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To all my teachers
Teachers are a precious gift from God,
The most successful and sacred people in this world
With a loving heart, forgiving mind and smiling faces
You are all my dearest friends.

At times you act the part of a mother, father, doctor or nurse
And you are always our guardian angels.
Always ready to guide us in the right path
Teaching us to be obedient and disciplined.

You encourage us in our education.
What can I give you as a reward?
A bouquet of flowers or a gold ring?
Knowing I cannot measure your value in bouquets or rings.

One thing I know
I'll be dedicated to you always
For your great services
To all who cross your path.
Fazmina Jamal

Refusing to see
Led by a blind man
I stumbled -
He sensed it,
But how? I could only guess.
Steady again,
I glanced at him.
He was smiling -
It was infectious.
"I know what you think,"
He said with a nod,
"Being led by a blind man?
Foolish, don't you think?"
I had no answer
As I had chosen to be led
By this man who knew his way
Even though he was blind.
"You see my friend,"
He smiled and said
"I'm not blind as I try to see,
But those who are really blind
Are those who refuse to see!"
T. B. Singalaxana

Education is the greatest asset,
A man can acquire
It makes man worthy
Of being called a man.
It is the way,
To perfect knowledge
So it must be acquired.

Many desire wealth
Not many understand
The value of education
It cannot be stolen or destroyed
Wealth must be protected but
Education will protect you

Fire cannot burn it
Flood cannot drown it,
The storm cannot destroy it
It will be with you
Whenever you need it
It will be with you
Wherever you go.

The value of education
Is more than treasures
And cannot be measured
Harder you strive better
It is the reward remember,
Although its roots are bitter
Its fruits are sweet.
Ruma Naleem

Touched by an Angel
I have always wanted to be a doctor and it was to be decided in a few months. When I was 18 years old, with three months left for my A/Levels, I had an unbearable pain in my stomach. With my mind full of studies, I did not want to spare time worrying about it. Nevertheless, I had to see a doctor as I kept imagining the worst, cancer perhaps.

I prayed, "God, I'm too young to die!" My prayers were answered. It was not cancer but an ovarian cyst, which needed to be operated upon immediately. I was admitted to the hospital the very next day.

I felt all alone among the huge crowd at the hospital. Everyone had a story to tell about strange sicknesses I had never heard of, about life and death. A baby girl in my ward died the next day. Life was all about loving and losing. When God loves someone very much, He wants him/her beside Him, earlier than He first planned. God must have loved that baby girl a lot.

I wanted to be loved by God too. When everything was peaceful that night, I prayed.

"God let me finish what I'm meant to do in this world. Let me reach for the moon. Let me come to you as a fulfilled person."

The most dreaded day of my life came all too soon, the day of the operation. I hadn't eaten in two days. I was fed up of blood tests and X'rays. Most of all, I was tired and scared. The doctors and nurses cracked jokes just to cheer me. But my heart was heavy. All I wanted was peace.

I prayed to Jesus. All of a sudden, I felt like I was being hugged by someone special. When I regained consciousness, the doctors asked me what I was thinking. I apparently had a smile on my face throughout the operation with tears running down my eyes.

They were tears of joy, of learning that God loves me and will take care of me, no matter what. In that short span of time, I matured from an aimless girl to a woman with a dream to serve God. I learnt how precious and unique life is. We should be thankful for being the chosen ones.

Strengthened anew, I am now studying to be a doctor, knowing that God loves me unconditionally.
Yasuni Manikkage

Handle fire with care
My cousin was admitted to the National Hospital, Colombo on May 1, 2002. We went to see her. It was our first visit to the hospital burns section. Lying in bed with her family members surrounding her, she was weeping bitterly. What had happened? fifteen year-old she was making sweets for an evening snack on one stove and tea for her father's friend on the other. Her mother was putting the little one to sleep and dozing off herself.

We Muslims have to wear a shawl over our body all the time. That day, my cousin had been wearing a silk, long-sleeved shalwar. As she was removing the kettle from the fire, her shawl caught fire. She desperately tried to put it out without making too much noise. When her remaining clothes were on fire, she screamed for help. Her father ran to the kitchen and poured a whole bucket of water over her to put out the fire and rushed her to the hospital.

She is better now, although she has had to have plastic surgery. So readers, please be careful that such an incident does not happen to you.
Shezna Falool

Gateway has fun with the Babes
By Thiruni Kelegama
With all of Sri Lanka's drama circles agog with the latest copyright disputes, a certain drama troupe was not to be deterred.

Gateway (Kandy) International School took to the stage on October 26 with their maiden production; the pantomime Babes in the Wood by Jim Sperinck. In spite of the questions raised in drama circles all over Colombo, these young thespians put their heart and soul into this performance of Babes in the Wood.

A pantomime is a typically British theatrical entertainment, usually performed in the Christmas season for the pleasure of the young and the young at heart!

Babes in the Wood is a traditional fun packed pantomime. The story is based loosely upon these themes. The Babes of the story are driven out of the house by their wicked uncle who is the Sheriff of the town. He also happens to be the wicked Sheriff in the Robin Hood and Marion adventures, who are also part of the pantomime. But they are rescued by the team of goodies who are an essential part of a pantomime along with the baddies.

The goodies are led by the fairy queen and finally the wicked uncle is caught and made to repent for his wicked deeds.

The main characters, the Babes - Tom and Mary - were played with enthusiasm by the brother and sister team Adrian and Samantha Moder. They were well suited for the part, and captivated the audience.

Robin and Marion were equally enchanting. However, one did tend to feel that Marion was not really in character at some points of the play. But, it was a job well done! Robin managed to play the romantic quite well, but he did not really get into the Robin, Prince of Thieves norm, where he is portrayed as the person who robs the rich and gives to the poor.

The singing done by the duo during their moments together was commendable. The songs 'Nothing's gonna change my love for you' and 'I'll never get over you getting over me' were well sung, though not as well choreographed.

The star of the evening was no doubt Nurse Nightingale, or 'You can call me Nightie for short!' played by Sharaz Bongso. She managed to keep the audience entertained, as she portrayed the Nurse who has been employed to look after the small children, but in reality wants to find herself a man.

Stage fright was something she had not even thought about, and the very fact that she was not at all conscious of her part, made her even more interesting to watch.

The songs and the dances were all in keeping with the modern era. However, that did not mean the director had not chosen the equally funny and universally known nursery rhymes to keep the audience entertained. Robin Hood's sidekick's rendition of Old Macdonald had a Farm with its rap was the hit of the evening with the actor receiving a stunning round of applause, which was well deserved.

All in all, Babes in the Wood was entertainment for the whole family. The cast made sure that the audience would have no shortage of laughs. Guaranteed.

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