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‘Don’t fear mathematics’ — Pubudi Apsara

By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna

PHOTO © SAMAN ABESIRIWARDANA

 

Today, in discussion with The Sunday Morning Little Stars, is a young girl who has a passion for mathematics. She says that she wants to become a mathematics teacher in the future to help students who struggle with maths. This maths enthusiast, 14-year-old Pududi Apsara, is also an athlete with a special talent in running events. She is also a chess player. 

Q: Pubudi, can you tell us more about yourself?
A: My full name is Pubudi Apasara Weththasinghe and I am from Panadura. I am 14 years old and a grade nine student from Aruggoda Sri Parakrama Maha Vidyalaya. I have an older sister and a younger brother. People call me ‘sporty’ because I do a lot of sports in school. I am an athlete and I am good at running events and relays. I also play basketball and chess in school. My hobbies are dancing, singing, and reading books. I also attend Dhamma School at Aruggoda Sri Sumanasara Dhamma School. 

Q: When did you start taking part in sports?
A: Since I was very young but I didn’t participate in tournaments other than school sports meets until recently. I started participating in tournaments about two years ago. 

Q: What was the last tournament you participated in?
A: It was an inter-school tournament organised by the school. I took part in relays. 

Q: Do you also participate in chess tournaments?
A: Yes. The last tournament I participated in outside of school was an event organised at Panadura Girls’ School. My sister also participated in the event. My sister is the one who started playing chess first. I got interested to learn the game when I saw how focused she was when she played. She is the one who taught me my first moves. 

Q: What are your fondest memories of participating in sporting events?
A: For me, the fondest memories come from the events organised at school, especially the sports meet. I love these events, not only because I can win first or second place in the events I take part in; it’s also because I am surrounded by my friends during these events. We train a lot for these events but we also have a lot of fun getting ready for these events.

Q: Dancing and music are your hobbies. Tell us more.
A: Yes. I study dancing at school as a subject. I don’t study music anywhere but it is something my entire family enjoys. We sing almost always when all of us have some free time to hang out together. I want to continue to study dancing as it is a very relaxing form of art, only second to sports. 

Q: You said reading is also another hobby that you enjoy. What is your favourite genre?
A: My favourite is the adventure category. I love the sense of excitement these stories give me. 

Q: What is the best book you have read so far?
A: Well, that is a tough question to answer. I think the answer is ‘Life of Pi’.

Q: Who is your favourite character from the book?
A: Pi’s life is full of adventure. I love how his character develops as he learns the rules of his new world and adapts to that, emotionally, by experiencing a lot of tough things. I think there are a lot of positive characteristics we can learn from him if we study his character in depth.

Q: What is your ambition?
A: I want to become a teacher and teach mathematics.

Q: So, is mathematics your favourite subject in school?
A: Yes. I have loved it since I was in smaller grades.

Q: Why do you want to become a maths teacher?
A: I think maths is a really fun subject if you learn the correct methods. Most kids think maths is hard because they have failed to catch up with the processes. I like to help students who are weak in mathematics. Maths skills are something we need when we deal with life every day. 

Q: Do you have any tips for our readers on improving maths skills?
A: Practice! Always practice. That’s what’s going to help you during your term tests.
Learn your timetables well. This makes calculations really easy. 
Don’t fear maths. Take a closer look, and it will be clearer. 
If there are any basics that you have missed, go back and master that. Maths is a skill you need to develop based on the skills you learned previously. You can’t forget the lessons you learnt in the previous grade. 

Q: Would you like to mention your supporters?
A: My parents. My elder sister Tasika Shyamalie. My school teacher Nayanie and my aunt Nuwangi Sewwandi who teach me to dance.