Information security, Technology

Offensive and defensive security

What is meant by ‘Offensive’ and ‘Defensive’ security? Read more here:

Offensive and defensive security

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India, US

Realities of life in the USA – 2

I thought I was done with writing about India and US but I was watching a Tamil movie ‘Achamundu Achamundu’ yesterday and all my thoughts coherently aligned yet again for another reality post!! πŸ™‚

  1. Loneliness is a huge killer for Indian families in the USA…especially, women. If you are neither a student nor are working, loneliness will grab you in her arms and never let go of you!! 😦 If you live in a cold place like Detroit, Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago -you can be certain you will be in her arms at least once in your time there.
  2. Most women who are neither working nor studying, will end up making friends in the local library, school, college, parks or other social gatherings.
  3. Friends will be the real social strength for immigrants in the USA. Anybody from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,Β  Bangladesh and any/all Asian countries – we become extremely attached to them because of our common culture! πŸ™‚
  4. Social gatherings like weddings, engagements, pre-engagements, baby showers, baby arrival gatherings and more will come and go in India and you will be cut-off from them. You will see them in all probability only when the child goes to kindergarten or beyond…
  5. You will really not see many people outside walking on the streets like in India.You will definitely see cars, cars and more cars…

 

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6. Doing laundry everyday is really not the norm in the USA. It is something that visiting parents and in-laws will find difficulty adjusting to.

7. And if your apartment, has a common laundromat – be prepared to carry your clothes to the laundromat…(don’t we miss the maids in India?!! :))

8. Most families will not get the newspaper in paper format either. Again that is a fact that many visiting parents and in-laws have to get adjusted to.

9. If you get to visit the USA as a student, finances will be absolutely tight. You will be trying to prove yourself as a good student and you have to manage all the finances all alone for the first time in your life too.Β  This is probably the toughest path for an immigrant and the most satisfying one too. You will enjoy the American system of education which is fundamentally different from the Indian system.

10. One eye or rather both eyes will keep track of every movement in India too!! πŸ™‚ Who has won the election, what is the trend in women’s fashion world(for women), what are the children of India studying currently – might be some thoughts that are constantly whizzing through us – this is also the way to keep in touch with our motherland…

11. If you have decided to settle in the USA, you will be visiting India more than 2-3 times a year for different reasons and excuses!! πŸ˜‰

Read the first part of ‘Realities of life in the USA’Β Β here…have I missed any other realities?

India

CBSE vs ICSE – always a good battle!! :)

As most of us from India might be aware, CBSE and ICSE are the two popular education boards in India. While most of us parents are strongly attached to one particular board for any which reason, putting our child into either of the boards is a perennial dilemma for most parents. We choose one board and then after a few years think the other board might have been better and we keep see-sawing on the decision.

However, with my son having completed his Xth grade from the ICSE board and XIIth grade from the CBSE board,Β  these are a few of my learnings over the years:

  1. When he first started school in India in fourth grade, we had safely forgotten the nitty-gritty details of boards in India(remember – we returned after a long US stint) We saw the first school, liked it and he stayed there, irrespective of the board. It was then we learnt that the school was an ICSE school and learnt the ICSE way of approach.
  2. ICSE syllabus is vast. Writing ‘vast’ in the English language is easy – but understanding the word ‘vast’ and studying the ‘vast’ syllabus in ten subjects is not easy.
  3. There are ten subjects in the ICSE board for grade 10 – yes, TEN!!Β  They are Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Hist/Civics, Geography, English language, English literature, Computers/PE/or another optional subject, 2nd language.
  4. There will inevitably be 50 chapters in Math, 50 chapters in Physics, 50 chapters in Chemistry and so on for the final board exam!!Β There have been times when my son has always been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information in Xth grade and has always asked me one simple question “How can I look at all 50 chapters the night before the exam?” The answer of course is quite simple – you cannot look at all the chapters before the exam, you can only look at the weakest ones before the exam. The ICSE exam thus needs a lot of exam hacks and cracks to be successful in it with less stress.
  5. Most parents feel the CBSE board offers less stress – because the subjects are clubbed together(like Physics, Chemistry, Biology as ‘Science’, History/Civics/Geo as ‘Social Studies’) Now, I cannot say for sure whether the CBSE board till Xth grade is less stress or not – but you sure have to study all the science laws and Trignometric formulae to ace life’s academic tests.
  6. In hindsight, XIIth grade CBSE board was a relatively easier and happier experience for my son.
  7. Now, the final irony was that when the grade X and grade XII results for both the boards were released this year, the ICSE/ISC students were awarded full marks or centums in many subjects such as Math, Computer Science, History/Civics/Geo while not many were awarded centums in Math and Sciences in CBSE schools!! ( And I am a sucker for centums! :))

Quite a twist in tale, right? The supposedly easier syllabus had lesser known centums and the grading was harder (atleast from what I have seen around me) and the supposedly harder syllabus had more centums and more students got better marks than they expected!!

I am not sure which syllabus had the last laugh?

Parenting

My ’99’ mark wonder boy!! :)

Many of you might recollect that I sat and waited and waited for the Xth gradeΒ marks to be declared for my son, two years ago..but this time, around the the CBSE twelfth grade results in India took us all by surprise by being declared suddenly!! (but it was a sweet surprise, though!! :)) In India we love the declaration of Xth grade and XIIth grade marks …everyone is excited and going bonkers, phones ringing incessantly – the excitement has been the same from the time I studied 12th grade!! :)(if at all, it has grown more!!)

The anticipation is always huge for my nerdy and geeky son, who is known to only “study”!! πŸ™‚ (yes, he exists!!) The boy whom I have never taught anything since the age of 2,(yes – you saw that number correct!! :)) and who has never been to any form of tuition (rather he is capable of him taking tuitions!!) all through his school, finally got his 12th grade results yesterday.

While I always wonder what is “the” thing that must be shared on social media…I always end up sharing my son’s marks on social media through a blog post!! πŸ™‚ So, here without any further procrastination – are his marks:

Computers – 99/100

Math -99/100

Physics- 99/100

Chem -95/100

English – 95/100

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With a total percentage of 97.4%!! (and ironically it is the same percentage as his Xth grade!!)

And where does he stand in school with this result? He is the SCHOOL TOPPER!! πŸ™‚ YES, HE DID IT – even though the ‘1’ mark in each subject evaded him, we are all over the moon for him!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We couldn’t have been more proud, happier and excited!!

To the boy, who entirely studied on his own and drew his own timetables and formed his own shortcuts and never gave his parents anything to worry about on the studying front, may HAPPINESS and SUCCESS always find you!! πŸ™‚

To the teachers, students of Bala’s present school and his past school(s) – we are forever indebted in shaping our son’s life and always having trust and faith in him!! Thank you for making him smile and giving him a happy carefree environment to grow!!