Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Happy Teachers' Day.

In these days when you hear of teachers beating their students to death almost, I think with gratitude and love of my teachers, who were maybe not GREAT, all of them, but some of them certainly left their mark on me and several others who passed through their classes.

Starting with class I, there was Ms. Colleen, my class teacher. An Anglo-Indian, she was dark and pretty and vivacious, and I adored her! The feeling was reciprocated and I was one of her favourites, seated on the front bench. Till one day, she caught me peeking at her white panties, up her dress. (I still remember the colour!) She crossed her legs, only to give me a better view! She then joined her legs primly and turned them the other way from one pair of inquisitive eyes, and smiled at me and said, 'Naughty girl!" She would come and visit even me when I passed on into the second standard...She got married and left soon after, but years later, she came back, when I was in the ninth or tenth. Don't think she remembered me as the girl who peeked, and was glad for it. I however remembered my adored one.

There was Mrs. Violet, my class teacher in the third, who was so very particular about how the v's and the w's had to be pronounced. To this day, when reading stories to Sonny boy, I remember her and I make a perfect round for the w's. (Hmmm, these days I also think of a certain Moppet, when rounding my lips into a perfect O)
Miss Anne was another who was very particular about the English language. She it was who used to give five stars as treats for students who used to do well in her class. Gave 'carrot and stick' a whole new meaning, she did. And she was always dressed so smartly and elegantly.Not a hair out of place, and perfectly creased skirts and blouses.... I wish I had half her poise and charm....

I have mentioned Mrs. Gopalan in an earlier post. She was taken aback and delighted to know that one of the 'dunces' from her class actually went on to do her graduation in Chemistry. After all, all those lines had to come in useful, didn't they?
And then, there was Mrs. Mariamma, who took away just 1/2 a mark from my answer sheet in one test, and praised me so much I can never forget it. It was in History of all subjects, but apparently, I had mentioned ALL the points and she so stressed on points, points, points.....esp as we were going to be facing our board exams the next year.
After all that goodwill, she got terribly upset with me when I sang a parody in the school festival. It was about a faithless boyfriend who if his girlfriend couldn't accompany him to the cinema, was quite happy to have the younger sister of his girlfriend accompany him. The younger sister's name was Mariyamma, and the school went wild when I sang it. Unfortunately, she didn't appreciate the humour then and gave me a lecture on how she expected a class leader to set better standards. Later, she forgave me.

There was Pavithran Mashu. He was not a teacher at school, but I went to him for Maths tuition in the ninth. He turned all my ideas of doing math on its head. Given a problem, he would start with the solution, and then work backwards. Perfect modus operandi for life too, but there are no teachers as good as him to learn from. He was also my neighbour, and I was in awe of him. Incidentally, I scored the highest in class in Maths during the period I learnt from him, which sadly was for just a year. He is no more now, God bless his soul.

Coming to college, there was Prasenna teacher. She was one of the most liked, respected teachers, who went on to become the Head of the Department, but to this date (she's retired now) she continues being called Prasenna teacher. There's humility for you. Actually, more than Mrs. Gop, it was she who was instrumental in my taking up Chemistry. She wore such gorgeous saris, and we used to never see her wear the same sari in less than 6 months. Quite a collection!
Then there was Prof. Bose, who despite the students booing and teasing and calling him all sorts of names, stuck to his love for the language, and taught well, the ones who were interested. I wish I'd had him for my teacher when I DID take up Eglish literature as my main subject. It would have been a pleasure.

In University, there was Prof. R.Viswanathan. Nicknamed RV. Unbelievably knowledgeable. And unbelievably self-effacing with it. Quietly he would come to class and get me enraptured with his lectures. He it was, who made me appreciate what a world of difference criticism made to a work. Prof. Jaleel was another erudite person, who taught me to love the poets.

Looking back, I think that one common thing that marked all the good teachers, was their humility. The more they knew, the greater their humility.
And then, their desire to impart the love and fascination for their subject.
There were some of my teachers who were very knowledgeable perhaps, but did miserably at imparting that knowledge across to others. They failed to kindle that flame of curiosity that makes you want to go on and on...

I so hope and pray that Sonny boy's teachers in his early and later days kindle that spirit of curiosity, which makes learning such a pleasure and less of a chore.

And on this day, God bless teachers the world over with patience, love and forbearance.


timepass said...

How nice of u to remember ur fav teachers today..

Usha said...

Good one! and so many good teachers - you were lucky!must have been their passion which made them stand out too!

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Tys on Ice said...

I know that song!!!

its ' vrum shaniyazhcha pathu kazhinyumbol....'

thts mother was a teacher all her life...she used to alwyas say that all she wanted was all her children to be good people - to her tht was being successful.

lovely post...thnks for making me remember

aargee said...

lovely post to make us remember our teachers too.. though I didn't have any good teachers at college, had some good ones at school. You are really lucky to list so many good teachers. When I was young, i remember scribbling on the walls lying just next to my granny, imagining students around me and teaching granny still keeps telling me that :)I really wanted to become one :)

Something to Say said...

ooops I almost forgot it was Teacher's Day today. I mean what with India ka match - and the way we won it....

Moppet's Mom said...

You're a lucky girl - good teachers are becoming rarer and rarer these days. Teaching is something I wish I could do, but I don't think I have the temperament for it :-)

Just Like That said...

Timepass: :-)

Usha: Some of them were really good, but there were quite some bad apples too...

Lavs: Thanks a TON, sweetie. will do it now.

Tys on ice: Welcome much to my blog. :-) I'd forgotten the opening lines of that parody I just remember "nee vannillenkil, varanothillenkil, ninte aniyathi Mariyamme ayakkamodi..? and the hoots that filled the hall:-D Belated Happy Teachers' Day to your Mom.

Aargee: That list encompassed school, college and University...that's a lot of teachers... and yeah, sure, some of them were good.:-)

STS: Didn't watch the match. *Holding my hands over my head* Hate watching cricket! unless am drawn into it much against my will, by all the shouting that goes on in my house... Yeah, have been hearing hubby and BIL enthuse over it from morning! Gah!

Was too busy cooking, doing the dishes and making Sonny boy do HOMEWORK. Think I will go crazy soon. :-(

Moppet's Mom: Once a long time ago, Daddy heard me coaching my nephew in science and told me admiringly that I explained it well. Wonder what he would say if he heard me teaching my son the basics now. :-(
Both of us excel in driving the other up the wall. Not at all a sign of a good teacher, I'm afraid. That puts paid to my idea of taking up teaching as a profession, leaving my current one.

Sunita said...

Really loved this post. You were quite a naughty girl from the start uh??

Someday will do a similar one.

WhatsInAName said...

Lovely post!
Lucky you to have such great teachers!
Secondly, what do you eat? How do you have such a great memeory :)

Swati said...

Great post and indeed great memory..nice of you to do this post today a real honour to your teachers.

Just Like That said...

Win: LOL!Would love to do a Jeeves and say 'Fish' but that has been a rarity in my household since my marriage.:-)
On the other hand, when you have two aunts and a sister above and 2 cousins below you, all of whom studied in the same school, its kind of easier to remember the teachers. ;-)

Swati: :-) I enjoyed doing that post too.

Peridot said...

My mum has been a teacher all her life, nice to know they are still remembered and appreciated.

rbdans said...

That was a very lovely post. My parents both are in the teaching profession, hope they are remembered as wonderfully as you remember yours. Brought back memories :)

Just Like That said...

Amazing how many bloggers have teachers as their parents. My Mom was a teacher herself before she got married and Dad got her to stop working.....:-) It used to be a source of amazement and amusement to me and my sister to see grown ladies with kids come up gushing to her and ask her if she remembered them...:-D

Poornima said...

Looks like you studied at univ. of calicut - English dept! RV and Jaleel !

Just Like That said...

Yup, I did. You too? Welcome to my blog, btw, and keep coming back