Bangalore, India



Meta Schools 2017 concluded after two days of intense but good-natured competition between students from eighteen city institutions.

The third edition of the literary festival exclusively for school students was organised by St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous) on 14th and 15th July. The theme of the festival was Extraordinary Voyages, and featured events such as Fan Fiction, Slam Poetry, Just A Minute, Spelling Bee, Cartooning, Book Illustration and Quiz.

Presidency School (Nandini Layout) won the overall championship for Junior Schools (Std. VIII-X) with last year’s champions St. Paul’s JP Nagar finishing a close second.

Christ Junior College fended off strong challenges from Jain College, MES Kishora Kendra and Mount Carmel College (PUC) to claim the overall championship for Senior Schools/Junior Colleges.

I had one or two Meta moments, all by myself. One was in the last round of the quiz, when the ladies from Mount Carmel suddenly found themselves able to make good guesses and scored 35 points off the last four or five questions to finish third. There was so much win on their faces that I found myself wishing I had a nice big pomegranate to give them. Eating a pomegranate, seed by seed, is the one true analogy for reliving quizzing moments when suddenly the world deposits itself into your hands to say all yours.

Spelling Bees, qua Spelling Bees as American invention, are super boring memory displays that work on the principle of getting adults to enjoy the sight of children suffering. I enjoy disrupting that rubbish with things like guesswork, strategy and infiltrating it with pounce and staking. Two girls from St. Paul’s, named Ayathi and Anushree were my heroes at Meta this year for deducing words such as meniscus, and tourniquet from vague phrasing, and skewer, verb, from a picture of the noun. In the pic is one Godwin, who waited patiently many times for the kids to finish so as to give the correct answer. He waited in vain quite often.

At Meta, this year’s theme is Extraordinary Voyages, and I look to these moments as such voyaging. On to a few more such at Metonym, our inter-class literary fest, and then at Magister, at the Prof. Barbra Naidu Memorial Personal Essay contest, at Tie Grab, and then at the main Meta festival in Jan-Feb.

Prof. Arul Mani

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