Tag Archives: teacher

Red pens everywhere

The months of March and April are full of examinations in India as the academic session comes to an end. The situation of students is discussed in a lot of forums but very places have mention about the teachers. Being the daughter of a teacher, I have witnessed the situation on their side as well.

My mother was a teacher and was very economic, she always bought pens with replaceable refills. She would plan her schedule way before the examination season so we will see bulk of red refills bought. As soon as the exams would start, she would get bundles of answer sheets to check. Mom would make sure she had all the resources to check answer sheets no matter where she was in the house. So red pens would be placed on study table, dining table, coffee table or any other place where she might sit for 15 minutes or more. As the exams progressed, the refills would start getting over quickly. One day I needed to sign some form and I picked a black pen. My father came rushing with a loud “STOP”. He asked me try the pen in a rough paper. As soon as I scribbled on the rough sheet, I realized the black refill of the pen was replaced with red refill. Even the refills of the non-red pens were replaced with red refill. He gave me a black pen to sign the form. He kept it carefully in the cupboard with a “This is one of the last few pens with non-red refill left in the house”.

Today when I see students going for exams, it takes me back to my school days when we would stand outside the examination hall doing last minute revision till the bell was rung. It was the thought of the long summer vacation after exams that would keep me going. Next time you visit the house of a teacher during exams, don’t be surprised to see red pens everywhere.

Full Pocket Search

The market is full of backpacks because the schools reopened in June. The rush is less this year since the classes are held online. I came across this backpack. It has a number of pockets. This reminds me of a school bag I bought when I was in sixth grade. It had seven pockets. I thought I would be able to keep my things organized in it so I requested my mother to buy it. The bag I used the previous year had less pockets. It was difficult to keep everything arranged in it.

On the first day of school, I kept the textbooks and workbooks in one of the two larger pockets and notebooks in the other. There was a separate pocket for tiffin box. I kept my handkerchief in one of the remaining small pockets. The classes began, and everyone noticed my bag. After 2 classes, I felt a loud sneeze approaching. It was one of those moments when the teacher had asked for pin drop silence in the class because one of the students was reading a lesson. I frantically started looking for the handkerchief in my bag but was unable to find it. The movement caused noise and so the teacher sternly looked at me out of thick rimmed glasses and said “Stand up! what is the need for so much unrest”. She had barely said this when I sneezed loudly. The entire class jumped on their seats. The teacher again scolded “Where is your handkerchief? You should keep it handy”. She would have continued scolding but the bell for recess or break rang. I was saved from further scolding. It seems I had forgotten the pocket in bag where I had kept the handkerchief so I had to do a full pocket search of all pockets to find it. From then onwards I tried to keep the handkerchief pinned to my uniform as that was the easiest place to find in case of emergency. Even today, I prefer a backpack with 3-4 pockets as too many pockets end up confusing me.

The Patient Teacher

There are so many things that our parents teach us by their actions. The best part of their teaching is their patience. They would correct us no matter how many times we go wrong. There is one such activity which I learnt from my father. During my school days, it was required to dress up in properly ironed uniform. Our uniform included a shirt and pleated pinafore. I started ironing my uniform when I was in fifth grade that too after observing my parents. My father was very good in ironing. He taught me how to iron the shirt. He used to iron his clothes on Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoon. I would wait with my newly washed shirts while he ironed. Once he was done, I would iron mine. If my work was not up to the mark, he would iron it again to show me how a properly ironed shirt looks. Many times I used to do a poor job and he would correct it. In the process, he would iron all my shirts. This continued till I was in 9th grade. I was so lazy that it took me years to learn ironing like him. Recently when I was ironing a shirt for office when my mother told me Baba(father) always knew that I did poor ironing in school because I was lazy. He was so patient that in spite of knowing I was lazy, he continued to teach me.

Whenever I go to a new city, the first thing I buy is an iron. The habit of ironing clothes on weekends has stuck with me even today. There are times my roommates have complemented it. The credit goes to my father. He was the epitome of patience while teaching me. Ironing the clothes on time and keeping the shoes clean and polished were habits which he kept up without failure. We learnt this just by following him. He was the Patient teacher who taught us again and again regardless of the number of mistakes we did. Today on Father’s day, let us take an opportunity to thank the most patient teacher of our lives, our father. Happy Father’s Day.

An event to remember

An image of december

Today is 23rd december’2013. The month of december always reminds me of snow covered roads with coniferous trees on both sides as displayed in the image above. The most memorable 23rd december for me would be 23rd december’1995. I was in school then. It was probably the last year I was going to spend there. My school was Auxilium Convent high school. Christmas used to be really special as we used to prepare a month before. Since 25th was a monday so the last working day before Christmas was 23rd. I was selected to be a part of the Crip decoration. I was to be one of the three merchants who visit after Christ was born.

We started rehearsing about 2 weeks ago. This used to be so exciting that we used to look forward to the practice times right from assembly at the start of the day. We used to enact the scene where the three merchants arrive after the birth of Christ. The skit used to start with Carols. These carols were so sweet that everyone used to be mesmerised. The house captons ensured everything was organized from the way the choir stood to narration of the event. As the day used to come near we used to start looking for designs for the crowns.

On 23rd december’1995, we started dressing right after assembly. I had borrowed a bright saree from mummy and prepared my beautiful crown with golden paper. After dressing up with the saree, one of the teachers used to draw the moustache with sketchpens. This used to be a challenge as we used to keep laughing due to the tickling sensation. The entire school right from first grade to tenth grade used to sit in the hall. The hal was buzzing with noise when the principle entered. The welcome address was given by the Head girl and then began our event. It ended with a huge applause. Each class had their own dance or skit after our event. We stood as part of the crip all through the event. The closure note was given by the Principal. After this we went to the nearby room and changed. Everyone was excited as we were going to have holidays till 2nd of january. We wished everyone a Merry Christmas and parted with “See you next year”.

These events used to be a window to knowing people of other classes. I had created many friends through such activities. I wish it were possible to have these kind of events in offices as they would encourage team spirit and again give everyone an opportunity to know others. As for the image, years later I got an opportunity to travel in Aspen and saw my imagination come true.