Distance learning
Educational institutions in the UAE start distance learning from March 22. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

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Student presses panic button

‪My eyes are as red as they’ve ever been. I’ve been on my computer for two days, and I have lost count of how many hours I’ve spent (“Coronavirus UAE: Remote learning workload becoming a stressor”, Gulf News, May 3). I have been studying from 11am in the morning till eight in the evening. This is all for school work, and I’ve still not been able to manage to finish everything. If I am going to be honest, I can’t remember having a proper breakfast. I have had soufflé pancakes run through my mind right as I am about to multitask for the fifth time that day on my lagging computer.

‪I understand the current situation and acknowledge that it’s a hard time for teachers and students, but increasing work for both parties, despite the pandemic. does not help. And no, I don’t want to be sent another brochure about how to stay calm and meditate.

Most people might be able to adjust to this but the point is not everyone can. It’s time to consider academic counselling. No, not addressing academic hiccups or anxiety students might be facing, but for people who cannot and are not able to handle the workload to have a place they can talk about it. It should not be acceptable for institutions to give us such tight deadlines during this time. Deadlines should be changed and exceeded by a few days.

Currently, I have pending homework because I spent four hours on a homework that I could not understand. I have a quiz, a presentation and more assignments due in the coming days. This is not a jab at those people working to help with the pandemic, but the people who do not understand our crisis and our complaints. This is a terrible time for everyone but there is no reason it should be a stressful one. I can imagine students aren’t the only ones being forced to work quickly due to the current situation we are in.

‪I am exhausted by having to worry about my grades every second of every day. This isn’t a psychological problem, it is more of an issue where I have not been taught how to adjust to a situation like this. Maybe I should have done something to change it? I think the education system is doing the best they can in this situation. When else do we get to consider important things and introspect?

‪Student readiness is an important concept that goes beyond getting ready for a job or getting a high Grade Point Average (GPA). It’s about getting ready to study the type of content you make us study and do. It’s about getting ready for the world I will yet again be thrown into.

From Ms Farah B


Image Credit: pexels

An Indo-French culinary disaster

Isolated life is gradually moving towards desperation (“Cooking during corona: Is COVID-19 making UAE residents healthier?”, www.gulfnews.com, April 19). Resigned to their cocoons, the human race is discovering new passions. Mine was cooking.

Inspired by French cuisine, I decided to make chicken in a French style, with an Indian twist. All I knew about French food was toast and fries – till I realised that both were not even remotely French.

The marinade for the chicken was made of the best of French and India - Hollandaise sauce and Indian spices. All night, a tiny fragment of my brain was sitting next to the marinated chicken inside the fridge. Cooking is all about innovation. Diving into the depths of our kitchen drawers, I pulled out some forgotten spices and added it to my recipe.

I placed the chicken inside a new glass bowl, over which, my wife and I had an argument. Millions were hungry and I was splurging, she accused. By morning, the rich flavours of the food would have infused into the mea, and I imagined the tender pieces, melting in my mouth.

Cooking is all about usage of heat. High heat would seal the juices, while slow heat would cook it to perfection. Waking up early, I took the chicken out of the fridge. The colour of the meat was not appealing, was it a sign? No! Abundant knowledge of movies I had watched was condensed into that marinade. Did I discover something, the masters missed?

Instead of baking the dish, I decided to use a frying pan to seal the juices and a pot to cook it in. I added pure ghee (clarified butter) to the pan. I seared the chicken for a good ten minutes before I flipped it. The chicken was charred and I had to carefully maneuver the spatula to ensure it was cooked properly, and absorbed all the spices. Ten minutes later, I transferred the chicken to a pot and cooked it for another 30 minutes hoping that it would be soft on the inside. When I opened the lid, it was a sight to behold!

My Indo-French collaboration was a disaster. The mangled body was unidentifiable with a lot of the meat sticking to the sides of cooker. My wife asked me how my attempt was going to which I replied: “I think, there is something wrong with our cooker.”

From Mr Anil Dsouza


A blessing in disguise

Spending time at home has to be one of the best things that has happened to me. While I don’t always get to enjoy the time I have, since I am working from home, being in a comfortable space, with the people I love has made the process much easier. I have spent so much time complaining about not having time to spend home, that this seems like a wish come true. For those of you sulking that you haven’t been out, take this time to do the things you like. Catch up on reading and other activities. If you don’t embrace this time, you will regret it.

From Ms Alia M

Home, stay home, stay safe
Image Credit: Pexels

Being lenient

Keeping in mind the global coronavirus pandemic, I want to suggest some kind of situation that will help the citizens going through a hard time (“Salary delayed? Here is how you can register a complaint in the UAE”, Gulf News, May 5). As someone who has experienced this sort of hard time, I would ask for owners of buildings and plots to understand that a lot of people have lot their jobs or are facing a salary reduction. They should try and decrease payments needed for rent to help thse in need.

From Ms Aezel Atienza

Editor’s note: Is there a news report that you feel strongly about? Something that has to be addressed in the community and requires resolution? Email us on readers@gulfnews.com. You can also post a comment on our Facebook page or tweet to us @GNReaders