The Bloody Tower – A Brief Account

History

The Bloody Tower was one of the many towers that together constituted the Tower of London Complex. It was built in the early 1220s as part of the first wave of modifications of the Tower of London under the watchful gaze of King Henry III. The Tower was originally named Garden Tower because the upper storey opened on the parade ground which was formerly the Constable’s Garden. Notable people who suffered imprisonment and death include the Tudor Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Ridley and Latimer, Protestant martyrs, a Lord Chancellor and Sir Walter Raleigh. Later on, the tower became synonymous with a gruesome murder that stained its legacy forever.

The Murder and noteworthy suspects 

The then thirteen-year-old Edward V and his brother, Richard Duke of York, were confined to the tower on the orders of their uncle, who was later crowned King Richard III. The mystery surrounding the tower continues to fascinate as well as baffle historians to this day. On one such fateful day in 1483, the Yorkist princes completely disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be heard of again. It is believed that the princes were killed in cold blood by their uncle. Since they were next in line to the throne, others vying for the royal seat viewed them as inconvenient roadblocks that needed to be obliterated. Richard was away from court on a progression through the Yorkist heartlands at the time the princes disappeared. If they had truly died at that time, he would have been unable to murder them in person. Instead, he must have dispatched one of his men to do the deed.

However, revisionists argue that Richard was portrayed as the villain owing to Tudor propaganda and that his successor, Henry VII, had the same reason for removing the two boys.

Some, regard Buckingham as a very plausible suspect since he had a number of potential motives. After his rebellion against Richard in October 1483 and his subsequent execution, it could be surmised that he and the king had fallen out, possibly due to Richard’s decision to murder the princes without Buckingham’s knowledge.

Many years hence, in 1674, bones presumed to belong to the young brothers were found when a staircase leading to the White Tower was demolished. The bones were later removed at the command of Charles II.

In popular culture 

According to local legends, the tower is haunted by the young boys’ spirits. Guards in the late fifteenth century had reported that when they passed the Bloody Tower, they caught sight of the shadows of two small figures, gliding down the stairs, still wearing the white nightshirts they had on the night they disappeared. The mystery of the Princes in the Tower has spawned best-selling novels such as Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time and four novels in Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War series, which has attracted the attention of historians and novelists alive. 

Presently, the tower is a popular tourist destination. The stories surrounding it piques the curiosity of many individuals, luring them to the enigma that the tower poses.

Nobel Prize For Literature – 2021

The Nobel prize ceremony is literature’s greatest show of the year and the jury ensures that only the best make it to the podium. Each year, the literature community is abuzz with speculations regarding the potential winner. The wait came to an end on Thursday when this year’s victor was declared.

About the Prize

The Nobel Prizes, which have been awarded since 1901, recognise achievement in literature, science and peace. As stated by Alfred Nobel in his will, the Nobel Prize in Literature is given to “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.” The 18-member Swedish Academy selects the Nobel Laureates in Literature. Nominations come from members of the Academy, members of literature academies and societies, professors of literature and language, former Nobel literature laureates, and the presidents of writers’ organisations. However, it is against the rules to nominate oneself.

Winner of 2021

Abdulrazak Gurnah was preparing a cup of tea in the kitchen of his Canterbury home on Thursday when he received the auspicious call, telling him that he had won the most esteemed prize in the field of Literature. He admitted, that he didn’t have the slightest idea that he was being considered for the award.

A novelist and academic based in the United Kingdom, Gurnah was bestowed with the Nobel Prize for his eminent contributions to literature. In the words of the academy, the prize motivation was “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”            

About the winner

Born in Zanzibar in 1948, Gurnah was displaced from his country and was forced to take refuge in Britain as a young teenager. His books pronouncedly detail the struggles of refugees who sought asylum in other countries. In the 1960s, the Arab Muslims fled Zanzibar to shield themselves from the oppressive regimes that persecuted their community. After reaching England, Gurnah found solace in writing which helped him cope with the loss of his home. He soon became a member of the faculty, at the University of Kent, following the completion of his studies in Canterbury. Gurnah proceeded to have an illustrious career in both academics and writing. The settings in his stories are diverse, ranging from East Africa under German colonialism to modern-day England. Many of Gurnah’s characters deal with the dilemma of leaving their old lives behind and prepare for the life to come, finding themselves in a gulf between cultures while confronting racism and prejudice. He has authored ten novels, throughout his life with three of them featuring in the Man Booker shortlists — “Memory of Departure,” “Pilgrims Way,” “Paradise”. The novels have left a profound impact all across the world, by highlighting the issues of migration, focusing mainly on uprooted people and the places they make their new homes. His work’s relevance has increased even more now, as the world witnesses the large-scale displacement of the Afghan natives.

Past Winners

Past winners have included novelists such as Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison, poets such as Pablo Neruda, Joseph Brodsky and Rabindranath Tagore, and playwrights including Harold Pinter and Eugene O’Neill.

The Data Industry – A Brief Overview

The data industry is projected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next decade. Massive amounts of data are being generated every day with a quintillion bytes being the safe estimate. Data professionals and statisticians are of paramount requirement in this fast-paced, data-driven world. They perform many tasks ranging from identification of data sources to analysis of data. Additionally, they find trends and patterns in the existing data at hand, however, the real set of duties would depend from organisation to organisation. Since data is relevant in almost every field now, the statistical requirements would also understandably change with the various sectors.

Candidates aspiring to step into this industry would be expected to have a fair knowledge about the statistical software in use, being proficient in one increases the job prospects manifold. It is nevertheless advisable that the potential employees narrow down the types of companies they wish to work for, say, for example, biostatistical organisations, and hone their skills accordingly.

The most popular programming software utilised for statistical analysis is STATA, SAS, R and Python.

STATA

In the words of StataCorp, Stata is “a complete, integrated statistical software package that provides everything you need for data analysis, data management, and graphics”. This software comes in handy while storing and managing large sets of data and is menu-driven. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems. Stata is one of the leading econometric software packages sold in the market today. Such is its importance, that many universities have incorporated this in their coursework to make their students jobs ready. Over 1400 openings posted on Indeed put forward Stata as a precondition for selection. Facebook, Amazon and Mathematica are some of the many companies that require STATA as one of the qualifications for statistical and econometrics related positions.

Python

Being an incredibly versatile programming language, Python is immensely popular. It is accessible for most people as it is easy to learn and write. Organisations ranging from Google to Spotify, all use Python in their development teams. Recently, Python has become synonymous with Data Science. In contrast to other programming languages, such as R, Python excels when it comes to scalability. It is also considerably faster than STATA and is equipped with numerous data science libraries. Python’s growing popularity has in part stemmed from its well-known community. Finding a solution to a challenging problem has never been easier because of its tight-knit community.

SAS

This is a command-driven software package that proves to be useful for statistical analysis as well as data visualization. SAS has been leading the commercial analytics space and provides great technical support. The software is quite expensive, making it beyond reach for many individuals. However, private organisations hold a very large market share of SAS. It is relevant in the corporate world to a large extent.

Educational Qualifications and Online Courses

Employers typically look for statistics, economics, maths, computer science or engineering students for data-related jobs with more preferences given to candidates with post-graduate degree holders. The key skills in demand include proficiency in statistical software, model building and deployment, data preparation, data mining and impeccable analytical skills. People looking to upskill themselves or diversify into a different career path to attain a higher pay bracket should give the data industry a shot. Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn and various other platforms provide affordable courses in data science, programming and analytics for this purpose. A career in data is a rewarding one, and also ensures maximum job satisfaction. This is a highly recommended profession in today’s time.

Is Protecting Our Environment A Priority?

Look around yourself. Listen to the rustling of leaves, feel the bracing winds on your face, experience the trickling water slip through your fingers, hear the rumbling of clouds and the plashing patter of steady rain. Now imagine yourself in a place devoid of all this. Pretty hard to imagine, isn’t it? It may be difficult now to envision a world sans nature, but it is a dreadful reality looming over us. Probably a few years down the line, green spaces, clear water and fresh air would be the new El Dorado.

For over a century now, humans have been constantly capitalising on nature, an indispensable asset to extract monetary benefits. People treat nature simply as a warehouse of resources to serve human needs. ‘There is enough in nature for everybody’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed’ is an apt statement made by Mahatma Gandhi that throws light on the avaricious temperament of mankind.

Humans are unappeasable creatures that can go on exploiting the environment without a second thought. They never think about the consequences of their actions and time and again they’ve paid the price for this.

In the United States when wheat cultivation had expanded dramatically in the early twentieth century, zealous farmers had recklessly uprooted all vegetation. This was followed by terrifying dust storms. Black blizzards rolled in, very often 7,000 feet high, rising like monstrous waves of muddy water. People were blinded and choked as the skies darkened, and the dust swept in.

They came year after year, throughout the 1930s.

In part, they came because the early 1930s were years of persistent drought. The temperatures soared owing to the falling rains. However, ordinary dust storms became black blizzards because the entire landscape had been stripped of all grass that held it together.

The American dream of a land of plenty had turned into a nightmare.

This is only one such incident that highlights the consequences of environmental degradation.

Now, a new problem has come to the fore — climate change.

We are facing a potentially staggering expansion of dangerous heat over the coming decades. Climate change poses a fundamental threat to flora and fauna. Due to global warming, sea levels are rising and oceans are becoming warmer. Longer, more intense droughts threaten crops and freshwater supplies. It might be possible that our grandchildren or great-grandchildren wouldn’t be fortunate enough to witness the beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as it would be submerged underwater.

Global warming is the direct outcome of high levels of pollution. Today, pollution is the most significant issue that concerns the health of our environment. Industrialisation and modernisation encouraged the widespread use of fossil fuels. Hundreds of factory chimneys spew black smoke into the skies and large quantities of refuse and waste products pollute the air and water.

We’re producing and consuming more than ever before, and generating more greenhouse gases as a result, as well as air pollutants in the form of chemicals and particulate matter. These activities have interfered with the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. Too many of these gases result in the Earth’s atmosphere trapping additional heat.

A dangerous constituent of these gases is Chlorofluorocarbon, also known as Freon. It is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. CFC’s lower the average concentration of ozone in the stratosphere. Discarded spray cans, leaking refrigerators and the burning of plastic products release the CFC’s into the atmosphere. Depending on the type, CFC’s stay in the atmosphere from 22 to 111 years.

Due to the depletion of the ozone layer, the earth is exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Exposure to UV radiation is the main factor that causes skin cells to become cancer cells and is also responsible for sunburns and blindness.

Protecting the environment is the need of the hour. If we don’t take preventive actions now, we will have to face terrible consequences in the future. The air might become too toxic to breathe, the water too contaminated to drink, and the rainfall too acidic to harvest. Children might never enjoy the sun without getting sunburnt.

It’s time that we show some appreciation for all that nature has given us. The Bishnoi people were not a bunch of lunatics who sacrificed their lives to save trees and the villagers of Reni were not some crazy tree huggers. These people understood the value of nature and fought to preserve it.

We can all do our bit to conserve the environment, starting by switching off the electric appliances, not in use and not littering our surroundings. I can assure you that our great-grandchildren will certainly respect our efforts.

Oscar Wilde – A Short Biography

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After experimenting with different forms, he became one of the most accomplished playwrights in London in the early 1890s. It is quite difficult to encapsulate Wilde’s brilliance in a few short sentences as there is no dearth of literary accomplishments when it comes to him. In his lifetime, he carved a niche for himself churning out several, critically acclaimed masterpieces, the relevance of which are even profound to this day. He went on to make eminent contributions during the aesthetic and decadent movement, making him one of the most prolific writers of his era.

Early life 

Oscar Wilde was born to an Anglo – Irish couple in Dublin, Ireland on October 16, 1856. He had two siblings, an older brother named Willie, and a sister, Isola, who unfortunately died at the age of 10. Wilde’s mother, identified as an Irish nationalist and wrote under the alias, Speranza. She attracted many other intellectuals and artists who frequented her place. The seeds of art, culture and literature were sown in the Wilde kids’ lives quite early on. They learnt to appreciate scholarly conversations by mingling with the guests. Wilde’s childhood left a lasting impression on his life.

Till the age of nine, Wilde was homeschooled. He joined his brother later on at the Portora Royal School. His peers were awed by his disposition, while many considered him a prodigy for his speed reading abilities. 

Contributions to Literature

Wilde is most fondly remembered for the iconic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. He found great fame and fortune after releasing three very successful comedies-  Lady Windermere’s Fan, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Ernest. Also, he authored critical essays like Intentions (1891), and his long letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, De Profundis, several fairy tales and various proses. Later on, he diversified into shorter tales, publishing works like The Happy Prince and Other Tales. In 1891 he published two more collections, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories, and A House of Pomegranates. Wilde poured his unmatched wit and dazzling flamboyance into his stories which made his work incredibly engaging for the readers. His illustrious career made him a Victorian celebrity. 

Trial and Conviction 

Wilde’s life was riddled with problems as well as scandals. Although he was married and had two children, he led a double life by being a frequent visitor of male brothels. Homosexuality was a crime in the United Kingdom until the 1960s and the punishment meted out, if convicted, was severe. Lord Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde began an affair in secret. Douglas was a British poet and aristocrat, and also 16 years his junior. The romantic tryst was eventually uncovered and Douglas’ father put forth a public accusation by calling Wilde a ‘sodomite’. Wilde sued him for libel, subsequently lost and was found guilty of gross indecency arising from indulgence in homosexuality. Soon he was rounded up and sent to prison, where he spent two very difficult years. He first arrived at Newgate Prison in London and was later shifted to Pentonville Prison. The court had sentenced him to hard labour, which comprised of picking oakum and several hours of walking on the treadmill. After a few months, he was again moved to a different prison where the grueling conditions started taking a toll on his fragile health. On one such day, he collapsed from illness and hunger. The fall ruptured his ear drum, which played a major role in his eventual death.

Later Years 

Following his imprisonment, Wilde was shunned by society and left bankrupt. His immaculate public image was tarnished after the invasive court trials. He spent his last years in Europe, strolling in boulevards and drowning in his miseries. The little money he had was spent on alcohol. Wilde soon died of cerebral meningitis which stemmed majorly from his prison injury, leaving behind a rich legacy. He is a celebrated figure even today.

What is your Personality Type?

Are you a person who often wonders about what their personality is like? If the answer to this question is yes, then the MBTI would be a good starting point.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, popularly known as MBTI, is a psychometric test devised to give people a brief overview of their cognitive functions. Its structure is based on four major functions and is divided into 16 types. But, if we delve deeper, there are 8 functions in total. Most people won’t recognise the MMPI but would have some knowledge about the MBTI.

It is the most widely taken test with over 2 billion people taking it every year. This is the go-to test for schools, colleges and human resource departments for evaluating their candidates. The company that markets the test makes around 20 million dollars each year off the instrument.

History 

The test was originally constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myer. Briggs started her research of human behaviour quite early on in her life. In some accounts, the year has been documented as 1917, when she officially began her exploration of personalities.

Isabel, Briggs’ daughter also joined her in this investigation and it soon became her lifelong fascination as well. During the First World War, the test’s goal was to provide a measure for people’s personalities and help them find suitable careers. Job satisfaction was widely absent from many people’s life at that point. 

Construction of the test

The test is based on the mostly untested theories of Jungian personality theory. Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, who extensively studied personality archetypes and founded the field of analytical psychology. In present times, his work is renowned all over the world.

The Briggs’ mother-daughter duo expanded on his theories and came up with the MBTI.

Typology

Jung divided humans into two broad groups – perceivers and judgers. Further, the former group was subdivided into individuals who prefer using their intuitions and the others who prefer the senses, and the latter, into feelers and thinkers. The resulting four types were classified based on people’s attitudes i.e introverts and extroverts.

Functions

Myers propounded that humans use all four cognitive functions. However, one function is used more prominently than the others. This constitutes the dominant function. This function is supplemented by the secondary/auxiliary function. The tertiary function is used to an even lesser extent. , while the fourth, is the least consciously used function. Myers referred to this function as the shadow function as it is diametrically opposed to the dominant one.

Reliability 

In spite of the popularity of the test, many psychologists continue to criticize it, demanding that the test pass certain criteria to be called reliable and scientific. The validity of the instrument is dubious as the same person can get different results upon subsequent retakes. However, the MBTI instrument isn’t entirely useless as many people are drawn to the test. The desire to understand oneself is strong among many and in many cases, the MBTI can be a driving force behind personality development.

Conclusion 

Presently, the test has become a big part of popular culture apart from being relevant in professional realms. It’s being used even on dating sites to find out the character traits of potential matches. Fictional characters, ranging from Harry Potter to Disney princesses, all have been assigned an MBTI type. It is not uncommon to find a mention of MBTI on people’s social media descriptions. 

The Plight of Budding Sportspeople

Remember that cricketer who failed his matriculation or the swimmer that dropped out of school? Sportspersons failing their exams or dropping out is not very unusual or unheard of. On the contrary, it is pretty commonplace. A sport requires a lot of practice and sometimes a person has to spend hours, in the end, to achieve perfect command over the technicalities. Such exhaustion renders a person incapable of doing anything other than sleep after a training session.

Studies in schools become increasingly tough after the 9th grade. Even studious kids find it difficult to cope up. It becomes a challenge for these young sportsmen to even pass their exams. The government had to introduce policies to help these struggling students. After a lot of deliberation, the sports quota was introduced. The thought behind this was to award deserving sporting talents a better and more fulfilling college education.

Yet, I believe the quota has not solved the problem. Instead of making these young sportspersons serious about their education, they have become even more indifferent towards their studies. The decision has been counterproductive as it has caused more harm than good. A student who is neglecting their studies and is only relying on their sporting talent is in for a rude awakening when they enter college.

Someone who is not regular or is completely disinterested in their studies somehow lands a seat in a top-notch college with the most difficult course because of a quota. This is unfair to other students, especially for those who have spent hours on end to secure a seat in a prestigious college. It is also going to be a shock for the sportsperson who bagged a seat with minimal marks when they look at the curriculum. For that individual, graduating from college will be an insurmountable task.

Instead of honing their skills, they would be forced to study throughout the day to keep up with their peers. They would also be the subject of mockery among other kids who have bagged a seat fair and square. How can a person reach their potential in such conditions?

But can’t these budding sportspeople study? Are they so average that they can’t even understand simple concepts? I strongly disagree. Sportspersons are anything but average. Sports requires a tremendous amount of intelligence, aptitude and observational skills. No matter how hard you work and how well you plan, there is always a factor of uncertainty that is unforeseeable, which can either result in failure or a career-threatening injury. We can study in the comfort of our rooms but in sports, a person has to practice under the blazing sun or amongst the blistering cold winds.

It is quite evident that players not studying properly is not a lack of intelligence but a lack of will and proper planning. They fail to see the pivotal role that education plays in their life and also in their performance. An educated player always has a better understanding of the game and will never fall prey to the evils of doping and substance abuse. It is easier for the bad apples to exploit uneducated players.

Time and again, the world has seen highly educated individuals dominate the playing field. Players like Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid have proved that a person can excel at sports and studies at the same time. If they did it, why can’t the others? People need not always look at sports as a career option. It can also be viewed as a way of life. Sports teaches many valuable lessons that help an individual grow as a person. Determination, perseverance, integrity, humility, discipline are some of the many qualities that are required in sports. Education and sports are not two entirely different dimensions but two sides of the same coin. Both of them are equally important for the complete development of a child into an individual. Studious sportspersons exist. Though they’re not typical social butterflies and are not visible in crowds due to their hectic schedules, these people represent the best of both worlds — sports and education.

Delhi University Cut-Offs Released

A new academic year brings with it a new batch of anxious faces, eagerly looking at the DU cut-offs, hoping they get in. Lakhs of students apply to the University of Delhi annually while only a few make it through. This year too over 4 lakh applications were recorded, the highest being from Delhi, followed by Uttar Pradesh. The lowest number of applications were received from West Bengal. All these candidates are vying for a mere 70,000 seats.

Owing to the deadly second wave of the coronavirus, the exams pan India were cancelled. The different education boards came up with fair scoring criteria for their students. Everyone witnessed remarkable inflation in their marks after the results were declared, with more than  70,000 CBSE students scoring above 95%.

This posed a massive dilemma for the college principals, some of them even suggesting a centralised entrance exam for the batch of 2021. But due to time and procedural constraints, the same wasn’t feasible to conduct. Finally, the University decided to follow the merit basis for admission to the undergraduate programs.

Speculations were rife about the cut-offs being astronomically high for this academic year which, unfortunately, turned out to be true.

After a long and tiring wait, the first cut off list was released yesterday.

In an unprecedented development,  at least 6 colleges have released 100% cut-offs in 10 courses which have left the students all over India in shock.

Ramjas college and Hindu college demanded a whopping 100% for Political Science Hons. and Computer Science Hons. The other north campus colleges have followed the same trend. SRCC set the bar at 100% too for B.Com Hons. 13 out of 20 courses in Hansraj college are only available to students who have scored above 99%. The score required for English Hons. has increased by a percent to settle at 99% in most colleges. At Vivekananda College, History Hons requires 97%, a sharp jump from the previous year’s 85%.

Experts are now questioning the evaluation of the board results. A teacher at SRCC clarified that the 100% cut off was based on the applicant data provided to them which had almost 450 students who scored a perfect 100 in the best of four aggregate. It is indeed quite baffling how so many students managed to procure such excessive marks. Fingers would be pointed at various school managements who might have graciously rewarded marks to their pupils.

The number of 100 scorers at DU has increased to almost 10,000 from 5,500 last year. Understandably, the cut-off can’t be kept low.

The cut off list has left many students distraught, a number of them are looking at their DU dreams shattering. Aspirants who are just at the 90% margin are worried about their college prospects now, with many of them looking to seek admission in other universities. The ones who scored below 90% have very bleak chances of getting in, seeing the current trend. This is a leading cause of stress as well as anxiety for both parents and students as their future is now enveloped in a shadow of uncertainty.

The education system has been heavily criticised as there is only space for exceptional scorers in universities now. The entire focus has now shifted to performance in exams instead of the holistic development of children. The sky is the only limit now when it comes to college cut-offs.

Making a Career in Community and Social Services

The community services industry is a largely overlooked sphere and the wide array of possibilities bubbling here go unnoticed by the general population. Moreover, this sector is pivotal to the development of the nation. It is essential for preparing young adults to become principled citizens in a globalized world. Students looking to start their careers should be made aware of the opportunities available here.

Job Prospects

According to one report by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the social and community employment sector is expected to grow by 12 per cent between 2020 and 2030.

There is a wide range of career opportunities in this domain including health inspectors, correctional and probationary officers, marriage therapists, disability assistants, and rehabilitation counsellors. In contrast to other sectors, community services give employees a myriad of client areas to choose from. That means one can continue to grow and diversify until one lands their perfect niche.

 Jobs would typically be advertised on social media or community issue-focused websites. Local authorities will give notice of the jobs on their respective websites, as will larger charities.

Most employers generally comprise officials of local authorities, not-for-profit organizations, rural development groups, organizations concerned with particular groups or issues such as refugees or asylum seekers, drug addicts, sexual abuse victims, etc.  

Since these workers aid marginalized groups and tackle the problem persisting in their local area, they would be required to work closely with other organizations such as the police, schools, and other agencies and operate mainly within inner-city areas, small towns, and rural localities.

Educational requirements

The field is well suited for individuals who are keen to help people in need and contribute to a positive change in society. One can chalk out their education by specializing in areas of drugs and alcohol abuse, family and domestic violence, housing, or adolescent development to get a more enhanced perspective before stepping into this fast-growing industry. It would also help in bettering the chances of securing employment for the candidate. Although entry to this field is not restricted by educational qualifications having a degree in any subject certainly helps.

Key skills for workers

Prospective job seekers wishing to go the extra mile should focus on honing key skills like written and oral communication skills, sincerity, patience, tact, and the ability to earn the trust of others, and finally an in-depth understanding of policies that affect target groups.

Responsibilities

Standard responsibilities include helping communities share resources effectively, recruiting and training volunteers, presenting verbal and written reports to the superiors,  generating funds for the operations, creating awareness about important issues, developing projects to help sections of society afflicted with various social evils like drug abuse and managing the audit processes,

Conclusion

The challenges involved in this career would push the person to grow and evolve into a more empathetic individual while exposing them to people from all walks of life. Being a noble profession also enriches a person’s social standing in society.

All things considered, this is a highly recommended line of work.

The Stranger by Albert Camus – A critical commentary

“My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.”

The Stranger , Albert Camus

Albert Camus lures his readers in like a moth to a flame with his powerful diction, giving the reader a fair idea of the whirlwind of emotions they will be descending into. In this masterpiece, Camus puts forth the absurdity of life through the eyes of Meursault, a peculiar shipping clerk residing in French Algiers. It doesn’t shy away from exploring difficult themes of death, dissociation, and sociopathy 

Part 1 

L’Étranger introduces us to Meursault, a man bearing an astonishingly apathetic worldview that is completely detached from society. We witness this when the protagonist doesn’t display any signs of mourning throughout his mother’s funeral instead, maintaining a stolidly indifferent demeanour while smoking a cigarette. This outlandish attitude is met with contempt and hatred from others.

Meursault is merely a spectator of the events around him, leading a life devoid of meaning and emotions. Through this narrative we examine his perceived alienation, relating it with how he is a stranger to the norms of society. 

Throughout this narrative, Meursault conducts himself absurdly and often immorally, not putting much effort to assimilate into the world around him. His indifference is mainly pointed towards women which are affirmed through many instances. He comfortably turns a blind eye to his friend’s ex-girlfriend who was brutally beaten, his loveless relationship with his girlfriend which he pursued mainly for physical gratification and finally his refusal to mourn over his mother. 

The scorching Algerian sun is revealed to have some form of unusual hold over the protagonist that brings to the surface his irrationality.

Often calling the sun ‘oppressive’ and ‘inhuman’, it can be seen how the heat disorients him. The force of the sun eventually makes him commit murder. 

Part 2 

As the murder trial proceeded, the jury was aghast seeing Meursault’s utter lack of remorse for his actions and his disregard for human life. He talked about death in a frigid manner with his jailer, emphasising that death is an inevitable phenomenon. In his words, “I wasn’t unaware of the fact that it doesn’t matter very much whether you die at thirty or at seventy since, in case, other men and women will naturally go on living, for thousands of years even. Nothing was plainer, in fact. It was still only me who was dying, whether it was now or in twenty years’ time. “

Although after he is sentenced to death we see a paradigm shift in this attitude. The readers witness his cold exterior shattering when he realises that his time had come to an end. He is angry at the unfairness of the world, reproaching how he, a simplistic man with such little needs, is unfairly condemned to death. This rage-filled outburst is followed by passivity. While being isolated in a jail cell he is made aware of how he had isolated himself from the world. Upon a priest’s visit before his execution, Meursault’s aversion to religion is disclosed. He found no sense in religion but didn’t outrightly reject it either, believing that the world would descend into chaos without the principles of religion. After letting the priest know that he would rather not waste his last moments praying, he spent his time reflecting on his actions instead and contemplating the worthlessness of life. A newer, more intellectual Meursault was born, quite ironically, only mere moments before his death. He wished to break free from the alienation and hoped that his execution would attract a huge crowd.

Eventually coming to terms with his impending death, he concluded that he doesn’t regret anything and is ready to live his life all over again. 

Conclusion 

Leading a life sans personal values, morals kept Meursault satisfied. He went through his life without truly living. He questioned the purpose of life, declined the societal conventions and still managed to emerge happy, proving himself to the readers as an existentialist anti-hero.

Challenges faced by a school student when it comes to choosing a career

A rock star. An astronaut. A professional athlete. These are some of the answers that one gets to hear when they ask a child what they want to become when they grow up. When you’re a child, your career aspirations are filled with fantastical expectations stuff dreams are made of. But sooner or later a child realizes that life is a harsh reality and the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows and that they might not become the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Shawn Mendes, or Angelina Jolie. As they grow up there focus shifts to (frankly less glamorous) careers.

One of the biggest milestones in a person’s life is choosing a career. For many people, career selection is a harrowing task while for some it’s a smooth ride. At the tender age of 16 or 17 one doesn’t know what they want to do in life. Our young and impressionable minds are swayed by attractive yet empty promises such as big packages and secure employment. Teenagers see the world as they know, not as how the world is. It is difficult to peep into the reality of every profession at such a young age.

Parents want the best for their children and with these intentions often impose their career choices on their children. At the same time, children should respect their parents for their intentions.

This additional pressure from parents to choose the right career path makes matters worse. Many a time students succumb to this pressure and get stuck doing something that they never wanted to do. In a rush to choose their future, students often blindly follow someone else’s life choices. Thus, entering into what we call a ‘rat race’. When these teens are all grown up and have become mature enough to make informed choices they start second-guessing their former decisions. But by then it’s too late to make things right. What follows is a vicious cycle of hopelessness, dejection, and repentance.

Every school student has to go through these circumstances. They have to overcome their indecisiveness, emotional and intellectual immaturity, and also parental pressure. All children have a personality and diverse interests. The interest does not necessarily lead to a very specific career path but the choice of career should be based on trying to maximize the utilization of the skills and capabilities of the child. The entry of career counselors and psychologists into the scene and the inclusion of various psychometric tests has immensely helped young kids navigate these difficult waters, providing them with the necessary information regarding diverse professional paths. This helps them reach an informed conclusion.

 Parental pressure should not deter a student to not pursue their passions. But at the same time, one should have a structured plan to achieve their goals. In the end, every student must remember that their future is in their hands and they have to live with the outcome of their choices, not their parents, friends, relatives, or anyone else for that matter and if they don’t take control of where they are headed in life then life will take control of them.