Thursday, December 18, 2008

My tryst with education Part - II

I move on to my school where I have spent 12 years of my life. To put 12 years of learning in one post would be a mammoth task. So I would select a few indelible incidents and funny anecdotes of my school life. I would like to mention that I studied in an all girls’ convent school.

I come from a traditional middle class Bengali family where we eat, drink and live studies. My mom especially made it a point that I studied everyday. One of the first incidents I remember is when I was in Std. I. So this is the morning before my maths exam. She tells me, “Write all the answers in the question paper and bring like your brother does.” I, of course being the rebel that I am, decided it is against my birthright to do what he does. My mom who is by then crestfallen to see the unmarked question paper finally decides to make do the best of the situation she can. So for the next one hour we sit and discuss the question paper as if it is the peace treaty between India and Pakistan. Result: All my procedures were right and I would get above 90 in maths. My mom is happy and so am I.

Fast forward to the report card and PTM day. The report card is handed over to my mom. OK 80, 75, 72....66 …..66 ???? which subject is that. It turns out its MATHEMATICS ( god I hate this word) Mom by then has lost her voice and somehow managed to ask the teacher how did I get so low when at home I had got them all correct. My teacher, who apparently hadn’t done enough harm to my well being till then added in a melancholic voice, “She had got all the procedures right but she committed a lot of silly mistakes.” Oh boy!!! I am so dead. I don’t remember mom telling me anything after that but it seemed my house was that of a mourning one. If we had a flag at home it would have definitely been put on half mast.

My learning never again in my life have I discussed the question paper with mom. On a broader perspective I didn’t discuss it with anyone and I still don’t. I don’t expect much and I don’t believe how my paper went unless I see my marks. If I could get philosophical I would say I have learnt life has its unexpected twists n turns(even if you are responsible for it) and its better if you don’t expect anything.

Slowly as I grew up I realized my marks had a proportionate relationship with my mom’s behavior for that entire evening. My dad’s reaction would always be the constant factor in it. He always said,” It doesn’t matter how much you get. If you pass or fail the sun would still rise tomorrow.” Well I would say in my mind, “DUH!!! I know it, please tell mom that.” With my mom it was like there was an entire chart drawn. 90 –exhilarated, 80 –happy, 70 – OK. But what’s the highest? 60 – A straight face with no emotions. 50 to 40 – Oh boy! I am a dead meat today. She would bang down my food not look at me for the next few hours. On those days I would sit to study at dot 6 PM and even make it a point to wake up early the next morning to study for sometime before I went to school. It definitely doesn’t help if you have the world’s best mamma’s boy as your brother. Man the guy ate drank and slept studies. But I am proud I successfully managed to get through it.

Now I move on to the non studies part of my education life. My first learning was from my rickshaw wala. For the first 6 years of my school life I commuted to school in a cycle rickshaw with 4-5 other girls. If anyone has read the story “Whitewashing the fence” from “The adventures of Tom Sawyer” would be able to draw the similarities in the story. So my rickshaw wala like Tom would try to lure us, “Let me see if you kids can run faster than this rickshaw does.” We all would gleefully get down from the rickshaw and run half the distance to my home in order to taste the sweet nectar of success. Point here is he didn’t have to drag a rickshaw full of small kids and we won against his rickshaw every time. It never occurred to our innocent heads that he would do it deliberately. Recently when I saw a bunch of kids doing the same thing I realized how intelligent and conniving these rickshaw walas are. The above story mentioned had a few lines which said, “He (TOM) had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or boys covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain....Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement.”

My rickshaw wala who I am damn sure hadn’t read this story used it to his fullest in his daily life. And I guess for me it was one of my first learning in HR J

When I was in Std. IV Miss Jana had taught us that we should never use foul language or swear words. Using foul language is like vomiting and therefore if we ever  do use words like Shut up, idiot then we should wash our mouth immediately after that. Needless to say we practiced it religiously for the first few weeks. Our days in school were spent between classes and the wash basin. It is somehow lost now since there are people to testify that I use them. But whenever I do, I go back to that sunny afternoon to a sinfully boring moral science class were I was given this invaluable learning.  

There are so many other incidents that I find it difficult to choose between them. Probably I would write about them in some other post. For the time being let this be my learning in school. Next would be my learning from my college life.

 

To be continued ….(I have two exams tomorrow )

12 comments:

rohit said...

Hmmm your english is improving with every post.. but they are great.. compile them and it can be a book .. i am serious..

Ankit said...

nice one again.... now its more like a collection of short stories which we used to read long back... not as a course book.. but just for amusement.....well would also agree with what rohit said about compiling.... though I think there's still a lot of scope in writing skill... keep up the good work.. :)

Ritwick Sanyal said...

I too believe it can be made a book..nice writings.."Mamma's boy as ur brother "...never knew it was so tough for u !!!!!

Oindrila said...

Another nice post... keep writing n i will keep reading :)

Ritu said...

Thank u all. But book is too big a compliment. I dont think it would be that good and who wud read my autobiographies :P

@ Dada: Na it ws never difficult ..i had learnt my own ways of rebelling. I stayed in the room lik u did but didnt study. I was always in my own dream world talking to myself..

tank said...

ritu, you have been simply amazing, i felt like i am reading yet another version of an individuals tryst with education like the "what they don't teach you at Harvard B-school", "Five Point Someone", "Snapshots From Hell" which i have read earlier...and i can draw parallel between the lines...and i completely agree to the point that it can actually be compiled to book...

waiting for the XIMB part desperately, i'm sure you're gonna have plenty of stories to publish here

anamika said...

hey ritz... absolutely amazing stuff..what can i say?? just started readin your blog.. you are realllly good.. do i see a book in the offing?

Ritu said...

@ Anamika : Ha HA HA..with the "global meltdown" looming over our head..it could be considered a good side profession :P kidding..m not that great..i wish i could write good enuf to put them in a book.
thanks anyway sweety

Swati said...

that one was really nice Ritu...i relived my school days....there are so many experiences ..cant pen down all as u said....well done Ritu...hpe to see some more like these

Annie said...

Wow Ritu..amazing. It took me back to school days. Hoping to see more of it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ritu...it was lovely reading this.....hey..do u remember joining us during tiffin breaks??....n please continue writing..it feels gud to read these stuff...

shanta said...

I am spellbound Ritz...awesome stuff...u r really good...keep them coming...loved it!!!