Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"To Sir With love"

When I joined my first job, I still had the school-girlish tendency to expect guidance and spoon-feeding. Very quickly, I was ‘taught’ to expect otherwise. I learnt the hard way to anticipate and keep myself abreast of most things. One had to ask in order to learn. Very rarely did people ‘teach’. Still, a few odd things impressed me – words like “You respect my time and I’ll respect yours” by an instructor to a couple of people late for her class, “It’s those small things which can topple your effort. So make sure you tie up those itsy-bitsy loose ends first before focusing on the bigger issues,” by my very sage instructor who trained me during my first job, “A lazy employee is like a family black sheep” by a former project manager.

It’s startling how I remember most the things taught during my school times. Basic concepts of Geometry and Algebra (no Arithmetic though :-(....), how to write essays, how to make primary, secondary and tertiary colours, photosynthesis, plant and animal cells, staple food of North and South India, so on and so forth. However, the memory of my PU and Engineering days are loaded with blanks. And the conclusion I could draw was – either I was very studious during my school-days or the teachers were very diligent in their job. Considering the fact that I was an above average student (ahem-ahem!), the latter conclusion makes more sense.

Most of school life was interspersed with teachers who make the most boring subjects interesting. I still remember my primary school Science teacher who used to conduct experiments in the class in order to demonstrate a few aspects such as gravity, suction, capillary motion etc. I can still recall the excitement with which we used to await his class, and the effortless pin-drop silence that ensued during his experiments. And he did not even have to raise his voice for that :-)!

Then again, there were teachers who were so encouraging (and understanding) about one’s mistakes (at homework or otherwise), that one could only be compelled to learn from the mistakes and perform better. My English teacher was one such gem of a person who never reprimanded a student in rough language, and treated us as responsible kids rather than ‘simply students who had to be taught a lesson”. And so was my Sanskrit teacher who patiently taught us this completely new language of which we had no clue at all. This explains why I still remember the (dreaded) shabdas in Sanskrit :P!

As I progressed to the upper echelons of education, I encountered teachers who taught only for the sake of teaching, who viewed us merely as ‘undisciplined brutes’ and treated us as such, and who cut us to the core in public by their caustic remarks. I can only ponder about my lack of interest in studies – was I so unmotivated by my teachers so as not to understand the subjects, or was it plain disinterest, or were the subjects themselves too ‘heavy’ to be completely understood? My safest bet is that it’s a combination of all three.

It's been quite some time since I've posted something worthwhile. My apologies to my readers :-)! I've been preoccupied by a variety of tasks, incongruously insignificant, yet occupying quality time and adding up to a huge chunk in my day-to-day life. And every reflection-at-the-end-of-the-day leaves me wondering “What on the earth did I do today?” only to be reminded of the sage words of my instructor – small tasks are indeed preoccupying! Truer words were never remembered this often :-)!


Altoid said...

Hi Chitra

Thanks for your comment at my blog.

And I second that, small tasks seem to add up to a whole lot of a day :)

Have a nice one


Amrita said...

this just made me think.. till school we have teachers.. then on we have lecturers professors readers.....
hence the difference mebbe

Chitra said...

Thanks and you too :-)!

What's the difference between the two phases? The fact that we were kids then and hence accepted whatever was taught to us? Or the fact that as adults, we were a bit rebellious and treated whatever our lecturers taught with a bit of salt? I am yet to figure this out myself :-)

Satish (a.k.a) Bhaashaa said...

Hey, This is my first peep into your blog and thoroughly impressed with the way you have written this post, especially the narration of various subjects we had in school was out of the world.

"Capillary Motion", you just pricked some part of my dead brain and I am scratching my head to recollect what it is. Thanks to wiki!!!


Chitra said...

Tee hee! As I said in my blog, we had a good Physics teacher. And practicals are much better than theory right? So I still remember some things thanks to his experiments.

CM-Chap said...

Most of us behave in the same way during our first job :)

The value we stand for in life is directly linked to Parents & teachers.

“What on the earth did I do today?” - Well, evryday I too ask the same question to myself. If I list donw its like this.... Excel, ppt, word, mpp etc.. lol

Art said...

Nice to see something on ur blog after a long time...
Well I still remember what my first PM told me... I still follow what he says :) - Finish ur work on time, dont give others opportunity to question what you do in your free time.

Chitra said...

Truer words were never spoken! I agree with you!

Hyuck hyuck! T(h)anks! My PM said, "Never give 100% to your work - no-one really appreciates it" :P!