Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Role Reversal.

Strange are the ways of life. 5 months back, I was bunking classes big time, and whatever little time I would be in class, I’d sit in the last bench and talk non-stop! 3 months back, I was burning the midnight oil, studying for the exams, and cursing the teachers big time.

And now, I am supposed to control a pack of naughty kids and make sure that they do not talk in class. I have to set questions for them they will not be very happy to answer. How can I ask the kids not to talk? Their senseless chatter should fill up the rooms, don’t you think? It is a crime to shut them up. Yet, thanks to our strict principal who must never have had a childhood, I have to scream at the kids (at least pretend to be angry) to please her. If I were the principal, I would do away with exams, do away with the school uniforms, and never try to stop them from talking or giggling senselessly. It only shows their innocence, something we adults lack completely.

My life has changed drastically the last few days in more ways than one.

The alarm goes off at 4 am everyday. And everyday, I shut it up and go back to sleep. And then, I have to get up to the melody of mom screaming at me, "The day they fire you for being late, you will realize”. Well, my circadian rhythm has still a long way to go for these drastic shifts. I have to take the bus by 6 am everyday. And that means wake up at least at 5. I cannot even dream of touching the cold waters then, let alone take a bath. So these days, I shower after 10 pm, and read a book till I fall asleep by 11.

I can’t bring myself to have food early in the morning. And once I am in school, I just do not have the time. And this means I don’t get to eat these days till say about 2-3 pm, but for the cups of coffee. You bet, my family doc is gonna be rich soon, the way I am aggravating my ulcer.

My school is nothing but an army as far as discipline is concerned. Teachers cannot color their hair (mine is not), and cannot wear jewelry ( I usually do not). But you cannot wear jeans, or skirts, not even the longer ones, or anything that is sleeveless or is not a salwar kameez or a sari. Even a short kurti will not do! And that means 70% of my wardrobe has already become redundant.

It is great to hear “Good morning ma’am” thousand times a day. I was so not very used to this, I’d initially turn around to check if that was me they were wishing.

Last year this time, I was interning at a state government environmental lab for 3 months. Running gas chromatographs. Doing hardcore research. Grim faced scientists running around all day. Not a noise but for the constant drone of sophisticated machines. Speckless labs that reminded you of Robin Cook novels or a Steven Spielberg movie. People talking in hushed tones all day.

But this place is so very different. You will go deaf with the amount of noise children make. I had always fancied teaching in a school and being surrounded with kids all day. But I had never expected it to materialize so soon. It is amazing, how even a “very good” you scribble on someone’s copy can make his day and earn you their toothless smiles. And I just love those “ma’am, he is tickling me, ma’am, he is pushing me” complaints.

Plenty of stories to recount, but it is already past ten, and I should try and get some sleep. Have a long day ahead. Just a funny incident before I sign off.......

I find two boys from the last bench whispering into each other’s ears. Distracted, I roll my eyes and ask in a feigned but stern tone, “What is it so interesting that you boys are discussing in class?”

One of them stands up, guiltily smiles a rather toothless smile, and says, “Ma’am, he is saying you are very cute.”

Well, if you expect me to be harsh to these kids after this, you might as well put a few stones where your heart beats. As for me, I just love the kids, and all the indiscipline, and all the noise that they create! Makes me feel alive.



Ashish Gupta said...

//How can I ask the kids not to talk?
of course u cannot, wat do u want - to come back home with handful of paperballs and chalk pieces :P

//senseless chatter should fill up the rooms
its actually children's energy giving vivacity to the dull classrooms :">

u love those complaints??? I am sure u'll make a fav. teacher for a huge lot of them !

Go lady! have a great time with these kids. wish u all the very best :)

PS: let ur guiding light be the floydian facts of life {life ke phundae by floyd uncles ;)}

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Ha haa ahhaa .... “Ma’am, he is saying you are very cute.”...

So you finally tricked an innocent mind into saying something you were longing to hear this long in your entire existence?? Oh boy... bechara student... :D

Great to hear about your experiences at school. Do post more of these.

Zarine said...

Wow..! :)

I plan to start a nursery school sometime in my lifetime!I adore kids too :)

It's wonderful that you enjoy what you are doing...touchwood. :)

strangequark said...

Ma'm U r Cute .............. ha ha ha
i rolled off my chair ......... ha ha lol....
wondering what i said when i was a kid, teachers, esp lady teacher, esp youg lady teachers, esp young cute lady teachers do attract attention...
btw, what grade do u teach? and what subject?

chakrapani said...

Thats a nice blog u've got.Im hooked. Came across it in random searches.What a probability ! would love to calculate.. I am pathetic at prob(read maths) :))
Kids can sure light up your face. looking forward to read ur schooling as well as 'teacher ! teacher!...' experiences.BTW,u would make a great writer..),And am sure i will have a fab time reading u r literature.


Raam Pyari said... finally we get know how u r getting along!!!!
i was wundering , you know...
and no plz plz plz be a bhery bhery nice teacher ....dont be strict at all!!!!
i'm sure u'll evryonez fave teacher in no time! :)

Ashish Gupta said...

how was the day and how many paperballs in ur account today? :P

Between wat kinda discipline is that??? shivsena or bajrang dal ka administration hai kya ???
This is funny: I remember us being 'taught' for a few hours in 11th standard by a young girl in a mini skirt- (un)fortunately there was hardly any teaching at all ;)

Abhi said...

Sorry for commenting so late maam.What..Dont look at me that no , I am not going to stand on the bench now !

sunshine said...

ashish gupta....hey, thanx buddy... but lemme tell you, it's not that easy a job, and I can realize that with every passing day. And chalks and paperballs? Man, they shower me with chocolates. And yes, I've always wanted to be a cool teacher, wearing jeans and floral shirts to work. But I keep forgetting, this is India!

sudipta.... tricked an innocent mind? I am happy that your comments are finally back on my blog, but that doesn't give you the right to say all this. After all, I'd hate to make you stand up on the bench or kneel down because oh this.

zarine...keep me in mind when you start a nursery school.

strangequark....whats there to roll off the chair? For me, we used to be extremely scared of teachers and seniors. Couldn't even think of calling them sweet or cute on their face.

chakrapani... he he, you don't exaggerate and embarrass me this way. I am glad that you like my writings.

ruchi.... hey buddy, don't worry, I try to be a very very nice person, but then, they tend to sit on your heads when you do not discipline them. Isn't it?

Abhinav..... you better kneel down and hold your ears the next time you do not submit your comments on time.

Ashish Gupta said...

D'oh! nahi yaar

make abhi write his comment 10 times over!

Ashish Gupta said...

Oops forgot to add *wicked me* at the end of the comment... LOL

sunshine said...

@ashish... he he, good enough! What say thou munnu?