In the last two weeks, we lost a couple of our college professors. Thanks to social media, WA group we get to know and we were for a moment thinking about them and their services It is indeed a privilege that teachers do this work out of sheer joy.
I jogged my memory cells to pick up what traits and characteristics I could gather from reminiscing about our old teachers. I have nurtured some fond memories of my school teachers.
We had a chemistry teacher who would use her chalk as a weapon. As soon as she entered the class, she would fill up the board with equations and ask a couple of students to fill in those blanks. Students who missed would become the target of her chalk attack. So when I came to know about her demise I remembered those school days and how I learned the periodic table by heart and balancing of equations.
My toughest subject was English and I got the lowest mark in 10th. I remembered one poem by P.B.Shelly. Our teacher made everyone read this poem loudly in the class. I was really terrified to read it. I could imagine now what I went through to read this poem aloud. In retrospect, I struggled to enunciate the way our teacher read out this poem. Apart from that, I guess I did not know the meaning of so many words which were there in the poem and overall I never enjoyed learning English. It is ironic how much I write today and looking forward to reading poetry in the future.
I must thank my tuition mathematics teacher, who drove us crazy when we were asked to come for classes at 5AM in the morning and sometimes it continued for 5 hrs. The best part was we never complained, as I guess we were getting ready for the number crunching which was lying ahead in our lives. He was also known in our school for using a cane to punish students to make them better. Today all I do is making the numbers for a living ( sales targets)!
When I was in 12th standard, we studied to crack the engineering exam. So we had to go for tuition and I vividly remember our travel over the weekends for physics and chemistry tuition when the whole world was watching BR Chopra’s Mahabharata. I still recollect some of the tips to crack the entrance came from one particular professor who gave us some great insights. As there were negative marks we have to only attempt the ones we were fully confident about. When it came down to maths he made us mark on the workbook margins the acronym KP which in my mother tongue means to by- heart. We would look at all KP’s randomly and make sure we apply it as soon as we got the question papers. So that was a ready reckoner for us in solving and getting solutions.
In today’s life, I am really trying to connect with chalks, canes, equations, words, 5AM, and ready reckoners when I navigate through life both on the personal front and professional areas. Chalk to me represents writing which I have developed as a passion and cultivating it as a skill. I am yet to join the 5AM club. But definitely, 5.30 AM is my target and want to practice an hour of power in the morning. That is a discipline which I need to build. Cane to me symbolizes “chip on your shoulder” to stare at your inadequacies and take those areas of improvements seriously to become a better version of yourselves. Last week I received from TILT a feedback on deeper connection and I have decided to implement this feedback after thanking a couple of people who made me aware of this infallibility. The balancing of the equation in today’s world is about how we are balancing the wheel of life (Relationships, Professional, Financial, Wellness, Spiritual and Emotional ). Finally, it is important to keep all the above in a journal as a ready reckoner so that you can live a life of purpose and meaning.
Teachers have played a very important role in my lives. Today I have coaches for fitness, mindset; professional and virtual mentors apart from books and the Internet. It has helped me become what I am today.
Be it the way they conducted the class, made us “by heart” things, scream at us and at times punish us we all had a roller coaster life filled with valleys and troughs and hence I am today making a choice to not call them teachers.