Everyone knows the generic arguments about the role and importance that teachers have in the making of a person, so this post won’t be dealing with any of that. Instead, I will be talking about the role that some teachers, good and bad, played in my life and what my teachers mean to me, in general.
I don’t know if there are any other people like me out there, as I certainly have not yet met anyone who has this thing that I’m about to describe to quite the extent that I do, but in my life so far, I have only been able to excel at things for which I had great teachers. I am the kind of person that has always sought external validation, and although it may seem like a drawback or a flaw in personality, the times it has helped me greatly outnumber the times it has been detrimental.
For me, the definition of a good teacher would be someone who can manage to spike my interest in the subject that they are trying to educate me about (I know that sounds like too vague a criterion, but it just isn’t something that can be quantified so easily). I have been assigned way too many teachers in school that had too jaded a view of life to ever take initiative to actually teach anything useful to the students.To put it subtly, they frankly didn’t seem to give a shit.
So, here goes the list:
1) Mr. Suresh: This man was my physics teacher for the last two years of school and if I was to point fingers, he’s the man I would blame for robbing me of my love for physics. 63 years old, three years past the official retirement age, he was an eccentric old man. I’d be willing to entertain the possibility of him being a great teacher back in his prime, but sometimes you gotta know when to quit. Listening to his dull, drone-like voice, put me and more than half of the class to sleep almost instantly. In typical old-man-maybe-slightly-perverted fashion, he was partial to the girls in class (of which there were only four in a class of forty four for some odd reason that nobody knew). I really wish to write down about some of my memories from school; the funny incidents that happened that were in some way related to that man, but there’s way too many of them to list down and a list that would be non exhaustive would simply not do justice to my conscience. But I would like to mention, that because of this man’s crazy ideas about “teaching”, I was unable to pass a single test or exam throughout two years of school.
2) Mrs. Kanupriya: This woman taught me chemistry for my twelfth grade. This fat, lazy woman can very easily be classified in my mind as pretty much the worst teacher that I have ever had. She had an office on the ground floor inside the chemistry lab and our class was on the third floor. On more than one occasions, she simply summoned the entire class down to the chemistry lab (a lab made to accommodate only twenty at a time) because she didn’t feel like climbing the stairs. This woman, could always be spotted inside her office doing one thing and one thing only: eating. That is all. When she occasionally did come to class, she would spend more than half of it making kids stand up and humiliating them (me, most frequently, because I was always asleep). I’m just delighted to have graduated from school, because now I do not have to see that nightmare inducing face anymore.
3) Mrs. Sonica: Putting this woman in this list, who was my computer science teacher in school, feels a little unfair, because she pales in comparison to the two people that were mentioned above. But I still have a strong dislike for her for two reasons. First, she did not teach us anything (all she did was try and get us to mug programming up). Secondly, she was our class teacher and during a parent teacher meeting one time, she told the parents of my close friends to advise their kids to maintain some distance from me because she thought I was a drug addict. The reason she thought this, was because my eyes were always red (because I was literally always sleeping in class), and that is it. That is the only thing she based her conclusion on. And though her intentions might have been good, that’s a terrible thing to accuse someone of (me of all people – a teetotaller who has never smoked a single cigarette or joint or anything at all and never plans to).
1) Mr. Rouble: My first PROPER guitar teacher that taught me both the practical and theoretical aspects of music. He was always very rough on us. I remember every time we finished a piece, he would sit there on a stool next to us while we played whatever we had practiced with a drum stick in his hand just waiting for us to make a mistake and then proceeding to smack us on the head with it. Under his guidance I got better because he never pulled his punches when he gave criticism. I got better because I wanted him to like me, I wanted to be the one student he remembered. But, I stopped going for guitar classes after about three years of learning from him; partly because I couldn’t find the time and partly because I felt he was too restricting. He never let us experiment and wanted us to stick to his methods religiously, which never really went well with me. I visited him an year or so later . I don’t know what had been happening in his life; if he’d been going through rough patch or something of the likes, but it just made me uncomfortable to be in the same room with him. He had changed somehow. Had become cynical. I don’t say that because he talked about things in such a manner, it’s just that he had that negativity about him. As if it was radiating out from him. That was the last time I saw him, but I hope he’s back to his original self and doing well.
2) Mr. Vinay: The man responsible for my rekindled love for physics. I’m still in touch with him and try to pay him a visit each time I go back home. There’s really not much that I can put into words about him, except that he was the best physics teacher I ever had. It was literally impossible to get bored in his class. He was always high on energy, jumping from one side of the board to the other, and he used to take REALLY long classes too. Six hours at a stretch was my longest class with him, and I swear to god I loved every minute of it.
3) Mr. Anoop: The person that made me (briefly) fall in love with chemistry. I had him as a teacher for my gap year and once again, there really are no words that would justify the quality of his teaching. Guess you just had to be there to fully appreciate it. I’m not in contact with him, but I did drop him a mail when I got admission into IISER; thanking him for being one of the very few people in his line of work that were passionate about it and for helping me reach my goal.
An honourable mention would be another chemistry teacher that I had back in ninth grade who left the school shortly after, because the year she did teach us, was amazing.
I don’t know if any of my teachers will ever get to read this blog post. But if you do, teachers, I’d like to thank you all (even the ones that made my life living hell) for shaping me into the person that I am.
That’s all for today!