arts core curriculum requirements. It also enhances language learning by providing situations in which written language is used for a genuine purpose—recording and reporting predictions and observations—instead of a task devoid of any real context. And the kindergartners delight in learning words they would usually never encounter in kindergarten lessons, such as “excrete” (even if they cannot always spell them correctly).

The Purdue approach, the Scientific Literacy Project (, introduces children to the most fundamental idea—that science is about carefully conducted inquiry to learn about the world—and shows them that everyone can do science. The lessons do not depend on expensive equipment or the latest in animations and computer games. Low-tech methods suffice, including experiments as simple as seeing if salt will dissolve, reading well-chosen nonfiction books—which many adults mistakenly imagine to be inappropriate or uninteresting to such young children—and maintaining individual science journals.

The researchers found that students participating in their project showed significant gains relative to those taking traditional classes. The kindergartners readily developed skills related to asking questions, conducting observations and experiments, drawing conclusions and sharing their findings—and had tremendous fun along the way. The project showed its worth for children of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, and, most interestingly, it eliminated the gender gap in attitudes. A group at the University of Illinois at Chicago developed a similar project—Integrated Science-Literacy Enactments (—for grades 1 through 3.

An emphasis on “inquiry science” has long been advocated by the National Research Council, whose national science education standards stress science as inquiry and grasp of a few fundamental concepts, ahead of the more traditional focus on a wide smattering of content knowledge (see The approach does, however, depend on the instructors understanding how to carry out inquiry-based lessons effectively. The teachers need training in how to teach science. It is not enough to give them courses to bolster their science content knowledge—or to fast-track science graduates into teaching with insufficient schooling in the science of how children learn.

Children are natural scientists: not only are they inquisitive and energetic, but they have an instinct for controlled experimentation. The goal of science education at the earliest levels should be to encourage and refine children’s innate love of exploring the world around them and to help that enthusiastic behavior grow into true scientific literacy.



Filed under: Article of the Week,

Clear your doubts on CBSE exams

Is grading system done subject-wise or for all subjects as a whole? If it is done as a whole, how can I know my marks in individual subjects? Is preparation based on the NCERT books sufficient for scoring outstanding marks. Can deleted portions for maths, science and social be intimated? How to score high marks?


The students will be awarded subject-wise grades. Marks will not be mentioned in this year’s Class-X examination result sheet.

The Board recommends textbooks published by NCERT. A student may refer to Board’s syllabus for different subjects in Secondary School Curriculum Volume-I 2010.

Thorough study with understanding of the included concepts will certainly help a student perform better in examination.

Board exams were definitely a burden until CCE started but now I feel CCE is overburdening than the board exams. I would like to point out the problems that affect the students:

True talent is not identified. A student studying hard for getting 99 per cent is the same as the person who is going to get 90 per cent. So students may stop aiming high.

Although everyone knows that the summative exams are important, students start concentrating on the projects, which are given to us instead of coping up with the portions that are taken in the class.

Students are graded for everything they do and as a result feel the teachers are spying them. Thus they may start acting, and a student’s true character cannot be identified.

Students won’t have any experience about how a board exam will be. They take more tension as they straightaway take the Class XII board exam. This might affect their marks and college admission.

Vasanthi S.P. ,Velachery, Chennai

Students are advised to put in their best efforts for maximum learning instead of focusing on only marks or grades.

The projects and other active learning experiences are also aimed at enhancement of learning and better understanding of subjects. Schools are being advised to organise additional learning experiences in such a manner that the students are not put to any stress or pressure.

You are advised to be your natural self in different settings in order to get true assessment as feedback for further improvement.

If a student studies regularly and sincerely during all the years, there is no reason why Class-XII Board examination should create any pressure.

Please understand that the new scheme aims at providing holistic education without compromising on excellence in academics.

I am studying in Class XII (Science group). Is studying from the NCERT textbooks fetch us marks in the board exams? What points do we need to concentrate for Organic Chemistry?

Karteek Ponnuru, Visakhapatnam

The textbook published by NCERT is recommended for preparation for the Board examination. However, standard reference material in the subject also needs to be consulted for greater and in-depth understanding of the concepts included in different content areas. A student is required to give more attention to the understanding of concepts related to organic reactions, reasoning, mechanism, etc., from this section.

I am in Class X. Will the pre board examination marks be considered in the Board examinations? If so, how?

Harsha Suri

No, the marks obtained in the pre-board examination are not added or included in the Board examination marks.

I am in Class X. I would like to know whether the lesson ‘Electric Motors and Electric Generators in the Magnetic Effect of Current’ will be considered for evaluation in the Board examination. Is the schematic diagram of domestic circuit included in the syllabus for the Board examination?


No, the diagrams and the detailed working of electric motor and electric generator are not included in the syllabus for the examination purpose. A student is required to know only the principle on which these machines work.

Yes, the schematic diagram of domestic electrical circuit is included in the syllabus for the Board examination.

Are we required to produce the same diagrams or experiments as given in the NCERT textbook for the board examination?

Will marks be deducted if we exceed the given word limit?

Will marks be deducted if extra information (Other than given in textbook) is written?

Is it necessary to write speech/article only from the Main Course Book (MCB) in English? Can we completely write them in our own ideas?

Ravi Kishore

Any alternative scientifically correct diagram or experiment is considered equally good for the examination purpose.

No. Marks are not deducted for exceeding the word limit. However, it is better to write to the point and exact answers in order to save time.

It is always better to write the desired answer as per the requirements of statement of the question.

Unnecessary information in the answer does not get any additional credit.

A speech or an article is based on the topics and themes discussed in the Main Course Book. Students are expected to be well versed with the themes mentioned in the MCB.

However, the questions are so framed that students are encouraged to answer the questions on the basis of their reading of the MCB and also use their own ideas based on their understanding, experiences and reading of material from other sources.

I am in Class X. What is the word limit to be followed for the 10-mark question in section B (writing) in English Communicative. Should we strictly follow the word limit or is it ok to exceed it by about 10 words? How many points are we supposed to include in the answer?

Manjula.S K.V.No.1, Tirupati

No. Marks are not deducted for exceeding the word limit. However, it is better to write to the point and exact answers in order to save time.

On what basis will the school provide a stream of subjects?

Jwalant bodi

A stream of combination of subjects in Class XI is commonly allotted on the basis of marks or grades obtained by the students in the corresponding subjects in the Class X examination.

If a student gets E grade, that is less than 33 marks, can he join Plus One in State board?

Can CBSE students join ITI, and polytechnics in Tamil Nadu, with the grades they acquire?

N. Balamurugan. Teacher, Sister Alphonsa School, Kudha, Nilgiris

Any student who fails to get a qualifying grade D in any subject is required to improve the grade in subsequent attempts for admission to higher class.

Yes, the grades obtained in the CBSE examination will be equally valid and hold good for getting admission in ITI, polytechnics, etc.

What is the syllabus for social science? Will individual questions be asked without the information from source boxes in history? Why did painter Julius Huibner depict Germania as fallen women? What is the symbolic meaning of the painting?

Jomy Joshua

For social Science syllabus, please refer to the CBSE publications, Secondary School Curriculum volume I, 2010 Main subjects. The syllabus is also given at the Board’s website

Questions will be asked from the material given in source boxes in the prescribed

History textbook of Class X as well as from related content given in the textbook. Please read the content given in the prescribed Social Science textbooks.


Courtesy: The Hindu

Filed under: Ask the CBSE, ,

How to Organize Your Story Ideas

by  N.M. Kelby

The best ideas can start out running wild—but you’ll need to train them onto the page if you want to write that novel you have inside of you. Here’s how.

After Truman Capote nearly destroyed himself writing his groundbreaking bestseller In Cold Blood in 1965, he was quoted as saying that his next book, a novel tentatively titled Answered Prayers, would be easy by comparison. “It’s all in my head!”
And that was the problem. Capote was a perfectionist, and the novel in his head was an untamed beast. His standards were so impossibly high that when he died in 1984, he’d spent the better part of 19 years writing, rewriting, missing deadlines, publishing excerpts, drinking himself into a frenzy—and never finishing the work.
What writer hasn’t had a difficult time putting an idea into words—especially an idea for something as complex as a novel? I often have a million ideas bouncing around in my head like puppies at the pound. I want to write about themes of love, usually reckless love, and mystery. I want to be profound and funny, too. I want to take readers to places they’ve never imagined and make them feel things they haven’t felt before. And, to top it all off, I want to make the words themselves do extraordinary things—to, for instance, evoke the precise sound of an ancient jazz quartet playing a Sunday brunch in the wrong end of the French Quarter.
Of course, I also want the resulting work to be a bestseller.
Sound familiar?
The desire to write The Great American Novel is like an overactive beast that needs obedience school. If you’ve ever had a dog, you know what I mean. Dogs are pack animals. You’re supposed to be the leader. You’re supposed to be in charge. If you’re not, you’re in trouble. Dogs will run wild unless you focus them with a calm, centered mind, an assertive hand and a strong sense of purpose.
The same is true with your novel. Ideas often start with boundless energy, vying for your attention. But when you get them on the page, they don’t always live up to how you thought they would be. A plot line feels contrived. An emotion falls flat. When this happens, you can easily feel defeated. You work and rework a paragraph or chapter, and it just doesn’t feel like it’s doing all the things you need it to do. When your ideas run wild, it’s too easy for them to frustrate and eventually overwhelm you. And this is where many writers give up. But you shouldn’t.
You just need to learn how to tame your beast.
The television is blaring. Your loved one has no idea where the car keys are. Your neighbor is giving salsa lessons in his backyard. You live in a swirl of noise and confusion, so how are you supposed to be focused enough to cultivate a quiet place within you to write? Easy. Take out a rolled-up newspaper and whack your world on its hindquarters—not hard, but just enough to get everyone’s attention, including your own. Nonexistent boundaries, unfocused expectations and lack of routine are the writer’s downfall. You need to be your own pack leader.
Make your workspace your sanctuary. Keep office hours. Close the door if you can. If you can’t, put on earphones and listen to music. Writing is a meditation on life. You need to feel alone in the world so that you can be objective about it.
Don’t ever panic. Keep in mind that even great writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway needed editing. You can always go back and fix what doesn’t work. Nothing is perfect the first time out.
Don’t despair. Some writing days are better than others. If you feel stuck, move on or just take a break and come back to it tomorrow. A night’s sleep often makes a world of difference.
Don’t place yourself in competitive situations while you’re working on a book. Losing a “first-chapter” contest or workshopping a book-in-progress can lead to second-guessing. It’s best to finish your draft before you ask for any critical evaluation. Sometimes when you’re trying to progress through the early stages of a novel, writing groups can be like the blind leading the potentially sighted.
While working on your draft, don’t buy the latest bestseller and try to figure out what it has that your book is missing. The best way to write a bestselling book is to write a book that you could give to anyone, including your mother-in-law and that salsa-dancing neighbor. Novels that really work are books that people can see their own hearts in. They’re books that make people feel that you’re writing about them. The best way to write such a genuine work is to write from an authentic part of yourself, rather than being distracted by what’s selling and why.
Think of yourself as an athlete. Exercise. Eat right. If you’re driving yourself crazy with work, stop and invite a friend to meet for coffee. Balance is key.
Don’t be afraid to set your own pace and create your own work in a way that makes the most sense for you. Yes, your favorite author puts out a book a year, but you don’t need to. You need to create a process that works for you and write your own work in your own time frame.
Just as you can’t easily train a Chihuahua to retrieve ducks—it’s just not in its nature¬—you can’t write a book without thinking about what the reader demands from the genre. Every book, just like every breed, brings with it a certain set of natural expectations. Historical romance must address history. Mysteries must have some level of, well, mystery. Literary books are usually not plot-focused.
Understanding the “breed” of your book is the first step in bringing your novel to the page. Once you create a clearly defined set of expectations, you can train yourself to stay within them—and soon you’ll be able to sit, roll over and fetch with the best of them.
When Nancy Horan wrote the bestseller Loving Frank, a historically imagined novel about the tragic love affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, she chose a task with a rather large laundry list of expectations. She had to, first and foremost, create characters based on real people. In the case of Mamah, not much had been written about her, and only a few documents had been left behind. What was widely known was that Mamah was a great beauty who had left her young children and perfectly respectable husband for Frank—and who had done so in an era when those choices were especially taboo. Horan’s challenge, then, was to make the woman sympathetic, while imagining the great pain and suffering Mamah’s decision must have caused both herself and those around her. Horan’s Mamah also had to have intellect and spirit so that she didn’t seem like a mindless follower of the architect.
In effect, Horan had to crawl into Mamah’s psyche and make it her own.
Of course, Frank also had to be handled with care. History has not always been kind to him. Biographers have depicted him as arrogant, vain, unreliable and largely unschooled (because of his lack of structural training, many of his buildings are beautiful but flawed); he was not an easy subject to endear to modern readers. But Horan’s instinct as a writer told her that the reader needed to see Wright as a man Mamah could fall in love with, needed to understand why she would leave her seemingly perfect life for a troubled (and married) man.
Then there were the historical considerations Horan had to take into account. She had to stay true to the era in every detail possible. In the early 20th century, not only were affairs conducted via telegram rather than text message, but adultery was seen as a crime. What’s more, Horan had to explain Wright’s architecture and his aesthetic viewpoint in a way that was intelligent, fresh, simple and yet not so simple as to bore those already knowledgeable about Wright’s work.
All of these expectations for Horan’s historical novel could have been outlined even before she wrote a word, showing her a clear path from idea to page.
So, you see, readers’ expectations for your genre are a good place to start, and a general guideline that will help you throw out ideas that won’t fit.
Once you’ve established your readers’ expectations as a framework, you need to decide how to tell your story.
Consider The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Both books are set in the same world. L. Frank Baum’s hero in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is Dorothy. Gregory Maguire’s Wicked includes Dorothy’s falling house as an unfortunate incident, but his hero is the witch. The book is sympathetic to her plight—and that changes everything.
While Baum’s message is simple—“There’s no place like home”—Maguire creates a complex tale with a complex message about the nature of good and evil. The two books couldn’t be more different. And both have been wildly successful.
There’s a myriad of ways to tell each and every tale; don’t be afraid to make your story your own.
Once you have your framework in place, you’ll need to be ruthless. Everything in a story must work to tell the tale. Think of your novel like a television news story. If the story is about a murder, you’ll usually see a shot of where the murder took place or where the body was found, a photo of the victim, an interview with a witness who heard something or knew the victim, and a sound bite from the police officers investigating the story. The fact that the victim liked dogs wouldn’t usually be included unless the barking of his dog alerted the neighbors, who then found the body. Every element works to tell the tale, and that should also be true for your novel.
You’ll probably start out pursuing more ideas than you have room for in your story, but when it comes time to write, it’s important to remember that you can’t try to stuff things in just because you like them. For example, if you originally wanted to write about a chef, and you’ve spent three months researching culinary school, but suddenly this character no longer seems to fit into the framework of your sci-fi thriller, you’re going to have to cut him. It’s painful, but it must be done.
Of course, if you did spend three months researching something, it’s very difficult to toss that work away—so don’t. Maybe you’ll write half of your book and discover that it really does fit, but you just couldn’t see it at first. Or maybe you’ll discover that you’d really rather write about a chef, and so you create a new framework. Never throw anything away. I like to keep all my research in Moleskine notebooks that I carry around. I also glue postcards and business cards onto the pages. If I see a name that strikes my fancy, I’ll jot it down. Sometimes photographs go in, too. When I’m finished, the notebook is crammed full of ideas—just like my head used to be. Some I can use now, some I save for later.
A calm, centered mind, “breed” wisdom and the discipline to shape your focus—let’s look at how this model works in the real world. Say you’ve just read an article about a 16-year-old boy who lived in a lifeboat in shark-infested waters for 227 days before he was rescued.
As soon as you read the story, you can imagine yourself living it. You can feel this boy’s fear and begin to understand what it would take to survive all those days in open water. Perhaps you decide the idea has a Robinson Crusoe feeling to it. Like Daniel Defoe’s book, it’s an adventure—and so this becomes your model. You now know what “breed” of story you’re working with.
Next you have to consider what the reader expects from an adventure story and what the facts of the situation are. Given the reality of a boy living at sea in a lifeboat, the novel, like Crusoe, must deal with overcoming great obstacles through hard work and patience. It also could be imagined that a boy adrift on a raft would begin to wonder about the nature of God, as he is certainly at odds with the whims of nature.
So when you sit down to write this story you could think of it as a reinvented version of Crusoe—unless you throw a 450-pound Bengal tiger in the mix. With a dangerous and hungry cat on board, you now have Life of Pi, Yann Martel’s rumination on the nature of adventure, survival, faith and truth. Martel took this simple story and added his unique take on it based on subjects he’s interested in, such as faith and zoology. By being true to himself and his own vision of the world, he boldly created a fable that became an international bestseller.
While you write a book, it’s art. When you’re finished, it’s business. Never confuse the two. Art encourages you to take risks, recreate reality, embrace adventure and break all the rules—it makes you want to soar. Business is about sales, sales and sales—and it makes you jumpy. You’ll never tame your beast if you write while wondering how many books you can sell.
Don’t worry about failing. Be fearless about taming your best ideas, and about tossing out those that don’t fit your model. Choose paths that illuminate your own unique take on the world. Once you’re in the habit of walking your inner dog, you never know where it might lead you. 

This article appeared in the January 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest


Filed under: Article of the Week,




1. What has been dubbed ‘Operation Aurora’?

2. In the world of mobile telephony, why would February 4, 2010 go down in history?

3. Nobuyuki Oneda is the CFO of which electronics giant?

4. What is Project Needlemouse?

5. Who has bought Yahoo’s HotJobs for $225 million?

6. What is Lostpedia and who operates it?

7. Name the CEO of Mozilla Corporation.

8. Name the company, on whom Google has trained its sights, that makes the codecs TrueMotion S, VP4, VP5, etc.

9. How did the Firefox add-ons Sothink Web Video Downloader 4.0 and Master Filer make news for the wrong reasons recently?

10. Name the two entities behind Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot.



1. The recent China-based cyber attacks on 30 leading companies including Google and Symantec.

2. The Symbian Foundation completed the open source release of the source code for the world’s most widely-used smartphone platform.

3. Sony

4. Sega’s codename for its new game, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1′, which comes after a long time.

5. Monster

6. It is a ‘Lost’ fan encyclopaedia hosted and operated by Wikia.

7. John Lilly.

8. On2 Technologies.

9. They were pulled out by Mozilla as they were found to contain Trojan horse code aimed at Windows users.

10. GM and NASA.

Courtesy: V V Ramanan, Business Line

Filed under: YW-Cyber Quiz




1. Name the European country, with Vilnius as its capital, which declared its independence on this date in 1918.

2. Name the precious mineral that is mined by the humans on Pandora in the film “Avatar”.

3. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport serves which Indian city?

4. According to a monitoring exercise by Wildlife Institute of India in association with NTCA in 2008, how many tigers in the country are left now

5. In which famous war did the Battle of Bunker Hill and Lexington take place?

6. In filmmaking, one sees in the credits the term ‘gaffer’. Who is a ‘gaffer’?

7. From which country did Angola get independence in the mid 1970s?

8. What is the nationality of the tennis star Marin Cilic?

9. The five basic types of which class of musical instrument are bows, harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers?

10. The name for which type of church is derived from the Greek for a tribunal chamber of a king?

11. What two words are used for the championship game of the National Football League, the premier association of professional American football?

12. Which popular band debuted with the album ‘Hybrid Theory’?

13. How many milligrams make a carat (as used to measure gemstones)?

14. Which famous Indian king had the birth name Farid-ud-din Abul Muzaffar?

15. Saltpetre is the common name for which chemical compound?



1. Lithuania;

2. Unobtanium;

3. Indore;

4. 1411;

5. American War of Independence;

6. The head of the electrical department;

7. Portugal;

8. He is a Croatian;

9. Chordophones;

10. Basilica;

11. Super Bowl;

12. Linkin Park;

13. 200;

14. Sher Shah Suri;

15. Potassium nitrate.


Courtesy: V V Ramanan, The Hindu

Filed under: Young World Quiz

Book Fair 2010 in photos


The Library Media Centre organized a 3 day Book Fair in collaboration with DC Books from 16th to 18th February 2010 at the School Campus. More than 10,000 books including fiction, reference and on different subject areas were displayed. There was a discounted special collection of Cambridge dictionaries. The students and parents got an opportunity to see, read and purchase books.











image image


Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays, Library activities

New Arrivals (18/02/2010)






001  TAY-B

 Taylor, Andrew

Books that changed the world: The fifty most influential books in human history

001.076  AIE


AIEEE physics in 30 days

001.076  ARI-1


12 years’ solved papers(1998-2009) Kerala-CEE Medical

001.076  ARI-1


12 years’ solved papers(1998-2009) Kerala-CEE Engineering

001.076  ARI-K


 Kerala-CEE, Engineering: Twelve years’ solved papers)1998-2009)

001.076  BRY-A

 Bryon, Mike

Advanced numeracy test workbook

001.076  CAR-I

 Carter, Philip

IQ and personality tests

001.076  COM


AIEEE chemistry in 30 days

001.076  COM


Complete chemistry foe AIEEE 2010

001.076  MIS-P

 Mishra S

Practice problems in physics for engineering and medical college entrance examinations

001.076  SIJ-F

 Sijwali, B S and Ajay Sing

 Face 2 face with 12 years'(1997-2008) MAT Management Aptitude Test

001.076  SOL


 Solved papers CAT – C0mmon Admission Test including practice papers

001.076  VIN-C

 Vinay Kumar

 Complete biology for medical entrance examination

070.19  KAR-M

 Karan Thapar

More salt than pepper

155.4  MIL-S

 Miller, Karen

Simple steps: developmental activities for infants, toddlers and two-year-olds

158.1  REY-M

 Reynolds, Susan

 My dad is my hero

158.1  TIM

 Cook, Marshall J

 Time management

202  GOL-C

 Goldsmith, Sheherazade

Christmas book

297  KHA-P

 Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin

Prophet of peace: Teaching of the prophet Muhammad

303.66  HOL-O

 Holmes, Richard Evans, Martin Marix, Ed.

 Oxford guide to battles

320.03  HAN-N

 Hanson, Jim

 NTC’s dictionary of debate

320.55  DES-M.2

 Desai, Narayan

 My life is my message. vol.II Satyagraha(1915-1930)

320.55  DES-M.3

 Desai, Narayan

 My life is my message. vol.III Satyagraha(1930-1940)

320.55  DES-M.4

 Desai, Narayan

 My life is my message. vol.IV Satyagraha(1940-48)

370.113  JAM-O

James, Jayne W and Bailey Gerald

 Online professional development: A customized approach for technology leaders

370.15  FRY-G

 Fry, Ron

 Great big book of how to study

370.15  MEE-T

 Meera Ravi

 Teaching through the heart: Action plan for better teaching

370.15  MUK-M

 Mukhopadhyay Suvasish

 Motivating school kids

370.15  MUK-W

 Mukunda, Kamala V

 What did you ask at school today ?: A handbook of child learning

371.39  PRO

 Moursund, David

 Project based learning using information technology

371.4  BAR-C2

 Barett, Jim

 Career aptitude and selection tests

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis and Cushen, Caroline

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Student’s Book, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis, et al

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Workbook, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  HAR-A

 Cushen, Caroline, et al

 Achieve IELTS 2, English for international education: Student’s book,, Upper intermediate-Advanced band 5.5 to 7.5

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis, et al

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Workbook, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  HAR-A

 Cushen, Caroline, et al

 Achieve IELTS 2, English for international education: Workbook, Upper intermediate-Advanced band 5.5 to 7.5

420.7  HAR-A

 Harrison, Louis and Cushen, Caroline

 Achieve IELTS 1, English for international education: Student’s Book, Intermediate-upper intermediate

420.7  MAR-I

 Marks, Jon

 IELTS Resource pack

425  KIM-G

 Kimes, Joanne and Muschla, Gary Robert

 Grammar sucks: What to do to make your writing much more better

425  RAP-S


 Self letter drafting course

425  SWA-P

 Swan, Michael

 Practical  english usage

428  BRO-E

 Brown, Kristine

 Essay writing: step-by-step

502  CAR-M

 Card, Orson scott

 Masterpieces: The best science fiction of the twentieth century

503  WEL-Q

 Wellington, J J

 Questions dictionary of Science

510  GOY-P

 Goyal S K

 Problem book in mathematics for IIT JEE, AIEEE, DCE & other regional engineering entrance exams

510  PHI-T

 Philip, Sam

 Thousand math problems

523.1  MAN-C

 Mani Bhaumic

 Cosmic detective: Exploring the mysteries of our universe

650  MET

 Balachandran, G

 Methodology and perspectives of business studies

796.358  SHA-S

 Shashi Tharoor and Shaharyar Khan

 Shadows across the playing field: 60 years of India-Pakistan cricket

808.068  VAL-R



808.87  BAY-H

 Bayard, Pierre

 How to talk about books you haven’t read

821.08  HEA-S

 Heaney, Seamus and Hughes, Ted, Ed

 School bag

821.08  KIP-C

 Kipling, Rudyard

 Complete verse of Rudyard Kipling

823  ATW-C

 Atwood, Margaret

 Cat’s eye

823  BLY-B

 Blyton, Enid

 Brer rabbit’s a rascal

823  BLY-B

 Blyton, Enid

 Brer rabbit book

823  BLY-B

 Blyton, Enid

 Adventures of Pip

823  BLY-B

 Blyton, Enid

 Tales of Betsy-May

823  BLY-M

 Blyton, Enid

 More about Amelia Jane!

823  BLY-T

 Blyton, Enid

 Three Cheers, Secret Seven

823  BLY-T

 Blyton, Enid

 The Secret Seven

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 5: Grave doubts

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 2: High stakes

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 3: Mean spirit

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 4: Young blood

823  CAB-M

 Cabot, Meg

 Mediator 6: heaven sent

823  CAB-P.T

 Cabot, Meg

 Princess diaries: Mia goes fourth

823  CAB-P.T

 Cabot, Meg

 Princess diaries: Take two

823  CAN-C

 Canfield, Jack, et al.

 Chicken soup for the Indian armed forces soul

823  CHR-T

 Christie, Agatha

 Third girl

823  COT-A

 Cotterill, Colin

 Anarchy and old dogs

823  DEE-P

 Deepanjana Pal

 Painter: A life of Ravi Varma

823  DIX-H

 Dixon, Franklin W

 Hardy Boys 140 : Slam dunk sabottage

823  DIX-H

 Dixon, Franklin W

 Hardy Boys, Deprivation house

823  DIX-H

 Dixon, Franklin W

 Hardy Boys: Bayport buccaneers

823  DIX-N

 Dixon, Franklin W

 Nancy boys and the Hardy boys super mystery

823  ECO-F

 Eco, Umberto

 Foucault’s pendulum

823  GIU-D

 Giuttari, Michele

 Death of a mafia don

823  JAC-B


 Bell maker

823  JAQ-S

 Jaques, Brian


823  LAR-G

 Larsson, Stieg

 Girl who kicked the hornet’s nest

823  MEY-B

 Meyer, Stephenie

 Breaking dawn

823  MEY-E

 Meyer, Stephenie


823  MEY-N

 Meyer, Stephenie

 New moon

823  MUL-L

 Muller, Herta

 Land of green plums

823  MUR-W

 Murakami, Haruki

 Wild sheep  chase

823  MUR-W

 Murakami, Haruki

 Wind-up bird chronicle

823  NAR-T

 Narayan, R K

 Talkative man

823  NAR-W

 Narayan, R K

 Waiting for the mahatma

823  PAO-B

 Paolini, Christopher

 Brisingr: The seven promises of eragon shadeslayer and saphira bjartskular

823  ROB-B

 Roberts, Nora


823  SET-W

 Sethi, Ali

 Wish maker

823  STE-A

 Stein, Garth

 Art of racing in the rain

823  STI-G

 Stine, R L

 Give Yourself Goosebumps: You’re plant food

823  SUJ-C

 Sujit Saraf

 Confession of Sultana daku

823  USH-C

 Usha, K R


823.01  BAS-P

 Basheer, Vaikom Muhammad

 Poovan banana and other stories

823.01  DIX-H

 Dixon, Franklin W

 Hardy Boys : Ghost stories

828  ARI-P

 Arias, Juan

 Paulo Coelho: Confessions of a pilgrims

912  SCH


 New modern school atlas

920.02  GUE-M

 Guest, Tim

 My life in orange

923.173  OBA-D

 Obama, Barack

 Dreams from my father

923.251  PAT

 Dalai Lama

 Path to freedom: Freedom in exile and ancient wisdom, modern world

923.254  JAS-J

 Jaswant Singh

 Jinnah: India-partition, independence

923.254  NAR-M

 Narayan Desai

 My life is my message, 1: Sadhana (1869-1915)

923.554  VIN-T

 Vinita Kamte

 To the last bullet: An inspiring story of braveheart Ashok Kamte

927.8  JAC-M

 Jackson, Michwel

 Moon walk

954  IRF-P

 Irfan Habib

 People’s history of India: 2 The indus civilization

954  IRF-P

 Irfan Habib

 People’s history of India: 1 Prehistory

H 808.068  SHY-C

 Shyam Dua

 Chandamama ki kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-D

 Shyam Duo

 Dada dadi ki 200 manoranjak kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-M

 Shyam Dua

 Mulla Nazuruddin aur uske kisse (h)

H 808.068  SHY-M

 Shyam Dua

 Meri priya pari kathayem (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Hitopadesh ki prasidh kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Sadabahar kahaniyamn (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Sahasik kahaniyam (h)

H 808.068  SHY-S

 Shyam Dua

 Meri priy samajik bal kathayein (h)

H 808.068  SHY-U

 Uncle Sam

 Uthar bharat ki lok kathayein (h)

H 808.068  SHY-U

 Uncle Sam

 Such Buch ki kahaniyam (h)

R  001  HAC-H


 Hachette children’s infopedia and yearbook 2010

R  030

 Gallagher, Belinda, Ed

 Children’s A to Z encyclopedia

R  030  COM

 Sachdeva, S K , Ed

 Competition success review: Year Book 2010*

R  423.1  BUD-S

 Bud and Wileman, Ed

 Spelling dictionary

R  551.6  WOR-W

 World Bank

 World development report 2010: Development and climate change

R 030  MAT-M45

 Mathew, K M, Ed.

 Manorama yearbook-2010

R 502.803  ROB-E

 Robson, Pam and Seller, Mick

 Encyclopedia of Science Projects

R 551.6  AL -O

 Al Gore

 Our choice: a plan to solve the climate crisis

R 745  CHA-G

 Charner, Kathy ed.

 Giant encyclopedia of art and craft activities for children

Filed under: New Book Alert,

What Babies Know and We Don’t


The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life

by Alison Gopnik

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 288 pp., $25.00

Reviewed by By Michael Greenberg

The most elusive period of our lives occurs from birth to about the age of five. Mysterious and otherworldly, infancy and early childhood are surrounded later in life by a curious amnesia, broken by flashes of memory that come upon us unbidden, for the most part, with no coherent or reliable context. With their sensorial, almost cellular evocations, these memories seem to reside more in the body than the mind; yet they are central to our sense of who we are to ourselves.

Part of the appeal of psychoanalysis may be that, in its quest to locate the faded child in the adult, it turns the adult into a kind of child at a play date with his analyst. The date is structured along the lines of imaginary play, complete with free association and open-ended conversation that can wind up anywhere; but like imaginary play, the date with the analyst follows a series of strict rules. The aim is to articulate what has been repressed, to fill in a blank in the narrative about ourselves. But as Alison Gopnik and her fellow cognitive psychologists have discovered, those years are so difficult to recapture not because of repression but because the states of consciousness and memory in early childhood are so different from those we experience later on.

"Children and adults are different forms of Homo sapiens," writes Gopnik in The Philosophical Baby, a tour through the recent findings of cognitive science about the minds of young children. For one thing, the prefrontal lobe, which has a major part in blocking out stimuli from other parts of the brain and fostering internally driven attention, is undeveloped in young children, and doesn’t fully form in most people until they are in their twenties. Internally driven attention, cognitive research suggests, isn’t a capacity that children fully acquire until at least the age of five. What arouses them is what is in front of their eyes, the first burst of information about cause and effect in the physical world.

Highly active in the brains of infants are the occipital cortex, in the rear of the brain, which guides attention to the visual world, and the parietal cortex, which helps one adjust to new events. It’s not surprising to learn that magnetic imaging shows both these cortices light up in adults while they are engrossed in watching a movie (at the same time, the prefrontal lobe goes dormant). The suspension of disbelief and the swift orientation to a passively received bombardment of unexpected visual stimuli may approximate aspects of the infant’s state of being.

Gopnik speculates that early childhood prepares us for both the appreciation and creation of art: imaginary play among children hones the ability to entertain counterfactuals—the alternative worlds out of which art, and invention of any sort, are primarily made. It requires discipline to stay in the imaginary role one has assumed, to project psychologically what it means to be a mother, a firefighter, a soldier, a prisoner. If it doesn’t feel real, the game falls apart. Imaginary play is a rehearsal for understanding the minds and intentions of others, a basic survival skill.

These are far-reaching claims, but Gopnik makes a good, and sometimes impassioned, case for them. Almost all of the 100 billion neurons in a human being’s nervous system are in place at birth, and in early childhood the synapses—the points of contact between neurons that fire memory and sensation—are vastly overproduced. To a large extent, maturity is a neural pruning process, an uncluttering of consciousness so that what is most useful for getting through a day—driving to work, for instance, or negotiating the supermarket—is readily, and unconsciously, available. Our lives are far more organized around repetition than novelty. Less useful neurons weaken and die, a form of forgetting.

Gopnik reminds us that, to accommodate their rapidly shifting attention, babies’ brains generate enormous amounts of cholinergic neurotransmitters, which are released to different parts of the brain as they process specific information. For anesthetics to be effective they must act on these transmitters, which may explain the relatively high concentration of anesthesia babies require to be knocked out before surgery. Gopnik offers the captivating idea that children are more conscious than adults but also less unconscious, because they have fewer automatic behaviors.

This heightened state of absorption is emblematic of what Gopnik calls "the evolutionary division of labor between children and adults." In this collaboration, the child’s protracted period of immaturity is indulged because it allows him to perform uninhibitedly the sorts of experiments that will eventually enable the more plodding and deliberate adult to alter—or at least to manipulate—the reality of his world. In this formulation, the child is not "limited to the here and now." The Aristotelian view had it that the child wasn’t important for himself, but rather for his potential. Gopnik reverses this view. She finds that the child is a full partner, with a different brain than that of the adult, more capacious, with a greater plasticity, and a more highly attuned ability to drink in new information. The child is the auteur, the adult the producer.

The core idea of cognitive science, in Gopnik’s words, "is that our brains are a kind of computer, though far more powerful than any of the actual computers." Gopnik infers that, like some computers, young children have innate causal maps that supply them with an accurate understanding of how the world works. As a result of this map

children have everyday theories of the world—everyday ideas about psychology, biology, and physics. These theories are like scientific theories but they are largely unconscious rather than conscious, and they are coded in children’s brains, instead of being written down on paper or presented at scientific conferences.

Even infants are sensitive to statistical patterns. The learning of language in its earliest stages involves the statistical prediction of which sounds are most likely to follow one another—an unconscious exercise in probability theory. Gopnik argues that this ability to detect probability patterns extends beyond language—to musical tones in eight-month-olds, for instance—and isn’t limited to a specialized part of the brain as Noam Chomsky and others believe.

A study that fascinates with its mystery of instinctual comprehension found that five-year-olds from distinct cultures share a vitalist theory of life, similar to that of traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine:

These children seem to think that there is a single vital force, like the Chinese chi, that keeps us alive. They predict that if you don’t eat enough, for example, this force will wane and you’ll get sick. They think that death is the irreversible loss of this force, and predict that animals that die won’t come back to life.

There is a complicated interplay between rules and morality in young children, a sophisticated sensitivity to intention when rules are broken, and a subtle appreciation that some rules are important, others less so. Moral knowledge, Gopnik argues, is imaginative knowledge, a direct outgrowth of empathy, which babies seem to experience in some form or another from almost the moment they are born. Gopnik cites a study conducted by the developmental psychologist Judith Smetana in the 1980s that contradicted the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget’s argument that true moral knowledge doesn’t develop until adolescence because children lack the capacity to imagine the perspective of others.

Smetana presented two-and-a-half-year-olds with a variety of stories. In some stories a preschool rule is violated—not putting one’s clothes away or talking during quiet time. In other stories a child is hit or harassed or something is stolen. Gopnik reports:

Even the youngest children differentiated between rules and harm…. They…said that the rules could be changed or might not apply at a different school, but they insisted that causing harm would always be wrong, no matter what the rules said or where you were.

Moreover, the studies show

that children understand the nature of rules themselves. Children…understand [that] when rules specify obligations, then you have to act the way the rule says. When they specify prohibitions, you can’t ever act that way. When they give you permission, you can decide on independent grounds whether you will act that way.

Nine-month-old babies already show a sensitivity to intention: they respond more impatiently to a toy being withheld from them for no apparent reason than if the adult is prevented from giving them the toy for reasons beyond his control.

Babies imitate, and imitation is a way of taking on an emotion as one’s own. Joy reflects joy, sorrow provokes sorrow, not only as a facial expression but as a state of feeling between caregiver and baby. Allowing herself a touch of unscientific projection, Gopnik writes:

It’s possible that babies literally don’t see a difference between their own pain and the pain of others. Maybe babies want to end all suffering, no matter where it happens to be located. For them, pain is pain and joy is joy. Moral thinkers from Buddha to David Hume to Martin Buber have suggested that erasing the boundaries between yourself and others in this way can underpin morality. We know that children’s conception of a continuous separate self develops slowly in the first five years.

Thus attachment, empathy, and morality are inseparable, though none is inevitable. Although empathy does seem to be innate, and spontaneous acts of altruism on the part of babies are common (eighteen-month-olds will instinctively try to help a stranger in need though they haven’t been taught to do so), the flourishing of empathy is not guaranteed. It can be enhanced or quashed as a result of specific relations and experience. Secure attachment during the first six months is essential. Within hours of birth babies learn the features of their mother’s face, and prefer looking at her face over looking at a stranger’s. In this exchange, being the caregiver reinforces—and in some cases reawakens—ethical behavior in adults. Gopnik remarks on the "moral intensity to the love between parents and children," an intensity that flows in both directions. The relationship between caregiver and child, she suggests, is our most effective initiation to ethics. The major ethical theories of philosophy and law arise from the fundamental understanding in childhood that, emotionally, other people operate more or less the way we do.

Imitation, of course, is not only a path to empathy, it is also a way of excluding others, of forming what sociologists call "minimal groups" where a tiny, arbitrary distinction becomes a reason for enmity. In some experiments "three-year-olds said they would prefer to play with a child who had the same color of hair and the same color of T-shirt that they did, rather then one with a different color." For the child with the wrong T-shirt, empathy and moral concern are withheld. To follow the logic of early childhood as a blueprint for subsequent behavior, this in-group, out-group dynamic extends to the playground, to neighborhood streets in the form of gang violence, and to the wider world in the form of "ethnic cleansing."

Not surprisingly, the ability to lie effectively doesn’t come to most of us before the age of five, when the sense of an internal self has begun to take root. Lying in this context becomes a measure of sophistication: to make a lie believable the liar must understand the mind of the person he is deceiving. In an experiment that Gopnik cites, children are shown a closed box and told that there is a toy inside. But they mustn’t look for themselves. The experimenter leaves the room and naturally the children peek in the box. When the experimenter returns the three-year-olds insist that they haven’t looked in the box and in the same breath tell the experimenter what was in it. Five-year-olds, however, are able to carry off the deception.

Children, of course, are notoriously susceptible to being lied to, mainly because of what Gopnik calls their "source amnesia." They forget where their beliefs come from. In her lab, Gopnik showed children a cabinet with nine drawers, each containing a different object. The children were told or shown what was in each drawer, and had no trouble remembering this. But the three-year-olds "often said they had seen the egg in the drawer when they had been told about it or vice versa. The five-year-olds, on the other hand, could tell you both about what they knew and about the particular experiences that led to that knowledge."

This chasm between the perceptions of three-year-olds and five-year-olds reveals a great deal about how children’s consciousness changes as they develop a sense of personal, autobiographical memory and consecutive time. Prior to the age of five, children appear to experience time in a different manner. They are perfectly capable of "forgetting" events that they experienced a minute ago, as well as their mental state when the experience occurred. They seem to think associatively, closer perhaps to the hypnagogic state that one drifts into just before falling asleep, than to one that is ordered around a timeline with a past, present, and future.

Gopnik attempts to penetrate what this different form of consciousness is like. She describes a "false belief" experiment in which children see a closed candy box that, in fact, is filled with pencils:

The children are understandably both surprised and disappointed by this discovery. But then we asked what they thought was in the box when they first saw it. Although they had discovered the truth with great surprise only moments before, they still said that they had always known the box was full of pencils. They had entirely forgotten their earlier false belief.

This is why young children are so perilously suggestible, and their testimony, in most cases, should be inadmissible in court. They have excellent detailed memories when they are cued to remember a specific event with a leading question, but free recall is alien to them because it is dependent on an internal consciousness that they don’t yet fully possess. One is put in mind of the hysteria about sexual abuse in day care centers during in the 1980s and 1990s when, after "expert" questioning of children, parents and day care workers in various cases were convicted of engaging in satanic rituals, rape, torture, and, in one instance, orgies with aliens. Gopnik points out that adults are also susceptible to prompting questions—in psychoanalysis, for instance, or during a lawyer’s interrogation—with the result that false narratives are constructed that feel like real memory, complete with vivid sensorial details that the rememberer is convinced actually occurred.

A baffling aspect of children’s minds is their failure to recognize that events they have directly experienced carry greater personal importance than events they have learned about in other ways:

While they remember that something happened, they don’t seem to remember what they thought or felt about it…. They also don’t seem to anticipate their future states. They don’t project what they will think and feel later on.

When emphasis is put on the source of information, even four-year-olds are less likely to be manipulated or misled. However, the very concept of the source of information seems to elude three-year-olds altogether. Also foreign to them is the concept of logical, internally driven thought. Three-, four-, and even five-year-olds will deny that a person has anything on his mind if he isn’t fixing his attention on some specific action or performing a visible task. A four-year-old provided an eloquent description of this consciousness when he told an experimenter:

Every time you think for a little while, something goes on and something goes off. Sometimes something goes on for a couple of minutes and then for a few minutes there is nothing going on.

In this state, Gopnik remarks, basic aspects of consciousness that we take for granted, such as "the idea that we know what we thought a few seconds ago, or that our consciousness is a single unbroken stream, or that we have a unified self, fall apart…."

By the time most people turn six, the young child recedes, becoming an alien, largely unremembered abstraction. Autobiographical memory sets in—memory from which we can fashion a coherent narrative of ourselves—an inner observer, a streaming "me" that remains intact, more or less, for the rest of our lives. Autobiographical memory and language seem to be intimately entwined. Without shared language we have no access to the psychology of others, and perhaps not even to the psychology of ourselves.

This was borne out by an unintentional "experiment" involving deaf children in Nicaragua. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Nicaragua established a school for deaf children. Before that time, the deaf were isolated from one another and, since most deaf children have parents who can hear and speak, most had no means of communication. When the school opened, the children invented their own sign language. The second generation of children took up this language as their own. If you asked a member of the first generation—the one that invented the language—

to describe a video of a man absentmindedly taking a teddy bear from a hat rack and putting it on his head instead of a hat, they never mentioned that maybe he had made a mistake. The other deaf people at the school commented on how hapless their older friends were at keeping secrets or manipulating other people.

Remarkably, though they had little grasp of the connection between thought and action, the first generation of deaf children still managed to create a functioning language from scratch that lasted.

The Philosophical Baby is both a scientific and romantic book, a result of Gopnik’s charming willingness to imagine herself inside the consciousness of young children. She compares "the lantern consciousness of childhood…to the spotlight consciousness of ordinary adult attention." With lantern consciousness

you are vividly aware of everything without being focused on any one thing in particular. There is a kind of exaltation and a peculiar kind of happiness that goes with these experiences too.

Gopnik likens lantern consciousness to Romantic poetry, the uninhibited receptiveness that is the artist’s ideal, and the Zen ideal of "beginner’s mind" where the meditator relinquishes attachment to his inner "I." "Babies, like Buddhas, are travelers in a little room," she writes. Lantern consciousness provokes the feeling that "we have lost our sense of self…by becoming part of the world."

Psychologists who emphasize the "relational" and feelings of "attachment" may find Gopnik’s experiments to be too controlled and spare, designed to decode computer-like patterns of thinking, and eschewing more open situations that would allow babies to follow more freely their inclinations.[*] But Gopnik’s claim that cognitive psychologists have begun to develop "a science of the imagination" holds up. She notes the astonishing fact that in the 1967 Encyclopedia of Philosophy there are hundreds of references to angels and the morning star, and none "to babies, infants, families, parents, mothers, or fathers, and only four to children at all." During the past ten years cognitive science has painstakingly accumulated data about the most mysterious five years of human life, transforming the conventional vision of young children as "crying carrots" to one of highly skilled and sophisticated beings who exist in a state of heightened awareness.


[*]Pat Cremens, an early childhood development expert, has provided me with invaluable insight about this wide-ranging field.


The New York Review of Books, Volume 57, Number 4 · March 11, 2010

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Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) Resources

Courtesy :

Examination Reforms and CCE Training – Nov-Dec 2009 : Phase-III-A | Phase-III-B | Phase-IV-A | Phase-IV-B

Circular : Modification in Design of the Question Paper in Science for the Summative Assessment IInd Term for Class IX

Circular : Foundation of Information Technology for Class IX for 2010

Circular : Promoting Reading Habits as part of CCE in English Language

Circular : Sample Question Paper for Class IX English (Communicative and Language & Literature) for Summative Test, Second Term (October 2009- March 2010)  |  Annexure I-A  |  Annexure I-B  |  Notification

Circular : CCE in Class IX for IInd Term

Examination Structure, Division of Syllabus and Sample Question Papers for 2nd Term (Oct.09 to Mar.10) Examination of Class IX under CCE:
Sanskrit  | English (Communicative) & English (Language & Literature)  | Tamil  | Telugu  | Arabic  | Sindhi  | Gujarati  | Science  | Elements of Business  | SQP Sanskrit  | Hindi-A  | Hindi-B  | Font for Hindi & Sanskrit  | Social Science  | Accountancy & Bookeeping  | Home Science  | Mathematics  | FIT  | Typewriting Hindi/English  | German  | French  | Urdu  | Japanese  | Punjabi  | Music  | Bengali  | Kashmiri  | Kannad  | Marathi  | Painting  | Malayalam  | Spanish  |

Examination Structure & Division of Syllabus for 2nd Term (Oct.09 to Mar.10) Examination of Class IX under CCE:
Persian  | Russian  | Portuguese  | Mizo  | Manipuri  | Assamese  | Lepcha  | Tibetan  | Nepali  | Bhutia  | Carnatic Music  | Limboo


Filed under: Downloads, ,

Book Fair, 16-18 February 2010


Here comes the Festival of Books !!!

DC BOOKS in collaboration with the Library organizing a three day festival of Books

Date: 16-18 February 2010

@ The KV Pattom Campus

Avail special Discounts!!!

All Are Welcome!!!!


Filed under: Exhibitions,Displays, ,

The Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky


Barbara Delinsky

A white couple just bears a baby akin to an African American in appearance! This undoubtedly raises many eyebrows and some awkward questions too. Yes, this is how the novel The Family Tree authored by Barbara Delinsky starts, throwing in a piece of news for the reader to chew on. As the name suggests, this novel is predominantly about a quest for the roots of a family, following a peculiar development in the lives of the key characters.

This intriguing story reveals a world of blue-blooded, refined class of people placed in distinguishable positions, where the main character Hugh Clarke belongs. But on the other hand, his wife Dana had lost her mother at a very young age and found her peace of mind at The Stitchery owned by her grandmother. As soon as her African-American-resembling girl child is born, her world turns upside down with a variety of responses coming from her acquaintances, some comforting yet some too bitter. And there starts a tale of pursuit to dig up the details of her ancestors who might have been African-Americans or in other words, to bring out her family tree which was way too obscure to get hold of.

Barbara Delinsky has done a good job in weaving a tale of suspense with an incredible climax. She has tried to convey her thoughts on the racial prejudice existing even today in America. Some of the whites who feign to cling on to ideals against racism have been vehemently ridiculed by the author. Be sure to check out The Family Tree to get to know more about people who clasp faith even in the hardest of testing times.

Reviewed by

Salini Johnson, XI A

Filed under: Reviews by students, ,

Accounting for Business II (Practical Manual) for Class XII

Accounting for Business II (Practical Manual) for Class XII  Chapter-1 | Chapter-2 & 3 | Chapter-4 | Chapter-5

Courtesy: CBSE

Filed under: Downloads, , ,

Supplementary Reading Material in Economics for March 2010 Exam

Supplementary Reading Material in Economics for March 2010 Examinations Part-APart-BPart-A (Hindi)Part-B (Hindi)

Courtesy: CBSE

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Reading4Pleasure School 2020

Reading 4 Pleasure School 2020 Award


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