Category Archives: My Purpose

Auggie & Me: Three wonder stories by R.J. Palacio

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I had read Wonder as it was part of the recommended list I saw in my school. And it held me captive from the first word. Wonder told the story of August, a boy having craniofacial deformity. But the second book Auggie & Me tells the story from three different perspectives of Julian (the guy who bullied August), Christopher(his childhood best friend) and Charlotte (one of his schoolmates). It is really quite interesting the way everyone sees the situation in his or her way. Is Julian really a bully? Is Christopher right to hide Auggie from his new friends? Is Charlotte ‘nice’ enough to August or is she just pretending?

The first story, Julian’s Chapter, is about Auggie’s school bully, Julian, and his point of view. For him, he hasn’t been bullying August, instead August has been stealing his friends, giving him nightmares and terrorising his reputation in the schoolyard. Julian feels left out from his social network by Auggie’s arrival. And the resulting anger and frustration comes out without understanding that his actions could not only hurt but deeply wound Auggie. Nevertheless he realises his fault and makes amends. That’s what I like  the most because kids are like that. They do not harp on the feelings for too long, unlike adults who can brood for long.

The second story, Pluto, is from August’s best friend Christopher’s way of seeing things. He grew up with Auggie, so his face isn’t anything weird to him. He only first realised that his friend was anything different to every other kid his age when he was four years old, and from there he was in a sort of pickle – be loyal to his life-long friend or be teased mercilessly by his new school friends?A question that many kids face in their lives when they shift schools.

The third story in this collection is called Shing-A-Ling, and is written from the opinions of Charlotte, a girl who was chosen to introduce August to his new school. It examines her social life, and the different decisions she made, some of them relating to August, others not. We have all experienced one such person who is a teacher’s pet and thus happens to do things which they would not do otherwise.

This collection of the three stories is not only thought-provoking but also draws our attention to the fact that we bring up our children in a very protected manner, which renders them defenseless and clueless when faced with harsh realities of life. We should bring up our children to be strong in both mind and body. Just as we feed their body, we should also feed their mind to be open vessels receptive to every learning experience.The book will encourage readers to see classmates, friends, and family in a new light. It is more of a spin-off than a sequel to the much-acclaimed Wonder and digs deep into themes of kindness, friendship, accountability, and integrity with a deft understanding of middle school social drama.

 Auggie & Me in a nutshell follows three students in vastly different circumstances learning important lessons about relationships: Julian confronts his own cruelty and his enabler parents, Christopher acknowledges his selfishness and the work needed to stay close to important friends and family, and Charlotte expands her circle to embrace new friends.

What is heart warming is author R.J. Palacio’s gift for understanding the pressures of middle school. As in Wonder, some characters and situation seem a little too shiny and happy to be true. But they’re presented with such sincerity and faith in the basic goodness of people, it’s hard to take issue with it. So go for it, no matter what your age.

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The Qualities of a True Information Manager

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The Qualities of a True Information ManagerApril 9, 2016 

I recently discovered that schools do not teach how to be a successful information manager.  To be a successful and effective information manager today, one must grow and practice integrating many qualities and characteristics on the job. The most important of these are not related to training or skills gained but attitudes effective for organising information and serving people. All true information managers therefore possess the following common attitudes:

Vision – the capacity to see beyond one’s immediate data environment; it is a picture of the future of information useWisdom – the capacity to study history and apply knowledge effectivelyDecision making – the ability to study consequences and make decisions on the management of information without fear; a willingness to fail rather than avoid responsibilityA positive attitude – the ability to see information and people in a positive wayCourage – the ability not to be controlled or paralyzed by voluminous data; the effective management of uncertainty in informationHigh energy – strength and stamina to work hard and not be worn down by technology or data complexityPersonal warmth – a manner and attitude that draws and connects people to informationHumility – being in touch with oneself and knowing that one is part of the information system and not above itRighteous anger – a capacity to resist and stand against information misrepresentation and ignoranceIntegrity – consistency in one’s words and in the information handled; trustworthinessResponsibility – an ability to understand data and respond to the needs of people that use itA good self-image – feeling good about self, others, and the information generatedMental horsepower – the ability to keep learning as information and people changeAuthority – a highly positive influence over information and how people use itPeople skills – the ability to connect people to information and help them achieve their goalsInspirational power – the ability to simplify and communicate new information to peopleSense of humour – the ability to laugh at oneself and the state of information todayResilience – the ability to pore over complex data until patterns for problem solving are discoveredTrack record – experience in succeeding as well as in failing when it comes to organising informationPassion – a hunger and continous pursuit for information and knowledgeSelf-discipline – a willingness to count the cost of handling valuable informationCreativity – an ability to see new patterns in old data and information to fix current and future problemsFlexibility – not afraid of environments with lots of change in data; fluid;Sees “big picture” – able to look beyond the immediate space and see a global view of informationInitiative – the ability to understand how information needs to be organised and commence actionExecutive ability – the ability to organise information towards a tangible goal that benefits people

Whilst information management is a word that is used on a daily basis, it is one that is often greatly misunderstood. One can have all the wealth and money in the world, have power but still not be a true information manager. It is possible to inherit wealth but passing on the philosophy required to sustain our information centric world in a similar manner is not possible. Many of the great inventors and problem solvers in history were simply very diligent information managers. In the world today, if the qualities mentioned above are assessed, then there is a great need for true and effective information managers.

Written byJones Lukose Ongalo, MBA Information Management Officer – International Criminal Court

Busy Busy!!!!!

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Phew!!! The past two months went by in a blur. I have been busy setting up the school blog as children these days seem more attuned towards their computers, mobile phones and other gadgets.So decided to connect with them via the internet and bring in more readers to the library.

Well a lot of activities were conducted in the last months and a lot many will be done in the following months. So lets go with it.