|Friday, 18 July 2003|
An attempt to understand man's evolution in relation to speech
'From spoken word to writing'
In her recently launched, 'From spoken word to writing' Dr. Ajantha Hapuarachchi had explained its purpose as follows:
"This book is an attempt to understand the evolution of man in relation to his speech patterns and thence to writing with the gradual development of an alphabet the path of human evolution cannot be separated from the subject areas of communication"
As she says, the above book is a part of the history of communication. As the subject area of Mass Communication is fast expanding. Books of this calibre are needed for the use of students because the subject will be added to the school syllabi. When journalism is very popular there is a big demand and competition in the field. Then anybody can easily use this type of books as text books. There has not been a book of this type in Sri Lanka so far. This book will fulfil that need. In this book the author has collected all the details relating to the subject from all over the world.
History of communication is a part of the syllabus of Mass communication in Universities. It is explained in this book with the evolution theory, its missing links and recent discoveries. In their early period they developed pictures as expressions. The text is illustrated with various pictures in relation to the text. As the subject will be introduced soon at school level the chances are that this text could be used as a supplementary reader to understand various aspects of the development of the human brain, the development of the human environment and the growth of the human beings.
This book explains the aspects of written word and the evolution of alphabet in relation to human communication patterns. The author had dedicated this to the students in Sri Lanka and publisher was Rathna Poth Prakashakayo. Cover was designed by the author. This book will prove very useful to the students who are studying Journalism and mass communication in Sri Lanka. The book consists of 8 chapters. The first chapter is 'Man the Animal' which describes with the evolution and the second is Pre-Historic Time - It contains from the smoking signals to Rock painting.
Third chapter is Cave printing - which contains Lascaux, Altamaria and other paintings. Fourth chapter contains Text-Written in Cuneiform and Fifth is Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Sixth is Chinese writing and its pictography and Seventh is Seals of the Indus Valley and the Last chapter is the alphabet.
This book is not only for the academics, but for the common readers as well. The story of human evolution in the field of communication is absorbing reading. The most significant aspect of this book is that it is lavishly illustrated with relevant pictures in ancient period.
A good part of the book is about human evolution. The language is so well managed, that the book is easily read. Any one who needs to learn how communication grew in human society can use this as a hand book. This book is proved in the style of a school text book. - S.C.
Fine method of teaching a language
Learn English through drama
Innovative methods in English language teaching to bring up the proficiency the learners' need has been a constant phenomenon in our country in spite of the constraints. Invention of new classroom practices and approaches to build up programmes and methods to widen the knowledge of words and construction reflects the commitment on the part of the teachers like Manel Weerasekera to find more effective ways of teaching. She observes through her work the wider variety of option on the part of the teacher based on the backdrop of familiar classroom techniques and environment.
Within each section focus has been made to present an objective and comprehensive picture of basic grammatical structure and the keywords of the language.
This book containing the little playlets originally designed to be broadcast over Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in the educational service has been based on the author's personal experience of the mentality and the environment of the Sri Lankan children.
Manel Weerasekera has served as an English teacher for the past forty years.
Having retired prematurely she has served 12 years at Musaeus College.
The quarterly newsletter of the school Musaeus Miscellany was launched under her guidance.
The lessons in this book have been carefully planned to get the students involved in written and spoken word. The themes are so interesting as to keep the student's mind bound.
The words in the sentences have been arranged in their best order to give the clearest idea to the students to make simple and easy construction effectively.
The first 'playlet' Pride comes Before Fall itself is in so lively way as to indicate the nature of the book, through which children are able to have a clear idea of the usage of words of frequency in correct context and knowledge of command, polite requests, expression of opinions, feelings, likes, dislikes etc.
Her effort should be appreciated on today's backdrop where English is the dominant language of education and commerce in the international arena.
For the matter, around sixty percent of today's world population is multilingual. Multilingualism and bilingualism from the present and the historical perspective have been the norm rather than the exception in the world.
- J. A. K. Jayakody
My trek to the heart
A Cardiac Surgeon's Story of Adventure and Endeavour between 1920 and 1980 by A. T. S. Paul, 2001
185 pages, 20 illustrations
This autobiography is an account of an extraordinarily full and successful life which began in the halcyon days of 1915. Born into a well-to-do Tamil family with a distinguished medical background, - "both my grandfathers were doctors, followed by my father, who was the first surgeon in Ceylon to obtain the FRCS of England in 1901 - he spent his early years in his parent's elegant Colombo home.
This was during the British rule of the country as a Crown Colony, when all key administrative posts were reserved for the British. His mother was a Colombo Chetty, a descendant of a Catholic merchant from Nagapatnam in India - a deeply religious, well-read, artistic lady who was also an accomplished musician, and his maternal grandmother was the daughter of an Anglican Bishop from Wells in England. This may have accounted for the strict Victorian upbringing of the large family, where "there was no free dialogue between parents and children, and you only spoke when you were spoken to."
WhenMr. Paul was ten years he entered Royal College, Colombo where according to him, he spent the happiest days of his life. His classmates came from all the different ethnic groups, and "they studied and played together as one family. No hint or suggestion of racial difference or ancestry." There was no pressure on studies, sports had a premium value and friendship were made that lasted a lifetime.
He joined the Ceylon Medical College in 1935 having graduated with Second Class Honours in the Ceylon University College. In 1940 he qualified as a doctor with First Class Honours, and Distinctions in Surgery, Midwifery and Gynaecology.
In 1939 England declared war on Germany and in 1940 Mr. Paul joined the Army as a Volunteer Captain in the Ceylon Medical Corps "because of his loyalty to King and Country." However five years later he resigned after an argument with General Pownell, General Officer commanding the Armed Forces, over the indifference in the treatment of Ceylon soldiers. He was accused of "inciting the Ceylonese troops against the British in Trincomalee."
And so back to civilian life, marriage and a career in the Medical Service. As he had no fixed appointment he was sent to fill in vacancies around the country until he was offered a scholarship in Thoracic Surgery in London. This proved to be the first step in the journey which led to his becoming one of the earliest cardiac surgeon in the world and the first in Asia.
The book describes this journey, which began at a time when Cardiac Surgery such as valve repair and replacement, coronary by-pass and heart transplantation would have been unthinkable, to a time nearer the end of the century when transplants became almost routine.
The story of this rapid and fascinating development and the accompanying problems is interlaced with accounts of travels that spanned the globe, meetings with pioneer heart specialists worldwide who encouraged and supported his efforts to bring Cardiac Surgery to Asia, and his stay and work in Africa.
At the same time he allows us a glimpse of his talent in the area of portrait painting (several of his paintings have been reproduced in the book; they have also been shown at exhibitions); his varied experiences in the field of the Supernatural; and of his hobbies. These encompassed the building and flying of model aircraft, and also of boats. Maybe there is a connection between the manual dexterity required in the delicate craft of heart surgery and the construction of a flying or sailing mechanism.
This book sub-titled 'A Cardiac Surgeon's Story of adventure and Endeavour between 1920 and 1980 is not only interesting, enjoyable and informative but also a valuable record of an era that has passed; of an enquiring mind and a life lived to the full.
- Anne Ranasinghe
Produced by Lake House