Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Words of Nostalgia - Isthmus

My brother and I discuss various nonsensical topics through the day. Yesterday, one such conversation landed on the Panama Canal.

Let me do a trip down memory lane and see how we landed up discussing Panama Canal.

General talk about movies

à How mechanical movie watching these days are

à How much fun it was to go for movies in a HUGE hall (not the multiplex kinds) with our parents

à How treasured such instances were (as they were rare; you see not many movies to choose from in a small township in Kerala)

à The regional advertisements shown before the movie

à This absolutely hilarious advertisement about a cigarette brand called “Panama

à Actual Panama Canal

So we were arguing if Panama Canal was in South America (to connect to Africa) or if it was in Africa (to connect to Asia). It was the former.

Reading more about it while waiting for our dosas, we hit upon this word called Isthmus.

Wow… now this word took me straight back into a Science textbook maybe in the 6th Standard or something. I did a wiki search for Isthmus and came to understand how interesting this little piece of land is.

What equally dawned on me was the failure of my Science teacher then to make learning Isthmus interesting. She could have made the whole topic interesting by connecting it with Panama Canal (what with thousands of lives being lost during its making; accept it, kids love mysteries). But for my Science teacher then, Isthmus was a term which has to be defined. You remember it, and it will get you 2 marks in an exam.

Schooling I believe (and I think I’ve told this before), should essentially be a place for children to garner the interest in learning, but it always ends up being an exercise in existence.

Also, going by the title of this post, please do suggest other words that evoke such strong nostalgia.

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