Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Archive for April, 2008

What should I do with my Timeshare?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

During my younger and much more financially and life ignorant days, my wife and I purchased a Timeshare 

Then, the logic sounded good. For this one time payment + another yearly payment, my family had a choice of 7 or 8 properties in Malaysia where we could go for family holidays. As a large family we usually had to take 3 or even 4 hotel rooms. The Timeshare offered facilities like kitchen, a hall and 2 – 3 rooms. Perfect…it seemed.  

Alas! That was then! 

Now I think about the opportunity cost of the capital invested. This plus the yearly maintenance fee could pay for much more than what I was getting. 

Now I think about the resorts being booked solid during the times when my family would want to use it the most, i.e. school holidays, festive seasons and during other National holiday seasons.  

Now I think about how silly I was to have bought the Timeshare in the first place. 

Now I think about it being no wonder why there are so many ads for selling Timeshares at discounted and often deeply discounted prices. 

My wife has started renting out the Timeshare to her friends and other family members who may want to use it. The money received is used to defray the yearly maintenance charges.  Though the whole process is also quite cumbersome, at least part of the yearly outflow is being taken care off. 

We have often thought of selling off the Timeshare. Our local classifieds often have advertisements of these for sale. There are also some international web sites that claim to sell or rent Timeshares.

This situation of having to pay the yearly outflow whether we use the facilities or not is clearly an unnecessary financial pain. Something that is not in line with my present thinking of eliminating outflows that do not add any value. Something that should be taken care off immediately. 

I am going to advertise our Timeshare for sale. After all my investment is already sunk, if I can stop the continual bleeding, it should be enough. 

I have no back up plan.  However there seems to be an option to be able to donate the Timeshare.

My wife and I may donate this and hope that the recipients make more productive use of this Timeshare. 

PS:  

If any of my readers out there have any interest in a discounted and deeply at that,   Timeshare, please get in touch with me.   

My son, a gentleman in waiting

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

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We have five children, a boy and four girls. The boy, at number 3 is sandwiched between his two elder and two younger sisters. Since his birth, my wife has given him the title of Tuan Muda of our household, which in our language means Young Master.

He is now 14 years of age. Isn’t it time he started becoming a Gentleman? I read up and asked around for some advice on what I could do to help instill in him this very important skill.

I have read that boys imitate and emulate their fathers.

Boys want to grow up to be like their fathers. “The human brain is wired for imitation. Every boy loves his father and wants to be able to do what he does, both to honor him, to earn his praise, and to compete with him. . .

Men are extremely important in giving boys messages about being a man,” notes Geoffry Canada, President of the Harlem Children’s Zone. “Boys want to grow up to be like their male role models. And boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers search the hardest to figure out what it means to be male.”

It appears clear that I would be the first role model my son would be looking up to.

I searched within myself and did an inventory of whether I was being a good, or rather not bad, role model to my son. Though I am no Theodore Roosevelt, I do believe that I have not done any serious damage in this area.

Being a good role model is the foundation for preparing my son to be a man.

And here are five things that I can and want to do to be the role model my son needs as well as to bond better with him.  

1. I have to spend more time with my son.

I have to tweak my time management a bit. Though I take pride in being an organized guy, it is clear to me that I am not scheduling my priorities as well as I should. My weekly calendar has no specific provision for activities with my son. I’ll have to work on this.

It’s not going to be a case of finding or creating more time, rather I have to focus on how I can do some of my planned activities for the day together with my son.

For example, recently I took our son along when my wife and I went to the Land Office to collect a title deed for one of our properties. On the way back, we talked about title deeds (I was a little surprised, but it seemed that it was the first time he had seen a title deed) in general and I explained to him how our land title system worked. (This chore is something I would have done on my own. I am happy that my son agreed to join me.)

My son helped me draw a map showing the way to the farm we are setting up, a distance of about 90 kilometres. I drove, while he marked down the key landmarks and distances etc. This map has been distributed to the guests we are inviting for the opening of the farm.

2. I must take him out more often

By this I mean not only taking him out for outings like picnics or vacations. I also mean bringing my son along for my chores and duties as a husband, father, and friend in order to show him how a responsible and dependable man behaves.

Examples could be visiting a recently bereaved family friend or relative, going to the bank to sort out some issues etc.This approach is based on advice given by a friend. He remembers that his father took him out often and he learned a lot about manly duties and responsibilities watching his father during these times.

My son has often joined me when I visit the goat farm and the rubber smallholding. I hope that as the goat farm develops further he would agree to shoulder some of the small responsibilities.

3. Treat and respect him as an adult and reason with him rather than adopting the “I said so!” approach

I already do this and I believe that my son appreciates it. Having conversations with him at a reasonably adult level will help strengthen his confidence and make him more open with me.

4. Make him read motivational and inspirational books

Here my wife and I are lucky enough to have found a system. My sons (and his two younger sisters) have to write a couple of pages from a book on Saturday and Sunday. They then read out to me what they have written. Our intention is for the children to have a better grasp of English.

By making my son write and read pages from a motivational / inspirational book, like Anthony Robbins’ “Notes to my Son” and Sean Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” I am hoping some of the ideas and good advice will seep into him.

5. Learning some life skills jointly with him

This is an interesting thought that has just come to my mind. Maybe I should sit with him when he is in a talkative mood and try to find out if he is interested in picking up some skills. It is possible that he may say no. I just have to work on this.

This blog was started so that my kids could learn on managing their personal finance and some other aspects of life from the mistakes I have made. While he is not an active follower of my blog, I am sure he will read those articles written specifically with him in mind.

My son is now entering a stage in his life that can be classified as a little tricky for parents and young teens alike. This is the called the “My Mommy has no clue” stage. I did not do enough to strengthen my relationship with my son when he was at the much more malleable of “My Mommy knows everything” and “My Mommy knows most things” stage.

Nevertheless, I believe I still have a chance to make amends and make him a better man than I am. 

Photo Credit: Bendis

Reviewing my children’s allowances

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Sometime ago I wrote about our family’s goals and experiences on allowances for the younger children 

There appear to be differing views on kids’ allowances. NCN prefers to let the children earn their allowances. This would help in teaching responsibility and build self esteem. Wise Money Decisions has an interesting twist, and he also writes about another family that practices the free market system on allowances.  

There are so many articles on this clearly popular (rightfully so) issue. For some examples you can go to this site. 

All my wife and I want to achieve is for the kids to understand money, learn how to live within a “budget”, save some of their “earnings” and keep reasonable records. Achieving this woould be enough of an accomplishment.  

The primary rules of our system are :- 

a)    The allowances will be paid every Sunday,  

b)    It’s currently only for our boy (14 yo) and 4th girl (13 yo). The youngest may be getting hers from next year, 

c)     The children have to keep accounts of their receipts and payments, 

d)    At least 10% must be saved and put into their piggy bank, 

e)    I have promised topping up their savings at year end. 

We have not tied the allowances to any chores and neither have we decided to make any deductions for mistakes, “felonies” etc. 

So far the system seems to be working well for the girl.

The boy on the other hand seems to be spending nothing. He also seems to have no interest in the allowance, and the whole amount is just being socked away in his piggy bank.

At first I thought it was because he had a stash hidden away, cash gifts from us and his uncles and aunts for the festivals. His mother collected the whole amount and banked it into his savings account. Still no change in his spending habits.  

When I talk to him, I get the famous teenager monosyllabic answers.  Last week he told me he wanted to change the accounting system. Which he didn’t. This Sunday, both of  went over the book keeping required. He had also spent some of his allowance during the past week. Maybe now we are getting somewhere.

I have told both of them that the allowances will be changed to a monthly one with effect from 1st June. This would allow them to budget over a longer time horizon and allow me to start talks on salaries, savings, budgeting and such. 

And I know just the way to do that, thanks to D4L’s idea of weaving an interesting story into these lessons.

How I intend to help my daughters secure jobs they would like – Part 5 – Preparing a Killer Resume

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

My two elder girls are almost ready to join the rat race. I am discussing with them the things they could do to better position themselves to get the job of their choice from the employer of their choice. And not to repeat the major mistake I have made of not managing my career.  

In Part 1, we covered an overview of the process. 

In Part 2, we covered the additional employability skills they would have to familiarize themselves with.

In Part 3, we looked at the realities of life as an employee as compared their past years as students. 

In Part 4, we looked at how to look for and understand the career options available to them.

Now in this Part 5, we talk about the all important resume.

Wikipedia defines a résumé as a document that contains a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education usually for the purpose of obtaining an interview when   seeking employment. Often the résumé or CV is the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker, and therefore a large amount of importance is often ascribed to it.

You know what they say about first impressions. As the resume is the first thing a potential employer sees about the applicant, we have to make our resume jump and stand out from the pile of other resumes that the employer would receive.

There are two parts of the resume:

a)    The Content and

b)    The design or style or format, i.e. how the final document looks like.

A) Content

i) The grand daddy rule of the content part should be “Do not lie”.

ii) The second rule is from my favorite career counselor, Free Money Finance and I paraphrase from his very useful “How to write a winning resume””“The way to sell yourself in a resume is to cite specific strengths and abilities that companies need from someone in the job you want and support them with your accomplishments.“

In my daughters’ case, there will be some slight twists. As this is their entry into the working world, the instances they have to quote would be work related or applicable achievements in their extra curricular activities in school and college. Like the instance when my daughter was part of the fund raising committee of the Leo Club in her college and they raised RM200, by drawing tattoos for fellow students and selling herbal eggs.

Another step would be to understand and anticipate the requirements of the job applied for and state our readiness to be able to comply. For example, audit trainees generally have to work quite long hours since the audits usually carry tight deadlines and are bunched up during certain times of the year.

Being comfortable in making presentations to a group of people would be a plus if the job involved marketing or training.

FMF also says that we should do some creative writing so as to make our resume sparkle with accomplishments. This would force recruiters to invite us for an interview. This makes absolute sense.

Yahoo Finance reminds us to keep the resume short and to quality check to eliminate misspellings and other obvious gaffes. I could also do with this advice. I blush with embarrassment whenever I read a post of mine and detect such obvious grammar and spelling errors.

These days lots of resumes are submitted online. Yahoo Finance also talks about the differences between a paper version and its online cousin. The writing of an online resume would be akin to SEO optimization, as it seems that the filters might reject submissions without the required minimum number of keywords corresponding to the skill set of the available position.

“The purpose is not to look like an individual, it’s to look like a match,” says Pat Kendall, a career coach in Tigard, Ore., who optimizes clients’ résumés for online submission.

B) Design 

I am quite hopeless at this. However I ran into 2 very useful guides.  Life Clever’s excellent step by step face lift he did on a typical run of the mill resume. And in about 4 steps he (she??) managed to “Cinderallise” the resume. 

And for even more design options, look at JobMob’s Beautiful Resume Ideas that Work. 

I thank them sincerely for their selfless sharing.

I have sat at both sides of the interviewing table in my career. I know how easy it is to toss out a lousy, insipid resume. I also know that just by reading a resume, you can come to a conclusion that this candidate is the one who would be solving all our problems.  

The resume is the door opener. We have to make sure our resume not only gets the door open, but also get us invited for the interview. 

Actually the resource links that I have used in writing this post were given to my girl just before I left to India to attend what turned out to be my mother’s funeral. My daughter has done justice to these resources and come up with a resume, which I think, I would have opened a door for. 

Her resume is being used now to actively seek interviews. I’ll post on this process in the next installment of this series.

Picture Credit: Google Images

Round up for week ending 24 April 08

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

This week I did not participate in any Carnival. I really must get back into the groove.

Meanwhile these are the posts that piqued my mind this last week.  

Being Frugal wrote an inspiring post on the importance of tenacity and having a good coach when we work to achieve our dreams. She used her apparently not so athletic daughter’s participation in football as an example. Liz (against her mother’s expectations) is now in her 6th season and seems to be thoroughly enjoying the game. 

Perhaps her mother’s encouragement also had a sizeable role to play in this? 

RocketC writes about his progress on a land contract for the house he has in Wisconsin. The deal fell through due to disagreements on purchase price. RocketC displays some numbers for us to suggest whether he was right in letting the potential buyer walk. I have no idea about the Wisconsin property market so I can’t be of much help.

However, we have just sold our house and the final tipping point was when we became a little more realistic about prices.  

I enjoyed Emily’s piece on achieving financial health being more of a journey rather than a series of targets to hit. I have been following this school of thought as far as my overall financial standing is concerned.  I admit there are tons of positives in making specific targets, like reducing debt by this amount by this time, spending within this limit etc.

Some of these kind of goals, I do make. But I have yet to make that specific all encompassing mother of all pf goals….”My passive income must be more than my expenses every month which is ……., by the — day of —-, 20??.” Maybe I should. 

Ron over at the Wisdom Journal has posted on how to live debt free. Reading the article, I would think that following Ron’s advice should ensure that we survive almost every contingency, including a financial tsunami.  

Rich at the Business Opportunities Weblog showcases a great business idea. BookMooch.com is a book exchange site which gives points to givers of books and allows the points to be used to get other books. Ideas like this forces one to think of parallel possibilities, perhaps with other products or maybe other countries. (BookMooch does allow for international transactions.) 

Rich is providing a sterling service by ferreting out all these kind of ideas and posting them for all of us. He also posts about marketing, service and other operational issues.  His blog should be a must read for all intending, budding and established entrepreneurs.  

Steve had taken the bold step of becoming a professional blogger.  I have been an avid follower of his blog for quite some time now and thoroughly enjoy his writing. Steve has always struck me as a man with independence right up there in his list of wants. He also appears to me as a meticulous planner and I have no doubt he will be a success. 

Rina over at Azrinaaznan.com, a fellow Malaysian blogger, is reviewing all her options now that she has completed Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. She appears to be doing a “zero base” plan and tells us that we should not be too shocked should she decide to eliminate blogging.   I have always found Rina’s chirpiness and enthusiasm infectious and hope that she works out her dream plan. And I certainly hope that she’ll continue blogging.

This is all for the week, guys. Have a great and very happy weekend!

 

Are YOU ready for a 1930’s strength recession?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

There is a growing chorus of predictions that we are about to have or may already be in a recession of a strength and depth not seen since the 1930s’.  

Seeing the events unfolding all around us, this is not surprising.   

- Oil prices are predicted to hit USD200 per barrel  

- Food prices have been on the way up and are not showing any signs of stopping their climb. 

- Corporations are tightening belts and as usual one of their first targets would be reducing employment costs by way of mass layoffs. 

-  A number of the big banks are walking around with hat in hand seeking infusions of capital to stay afloat.

Many of the personal finance bloggers (myself included) and probably many of the financial journalists around would not have gone through or were too young to fully appreciate the difficulties of the 30’s Depression. I guess the best lessons would be scenes from movies as opposed to books or articles. After all a picture does say a 1,000 words.

For me, reading JD’s post on his review of the book “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” transported me mentally to the time of 1901. I would strongly recommend that we should all read JD’s excellent post again and soak in very sound financial advice.

You may have heard the story of a frog which was put into hot water. It immediately jumped out. When the same frog was put into room temperature water and the water slowly heated up, it stayed there till it died. An economic recession also works in much the same way. Slowly it envelopes us and before we know it, we are down and out!

I think there are enough experts saying that this depression scenario is a given, and enough saying that times are different now, so the recession won’t be so bad.

Whatever the final expert opinion may be, rather than being the frog in slowly heated up water, it should be mandatory for us to prepare and run through a checklist to see how well prepared we are.

Going through the blogs and other articles on preparing for a recession, a reasonable checklist seems to be :-

a) Cut down fixed expenses, especially debt payments

My family has already taken the first step towards achieving this by selling of one of our assets, a house we have had for the past 16 – 17 years. The proceeds of which are earmarked for some serious debt reduction.

b) Practice frugality to the hilt.

Blogs like Lynnae’s Being Frugal (see her post on frugal tips to survive a recession) and other posts like GLBL’s suggestions on how to save on groceries should become staple reads for all of us. Tips learned should be applied to bring down the cost of meeting our needs. Of course all wants should be postponed to a later time.

c) Aim for and become as indispensable as you can at your workplace

d) Cultivate skills that will be in demand.

We have started a goat farm. Though it has been said that handyman skills like plumbing, electrical repair work, etc will be of particular use, since people will try to stretch out the useful life of their property, I think being a vendor of food products via our goat farm will be useful.

e) Reduce the dependence on the money economy.

I particularly liked this statement I read in Wise Bread. Growing some of our own food, making our own clothes, doing our own cooking, own laundry, barter etc may be classified here. We intend to grow our own vegetables and raise chickens also on the farm. I think this should help bring our monthly food bill considerably.

f) Have a healthy emergency fund

My emergency fund has been somewhat depleted due to some unexpected expenses as well as additional investment on the farm. My wife and I have made provisions to replenish it from the proceeds of the sale of the house.

g) Stockpile medications and Independent Health insurance

I have some ongoing medication costs. Since reading about the generic alternatives I have changed “brands” and the cost has gone down considerably. I don’t intend to seriously stockpile the medication, as I carry about 3 month’s requirements currently and will replenish once it goes to two months. We have always had our own health insurance, so there is no dependence on my employer.

Having never experienced the financial effects of a recession directly, much less a 1930’s grade one, I am not really sure how I’ll fare raising myself and my family, if one hits.

For now, I just want to prepare mentally for the worst.

For obvious reasons, this is a popular topic and other more knowledgeable bloggers have also written their views. Some examples are listed below. 

i) io9”s 12 ways to prepare for the next great depression. 

ii) Blunt Money’s Nervous about a potential layoff 

iii) KC Lau’s How a recession happens and 8 tips to prepare for it 

iv) Money Central’s How to prepare for a recession 

v) The Wastrel Show’s How I am preparing for the proposed Recession 

vi) Wise Bread’s Preparing for a recession 

vii) The Digerati Life’s Recessions and the State of our Economy

Picture Credit: Google Images 

Tax filing for Malaysians – it’s a little less taxing now

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

We have to file our personal tax returns by the 30th of April each year.  

Our IRS used to ask us to submit a stack of forms yearly. With chunks of repetitive information, like, addresses, identity card numbers, birth dates, Employment Provident Fund Membership numbers, names of children, wedding date etc.  

I used to mumble unhappily each year as I did the taxes for my wife and myself. But we had no other options available.   

A couple of years ago, our IRS allowed online filings.  The first year, the system rejected me as being too young for e filing!!!! So I had to go back to manual filing. Last year, the IRS office in my town set up a number of computers in their office lobby to guide the people to do their filings online. My wife and I took advantage of this and after a few computer “dead ends and run arounds” (which were resolved with the help of the IRS people in attendance), managed to file our returns. 

This year it turned out to be a piece of cake. It took about 15 minutes or so to complete and submit the returns for my wife and myself.  Of course the fact that we are pretty well organized with our documentation helped. 

Still, I must pay tribute to the IRS for the improvements made in the system. The fact that the system “remembered” the repetitive information made the whole process a lot easier. 

And like every other tax payer before me and I am sure, every other tax payer after me, I tried my best to look for deductions that would reduce my taxes. But I am still figuring out how buying 700 cars may help reduce my taxes.   

When I complained about my taxes, the IRS told me I should appreciate the facilities my taxes are used to pay for. Hence I should pay my taxes with a smile, they said. I did that and they told me they preferred cash!

                                                                                                                              Anon

Tagged!

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Amanda at Me vs. Debt tagged me for a meme.

The rules of this meme, if you are tagged or just want to join in are to:-

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post
4. Tag at least 5 more blogs
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play

First I had to make sure I understood the word “memoir”.

I liked this definition by Gore Vidal as stated in Wikipedia:-

 “A memoir is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked.”

“I have lived a full life.”

If I have to write a 6 word memoir, then this statement would be it.

I have been dirt poor (absolutely) and I have been rich (relatively). 

I have had some bad times, some very bad times, some good times, some very good times and some really, really great times.

In life, I have made small mistakes and big mistakes. I have corrected myself, only to repeat some of the mistakes and correct myself again.

I have traveled quite a bit and seen parts of the world people would love to be in and parts of the world people will give an arm and a leg to get away from.

I have married a wonderful woman and together we now have 5 wonderful children. We have raised them as well as we possibly could and with more than the children’s fair share of love and tolerance.

So, I have to say…… I have lived a full life.

I am not good at tagging others. So, though it is required of me under the rules of this meme, I have to excuse myself here from steps (4) and (5).

However, I do think that trying to summarize our life as we remember it is a good exercise for all of us to do. So if you want to try out this meme, please jump right in.

This is an open invitation.

How I intend to help my daughters secure jobs they would like – Part 4 – Understanding the career options available

Monday, April 21st, 2008

It has been quite sometime since I posted about this exercise I am doing with my girls.  

Just to recap, my two elder girls are almost ready to join the rat race. I am trying to discuss with and suggest to them the things they can do to better position themselves to get the job of their choice from the employer of their choice. And not to repeat the major mistake I have made of not managing my career.  

In Part 1, we covered an overview of the process. 

In Part 2, we covered the additional employability skills they would have to familiarize themselves with.

In Part 3, we looked at the realities of life as an employee as compared their past years as students. 

The plans for Part 4, 5 and 6 were for:-

a)    My girls to understand the career options available to them,

b)    The preparing of a good resume and identifying the companies and  

c)     The seeking of the interviews and doing well at them.

Well, that is still the plan. And though I keep referring to “girls”, the eldest has yet to complete her final exams which are due in mid May 08. I am sure she’ll understand the principles, as I go through this with her younger sister.

For our second girl, Azah who did Accounting and Finance, the resources used to learn about her career options (in addition to what her University Counselors had talked to her) were basically :

a) Clever Dude’s very useful post on why people work and some of the attributes of career selection and

b) The informative articles in About.com on the definitions of the Finance Function and the Financial Services Industry, the advantages of a career in Financial Services and the differences of the producer and support function in Financial Services.

I also chipped in with the almost exponential growth in Islamic Finance where Malaysia is  acknowledged as being at least one of the world leaders. The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) which offers courses in Islamic Finance is based in Malaysia and is widely accepted as a pioneering teaching institution in this field.

Lately, too, Squawkfox has started a series on finding our career calling and discovering the five paths to our perfect job. I have also given the links to my daughters and I am sure they’ll find it useful. (Having worked in ten companies and with seven different career paths, this lady is eminently qualified to be a career counselor.)

Perhaps it’s a little too much to expect my daughter to be able to clearly define her career choices immediately. She is still a little unsure of her career choices. For a start, we have agreed upon that she should concentrate on companies that offer good opportunities for training and personal and career development.

Note:

My daughter has already prepared her resume and submitted it to some institutions which fit the above general description. She has also applied to a few other companies that had adverts for vacancies in the financial support functions. So far, she has attended one interview. We shall write about this later.

A tribute to the teachers of the world

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

I read an interesting article in Yahoo Finance titled “A teacher’s lessons for Business Leaders.”  

Perhaps the title of the article did not do the teacher concerned sufficient justice, as the lessons seem applicable to lots of others, besides business people. I always feel gratified whenever I read articles about successful teachers.  

There was a time when teachers of young children held a very high post in the local community. This was befitting of the role these teachers played in shaping the minds and bodies of our young. These days the moneyed positions have taken over. Our position on the totem pole is dictated more by the earning statistics. The noble teaching profession has even been relegated to a job that one does because of a lack of any other. 

The ancient Hindu scriptures say, “Mother, Father, Teacher, God.” I am sure lots of thought went into the formulating and articulating of this statement, so it should not be taken lightly. 

Coming back to the Yahoo Article, the teacher concerned Mr. Ron Clark took a class of underperforming students in Harlem and lifted them out to a level higher than that of the gifted class. This must have called for lots of sacrifice and service beyond the call of duty. I can only imagine the deep gratitude the parents of the underperforming class children, will have for Mr. Ron Clark. And one can imagine the contribution Mr. Ron has made to American society by guiding these youngsters, rather than just releasing them as “underperformers.” 

I owe a lot to my teachers. They encouraged us, tolerated the usual pranks that school kids all over the world do, guided us and taught us. For this, I shall always carry a debt of gratitude, and try to pay it forward by teaching others what I can about the mistakes I have made in life.  

Sadly these days the teaching profession seems to have gone quite off tangent. Many teachers quit in frustration. You may read this post to appreciate this a little better.  

I hope one day, not too long from now, teaching will regain its rightful place in society. Society needs to place the right value on the role teachers play in shaping the most basic and fundamental building blocks of our world. And give the profession the total support, resources and recognition it needs to get the job done right. 

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