20/01/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal
It’s been 10 years. 10 long years since I have achieved this exaggerated and over rated freedom.
This is freedom? College was considered cool. I mean every one in grade 2 and above always wanted to just cross the hurdle and land into the mass of opportunities and freedom of what college had in store. This is what we were made to believe.
Bad Bollywood movies, pathetic soaps, and wrong choice of seniors led to the creation of this “sugar-candy mountain” that probably existed in grade 11 and above. It was fun for the first few months, I agree…
After that it was the same.
The fun we had was always the same. You had to have your friends around for it. It was the same like school. Actually school was even more fun. The happiness and sense of exultation one felt by bunking classes and hiding in the toilet to escape punishment was nothing, NOTHING, compared to walking out nonchalantly of a lecture as the professor looked on in equal disinterest. Where was the fun? The professors didn’t care because more than 75% took outside coaching and hence the in-house teachers were reduced to mere spectators with low quality opinions.
The remaining 25% were either studious or they knew they’ll scrape a pass without outside help. There were many who didn’t give a damn about results. After all college was meant to be enjoyed, right?
But what enjoyment if you don’t even come to college? We, as a group of friends, were the few who were very regular when it came to college. Not regular in the actual attendance of lectures though! But I’ll still say that there were some lectures that were fun to attend. Our graduation class had two Economics professors. Each one of them were a delight to listen to. Looking back, I have to agree that high school and graduation professors rarely got the attention and respect they deserved. For example my Junior college Accounts and Book Keeping professor was never loved and adored for the hard work he put into the few who attended his lectures. I can personally vouch for that. In my second year of college I was sitting for his class (this was the time around which I realised that it’s not necessary that I stay away from college and do nothing at home to be bracketed as cool), the first or the second lecture EVER, and he comes and sits by me and says, “You seem like a decent chap. Why don’t I see you in class more often?”
You think I’d have an answer to that? Yeah, right.
All I did was stay quiet and let him talk to me some more. We were doing Joint Venture Accounting I remember so clearly. And I was unable to get the logic right. C’mon I was a rookie man! So, he takes my book from me and sees what I’ve done and smiles.
“Well, whats the hurdle?”
“I can’t seem to get the appropriation right.”, I muttered.
“That’s simple enough.”
And he goes ahead and completes the sum for me with his red ball point pen all the while explaining the theory of appropriations.
I have never forgotten that day. I never missed his lecture. It was something I looked forward to. I wouldn’t want the readers to feel that I was doing a favour for him by sitting for his class, oh no I was not. Every time he saw me sitting in the third row he gave a small smile and a tilt of his head. It made me feel good. It made me feel that I’m giving him the attention he deserved. And I never had to force myself to be there on time.
I really don’t know what makes these professors strive hard. They know that 95% of the class just sit through it for lecture credits. They know that very few students actually jot the points which they raise, and promptly answer themselves when they see the comatose class react with indifference. I still don’t know. There are few who have a fan following because they’re “cool”. They some times use profanities in the class and some times advocate the freedom of varied sexual experiences.
I laughed at bad jokes too. I enjoyed these half baked teachers too. Now, I’m not saying that your teacher cannot be your pal. But I would rather have him as a pal and not as a locker room back slapping jock. It doesn’t go down well with me.
I started with school so I should probably end it from there too. Till date I haven’t ever come across a Teacher whom I could respect and look up to the way I did my English and Geography professors. I liked my above mentioned Accounts professor too, mind you. I liked him a lot. But nothing compared to these two stalwarts. One was a disciplinarian but funny too, while the other was calm, wise and laid-back. My school had more great teachers than mediocre ones. I am so proud of the fact that I can look back with delight and imagine myself telling stories to my children about my school teachers. I’m sure they’ll go to the same place too.
I think I found the perfect balance between them.