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Reflections on the Lockdown

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A few weeks ago, when the school sent an email announcing the beginning of Learning From Home (LFH), it felt like a brave new world. We quickly juggled to adapt to new schedules and new technologies. Who knew that lockdown would mean LFH for all of us – just of a different kind. We’ve learnt how to make bread and idli batter from scratch;
we’ve learnt how to play new online games, and enjoy age-old games (Monopoly, Pictionary and Scrabble have had rousing revivals in our house); we’ve made multiple Zoom “play dates” and had virtual “lunches” with friends; we’ve learnt how to count the stars and actually hear the sounds of birds on the trees. We’ve also learnt how many people we
depend on, every day: the people who bring us our milk every morning; and help us clean our homes; and clear our trash; and grow our fruits and vegetables; and transport our food; and deliver our groceries; and bring our medicines to our gates. Most importantly, we’ve learned how to look after other people – many families in our Neev community are
providing meals, groceries and essentials every day to families in need.

We’ve had lots of time to think and reassess. Shared here, are some reflections from our parent community…

PTA (2019-20)

Our Big Learning

Neev launched Learning from Home and all of us were elated. The current unit for PYP on How the World Works was perfect for LFH. As my 3rd grader read the book Life on Earth and mapped life on Earth’s timeline from 4.5 billion years to date, she realised humans came into existence only 130,000 years ago and remarked – We have lived here for the shortest period and created so much havoc by being mean and selfish. While humans, with their superior intellect have made seemingly impossible things possible, they have also endangered millions of other species that have inhabited the Earth by being selfish. As the Earth heals and we start to see the positive effects of the lockdown, it looks like a best laid plan to wake us up from deep slumber. All our Grade 3 learnings from art work, language, UoI, Novel study culminated and we got a better understanding of the Central Idea – Life is a process of change and the Key question here is Are we willing to change for the better? The Universe has given us a trailer, a glimpse of a better life, one that encompasses values of love, empathy and living in harmony. We have an opportunity to display our IB learner
profiles of being caring, reflective, open minded, balanced, principled thinkers and put to use our communication and leadership skills to make the world better. Live and let live…

SRIRANJANI BALAJI (Parent of Pratyush – 8B & Prakriti – 3C)

Going Nature’s Way

As we express an utter helplessness to change our circumstance, the Corona virus keeps on pummeling us. We are plundered of our resources because we are left with only a few: our family, food, potable water and shelter. These few are the important ones it turns out. But all the non-essentials, those items that express our surplus identity, our commodified selves, are but a whisper amongst the trees. We don’t have a car, but we have a mask, to show our solidarity with mankind and get a wink of approval from the others. Each Sunday since lockdown we have methodically exited our home and walked around. But our non-negotiable items that we carry are: mask, sanitizer, water and chopstick. These walks have been such cornerstones of breaking the monotony of a week.

As I ponder over time, control and discrimination on what we thought we knew, and what we actually know, I can say a crowning achievement in this time of universal astonishment
is an insight into the true meaning of value. On what is dispensable and what is indispensable. Because with little we grow wise, we get creative, we can move mountains. Well almost, but we can bring the dolphins back to the canals of Venice!

VERONICA DE VOS (Parent of Risamaya – 6B & Rishan – 2C)

Some Thoughts… Some Realizations

2020. What a weird year. In a world that felt increasingly dystopian, this pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has been eye-opening. I’ve realised that:
Health – physical and mental is the most important.
Nature is all powerful. All it took was a virus to bring this world to a standstill.

All I truly needed was pretty basic. Coffee, food, clothing, shelter, family and friends.
Technology is a lifesaver. If it weren’t for the storytellers, the musicians and artists, life would be hard. Imagine no books and music. Kids are most creative trying to get out of chores. The people we never really think about are the ones who make our lives easy. I’m privileged. I’m grateful for that.

The lockdown for me meant staying safe at home with a salary coming in, not walking home 500 kms away because I lost my daily wages.

We need more women leaders. Countries led by women have handled the pandemic marvellously. The human spirit is indefatigable. Despite iffy political leadership, ordinary people rose to the occasion- doctors and nurses on the front and citizens making masks, sanitizers, raising money to feed the poor, buy ventilators and keeping senior citizens safe.
The pre-COVID 19 world was working itself towards extinction. This pandemic has starkly shown issues of economic disparity, the lacunae in the health care system and the clarity of what we need to do- for ourselves and this planet. May we pause, reflect, live mindfully and never lose the lesson.

MAYA JAIN (Parent of Dhruv – 6A & Shreya – 4C)

Reflections and Relationships

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Life is only a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see and sometimes you just need a break, in a beautiful place, alone, to figure everything out. In these hard times when a pandemic has hit us, it is an opportunity for each one of us to ponder and reflect on our strengths and shortcomings, it is a time for building and nurturing the almost taken for granted relationship – our family. This race has been adjourned momentarily so let’s pause and reflect. If you don’t come out of this lockdown with a new skill, more knowledge and better health and fitness; you never lacked time. You lacked discipline.

In an article I read years ago, Mother Teresa had stated, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” For when you have each other, you have everything!

Regardless of how much we look forward to and need some summer break time, there’s also a part of us that will miss our students for little and for big reasons. One of my favorite parts of teaching is that I get to hear the funny things kids say and do every single day… the kind of things you can’t make up. It’s so sweet when a student takes the time to make a card or a drawing. I have a special spot to display these on my teacher board. Plus, I enjoy bringing the book to life. With this lockdown, I feel so awful, missing those warm, pleasant and squishy hugs; but yet again, thanks to technology, we get to see our students
either through the synchronous or asynchronous means!

So, this is an ideal situation where we are all isolated, alone with our thoughts, and a lot of time on our hands to reflect on what is going on around us. And in the midst of chaos, keep stillness inside of you!

PREETI WADHWANI (TEACHER – North Campus)

 

 

 

 

Quarantine Highs!

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Everybody knows this world is going through tough times but when there is bad there is good.

Nowadays every morning and evening I cycle which I never had the time to do before, and also a little extra study. I am following a time table which is well balanced and I am following on developing athletic skills and playing a lot of table tennis at home but when I get really bored I always have back up like the electronic devices. On the bad side I am watching a little too much TV but I make up for it. Nowadays I also dedicate at least one hour to my football and have a fitness plan. I also have fun activities every week with
family or friends, like playing Housie. I feel I am sleeping a bit too late. Also, I talk to all my friends on Zoom also every night. I watch a movie, bonding with family has increased drastically.

Everybody knows the situation is bad. We can’t go to school, neither go out but that does not mean escaping from studies. We have started to have online classes and it has improved my communication skills. Also, it has made my listening skills sharper because
you can’t lose attention. So you have to focus and listen properly.

To conclude, even in these tough times…oh yes, speaking of tough times, I dedicate 10 minutes in praying to the divine force. Let’s all fight this together. Stay home be safe until we recover. Soon… Keeping my hopes alive!

AHAN GUPTA (G4-A)

Ghost Towns

Every day is a high pressure situation
Every country is half a ghost nation
The breeze blows a sheet of paper down the empty street
Will we too, have our salvation?
It’s not the disease that’s scary
It’s the fact that we’re running out of space at the cemetery
It’s people’s behaviour that scares me
Why are we beating up our doctors in the street?
Will it be only a few weeks till the start of the rioting?
A few months and the only way to get a sip of water is to be violent?
A few years and our behaviour puzzles the best psychiatrists?
Or is it all in our heads because we’re so frightened?
Will we turn on our friends and neighbours?
Fight with them for some food and a razor?
Hopefully not soon and hopefully not ever
Just remember, we’re all in this together

RITHWIK KABIR SHIVNANI (G8-B)

 

ARAV & RITHWIK (G8-B)
VISHAL ARUN (G8-B)
AADITYA NARANG (G8-B)
ANANYA SAHAY (G8-C)

 

 

The Coronation of the DP Class of 2020

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I was treated like a celebrity when I first arrived at Neev. Cameras followed my classmates
and me as we made our awkward introductions. The recordings were supposed to be
played at our graduation to remind us of how far we had come since that eventful day.
But I do not think any video or words can capture the experience of being the first
graduating batch of Neev.

We all came from different backgrounds but experienced the same highs and lows of
being an IB student. Our subjects were hard (like Math Studies), but we had the
advantage of being in a small class and having teachers who were like friends. TOK was
the only class where all seventeen of us were together and arguably the course that
made us modest intellectuals with a tendency to overthink. For CAS, we did everything
from entrepreneurship to athletics to volunteering. I am proud of how much my
classmates have achieved in the past two years.

The North-East trip was one of our most memorable experiences. The late-night reflections and unnecessary amount of drama we all created were all worth the insight we gained during the visit and the friendships we formed. We have been through so much together; it feels strange to see it all end on a Zoom call without a proper goodbye. However, we will never forget the Neev experience, and I hope that someday when we meet again, we will be able to laugh and appreciate all those moments that we took for granted. To the future students of Neev, you are all lucky to be part of something so unique and wonderful. As
seniors, the best advice we could give is that if you are at Neev, you have already chosen the right path for your future.

ROHINI CHAKRABORTY (G12)

OUR MEMORIES

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Adieu MYP

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a part of the IB curriculum for Grades 6-10. The
programme is centered around the six subject groups – Individuals & Societies, Mathematics, Sciences, Arts, Language Acquisition and Language & Literature. Some of us started the MYP fresh from other schools that were very different from the IB. It was rather disorienting at first to consider Arts as mainstream subjects, while today, most of us can’t imagine our lives without them. MYP offered us the chance to explore every aspect of our own individuality.

The first assessment our batch was exposed to was the Personal Project that gave us the the opportunity to take up a project that students are passionate about. Isn’t that a noble idea? A project just for yourself, for you, to explore you. We were able to further our understanding and explore any area – ranging from economics, to calligraphy, to even writing a book!

The Arts ePortfolio (for three different forms offered at Neev – Visual Arts, Theatre, Music) was about creating a piece of art to draw attention to issues of human impact on the environment. This truly pushed us to our artistic boundaries, and we’re sure the rest of the class could testify to that as well.

Unlike the other two components, the Language Acquisition ePortfolio assessment comprised of a written and oral assessment, which would be externally moderated by the Board. Needless to say, this assessment made us quite nervous, and gave us our first exposure to the typical ‘written board exam’. Nevertheless, we were relieved to have completed three  components of our MYP certificate, and now, we were on our way to the e-Assessments.

The final assessment was supposed to be the much-feared eAssessments – an assessment of a student’s capability in the four other subject groups and interdisciplinary learning. However, on April 1st, we got the startling news that our assessments were cancelled as a safety measure in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We didn’t know whether it was a boon or a bane! For some, like us, this was a blessing as we didn’t have to excessively study and ‘burn the midnight oil’ anymore. Nonetheless, the cancellation taught us all a valuable lesson: each assessment counts and there is no excuse for approaching our assessments
differently simply due to its contribution to our final score.

Whether we have come out wiser from this entire journey, only time will tell. Or rather our results will, but at least we have all become masters of stress and the MYP (although it is hard to differentiate between the two!). All jokes aside, MYP has been a great learning experience for us, those who have had the privilege of attending it.

MAITHREYA, NAVYA, SARAH (G10)

My Lockdown Experience

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My lockdown experience has been mostly fun but a bit boring. The good
things are:

  • Getting Up Early – Without school (before online learning), I could sleep until whatever time. But now, I need to get up early in order to do work and attend the Zoom call.
  • New Experiences – With the lockdown in place, I can’t go out for movies or go to buy things. What we can do at home is cooking, baking, and gardening. That is exactly what I do! All the jobs are really fun to do and, as I said before, I get new experiences.
  • Exercise – We can’t sit around in our house all day. Instead, we need to exercise. Now, we exercise more often. Some of the exercises we do are cycling, tennis, basketball, training (from teachers, on calls), etc. I really enjoy these exercises because they are really fun and energizing. But, it isn’t fully fun. The bad parts are…
  • Boring – When there is very little work, then I get really bored.
  • Missing School – I miss the school library, playground, sports, my friends, music classes and everything about school

SURABHI CHOUDHARI (G4-B)

 

Crisis Response – A Lesson to Learn

Governments all over the world are handling Coronavirus in diverse ways– from equating it to war, to concealing the actual number of cases. However, the country that impresses me the most is New Zealand.

To start with, the Prime Minister announced a lockdown before the death toll even reached one person. By doing this, she has kept the death toll at a record low of eleven. New Zealand also turned to scientific facts to eradicate the virus. The prime minister has a solid plan– since the coronavirus has a longer incubation period (5-6 days) than most flu, people with the virus and their contacts could be isolated even before the disease spreads.

Other than reassuring the nation with enigmatic speeches, the Prime Minister also takes to her Twitter every Sunday to answer any questions that people have about the pandemic. This is stopping panic and resolving any communication gaps at the same time. Last but
not the least, she has offered a tribute to workers facing pay cuts by cutting off 20% of her salary; and more government officials are following suit. When Coronavirus makes its way into history books, New Zealand will stand out for its ingenious method of dealing with the virus. It has taken the lead, and we should follow.

ADITI MAGESH (G8-B)

 

The Real Life War Zone

Running away from a real life war,
filled with guns and humongous bombs
Walking for miles,with no clue to where to go…
but just searching for a place they can call their own.
And yet,they are discriminated against,
treated badly and unappreciated.
Not allowed to play or learn
or even have a job so they can earn.
Well,here is something you should know,
refugees shouldn’t be treated so!
Refugees have some rights too
’cause they are just like me and you.
They can sing and dance and have some fun,
and go to school and get to learn
They can practice any religion,
without fearing discrimination.
If we don’t save our people from never-ending terrors of war
then just think,what else is humanity for?

SUHANI AGARWAL (G5-A)

 

MY LOCK DOWN DIARY

ASIMA DASGUPTA (G2- North Campus)

 

SAINA GOENKA (G1- North Campus)
REYANSH NABAR (G1- North Campus)

 

 

 

 

Far from people, closer to nature

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9th March Monday, was my last day of school. I had fun. But when I came home and heard the news, I was sad. The next day I went for art class in my friend’s house. We drew different things… I felt happy!

However, I can no longer go for my tennis, singing, and art classes. Instead, I do online classes, I play TT, and then exercise at home. I also do my homework and have fun. I play with my dog, help my parents with cooking, cleaning, baking and spend time with my grandparents.

I look forward to going back to school after this is over! I want to meet my friends and teachers. Most importantly, I want to work towards a better world and a better environment. We will work towards saving water, recycling, respecting nature and making the world a better place.

ARIYANNA LAL (G1 – North Campus)

From an Earthling on Asia – to QAS System in the Horsehead Nebula (please translate to Quasar pulses)

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Dear magnanimous beings, whom conspirators consider the bringers of an apocalypse,

Greetings from an earthling. How are you doing? Fine, I am sure. Those twin suns must be shining on your prosperous cities and you all must be monitoring the entire Universe. But a few days ago, when you were looking at your screens and checking out planets with organic life forms, you must have found Earth; that planet with those two legged things on it? You must have found something wrong. There were no gatherings, no common lunches, and no marches with funny people screaming into an amplifier. I duly understand your confusion and will attempt to clarify your doubts. There is nothing wrong, really.

You see, there is a new microscopic organism (a virus, for human references) called the SARS_COV_2. This organism tends to corrupt humans’ (for biological references – homo Sapiens) bodies, and can sometimes be fatal. It spreads through the contact of surfaces and can infect people very easily. However, by not meeting many other people and staying in their dominant habitat, they can avoid the virus. That’s why you are not seeing many people out. But don’t worry my friends, the world has not come to a standstill and humans aren’t going extinct; in fact, our behaviour is normal.

There are sometimes people out on the streets, eating at restaurants and pubs, unaware that they will have to foot the bill for the hospital too. There are people who still do those tiring jobs that humans call “essential services,” and some humans even attend the gatherings of the funny white hat men, and perform comedies as usual.

In fact, we can say it made things better in some parts of society. Like, how the overall ecosystem of Earth has improved. You see, humans, thought that they were the most powerful creatures in the world (which is wrong, it is obviously the Parastratiosphecomyia stratiosphecomyioides). And they went about trying to eat up nature’s resources. The natural system of Earth was actually preparing to drown the planet in a month (20 years in human reference). But now that the virus is here, people are staying in their homes, and the wild is happy again. They can finally live in peace without humans, and their habitats are thriving.

So my friends, all in all, while the virus may be bad, and the funny white cap comedians are yet to come up with serious stuff; we are quite alright. And we will be back in business within a month.

Regards,
Earthling no: 66613
(Ishaan Varior)

P.S – Do you have any devices that can help me create a force field around me? I am willing to pay 100 Quasar units. After all, no contact remember?

P.P.S Did you know on Earth we call the comedians world leaders?

ISHAAN VARIOR (G8-A)

 

 

QUARANTINE QUOTABLES

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Lockdown it is – of physical proximity. It could not restrict the mind of the Neev Community. Students, parents and teachers alike let their creative spirit spread its wings. We collected some thoughts from our students during their quarantine time to declare with renewed conviction that the lockdown can never stop the mind from opening up!

What is normal? And what will the new normal look like?

A month ago, I never would have anticipated that I would be sitting at home, doing practically nothing but summative tasks, watching nothing but the news, and eating nothing but junk. I would never have anticipated that out of all the feelings that can be described by the English language (of which there aren’t enough by the way), the one thing I would be feeling is… displaced. Like I didn’t belong where I was, and unfortunately,
it will be like this for some time. Quarantining at home is something that is making me reflect on what exactly I’ve been doing for the last few months. It takes me back to when things were so different and when I look at certain activities now, they seem inconceivable. Going to parties, playing football, having a friend over, they’re all taboo now, and it’s all so
surreal. This is something that all of us are experiencing for the first time. And with big personalities passing from causes related or not related to this virus, I can’t help but feel a little grateful for my situation. No, I can’t go and kick a ball around outside, nor can I play a game at my friend’s house, but there’s nothing to complain about, as of now at least, when I could be doing so much worse.

Regardless of what I’ve heard, I don’t believe the world will go back to normal after this has subsided. Well, it will go back to normal, but by then I believe normal will have a new definition. People may not want to go to college in the US anymore for the next couple of years. Football stadium attendance may be cut down to a few ten thousand. No more concerts with almost a million in attendance. People will be wearing masks literally
everywhere. I think this will be the new normal, and right now, we are all in limbo, in a stage where we haven’t quite got there, but we aren’t exactly living our regular lives right now. So, with all that considered, I think I’ll be making the most of my time now. Or, at the very least, will be trying to.

SANJEET PANIGRAHI (G9)

KEYA VELADANDI (G2 – North Campus)
AAHANA K.(G1 – North Campus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organizing Myself

In the last month, India’s coronavirus cases have risen rapidly, and to be safe, the nation is on a lockdown. Our school is closed until the government takes any further decisions. School may be closed, but learning continues! Staying at home, safe, and having online learning was the best idea! We always talk about how much fun it is for us. I wanted to make the best use of my time, so I did two things to stay organized:

First, I maintain a time table. This helps me in following a set sleeping routine and finishing all my work on time.

Next, I put aside 1 hour for chores, since our help went away last month. Also, now that we have more time, my dad and I do 40 minutes of exercise every day.

These routines help me stay organized and help keep our house nice and clean. The lockdown has helped me become more independent and introduced me to a whole
the new wonderful world of learning.

KEERAT (G4-B)

 

Reflecting on COVID-19

I feel terrible because of the coronavirus. Coronavirus is a terrible disease and I do not like it because Neevotsav and my classes are cancelled. Nobody wants to come for play dates and nobody is travelling. And, we can’t share food and drinks with anybody.

I wonder why it was named Coronavirus? I wonder how it has spread from China to all over the world? We should wash our hands often. We should stay indoors and not go outside! We should eat healthily, and home-cooked food. We should stay away from people who
have COVID-19. We should drink a lot of warm water, use sanitizer, cover our mouth if we cough or sneeze, and stay in the sun!

KEYA (G2 – North Campus)

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

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At Neev, we believe in learning that does not get restricted to the classroom alone. During the times of COVID-19, we adapted to the new normal of learning from home and leveraged the situation and introduced our in-house initiatives of online courses for our Grade 10 & 12 students. Students got the opportunity to interact with the facilitators and
exchange knowledge on various topics ranging from Literature, Ancient myths, India’s War to lessons from the pandemic.

For us, learning is a continuous process at Neev. With these Online Learning Courses, we reinforce the power of knowledge and reading, no matter the medium.

With a variety of courses on topics ranging from Media Literacy, India’s War, Epics, Economics, Skill Development Maths and Science, the purpose is not just to academically equip our students, but also enhance their knowledge and use the right platform to provide exposure to personality development.

 

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