On the battlefield

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

Science was my favorite subject in school and experimenting with technology was always my passion. So, recently when I got an opportunity to be back in school after three decades - to associate with something similar, I was thrilled. This time not as a student, but as a mentor to a bunch of tech savvy school kids – to guide them through the fascinating technological world - covering the very crude basic technology to the sophisticated and cooler present era technology. I was aware that teaching these fifth graders, the age at which I was also so weird and stupid, was always going to be a challenge. But these challenges do fascinate me. As the sessions progressed, I took them through the stone age, iron age and the industrial revolution – giving glimpses of how the technology evolved over the years. During the next couple of sessions, I introduced them to electronics – the world of transistors and integrated circuits, helping them to get accustomed to various electronic components and circuits. That followed a few hands on practices. I had purchased brand new components, and had them all arranged in neat packs for easy identification. The components being new and with their smart and crisp outfit, the components appeared like soldiers standing perfectly in columns on a military parade. Probably, my two decades in uniform often make me compare things with the military! Even the session too did appear like a battlefield. Thirty odd fifth graders Vs one me. Doubts, cribs, complaints, screams of joy and despair – the session was so eventful. The poor soldiers – my electronic components – had to face all the fury. Their legs got bent and twisted- a few even lost their arms and legs. In a hurry to check the circuits, a few of my students, powered on the circuits before I did a check for correctness, that resulted in blasting up a few of my soldiers! I was running between the groups, probably resembling a troop commander running between the columns in the battlefield – helping the kids and often scolding them for deforming and blasting my soldier friends! Thankfully, the three hours passed so quickly, and I was happy to retrieve all my soldiers back. All of them had suffered injuries from the battle, some really serious. Many had broken and twisted legs was absolutely not in a shape to fight another war. I packed them in a carton box carefully, to transport back to the barrack and to give them first aid. I even collected the blown up ones, to give them a decent burial they deserve. There were even a few missing soldiers – I added them all to the list of battle causality. Now, it will take me some good hours to prepare the survived ones for another battle!

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