You know you are blessed, not when a random number more than five digit gets credited to your account every month end. But it is when people who have played an inevitable part in shaping your journey, take out time from their lives for you. Willingly though!
I agree we feel blessed even when we catch our phone in the mid air feeling like a ninja. Or you may say that you yourself crafted your path. But that was not the point. My motive was not to argue with you but was to just have a great start to this post. Well, after a lot of thought, I settled with this mediocre start.
There are a set of people from your college life who you cannot forget. Friends who have bunked classes with you, classmates who were kind enough to share their assignments when they knew you would effortlessly duplicate their effort, or rather any one at all who has helped you before, during and after exams. These are the ones who helped you live college life better and have good memories. But there are few others who you would remember for helping you survive through it.
One such person for me was my college professor. There are a lot of teachers who will have played their respective roles in educating us and we do respect them all. But we will meet very few who teach us a lot beyond books. I am lucky I have met one in each phase of my life. Headmistress in school days, English professor at pre-university, Math lecturer during tuition, Head of Student welfare department during my college days. Like angels at cross roads.
Meeting them after years, is the trick to feel like a student again. My college friend and I shared the same feeling when we set out to meet our college professor. It felt as though time travels are true. When we reached, we found that there was a warmth in that place which seemed very familiar from college days. There were a few things different though. She was waiting for us this time. Not because the times have changed from us waiting for her but because we were late. We were being the typical students and we blamed the rain and the traffic for the delay. Apologies to them.
Unlike her cabin chairs that we used to sit on and constantly remind ourselves of the posture we need to maintain when we talk, we now comfortably sat on bean bags and relaxed .In place of a desk which used to be filled with orderly arranged books and other creative items, now there was a table full of eateries. Thanks to filter coffee she offered. If you are wondering why this was even worth mentioning when my post is already getting lengthy, let me tell you, with filter coffee to the start of the day with, it can not get any better for a Tamilian!
We came in expecting to meet our college professor, a counselor to us when we needed, instead found a friend in her. It seemed like Mitch and Morrie from the novel Tuesdays with Morrie. A novel in which the student teacher bond is best described.
I remembered my first day of college. When I say I remember, do not mistake it to be the memory of the entire day events. I hardly can recall anything at all. Poor memory you may call it, I would prefer to say it was the dull day’s fault. I remember one thing. Her speech. To be accurate, I recall one line from the speech. Okay, I get it now why you may have called it poor memory. Let’s move on.
Somewhere in the middle of her speech was the line that helped me survive college.
“Make the best of what comes your way.”
It seems like just any other sentence formed out of simplest of words. I have no clue how this sentence found me but I am glad it did.
There is no end to learning from teachers like these. Ma’am sent this message after the wonderful conversation that we had. Undoubtedly, after the meet, there was so much more strength and positivity within. Here is one such lesson beyond the chapters of the book..
A young boy and his father were walking along a forest path. At some point, they came across a large tree branch on the ground in front of them. The boy asked his father, “If I try, do you think I could move that branch?”
His father replied, “I am sure you can, if you use all your strength.” The boy tried his best to lift or push the branch, but he was not strong enough and he couldn’t move it. He said, with disappointment, “You were wrong, dad. I can’t move it.”
“Try again,” replied his father. Again, the boy tried hard to push the branch. He struggled but it did not move. “Dad, I cannot do it,” said the boy.
Finally his father said, “Son, I advised you to use all your strength. You didn’t. You didn’t ask for my help.”
It is such a simple story telling us that we haven’t used all our strength until we have recognized, appreciated and galvanized the strength of those who love and surround us, and those who care about our purpose.
We think our real strength lies in independence, but the key is interdependence.
To ask for help and support when we need, it is not a sign of weakness, it is a call for the greater strength that lives in our togetherness.
It helps to remember SWSWSWSW.
Some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting!
May be it really is as simple as this.
When the lessons taught are not restricted to the chapters in the textbook,
when the teaching is not timed to just a class duration,
when the student teacher bond does not need a timetable to exist,
I guess that is when the word teacher gets its true meaning!
To every such teacher, thank you.