Sunday, 31 August 2014

Yale Historical Review - 117 Pages

Give it a reading and attend the discussion in about an HOUR.

Here is the link:

Yale Historical Review - Spring 2014

Hours and Rejections Rumble in

We are all working since 9.00 am. No break so far in the last 3.20 hours - without tea or coffee. Total number of people present 13 - Raeesa's essay has the distinction of being the first essay in the season to be REJECTED. Also rejected 7 research proposals of Ahsanul Kabir, 1 supplementary essay of Khairul, and send another 2 essays back to their owners - Sowmma and Ishmum - for second draft. Looks like these last 2 essays are also heading towards disasters. 

Not a first Draft - Communique from College of Wooster

Hello Sir,

I hope you are in good health. I regret not emailing you earlier but I voluntarily decided not to. Not that there was scarcity of work- first week of college and I spent two entire night working. My course load this semester has hit maximum that the college allows, and I can see why load beyond this is only permitted by Dean's consent. I wanted to have – ah, well, more material – as it comes to my mind – to write to you. 

The courses I will have this semester are 1) Calculus Physics I; 2) Calculus and Analytic Geometry I; 3) Philosophy: Ethics, Justice and Society; 4) First Year Seminar (FYS): How to Crush college; and 5) Global Engagement Seminar (an interdepartmental 8 week course). From the sight and value of it, this is indeed a diverse academic engagement for me. My FYS advisor- who is also going to be my academic advisor till I declare a major- is a neuroscientist and so in this course I will be learning about effective learning strategies and their relation to response and the changes of brain functions. So basically I will learn the art of learning. This is indeed very instrumental for my overall learning process, rather than just a course in college. The classes are engaging, and it is amazing to see how much the class content and discussion are propelled by student discussion and interaction- of course this is not the case for Physics and Math- where there are not things to "argue" about at this stage. But within the first week of the philosophy class we have covered Plato's Republic, Feinberg's take on Psychological egoism, Benedict's Moral Relativism, and the most recent one is Mackie's The Argument for Queerness. My roommate is also taking the same philosophy course with a different professor; it is surprising to see how different professors have included different philosophers for the perspective for ethics and society. However, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx are quite omnipresent- Karl Marx kind of being the topic by which all teachers will end this semesters. The Global Engagement Seminar Class actually has no book- just online reading and class discussions. Sometimes there will be presentations of authors of books, attending which will be a part of our course- and this year the general theme is on China. 

At this point, it may seem weird for a prospective Math and Physics major to be talking of only courses that are so different in the nature of their disciplines - but I guess technical subjects demand more time to be actually more inclusive of "our wisdom". However, the start has been rough, but not at all dull. One thing I have found out that it is hard to be inclusive of both the empirical and non-empirical mode of thinking and be a friend of both. At this point I do not know if I can pursue both- but liberal arts do allow the flexibility to choose, which I am glad of.  

One thing I would regret is to not making a writing graded paper or research paper, cause the emphasis that they put on writing is beyond imagination. My first two Math assignments have been ESSAYS! Thus, the experiences of Anglophiles remain treasured, and I never realized till now, how much I would be willing to sacrifice at this point for someone to scream "Rejected", cause now it is quite upon me to realize what to reject, although the support systems in the college is great. Yet, it is more official rather than the intimate aura of the Anglophiles class. Nostalgia has never served me well, so this is what I will skip also this time. But Anglophiles has been a steep curve in the learning stage in my life- both the academic and the non academics. Although things here seem very intense, I can feel that my learning curve is headed not only to a steeper graph, but can start roughly close to where I have left. Nevertheless, it is hard to determine the end of the path for Anglophiles, for following the blog is still quite a routine activity for me. Maybe this is one of those things that do not fit into my model of a graph and demand more than quantitative assessment. Maybe the experiences I am leaving behind along the trail WHERE every minute will be best determined in the distant retrospect. I can only determine the empirical worth of Anglophiles at this point, but the non empirical one is also one I would continue to speculate about before coming to my "version" of it. 

Nevertheless, I can see that the application process is going really intense- sometimes I do grow a feeling of jealousy over the variety of readings that they are going through. This is, maybe, one of those things that one can be able to understand fully in retrospect- and the people going through the intense work may not be sharing my sentiments at this point. However, the worth of these things is very tangible and "empirical" in nature- so I wish the ongoing batch best of luck. At this point, I will avoid spending any more of your time. I will be keeping in regular contact, once I get a tighter grip on my time management skills. 



P.S. This has not been my first draft …

Saturday, 30 August 2014

100 Hours

Starting from tomorrow Sunday, we will work towards a 100 Working Hours in the next 10 days. It could be even a little longer in terms of TOTAL hours. I intend to finish a few MUST-do items. 

As part of the 100 WH, you are all required to keep your social media profiles at a hibernation state. After the passing of 100 WH, this restriction shall be waived.

Friday, 29 August 2014

DOUBLE Tough Bites - Philosophy of Technology

I would like all of you to access this article. It would be one of the toughest bites you have taken so far.

Critical Theory of Technology
Introduction to Theory of Technology - Van Dusek

Few Missing from 4.35 Hour Class Today

In spite of my best efforts, few of you had been absent. I was informed of possible absences of the following 4 persons. The rest were absent on their own. They will face Hard Questions when we meet.

Tasneem (Informed) -  I have recorded the full talk as sound file (4.35 min /190 MB)
Saiti (Informed)
Kaushik (Un-informed)
Anik (Un-informed)
Istiak (Un-informed)
Shahreer (Un-informed)

Being a Communist or Not - To be or not to be...

This would make an excellent companion piece with Hamlet (Shakespeare's of course). The identity of the writer has been withdrawn for (un)understandable reasons. 

Dear Sir,
I went through the communist manifesto. To understand the whole text I need to read it a bit slower but whatever I have read, it was just fabulous. Marx has already given an indication of the neoliberal thinking to arise and its impact on science. I have noted down one such part: "The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers." His words, his concept are just too great and I have made one decision. I want to turn into a communist, although I do not want others to know this. I want to be more of the Amartya Sen style of following communism but blending well with the different economics and social school of thoughts.
In my being a communist, as I do not know almost anything about it, I need your help to enlighten my mind on communism. And I found the solution to the science and humanities men reduction problem. We simply have to incorporate the Marxist ideas with those of neo-liberalism in such a manner that the neo-liberalists would not understand it yet the ideas will be incorporated, again the Amartya Sen way. I need to talk to you about the next step.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Friday Class Tomorrow - at 8.00 am

Bring TWO things for tomorrow's Class (8.00 - 1.00):
  1. Stress Book
  2. Log Book
Do please take a substantial breakfast.
Send me attendance confirmation through sms/mail.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Anglophiles Schedule for Thursday and Friday

Thursday:      C L O S E D
Friday:          8.00 - 9.30 Vocabulary
                    9.30 - 1.00 Lecture on Art, Society, Technology, History, THEORY, Film, Aesthetics, and POETRY
Saturday:      8.00 - 12.00 GRE/SAT Essay Writing + Vocabulary

Tagore's Dance Drama and Neo-liberalist Resistance - few MORE tasks

The other day we were discussing a possible link between a retrograde connection between Tagore and Neo-liberalism. My line of argument was based on Tagore's insistence on ecstatic and passionate living through the first few lines of his "চন্ডালিনী" where the yogurt-seller depicts a life in pastoral happiness - more in line with the Virgil's (Roman) Georgics. I asked Afsara to access these on-line and keep working on other related matters.

I have also been asking everyone to follow the compilation of works assigned in the last one month (previous to this current week). The compilation was done by Oni, from who I had been expecting to see a large amount of reports - which are yet to arrive.

Yesterday TUESDAY, we worked on a whole range of issues with Rakeen, Rakibul, Abhijeet, Rafi, Ishmum, Tapojit, Oni, Abhijeet. Today, I will be sitting with only Kaushik and Saikat. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Works Assigned Yesterday + TODAY

A Mail Delivered


How are you doing? I hope you aren't already worn out of the rigorous application process. I am doing great here, Wabash is absolutely amazing. The resources available to the students here are unimaginable, if we had those resources during our applications I'm pretty sure a few of our class could have easily gotten in to Ivy Leagues - if not all. 

I have recently found out about a 3/2 program here. This program requires students to finish a major and a minor here at Wabash in 3 years - although not all the prerequisites for graduation - and then moving to Columbia University for another degree. So, it is basically a dual degree, so I was hoping I would major in Econ and Minor in Computer Science or something from Wabash and move on to Columbia and get another degree in Financial Engineering. So basically, I'll have two degrees from two different universities. It is a great opportunity if one can make it in the first place, but there is a requirement to it, I will have to keep my GPA above 3.3 throughout these three years to guarantee admission to Columbia. 

I was very reluctant to apply to Wabash - to be honest - to begin with, but now that I am beginning to discover the career opportunities here I am absolutely amazed. Moreover, most of the international students here scored more than 2000 in their SATS, they have amazing grades in high school too, which once again proves that Anglophiles is the only reason I'm here today. University application essays can do all sorts of wonders to one's application, and in no way are grades that important. 

I will keep you updated on more things sir. I cannot thank you enough for everything you've done for me. I will forever be indebted to you sir, if I had to do the application and SAT process again with the same people, honestly, I would most definitely do it again, although I wouldn't be up for the pre-rejection phase - waking up in the middle of the night to check the e-mail and anticipating an acceptance - which was the worst wait in the world, also having that sense of uncertainty at the back of my head. If there was a way to just attend your lectures, to have that magical experiences again, I swear I would do anything just to be there and sit throughout your class.  

Best regards,

Battle Strategies: Three Stages

In the first five/six weeks, I went ahead with full 'blitzkrieg'-style offense. It ended in self-injury. In the second wave, I used a sly policy - I suddenly became friendlier, more accessible, more softer version of a person who is easily manipulable - but this strategy failed too BECAUSE most of the research interests I have tried to instill into your minds - did NOT produce any results. Is there any exception? NO.

Therefore, I took the last available course - the same thing that a wounded soldier does in the battlefield - I am now on the run for a retreat. But at the same time I am aware that I have to save my skin from future accusations of FAILURE - therefore, I will SECRETLY make my choice of 3 - I want to make sure that these 3 will get good admission to TOP Colleges.

However, there is still a segment left - a kind of "hope beyond of all hope" - a case of hopeless optimism.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Seminar Mini-Review & Class Timing for Monday

I have to begin the class at 8.00 am and end at 12.30 pm. There will be a lot of work tomorrow. However, I specifically want to work with those who have NOT met me in the last 5 days.

Please notify me your attendance through emails OR sms.

Following is a short review of my assessment of the discussions that was generated in the Seminar in the 22nd and 23rd August. The text has been prepared by Saiti.

  • Every activity, every human endeavor, every private and collective dream and personal dream ( sub conscious repressed wishes) have been reduced to nothing but fodder for the marketplace. The problem is NOT that the marketplace has become quintessentially the singular denominator (demon) of our acts and wishes and visions - but that, this market exists by means of exclusionary method ( for example, the concept of private property, corporate ownership, market dominance etc) that can only be understood as a series of privileges allowed only to a few select dehumanized organizations controlled by humans trained into a cult of ruthlessness.

The Seminar and its Aftermath

I was planning to write a detailed report on the last two days of Seminar held in the Senate Building of Dhaka University. Before I attempt any such thing it would be more appropriate to record our presence here.

Except for 4 current year students [Afsara, Tapojit, Marisha, Khairul], who are in Dhaka, the entire class was present on the first day. Your presence was significant on two accounts - one of the stated targets of the Seminar was to reach out to young people and enunciate a 'creative engagement' among the thinking people, and thus your presence ensured that. On a more specific level - the participation of the Seminar was meant to bring home the idea that what we are discussing in the CLASS is in no way Isolated - rather, our class is a part of the larger social discourse that is going on all over the world.

On a personal level I have also attempted something unprecedented - this is for the first time that the Anglophilites were introduced with the 'subversive' OR 'counter-ideological praxis' that exists in our society [although the grownups are always so careful not to 'expose' us to these things - because they think that our social and personal goals shall be adversely affected]. It was very satisfactory thing for me to be able to 'show' that 'intellectually significant' people are VIOLENTLY engaged in such discourses - and that they are NOT professionally un-successful.

There would be a large number of things I would like you to take notice from this Seminar. I will add more of these things in the next 3 days. Hope that it will bring more things to your notice.  

Thursday, 21 August 2014

2 Short Notes by 2 Students

First one is by Ahnaf and the second one is Rakibul:
  1. I was at Hyderabad for Harvard MUN which I had already registered for last year. It has been a major learning experience as I was a delegate to the disarmament and security council which has allowed for knowledge in the social humanities field to grow which I feel is crucial for the essays. Also it was quite interactive as we were chaired by Harvard students who gave us insights similar to ones by Anglophiles alumni in Dhaka.
  2. I have read The Paper Boys, continued with River of Smoke, read Philosophy of Physics: A very short introduction (Oxford University Press) as well as practiced maths and physics for my A2 course. The most important thing is that I did 2 to 3 tasks simultaneously at a time and I have figured out that this multitasking which I have practiced for the past few days introduced me to a very interesting ability. I have developed the ability to read faster than before. I just move my eyes through the text and note down some words and phrases that appeal to me in my mind and I concentrate on the parts which I felt to be summaries of the paragraphs. In this way I am being able to read the items at a quicker rate as well as devour as much information as I can. Though this is not giving me a wide information on the topics I am reading this is allowing me to finish a lager amount of tasks than before.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Schedule for 3 days - Thursday + Friday + Saturday

This is to inform EVERYONE that our class has now entered a completely NEW phase with the introduction of individual assignments for almost each of the students. I will SOON post a list of individual assignments to make sure that you understand your individual works properly. I should also inform that I am somewhat satisfied with the general level of progress with Reading Items and Reports. [Do not be under the impression that everyone is working fine - a few of you are still falling behind the right kind of SPEED - and I am keeping track of everyone's work and - REMEMBER, when I swoop on you, I shall show no dignity. Therefore, please work for your life. 
Thursday, 21 Aug - I will be in class and will ONLY meet Shahriar, Rakeen, Shabbir and probably 2 others [let me know whom I supposed to meet.]

Friday, 22 Aug - We all attend [First Day attendance is MANDATORY] the Seminar on Neo-liberalism at the Dhaka University Senate Hall. Please collect your Invitation Card and Program Schedule from me at the Venue Entrance. Everyone shall make a Contributory Registration Fee of 500/- Taka to be paid at the VENUE. Includes lunch + evening snacks & tea at the Senate Cafeteria. 

Saturday, 23 Aug - We attend the Seminar for the Second day [second day attendance is optional] from 9.00 am till 1.30 pm

Sunday, 24 Aug - Class Closed [Work at home]
Monday, 25 Aug - Regular Class Resumed - work for SAT-II Maths

I am very SATISFIED with the pace of progress with MOST of you. Please maintain this for another MONTH and the job is done. 

Harvard Business Review - Read and Report

The following items will be accessed by ONLY those who have been assigned with the task. Zeenat (GRE) will take care of a discussion based on the following readings.

What is Harvard Case Studies
Case Interview Guide - A US Gov Initiative
Sodexo Solution [Harvard Case Study]
Why Transformations Fail - HBR Classic
The Sure Thing [HBR]
Health Technologies in Poor Countries

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tomorrow's Class Opens at 9 am

We shall start our day at 9.00 am TOMORROW instead of regular 8.00 am.

If anyone of you have attended Today's BIRDEM seminar - do please inform and send a short review.

It seems that only 3 of you have attended the above Seminar - I have already received 3 review reports, each of which speak very highly of the quality of the Seminar. I also have the Seminar Folder that includes TWO research papers published in New England Journal of Medicine AND Journal of Psychiatry. Interested students are requested to collect the articles from me.    

Monday, 18 August 2014

Seminar Rescheduled - Friday & Saturday

Students are requested to join the following seminar.
§  Main Theme: Neoliberalism in South Asia
§  Number of total Sessions: Six [4 Sessions 1st Day + 2 Sessions 2nd day]
 [1st day from 9.00 am - 8.00 pm and 2nd day from 9.00 am - 1.30 pm] 
§  Papers Presentation: Eminent Writers, Thinkers, Intellectuals of different Universities and Research Centers in Bangladesh  
§  Venue: Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Auditorium (Dhaka University)
§  Location of Venue: Take the Entrance of Dhaka University Muhsin Halland ask anyone to show you Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Auditorium. 

You are encouraged to make contribution (2000/- and upwards) to the following Bank Account. Do submit your receipt with me.

Prime Bank (Bongshal Branch)
Shakti Bidyalaya (Banglar Pathshala)
A/C 12221060005560

Works Assigned in the last ONE Month (Compiled by Hasan Irtiza)

July 10
Dr. Zhivago and Sunflower
“Private life is dead”

July 21
What Matters ?

July 28
River of Smoke (assigned to Rakibul)

July 30
Irtija: Moby Dick
Ishmum: Sophie’s World
Tasneem: Anna Akhmatova (Russian Poet)

July 31
Picture of Dorian Gray
Colonial Enlightenments
Manifesto of Communist Party

August 1
Zia Haider in NYR

August 3
Heart of Darkness
Sophie’s World

August 9
Work List/ Reading Items:
Moby Dick
Hungry Tides
Museum of Innocence
Nagib Mahfuz
How to become a Man of Genius
Poem – An Unknown Citizen / To his Coy Mistress / The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

August 16
Problems of Philosophy
Wuthering Heights

August 17
My Antonia
Ancient Greece

My Previous 3 Conversations with Prachy

that's great encouragement Sir!

On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 11:11 PM, Anglophiles Office <> wrote:
I spent the four hours between 6pm and 11 pm to read at least 8 or 9 books at a time - all on Poet nazrul. In fact I have already finished two and the rest I shall finish in the next 72 hours. 

Your process is actually a very advanced technique!!!

Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2014 15:03:01 +0600
Subject: update for week's assignment

My urgency to finish this week's work has led me to start reading Sophie's World and Heart of Darkness at the same time. I don't know if that's a bad way to read books (if there was actually a "bad" way, that is). But I must say Sophie's World seems incredibly charming so I hope I'll be able to finish with it sooner. I'm TRYING not to panic!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Certain Individual Assignments - Greece and My Antonia

I will be posting some individual assignments - in case some of you would like to take a look. Here is one PDF on Greek Civilization. The book covers the period between the birth of Greek city states to the end of Macedonian reign. Very preliminary reading - but absolutely entertaining. One can finish the book in 3-4 hours - provided your phones and FB is turned off. The SECOND book is a southern novel My Antonia - it is an absolute treat in reading - lucid, soft, easy and romantic - full of nostalgia - one feels growing up at the end of the reading. Go for both. Follow the Links below and Godspeed!

Ancient Greece - 193 Pages
My Antonia - Novel    

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Today and Yesterday - Philosophy and Wuthering Heights

A huge difference. I feel like working a "Wheel of Fire", a phrase G. Wilson Knight to describe King Lear's understanding of pain and suffering.

I have worked with a large number of people today, none any impressive - Tapojit, Ishmum, Rakeen, Rakibul, Afsara, Tasneem, Adib, Saiti, Rashif, Abhijeet, Zeenat, Raisa, Wrikhesh. You are requested to work on the following Mandatory Reading Items:
  1. Problems of Philosophy [link here Russell's "Problems" ]
  2. Wuthering Heights [link here Wuthering Heights ]
Today I will also post all necessary items that Adib will work on in the next 3 weeks. Everyone else should follow the same. But again, here is a synopsis of Russells's Problems -

Click the link - Russell's Problems Simplified

And a very interesting article that you'll have to read alongside Metamorphosis. 

Click the link - The Paper Boys 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Saturday - Tomorrow Timetable

We start tomorrow at7.30 am and continue till 6.30 pm. You can come any time in-between.

Must bring LAPTOP

Today I had one of the MOST fruitful class with the following people: Ishmum, Tasneem, Tapojit, Khairul, Rakibul, Raisa, and Shibli. I am very alarmed to say that all the BARKING is now showing some solid response. Is it not encouraging me to go for more such harassment? You must take this into account. I have been able to make some absolutely stunning propositions. Not only there had been some solid research assignments - but also, which is even far more important - there had been significant intellectual response and opening up of minds. I am tempted to give a few samplers:
  1. Tasneem was given further input for her paper. A little puzzled she looked, but curious.
  2. Ishmum has been given a task which he comprehends most perfectly. I am myself interested in his project outcome.
  3. Tapojit was given a task - I am hardly be able to contain my excitement to hear what he will tell me tomorrow.
  4. Khairul had been given an assignment which is something he was unprepared for - a most daunting task, I will say - results will be decided by tomottow.
  5. Raisa had been given some SOFT work - but I am currently sharpening my teeth for tomorrow.
  6. Rakibul has already mailed me about today's findings regarding his own position.
I am almost feeling boastful. Tomorrow our verbal communication will be minimum - mostly to be done through slip-notes.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Thursday MOCK - SAT II

Tomorrow morning we will start our MOCK on SAT-II at 7.00 am. Those who can make it at 7.00 am will arrive then. Everyone is requested to attend by 8.00 am SHARP.

Please bring KAPLAN Books (alternately, Princeton) for Mock. After the mock we shall sit for Application Processing works for an additional 2 hours. Those who will be able to make it should come with LAPTOP.

On FRIDAY there will be a SECURITY Cordon around Road 32. Therefore, we start our meetings at 10.00 am instead of early in the morning. 

MOCKS and Publication of Results - AS and A2

It's the second day of Mock at Anglophiles and it is with much curiosity I had been watching my students reacting/responding to their recently published results. The turnout and fervor for Mock Tests is definitely lower than yesterday. However, there is no denying the fact that THOSE who will have the Wisdom and Patience to ignore temporary setbacks and THOSE who will concentrate on Life's Bigger Goals - shall reap the fruits - BUT not in the way you foresee. It will be in the manner of greater understanding of the WORLD you live in, greater empathy for the people who you see everyday and who you do not see everyday, a greater acceptance of your responsibility as a young person with a huge opportunity lying before you.

So, nothing is going to dissuade you from the course you have already set yourself to. And you should NOT work for anything less than an acceptable end by the end of this year. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Washing Cups - Wash Person (WP) - "Washing, Rinsing, Arranging"

Cup-washing has become a sort of ritualistic here at Anglophiles. Last year, in an incident the wash-person was so overwhelmed by this offer of 'washing' that he failed to arrange the CUPS in an order that takes a huge amount of facts-possibilities-outcomes. The wash-person would later become one of the best 'server' - I tried with WP's skill and was satisfied. This has happed in so many ways to so many of you - I just wish you did NOT miss the point of "washing, rinsing, and arranging." The following mail (a little shortened) is from Inzamum (Sydney), who sent it just yesterday.  

I usually have some spare time in the weekend. Last time, six of us had been to Clayton beach. Usually, after Friday we go to some Iraqi, Lebanese or Arabian restaurant to celebrate the end of the tiring week. And every weekend I go to my uncle's house and bring containers filled with food, which relieves me from cooking for two next days. About the application, I think we have got to complete the personal statement for UCAS. My exam will be over by 10th November and I think we need to complete it earlier if we go for ED. So I think it's better if I write the drafts and email you for feedback.

I miss washing cups with Kaushik – although I do it much more everyday here.

Monday, 11 August 2014

First MOCK Tomorrow - 12 August

12 Aug = SAT-I Mock

I did NOT receive any information from some of you. You are required to send me mails and inform whether you are able to attend MOCK or NOT.

The First Mock to be attended by the following - suggest your preferred timing through SMS/email.

[7.30 am - 11.30 --- Wrikhesh, Rakibul, Adib, Soumma, Prachi, Sumik, Zereen, Anik, Tapojit, Afsara] Tasnem will attend at 10 am. 
[1.00 pm - 5.00   --- Ajmaeen, Rakeen, Fahim, Raisa, Swati, Nawajesh]

Bring these:
  1. Pencils [4 in numbers]
  2. Official SAT Book - 1
  3. Water Bottle [500 ml]

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Today's Work-Review and Tomorrow's Invitation

I would rather say that today was one of the most productive day in the last few weeks - just FIVE of us were here and we had the privilege of having Hasnat (Wabash College) with us [Prachi, Anik, Adib, Tapojit] for more than 2 hours.
Apart from working with a few technical issues of CA, we discussed how we can prepare for the next 3 weeks. I should also remind everyone to send me your preferred time for the 4 days of MOCK starting with 12th August.

I wish to meet following people - provided they will make themselves available - Afsara, Rakeen, Ajamaeen, Istiak, Rakibul, Zereen. If someone else wants to join - you will have to inform by an SMS/email. Tomorrow's class will require Laptop.

Another Student Report - Swift's Modest Proposal - from Raisa

I have to admit that the outrageous amount of task that you have assigned to us seems to be less achievable by the day. I have decided to send you my opinion on probably the shortest reading assigned among the ocean of work bestowed upon us - may the Almighty truly bless us at this point. 

Intellectuals have been protesting against political cruelties throughout history in the best possible way - writing. Jonathan Swift has done nothing different, yet his style of reproach is completely out of the general order. Swift's brief essay was not only the outcome of the troubled time during the 1700's when England was basically holding Ireland under oppression, but it was also targeted to the ordinary, yet more privileged citizens of Ireland who had reciprocated the harshness to the poor. The writer's various 'research' and calculations to propose a use for underprivileged children is nothing but ridicule. But, it does not fail to make the reader realize that the impact of various English and Irish actions is no less immoral than slaughtering one-year-old babies and devouring their flesh. 

It is crystal clear that Jonathan Swift has the deepest sympathies for begging women with multiple children, for whom they cannot provide. Moreover, he finds it unfortunate that these children cannot contribute to the society even when they grow up and end up as beggars themselves. It is a vicious cycle of poverty. He critically analyses the condition of these people who are the ultimate sufferers of the evils presented to the country, and suggests slaughtering babies as a solution. It does not require much thought to say that the essay is directed to England. I think that along with Swift's aggravation towards the English, this piece is objected towards the failure of Irish politicians as well. It cannot be denied that two hands are always required for clapping. 

What intrigues me the most about the essay, however, is the casual tone in which the writer speaks of roasting and boiling babies. As if this is no abnormal a notion, no matter how much dark sarcasm is present in it. He does mention that his concept might be cruel, but that he has thought of all other propositions as being so. No matter how 'well-intended' the policies of the politicians and rulers are, he has always had the 'strongest objection' against them. I like how Jonathan Swift analyses the situation of the country is the most micro level possible - he has even referred to landlords 'devouring' parents. Therefore he does not see anything wrong in eating babies and skinning them for rags. There is no problem is discarding the aged and diseased as well, since they rot and die anyway. The extremely ironic tone of the author lets us know that all else has failed. 

The most important reason of this essay, as I would like to think, is portraying the economic inefficiency that has been lead to due to the lacking of the right leadership. Jonathan Swift has truly tried my patience while reading the essay, since reading about boiling and roasting babies is something nobody would be pleased about in their right minds. On the other hand, it is like a bucket of cold water thrown on the face. Although written about the Irish crisis in the 1700s, I do not think anybody would fail to relate to the essay. The poor struggle due to the decisions of the power and wealth-hungry leaders and there is not much anybody does about it - not that anybody CANNOT do anything about it. 

I am glad that you have assigned such a read to the class. I believe every person should take a little time out of their day to read this essay and come to their senses. 

Thank you, 


Sophie's World - A Report from Prachi

The following report has been presented without any significant editing. I find it very much to MY Taste. I liked the report for its unconventional approach to the entire THING. I thought that you ALL would enjoy to some extent - if not entirely. And Oh yes - this is just the 1st part. Hope to receive more from her. 

The book starts off with the same charm that it could strongly retain throughout. If one wasn't informed that this was a philosophy book, it'd have felt just like reading a down-to-earth story about the slow-paced, mysterious life of Sophie Amundsen. The writer efficiently paved the path towards an actual fact-based philosophy lesson. 

Once a topic was disclosed, it was very hard to stop reading, mainly because something dormant in my mind was forced to stir up and question itself, and everything around it. From the beginning of the human race we were born with intuition. Somehow midst the transparent habits that society induced us with (thank you Sophists!), it seems that intuition can in those unfortunate cases, be buried. 

The most confusing thing that I came across in this book was: upon understanding the different ways with which these philosophers tried to figure out this world, each and every one of them seemed to make sense, and I found myself nodding in humble agreement. Yet, as the writer was done talking about one, he immediately brought about another concept to shatter the previous one. For instance, when Plato believed that everything has an universal 'form' that was unchangeable and perfect in its flow and which everything we saw, followed (Hence horses are horses and humans are humans (rather than hu-rses)); in trots Aristotle, flipping the concept on its head and expressing that maybe everything that exists, exists in different categories, from which they acquire that 'form'. It's confusing because they seem so right in the beginning! 

I made sure that I thought independently over the initial questions that came before each lesson, and some that baffled me were: "Do you believe in Fate?" - (To an extent.. but then what happens of free will? Or is it an illusion?). "Is sickness the punishment of the gods?" (If we were intervened by divine power in this life, then what of its purpose? So, no? But what of “karma” then?!) "Decide whether you think that man has an eternal soul."- (not a question, but.. if everything takes on a specific immutable 'form' or a 'form' dictates the creation of a flow of everything, isn't the soul a subject to it? Or are we just referring to this mystery as a 'soul' because some logical-biological explanation hasn't crossed our minds yet? But (!) eternal bliss sounds so irresistible, the soul has to be immortal.)

The pace of the book is very comforting. It's helpful to have almost all the difficult concepts take different forms in terms of numerous examples and allowing the time for the information to seep in and be engraved onto the brain. Each time that the author touches upon the story of a great philosopher's life, consciousness feels elevated and the presumed convictions I had seem to be slightly shaken. (No immortal soul? What is an immortal soul?) There's also great diversity in the book that fascinated me, it only depended on the way you looked at it. It can easily be a history book with the accounts of Alexander the Great, the birth of Christianity, the long chain of great men that emerged from the line of Socrates himself. It can be a book for the peace and affirmation of the soul, or the denunciation of one. It can be a passionate book on Sophie's little mysteries or the fluttering life of a teenager. 

If one observed closely, this book was so carefully written that a firm bridge between the world of philosophy and the world of science can be drawn. From the element theories of Parminedes or Empedocles to the atom theory of Democritus, it seemed, if not from anywhere else, they paved the way towards those great discoveries Man has been making now, while denouncing some philosophers as unimportant. Yet (!), their passion rests on the same pillow. 

P. S.

The first thing about this book that made me almost empathize with the excitement of a toddler was when my assumptions chanced on this: "philoSOPHY'S world" (?)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Last Two Days - Works done in the Class for Application

In the last two days - I had been able to work with some of you regarding preparation for Application. I will be expecting a few others tomorrow - who had not worked in the last two days. It is expected that the following people will be here by 8.00 am for work.

Prachi, Tasneem, Anik, Ajmaeen, Nawajesh, Fahim, and Adib.

In the last two days - we had been able to do some planning regarding ECA, Main Essay for CA, Research Papers, Research Proposals, and College Choices. It is hoped that by the end of this month we will be able to produce at least 3 FULL Application Packs that will be ready for sending. 

Work LIST for the next 3 Days

List of work for four days (8Th to 12th) – Reports to be submitted by the 12th

Reading Items:
§  Moby Dick – Herman Melville [mandatory]
§  Hungry Tides (Amitabh Ghosh) /Lowland (Jhumpa Lahiri) [either of the two]
§  Museum of Innocence (Orhan Pamuk) – MANDATORY [Pirated books available in Nilkhet]
§  Nagib Mahfuz – Everything about the author and all his work (especially on Cairo, Egypt)
§  Snow Country – Yasunari Kawabata [online PDF available]
§  How to become a Man of Genius – Bertrand Russell
§  A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
§  Unknown Citizen – Auden (poem)
§  To his Coy Mistress – Marvell (poem)
§  The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock – T. S. Eliot (poem)

[এগুলো সত্যজিত রায় এর ছবি]

-         অরণ্যের দিনরাত্রি  
-         চারুলতা   
-         মহানগর

Friday, 8 August 2014

Next 2 Weeks - Works and Days

 We could NOT have started this 2 weeks earlier than this time. There was this 'uncertainty' of students' attendance and there would be this pressure for fasting and festival. I did not receive any signal that would give me a signal that it was the time. So, we are now here - almost mid-August. No student so far has reported finishing the mandatory 7 readings from STRESS-BOOK. Instead of wailing and begging (on my part) - it would be much better if we set DEADLINES for finishing the works and get it done by that time. Every excuse for NOT finishing the task with be dealt with COLD LOOK (on my part). Since we have figured out Mock-dates, find the dates here again. 

8 Aug = Application Work Starts [Saity, Marisa, Raisa]
9 Aug = Application Work cont. [Tasneem - Saiti - Afsara - Soumma - Raisa - Marisa - Zeenat - Tapojit - Ritwik]
10 Aug = Application Work cont. [Coming SOON!] Suggestion required!
11 Aug = Application Work cont. [Attended by - Wrikhesh, Swati, Rakibul, Fahim, Soumma, Raisa, Kaushik, Rakeen, Ajmaeen]
12 Aug = SAT-I Mock [7.30 am - Wrikhesh, Swati, Rakibul, Soumma, Raisa, Kaushik] [1.00 pm - Ajmaeen, Rakeen, Fahim] 
13 Aug = SAT-I Mock [Two Sessions > 7.30 am -  & 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm]
14 Aug = SAT-II (Math II, Physics, Chem, Bio) Mock [Two Sessions > 7.30 am -  & 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm]
15 Aug = SAT-I Mock [Two Sessions > 7.30 am -  & 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm]
16 and 17 = Math DAY
19 Aug and 20 Aug Application Materials Preparation
20 Aug = Review DAY for SAT Mocks
21, 22, 23 = Seminar on Neo-Liberalism at Dhaka University R. C. Majumdar Auditorium

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Wednesday NO Class - Thursday WHOLE Day Class

Wednesday [tomorrow] there will be NO class/meeting. Instead we will have a FULL day meeting on Thursday [7 Aug, 2014] from 7.30 am till 6.30 pm.

This is to request that you keep an eye on the BLOG today as I finalize who comes at what time - shall attend highest 8 students at any given time. The Time-slots available are as follows:

7.30 am - 11.30 am [Saiti, Anik, Marisa, Swati, Ajmaeen]
9.30 am - 2.30 pm [Afsara, Raisa, Adib, Ritwik, Rakeen, Zereen, Rakibul, Rafi, Prachi, Tasneem]
2.00 pm - 6.30 pm {this option will be unavailable except for the students who have already joined in the morning sessions.}

Soumma is NOT coming. The rest of the students are yet to REPORT Timing.

You can send me your preference by EMAIL ONLY by tonight. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

A Pile of Mails at my Inbox

I have a pile of unanswered mails. In the meantime I want ALL of you - EVERY One of you to send me further mails based on readings posted on this BLOG in the last ONE Week.

Those who have sent me mails are - 
  1. Shoumma
  2. Ahsanul Kabir - Metamorphosis [so, so quality]; have been sending me at least 3 separate mails based on his readings of Robert Grave - I have already mailed him about this. 
  3. Sumik Ahmed
  4. Prachy Mahbub - have sent a large number of mails covering diverse topics - impressive volume and content. 
  5. Saiti - a very well drafted submission on Ek-din-achanak.
  6. Rafiuzzman - too much of 'will do' kind of mails. Too little of volume 
  7. Saikat - Doing very good in terms of consistency in sending mails. However, I have already told him that it is time that he starts working on BIG Ideas!
  8. Afsara - sent a report on Behaviorism and Nuroscience. Not very inspired OR Ambitious in her approach. Later she sent a report on Feminism - again I find the report long but UN-inspired.
  9.  Tapojit - took too MUCH of Literality of my suggestion that reports can be based on one's own thoughts. NOW what he has done this time is just MADNESS - bringing Nazi and Germans in his discussion of Dorian Grey - where the novel hardly features. SAD that one should do such outrageousness to oneself. In frustration, I have forwarded a writing REPORT submitted by one of our students to Tapojit.
  10. Adib - Your report on Behaviourism is hardly anything other than some NAME-dropping. Strangely, the report on FEMINISM was much more articulate and based on personal response about feminism and its ideals. Report on Neuroscience is again mediocre. No additional research done - no convept building how this could be linked with modern day developments in science and technology. 
  11. Istiak - report on Metamorphosis is outrageously SLIM. It seems he is now ready for a RED Day with me - so much of lack of motivation!
  12. Zeenat - wrote her first report on Catcher in the Rye - one of the ICONIC novels that came out about American youth. 
  13. Rakeen - reported on Manifesto of Communist Party - looks very good - but my concern is that WILL this rudimentary interest in the text will develop into a full-fledged interrogation of the political ideology of the west in the last 150 years? The writing does NOT show such a HUGE promise.
  14. THOSE who did NOT send me any substantial report in the last few 24 hours are:
  • Tasneem - ?
  • Raisa - never sent me a report of even moderate quality [I will make sure she does, next time]
  • Marisha - ?
  • Ajmaeen - ? 
  • Rakibul - ?

Modern Physics Textbook

Modern Physics 5th Ed  - this link provides the book. The following is a summery-review of the book. Needs Editing. A Review of Mod...