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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My share of GNH?

It was an illuminating incident and now when I look back at it and I smile. I smile at the joy of teaching and realize that it is not one sided, I teach but more than that I learn every time when I am with my students.

It was an afternoon class and an afternoon class in Punakha when summer is at its peak it a difficult class for any teacher to keep his students awake. It is a challenge. So on that faithful afternoon I found my students not so eager for the story I had for them. We talked about career and since it was in science, I talked about their career choices and how choices are important in our lives to make us better human beings. Then I talked about the choice I made, to become a teacher and the choices my friends made. I expressed my unhappiness about not getting opportunities to go abroad for short trainings or workshops, while my friends who are in positions lower than me get to visit many places that I only hear about in books and see in movies. Moreover, that particular afternoon I was overwhelmed with my rejection for masters. I was disappointed more when I heard that one of my friends was going to Kuala Lumpur. I mocked the maxim ‘ teaching is a noble profession ‘ as I strongly believed that I deserved more and better than some of my friends who are not noble people like me.
Then one of my students whom I had taught for two years said that I was wrong. I was taken aback for a while. I didn’t know what to say because his words caught me by surprise. I had to gather my focus to drown what he said; I thought he was challenging me.
He said, ‘No Sir, you are wrong, we go to foreign countries all the time’...I couldn't understand what he was saying, ‘because very recently we visited Jamaica, and came to know about the people there.’ He was talking about the short story Jamaican Fragment. ‘And we have been to Africa too, spent one glorious night below the starry night sky in the desert.’ He was talking about the essay African Noël.
I couldn’t help but smile. What was happening felt familiar as I read something like it in the story, The Bet by Anton Chekhov in class ten.

I can't say I felt elated but my student's consolation did help a little. At that moment I was not the teacher, he was. And I was happier.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Modern DayKnight?

Modern day Knight
I call myself a modern day knight for they call me ‘Sir’,
The sword of knowledge do I hold
To chop off ignorance in those naïve faces,
Their heads, which lie on their shoulder.
My purpose is noble and civilised manners do I nurture
In their young mind the honesty of truth.
I teach them how to shield themselves
From the apprehensive torrent of this unforgiving world.
The armour that I wear is stronger than the toughest metal
For it is smitten by love and care.
And it shines even in the darkest hour
Reminiscence of the goodness that it bestowed upon humanity.
Every day I shout in the class as if I am crying out a Battle Cry.
Every day I toil, sleepless nights do I spend
To prepare for polishing my young warriors to face life
This seems no less than a battle.
I give, I take, I teach and learn, I toil, I suffer, I enforce, I care
And at the end of each day my reward is being called ‘Sir’.
There is a profound expression
On their faces when they utter the word ‘Sir’ and
It gives me hope and inspiration to continue on my journey.
This journey in life with young faces
Who like the spring blossoms bloom at the break of dawn.
The day is breaking and it is full of hope.
Life is full of beginnings; it’s only that one has to realize its existence…
I can feel, I am learning, I am becoming wiser.
And I have my emotions and a heart for this profession.