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Reflective Essays

Outline: The connection between mind and body – the neglect of physical education – sports are the best means of physical development – they instil valuable qualities – the duke of Wellington’s remark

‘A sound mind in a sound body’ is an expression so familiar and so often quoted that its meaning is likely to have lost something of its edge and appeal. Yet it expresses a profound truth and formulates an ideal which every individual should set before himself. The body is the temple of the mind and is intimately connected with it. Bodily ailments stunt the growth of the mind, just as mental maladies affect the health of the body.

The education that is imparted in our schools and colleges is mainly intellectual. It is true that every school and college has a playground and offers facilities for sports like cricket and football. But participation in games is not compulsory and little account is taken of it while awarding certificates and degrees. Besides, there is an acute shortage of playgrounds in large cities. Our educationists should realise the organic connection between mind and body, and pay more attention and importance to the physical training of the young.

Outdoor games like hockey, football, basketball and tennis are the best means of ensuring physical health and development. They have several advantages over other forms of exercise. They provide not only exercise for the body but recreation for the mind. Exercising one’s limbs at home or in a gymnasium-calls for some effort of the will, but boys and girls have natural inclination for sports and they derive exercise from them in an agreeable way, without specially exerting themselves. They return to their studies, feeling refreshed and energetic.

Sports also inculcate valuable qualities in young people. They learn how to cooperate with one another and to subordinate their selfish desires to the interests of the team. They learn to play the game, practising fair play and showing generosity towards their opponents. In other words, they cultivate the quality of sportsmanship, which consists in playing a game according to its rules and accepting defeat with good temper. They are likely to follow the ideal of sportsman spirit in life also, showing honesty and uprightness in their dealings with others and never using unfair means to attain personal ends.

The Duke of Wellington emphasised the importance of sports in his memorable remark. “The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton”. He meant that England’s victory at Waterloo was due to certain qualities like physical courage, co-operation, and loyalty displayed by her officers – qualities which they had learnt from sports and games when they were boys in Eton. It may be said that India’s battle with poverty and ignorance will be won on the playing fields of our schools and colleges. 

Difficult Words: Formulates – expresses clearly. maladies – illness, disorders. inculcate – fix firmly, instil.

I like playing the guitar. Though I am not very good at it and am still learning, I can play some tunes. I spend quite a lot of time playing the guitar so much so I get scolded sometimes by my mother. I suppose I do tend to spend a bit too much time with it. Anyhow, playing the guitar is very enjoyable.

I also like taking evening walks around my neighborhood. In the evening the air is cool and refreshing. The children are busy playing and the neighbors are friendlier. So I take leisurely strolls, sometimes stopping to play with other children and sometimes stopping to chat with the neighbors.

Another thing that I like doing is getting up late in the morning. During weekdays I have to get up early or I will not get to school on time. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, it is so pleasurable to just lie in bed in the morning without having to get up and hurry to school. Again I tend to lie too long in bed and my mother has to come and tell me to get up.

Listening to the radio and watching television are also things I like to do. Of course I do not listen and watch everything. I only tune in to my favorite programmes and enjoy myself while seated on my favorite chair.

There are other things that I enjoy doing too but there seems to be not enough time to do them all. So I generally just stick to doing those I mentioned plus any others that I have time for. 

Walt Disney.

Category : Secondary School Level

“Walt Disney,” the name that is synonymous with animation pioneered the art of creating animated film cartoons and revolutionized it. He was a man with great vision and an innovative genius.

Walt Disney was born on 5th December, 1901 and he had 5 older siblings. When he was four, his family moved from Illinois to Marceline. He lived with his family on a farm and it is here that Walt met Fr. Sherwood encouraged him to sketch a picture of his horse, and this started Waif’s tryst with sketching. Later, when his family moved back to Chicago, Walt took up classes at McKinley High School and night courses at the Chicago Art Institute.

At the age of 22, he was airing cartoons called “Laugh-0-Grams” at the local theater. The cartoons were successful enough to afford him a new studio but he went bankrupt because he was unable to afford the huge salaries of his staff.

Eventually, he made his way to Hollywood where he set up his studio and made “Alice Comedies”. This heralded the beginning of the Disney Brothers’ Studio. Walt Disney went on to make many full length cartoons like Snow White, Bambi, Pinocchio but his most endearing cartoon remains Mickey Mouse. Walt’s biggest gift to cinematic pleasure was his use of the ‘Multiplane Camera.’ To him goes the credit for the world’s first synchronised sound cartoon. Walt Disney died in 1966 but the man’s spirit still lives on through Disney Movies.

Women In Man’s Profession

Category : Secondary School Level

Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. Perhaps most important, they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a re-evaluation of traditional views of their role in society.

Women were long considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual prowess. Domestic chores were relegated to women, leaving ‘heavier9 labour to men. This ignored the fact that caring for children, housekeeping, cooking, and washing clothes also required heavy, sustained labour. Physiological tests now suggest that women have a greater tolerance for pain, and live longer.

A central issue in the study of gender is whether women and men are fundamentally different or essentially the same. “Difference theorists” contend that women are more nurturing, caring, and cooperative, as opposed to men, who are more independent, detached, and hierarchical. Men traditionally “do dominance” while women “do deference,” and females face dominant and agonistic behavior by their male colleagues.

In a developed country like the USA, women constituted more than 45 percent of employed persons in 1989, but they had only a small share of the decision-making jobs. Although the number of women working as managers, officials, and other administrators has been increasing, in 1989 they were outnumbered about 1.5 to 1 by men. Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in 1970 were paid about 45 percent less than men for the same jobs; in 1988, about 32 percent less. Professional women did not get the important assignments and promotions given to their male colleagues. Many cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1970 were registered by women charging sex discrimination in jobs.

Nevertheless the work environment is changing. Women, now, across the world are gradually entering occupations that have hired mostly men, in order to earn an equal place in society. Many occupations forecast to have the largest job growth – and likely to be filled by women are health-care aides and medical assistants, retail sales, customer service, restaurant workers, clerks, child- care workers; and better occupations in which women’s participation is expected to grow further are medical doctors and other professionals, IT professionals. engineers, teachers, judiciary, lawyers, accountants, computer-related jobs, media, art & culture, managers, construction trades, business entrepreneurship, defence services, police, airline pilots and all others one can think of, as appropriate education and training opportunities are becoming within their reach.

A popular adage among the working women goes as ‘A Woman has to work Twice as hard to prove that she is half as good’ sums up quite appropriately the general bias of the society and the women’s sentiment on the subject. An objective observer would see that often in a workplace, if a male makes a mistake, then it is commented that ‘He is having a bad day9, but if a female makes the same mistake then it would be ‘Women can’t do a job.’ However, the trend seems to be changing surely, albeit very slowly.

Most developed countries have enacted laws that would provide women with equal opportunity, equal pay for equal work, renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women at workplace, and special provisions for their security and maternity relief.

India has the world’s largest number of professionally qualified women, has more female doctors, surgeons, scientists and professors than the United States, has more working women than any other country in the world; this includes female workers at all levels of skill. There is a National Human Rights Commission for Women that is empowered to handle all human rights violations against women.

‘Women are no less than Men

Writing An Essay

Category : Secondary School Level

Whatever you choose to write for an essay, you usually follow the same basic structure:

Introduction

Body

Conclusion

Begin an essay with an introduction which is the first paragraph. This paragraph begins with a specific sentence called the ‘essay statement’. What you intend to convey in your composition is contained in this statement. It introduces the main idea of what your entire composition will be discussing. Ensure your thesis statement is a specific statement and is focused on a single idea rather than several.

The opening paragraph should be designed to capture the interest of your reader. It focuses on your assertion, on what you are going to write about.

The body is a group of paragraphs that develop on the main idea as introduced in the main statement. The main idea must now be elaborated with each developmental paragraph discussing a supporting point for the main idea. Each paragraph argues, describes, explains, discusses, defines, clarifies, illustrates or whatever on the thesis statement.

Each body paragraph has the same basic structure. It has a topic sentence followed by four or five supporting sentences. One idea is discussed in each paragraph. Introduce supporting details, facts, examples, quotations for each of these ideas. A concluding sentence summarizing or restating the idea ends each paragraph.

The conclusion is a summary paragraph. You complete the composition by summarizing, reviewing or restating the main idea in different words or briefly stating your opinion, feelings or suggesting a solution. Ensure the concluding paragraph is not too long; three or four sentences will be enough.

Your essay should leave the reader satisfied. 

Fiona is my neighbour. She turned twelve recently and her parents held a birthday party for her. I was one of those invited.

The party began at about three in the afternoon. There were about twenty of us children gathered in Fiona’s house. We were all dressed in our best clothes. Everyone, especially Fiona, wore a happy smile.

We gave our presents to Fiona and she happily opened them. It must really be exciting to receive all those presents.

After that Fiona’s mother served us soft drinks and delicious tidbits. We then played some games like “Musical Chairs” and “Treasure Hunt”. The winners were given prizes.

At about four-thirty Fiona’s mother brought out the birthday cake. It was beautifully decorated with pink and white icing. Twelve colourful candles sat in the middle of the cake. We all sang “Happy Birthday” to Fiona after which she blew out the candles and cut the cake. We clapped out hands eagerly.

We helped ourselves to slices of the delicious cake. Then we continued our games.

Finally at about six in the evening the party came to an end. We were all tired but happy. The parents of the other children came to collect them. I helped Fiona and her mother clean up the mess we made. After that I walked home which was only two doors away.

My mother accompanied me to school on the first day. Other parents accompanied their children as well. We all waited in front of the school office.
Soon a teacher came and led us to some classrooms. There we were put into four separate classes. This was when some children began to cry as the parents were not allowed into the classrooms. I did not cry because I had been to kindergarten before. Actually my mother went home soon after for she knew I would be all right.
It was an enjoyable time for me as I got to know my new classmates. The teacher was very busy writing down our particulars so we had plenty of time to ourselves.
Meantime some children continued to sob while their parents looked in anxiously through the windows.
Soon recess came. Some of us headed for the tuck-shop while the rest headed for their parents. I bought a drink with the money my mother gave me. Getting to know my new friends had made me thirsty.
After recess we went back to out classroom and my new friends and I managed to coax two boys to stop crying. In fact, soon we were laughing and playing together. Once in a while the teacher had to tell us to keep quiet as we were making too much noise.
Still some parents looked in anxiously through the windows.
Finally the bell rang for us to go home. Some of us were very relieved to be reunited with our parents. I too was glad to see my mother waiting for me at the school gate. I had made many friends. It had been a wonderful first day at school.



sob
to cry noisily


tuck-shop
A shop where candy and other sweets are sold


coaxto persuade someone gently to do something
Today, English is used widely. It has become the most popular language of communication between countries and in many fields of human endeavor. So it is important that we learn to use English. Otherwise we will be at a disadvantage.The only effective way of improving my English is to use it, as often as possible.In school, the only time when English is used is during English lessons. That certainly is not enough. So wherever possible I speak English with some friends and teachers who will or can speak English with me.Reading book, magazines and newspapers are good ways of improving my English. On the whole they are grammatically correct. We may speak incorrect English and get away with it. Not so with printed words, they have to be correct. Through reading, I learned how to use correct English in writing and speaking, though at times I still speak the broken English that many of us speak here.Watching television and listening to the radio are two more ways of improving my English. English as it is spoken by the English, Americans, Malaysians and others are distinctly different.So I continue to use English, that is, hear, read, speak and write it. Some of my friends only hear and read it. They can hardly speak or write it, but I will not be like them. I will try my best to master it.   



endeavor
an attempt to do something


get away with
escape the consequences


distinctlyclearly noticeable
My father bought a new car one day. We were all very excited. He promised to take us to Melaka to visit my grandparents the coming Sunday.Sunday morning was bright and breezy. We hopped into the brand new car and soon we were heading out of Petaling Jaya towards the expressway. My mother sat in the front passenger seat while my father drove. I sat behind with my younger sister.As it was Sunday the roads were not very busy. Soon we were on the expressway travelling at a leisurely pace. My father is a careful driver and he does not drive too fast or dangerously. This proved to be good for there was a speed-trap manned by the police along the expressway. I saw some cars stopped by the police. They had obviously been speeding.Driving along the expressway tend to be monotonous. I actually fell asleep once we passed Seremban.When I awoke, we were already at the Ayer Keroh toll gate. My father paid the toll and steered the car towards Melaka Town. On the way we passed many interesting sights. My father promised to stop by on our way home. We had to visit our grandparents first.We left Ayer Keroh and all its factories behind as we journeyed into the town itself. Like all towns, there were many cars and other vehicles. Also there were many tourists. Melaka has many places of historical interest and thus this was not surprising.Finally we arrived at my grandparents’ house in Klebang Besar. The journey had taken about two hours. We stepped out of the car. My grandparents greeted us happily.



expressway
a wide road built for fast moving traffic travelling long distances, with a limited number of points at which drivers can enter and leave it


monotonous
staying the same and not changing and therefore boring


stop byto visit someone brief, usually on the way to another place

Outline: Walking necessary for health – morning walk a pleasant pastime – pleasures of nature – rising sun – powerful influence of the wide expanse of the Ocean.
I always go for a morning walk along the seashore. Morning walk is a very healthy exercise. There is nothing more bracing for the tired body and the dejected mind. This morning walk always refreshes my body and spirit. It is more conducive to health than any other form of exercise. I take a brisk walk after a night’s rest before I go to school. It freshens and invigorates my mind so that I am able to apply myself to my studies with redoubled energy.
The morning walk that take along the seashore is also a pleasant pastime. I set off from my home at an early hour in the morning. I forget all my cares and worries and feel as happy as a bird. The walk acts like a tonic to my mind.

I have a meditative turn of mind. As I saunter along the seashore, I enjoy the pleasures of an elevated nature. I sit down for some moments in a lonely corner and listen to the soft murmur of the waves. Soon the sunrise glows near the horizon. I contemplate the heavens overhead. I see all nature clothed in its finery. There is a freshness of beauty about the palm-studded seashore. These whispering palms give me a keen sense of enjoyment.
As move up and down the seashore, I see the rising sun. It paints the distant skies with a hundred different hues. It is a lovely scene. The birds hidden from my view among the leaves and the branches of trees greet my ears with their musical notes. The contemplation of these beautiful sights of Nature produces a wholesome effect upon me. Sometimes it urges me to study Nature with the zeal of a bookworm.

The wide expanse of the ocean has a powerful influence on my imagination. It leads to those lofty thoughts, which a walk in the countryside fails to inspire. The calm and beautiful silence of the ocean, broken only by the never-ending murmur of the waves, stills my soul. It acts as a tranquilizer. The great ocean, with its thousand tongues, speaks to me. As I have a philosophic and poetic mind, I can understand its mysterious language. The influence, which the immensity of the ocean exerts on me, is so great that it is no wonder that millions of people offer their prayers to the Almighty, facing the sea.


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