Wednesday, 22 February 2017


LESSON-1                                            POST EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS      BY R.H. WOOD
·         It is a one act play which depicts the humorous incidents  in a village post office.
·         This story takes place in a Christmas season.
·         The theme of the play is centred on a parcel booked by a foreigner in the post office.
·         The news  of bombs in the parcels of some nearby post offices make the people fearful
·         It is this fear that made the panic situation more terrible.
·         They become more fearful by the tickling sound from one of the parcels.
·         The assistant of the Post Office calls the police.
·         The police confirm the presence of bomb in the parcel of the foreigner.
·         They immerse it in a bucket of water to defuse it.
·         The foreigner who returns to take his hat from the post office is astonished to see this.
·         It becomes very humorous when the foreigner reveals the truth that the parcel was not a bomb but a precious time piece.
·         The foreigner becomes angry and goes to meet the post master general to file a complaint.
·         In the end the assistant resigns job in the post office.

SUMMARY OF THE PLAY IN DETAIL: When the play begins we see a postal assistant recollects the previous day’s incidents. She remarks about her curious customers. But we see that this postal assistant never loses her temper. She behaves very politely to the customers. The first customer Mrs.Smith is a lady. She has rheumatical disease. She comes to buy stamps and a postal order. Next customer is Mrs.Jones.  She is an acquaintance of Mrs. Smith. She comes to post her Christmas presents. But she behaves very rudely. We find some other humorous characters who behave in a strange way to the postal assistant. There is the old gentleman and the fussy old lady. They too are funny customers. The deaf old man gives odd responses to the questions of the assistant. The old lady comes to the post office thinking that it is an animal clinic. The farmer in this play reveals the news about the time bomb inside a Christmas parcel in London. He warns that if there is bomb in the parcel, it will make tick sound. People in the post office become fearful. It is at this time, Mrs. Higgins and her son Bertie comes into the post office. Bertie behaves in a naughty manner. The play becomes more interesting when a foreign customer comes into the post office to send Christmas parcel to one of his friends. His repeated questions about the safety of his parcel really makes the story interesting.  The foreigner leaves the post office without taking his gloves. Bertie hears a tick sound from the tourist’s parcel. When others also confirmed it everybody becomes afraid. The farmer affirmed the parcel as real bomb. Then Bertie calls a policeman to the scene obeying his mother. At that time, the tourist again comes to the post office to take back his gloves. He is shocked to see the policeman. He requests the police man not to throw his parcel into the water. Everybody in the post office becomes very much afraid and they hide to escape explosion. At this time the tourist says that it is not a time bomb but just a clock.  The tourist becomes very much angry and goes to complaint about this. The assistant leaves the post office to work in animal dispensary. She is very sure that animals will never do silly things like men.
Model questions :-
1. Read the following excerpt from the play “Post Early for Christmas” : (SAY 2016 June)
(a)  Mrs. Jones  : I don’t want these presents damaged, miss, so please see that they are handled  very carefully.
     Assistant       : We’ll do our best madam………
(b)  Policeman   : Where are you off to, miss?
       Assistant      :  I am leaving the post office forever……
Now begin the conversation in the following manner.
(a) Mrs. Jones told the assistant that …………and ……………. . The Assistant replied that  ……………….   .
(b) Policeman asked …………………….
Assistant replied that …………………..
A) a)Mrs.Jones told the assistant that she didn’t want those presents damaged and requested to ensure that they were handled very carefully.  The Assistant replied that they would do their best.
b) Policeman asked the madam where she was off to. The assistant replied that she was leaving the post office forever.
2. The Literary Club of your School decides to enact the play “Post Early for Christmas” in connection with the school anniversary. Prepare a script for announcing the programme climax of the play.
A) The play, “Post Early for Christmas” has a village post office as its background. When the curtain rises, we can see a farmer who comes to the post office and gives news about the time bomb found in the post office in London. At this news everybody in the post office becomes afraid. At this time a ticking sound was heard from the parcel given by a foreigner. The people calls for the policeman.  People tell the policeman to deactivate the bomb. The policeman throws the parcel into a bucket of water. At this time the tourist re-enters the scene to take his forgotten glows. He tells them not to throw the parcel into water. He reveals the truth that it is a special clock for his friend. He gets angry with the employees in the post office and decides to inform the post master general. In the climax, the people in the post office realize the truth and the assistant leaves the post office to seek work in an animal dispensary.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen…….
The Literary club of ABC Public School proudly presents the humorous, entertainer and ever green play, “Post Early for Christmas” on 18th September 2016 in connection with the annual day celebrations of our School. This fantastic play is written by R H Wood, a British Dramatist and it is now directed by our dear teacher Navaneeth, a new- gen director. The play will be staged by the budding actors and actresses of our school. The venue of the play will be at our School auditorium at 2pm.
The play, “Post Early For Christmas” takes place inside a small post office in an English village. All the important incidents in the play centres on a parcel that is mistaken for a time bomb.  This play really makes the people aware of the foolishness they do in their daily life.
It would be really a feast for your eyes. Come and enjoy this play with your friends. You can have your tickets earlier from literary chairman.
Background and setting : Komala curtains
Light and sound : Savanna lights and sounds.
3. The following conversation from the play “Post Early for Christmas” gives us a picture of the fuss made by the people in a post office, in the name of a parcel. Read the conversation carefully and prepare two sentences giving suggestions to the Assistant so that she can handle the situation without panicking.
Farmer: If we don’t do something, you’ll find out soon enough, ma’am .
Gentleman: What’s all the fuss about?
Old Lady : It’s about a time bomb.
A) Dear Assistant, You should tell the customers not to be afraid of the time bomb.
     Dear Assistant, It’s better to make the people out from the post office. You ought to inform the police about the time bomb.
4. “Humour is what adds to the spice of life. It reduces the tedium of a tension-ridden existence and makes life healthier. If a sense of humour is developed as a perspective of life, even unpleasant experiences will become less problematic, thereby enhancing physical and emotional well-being. (The Lighter Side)
Write an essay on “Laughter is the best medicine”. (Hints: laughter is contagious-reduces stress response-boosts immunity-combats depression-relieves pain)
Laughter is the best medicine for all diseases. If we have happiness, we can approach all challenges of life in a pleasant way. It adds spice and taste to life. There should be no day in our life without smile.
One sincere smile can make many changes. It can convey many messages. Our smiling face sometimes will act as a boost for others. It will encourage them to do their duties with energy. Here we can see the contagious power of laughter. By smiling we can make new friendships. When we approach one with a good smile, it certainly creates smile on their face too.
Laughter reduces the tension and stress of our life. When we laugh we forget all our problems and it makes our life joyful. Even in an unpleasant condition laughter acts a s a medicine. It helps one to face the challenges of life very easily. If a sense of humour is developed as a perspective of life, we can prevent unnecessary quarrel.
Laughter also boosts our immunity power. By laughing our pleasure centres get activated. It will give us immense happiness and energy. It gives us mental health as well as physical health. If our minds are happy we can treat all diseases in a calm way. Thus laughter boosts immunity and keeps our emotional well-being. That’s why we say laughter expands our life span.
Laughter also helps us to escape from depression. Life is like a coin. It has two sides. Happiness as well as sorrow. It is only when we have humour sense we can treat everything in a balanced manner. It ensures a positive attitude to our life. Smile helps one to get relief from their painful situations of life and to pick up the burden with refreshment.
Let me conclude my essay saying that laughter can make a large difference in our life. It can change our perspective and thus helps to embrace everything that comes to our life. So let’s all laugh and be merry always. .
5.  “R.H Wood plays are well known for simplicity of language, dramatic settings and subtle presentation of stock characters.” Is this statement true with regard to the play “Post Early for Christmas”? Write an essay.
A) ‘Post Early for Christmas’ is a humorous and entertaining play written by R.H Wood. It is very much appreciable in its characterization and humour. The incidents in a post office create a big bang of laughter in the audience and readers. It is because of the simplicity and presentation of the characters in an appealing manner.
The whole incidents appear to be very common. It is very much related to common life situations. All the dialogues and behaviour of the characters are really funny and interesting. The assistant is the only one who seems to be normal there. Every other character has their own speciality . This evokes smile and laughter in us. The play appears to be very realistic and almost all the characters use simple ordinary language. Each of their words reflect their behaviour.
Much of the funny moments in the play are created by the gentleman and the old fat lady. They make the readers laugh with their comic dialogues. But farmer appears to be a different one. He involves in everything around him and misleads every one. Thus he makes controversies in the play. He frightens everybody in the post office by mentioning of a time tomb. The tourister also creates laughter with his dialogues. He appears to be a strange man from a foreign country. But in fact he was an innocent man without any wrong. The presentation of the characters in the play has helped to treat a normal event very seriously. The final scene clearly shows us the pathetic condition of the postal assistant who suffers too much from the customers. She even makes a comment that animals are more sensible than humans.
The dramatic settings also adds flavor to the play. All characters act in a realistic manner as to make the audience enjoy the play well. Even the board kept in the post office ‘Post Early for Christmas’ itself serves as a message of the play. It helps us to do everything earlier to avoid any delay and disappointment in life. The mistaken parcel as a time bomb and the related events are presented in a wonderful manner. As a whole everything in the play gives us a visual treat. Therefore it is justifiable to comment that R.H Wood plays are well known for simplicity of language, dramatic settings and subtle presentation of stock characters
Lesson-2                     THIS IS GOING TO HURT JUST A LITTLE BIT. By Ogden Nash

1. Write an appreciation of the poem, “This is Going to Hurt Just a Little Bit”

The poem, “This is going to hurt just a little bit”  written by Ogden Nash is a very funny poem. It is filled with exaggerations, puns and metaphors. It describes the feeling of a person going to a dentist. The poet portrays the unpleasant experience of sitting in a dentist chair with fear and terror.
In the beginning of the poem, the poet shares his unpleasant experience of sitting in a dentist chair. He expresses his dislike in opening his mouth wide open. Then he describes both physical and mental tortures related with it. He humorously attributes these tortures as dental. The poet also writes about the different ugly expressions made by patient’s fingers on his palm. It makes serious changes in one’s life line, love line or some other important line.
Next the poet compares one’s mouth to a damaged road where repair work is going on. The mouth appears to be a place with stone-crushers, concrete mixers, drills and steam rollers. All the more the nerves are seriously affected.
The poet now describes the polishing work which one thinks as demolishing work. This job is done terribly using a mirror. The poet compares the dentist to an Ursa. Both the dentist and a bear have same nature. The dentist digs the mouth to repair, the bear uses its fore- arms and pointed mouth to eat its prey. The dentist takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other. He polishes the mouth just like polishing a horse’s hoof.
Thus this poem highlights only the negative sides of pain to make the readers laugh. It treats the essential treatment in life as a difficult painful process. Though the pain one gets is quite natural the poet makes use of exaggeration to produce humour.
As this poem focuses on the bad effects it creates only a feeling of fear and terror in the readers. It never highlights the honest and careful work of a dentist.
1. Bring out the humour in the title “This is Going to Hurt a Little Bit” by Ogden Nash.
A)  The poem, “This is going to hurt just a little bit”  written by Ogden Nash. Since it describes the feeling of a person going to a dentist, the title is very apt. It describes the unpleasant experience of sitting in a dentist chair. He uses the word, ‘hurt’ which causes pain. The poet portrays the unpleasant experience of sitting in a dentist chair with fear and terror.. At the same time he tries to lessen the intensity of ‘hurt’ by using the phrase ‘just a little bit’. The person sitting in front of him expresses his dislike in opening his mouth wide open. Then he describes both physical and mental tortures related with it. He humorously attributes these tortures as dental.

LESSON 3          CRIME AND PUNISHMENT      by R K Narayanan
It is a humorous short story. This story really proves the old saying, “spare the rod and spoil the child”. It highlights the truth that over caring and over parenting spoil the child. This story brings out a comical situation between a teacher and his naughty student. The boy was preparing a test in arithmetic. The test was scheduled and the teacher was preparing the naughty student for the test. The student provokes the angry teacher by repeating the wrong answer. At last the teacher beats the little boy.  When the boy started crying the teacher becomes very upset. The boy’s parents were against giving punishments. He is afraid that the boy’s parents would know this. They were very rich. The boy was their only child and they did not like anybody beating him.  The teacher knew this truth and tried to console the boy. The boy put forward a condition before the teacher. If he allowed him to play he would not disclose the truth. At last the teacher obeyed  and the boy wanted him to play with him. The teacher became very tired and the engine of the toy train was also damaged. Then the boy wanted him to repair it. When the teacher was not ready to repair it, he demanded a story from him. The teacher became very tired after repeating many stories. Then the boy again threatens the teacher and runs to his parents. The teacher too ran after him. But he could not reach him. The teacher then stumbled to the portico step. It was at that time, the parents reached there. The teacher became very afraid and wanted to confess everything. Then the boy’s father enquired about the test and the boy became very afraid and hid behind his parents. He looked at the teacher desperately. The teacher felt sympathy  for the boy and replied that he has won the test. The boy became very happy and thankful to the teacher. The teacher also told them about the game they were playing to make him happy.  Thus this story brings so much laughter for the readers.
Possible questions:-
1. A panel discussion on corporal punishment, “ Corporal Punishment : Is it justifiable?” was conducted in your school.  The panelist who spoke first remarked, Corporal punishment is not altogether bad. Children need some negative reinforcement when they behave in an undesirable way. Spare the rod and spoil the child is the dictum.”
Now, prepare a brief script for the next panelist who wants to counter this argument and highlight the ill-effects of corporal punishment.
A) I don’t agree with the remark of the first panelist in giving corporal punishment. Corporal punishment means physical torture. Corporal punishement will influence the personality of the students.  corporal punishment is less effective. It brings a negative message. It will increase the violence in the society .It is a violation of human rights. The praise, discussions regarding values, and positive role models do more to develop character.
2.  ‘A teacher is a friend, philosopher, guide and a mentor to the student’. Analyse the character of the teacher in the story” Crime and Punishment” in the light of this statement.
A) R.K Narayan in his story “Crime and Punishment”, strongly criticizes about the modern teaching methods and over-parenting. It is very difficult to handle the children nowadays. They don’t pay much respect and concern for their parents and teachers. The teacher in the story teaches the little boy with the purpose of claiming thirty rupees monthly. He is not so patient and gentle to the boy. The boy who is very naughty makes the teacher more aggressive. When the student repeats the mistake the teacher shows the boldness to punish him. In this story we can see a teacher who is blackmailed by his student. Whenever the boy blackmails, we can see a teacher who is very much afraid of his parents.He lacks the personality of a good teacher. Teacher is ready to do anything for the boy. The teacher was ready to play the role of a station master. He even runs behind him. He also appears to be a great mentor. He understands the feelings of the little boy and adjusts with him. He tells stories. He feels sorry for beating him.  The teacher was compelled to punish him after the repeated correction.In the end the teacher feels pity on the pathetic and desperate child. He saves the boy from his father saying that he was alright with arithmetics.  So the teacher in this story doesn’t  play the role of a friend, phiolosopher, guide and mentor. In reality a teacher should be a friend, philosopher, mentor and guide. But here the teacher cannot act like that. He even considers the boy as a little gorilla.
3. A panel discussion was conducted in your school on the topic “Modern Education System-Challenges Ahead.”
Given below is an excerpt from the presentation made by the panelist during the panel discussion. Educating a child is basically a matter of caring and nurturing the child. The process of education should open new vistas of knowledge before the child. As saying goes: ‘nourish the brain through the senses’. The syllabus and transactional strategies should be designed in such a way as to make the learners consider education as a fruitful affair”.
Now prepare a brief script for presentation in the panel discussion by the next panelist highlighting the practical issues faced by the teacher in the class room and the means to be adopted to minimize this problem.
A) I totally agree with the first panelist that educating a child is basically a matter of caring and nurturing the child. As a teacher, it is his duty to nourish the brain through the senses. But at present teachers face some practical issues in the class room. Traditionally teachers are encouraged to believe that learning environment should be orderly and quiet. But in the present situation learning is to be a cooperative one. Teachers are giving so much importance to activities. Students take an active role in such situation. Now the teachers give so much importance be a facilitator. But there is another side for this. Most of the teachers are not given freedom in the schools to have a free atmosphere. Teachers  are often compelled to enforce discipline in the class rooms. If any teachers punish any students for discipline, the parents complaint  against them. It makes the teacher helpless and affects their teaching career. This situation should be changed and the parents should be well conscious of the punishments the teachers give. The management or the government should give maximum freedom for the teachers to make the teaching process an effective one.


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