Sunday, December 18, 2005

The perfect example

I work with children's books. Often, when I find that a concept is not explained very well by the authors, I think of ways to make it simpler and more understandable. Sometimes, I try and remember how my teachers had taught me that particular concept when I was in school, and try and apply it in my editing.

Recently, I was working on a chapter on magnets, when I came across a paragraph on magnetic keepers. It brought back some rather unpleasant memories.

My Physics teacher in school was Mr. Banerji. He was incredibly popular among the students, but I did not like him. Mainly because every time he asked a question in class, he'd say "If you know the answer, raise your hand. Except Sayesha." (I was that girl, remember?) And to put him down, I'd still put my hand up, and he'd conveniently ignore me. He knew I disliked him, and it gave him great pleasure to annoy me.

Very qualified and experienced, he was known as the 'examples waley sir' ("the teacher with the examples"). In his teaching, he used to give very good examples to explain concepts, and even I had to admit that Physics was fun because of him. He had very fun examples for pretty much every concept he taught. The class used to actually applaud some of his examples!

One day, he was teaching us about magnetic keepers. We were not quite getting it. And he kept repeating the same thing again and again. I realised that he probably had no examples for this one. This was my chance to annoy him.

"Why don't you explain to us with an example, sir?" I said with an 'innocent' smile. The whole class murmured their approval.

He looked at me, and I could see that he hated me for it.

A moment's pause.


"Ah!" He said. "Okay, I have the perfect example!"

"Sayesha!" He exclaimed. I jumped. What what what??

"Sayesha is the perfect example." He motioned me to stand up. I did so unwillingly, looking around suspiciously, wondering what was in store.

"Now our Sayesha... she has a lot of energy, doesn't she?" The class giggled.

"She is too hyper. If left unleashed in the classroom, she will go quite berserk with joy, run around crazily and break all the benches and desks, isn't it?" The class nodded with giggles, still very curious as to what he was getting at.

I was too busy taking offence at the usage of the word 'unleashed'.


"And after a while, she will lose all her energy and sit down, very very exhausted, isn't it?" The class was imaging the whole scenario. What's worse, I was too! The only difference was -- they found it hilarious, I found it insulting.

"But what if we give her a 'path'? And we make it a rule that she can only run around that 'path', and we ensure that there are no desks and benches in the path. She will continuously run around that path, but there will be no destruction, and she will not lose so much energy."

The class was nodding vigorously now.

"Well, a magnetic keeper works in a similar way. A keeper is a soft iron bar used to join the magnetic poles. By using the keeper while the magnet is being stored, a 'path' is provided for the magnetic flux to continuously circulate through the magnet. So there won't be any flux leakage. Clear now?"

The class applauded. They actually applauded as I stood there, feeling rather silly. As for me, I just wanted to punch whoever came in my 'path.'

"Sayesha, you may sit down. Hope the example helped you to understand the concept." He smiled that devilish smile of his that I disliked so much.

I sat down, my face red with anger and embarrassment. I had figured out why I was chosen to be the example, but I had still not figured out why I needed to stand during the entire duration of his explanation.

"Amazing example na? Banerji sir is too good!" My desk partner turned to me and said excitedly.

My vocabulary did not include the legendary "What the..??!!" at that age, and so I had to be content with just gritting my teeth, and looking at her with eyes that would bore a hole in concrete.

'The Sayesha example' as it was known for the rest of the year became a legend, much to my discomfort. Even during last minute revision before exams, I heard the phrase being uttered too many times for my own comfort.

And now I hate magnetic keepers.

And I hope that in some part of the world, his kids are being made to stand and used as examples in class.



44 comments:

L said...

OOPs..!! I made it first..!!

Lalit Singh said...

thankfully i was never "that guy" in the class... i was more of a back bencher all my academic years.. and after reading this i think it was a wise decision

L said...

Oh my English teacher was a similar person..!! The dangerous one-liner-witty-reply type..!! Who turns u to a pulp in case you plan any plans to plan against her..!!

Scary but sometimes as they say ..kuch log kabhi nahi sudharte..!!

!xobile said...

Oh man!

The student-teacher battles are everywhere... just everywhere...

Teachers make use of the fact that they'r the teacher to show that they'r superior... but thats their vice.

similar things have happened to me too :D .. and I give a damn! But I value it now... its a part of my experice and bitter ones ought to be there... right ?

btw you're a sadist!!

And I hope that in some part of the world, his kids are being made to stand and used as examples in class.

priya said...

oh!! so thts how the magnetic keeper works.. :O
its clear now :D

..p..

Sayesha said...

#L,
"Oops"? Hmmm... very interesting... Usually I get a "Yeay, I'm first!" :P

#Lalit,
Hehehe... I wisened up in university, and became a back-bencher! ;)

#L,
//kuch log kabhi nahi sudharte..!!

Hey, who's the kuch log? Banerji Sir or me?? :O

#Ze Exaggeratorr,
//But I value it now

True... I do too... some of such experiences have made me more thick-skinned about what people say/think about me! :)

ps: Yeah, I am a sadist. And my badduah is quite effective too. :P

#Priya,
Oh, it's clear now, is it?? Wait till you cross my 'path', girl!! My palm will explain some concepts about 'force' to you! ;)

Planck said...

Oh! What a wicked teacher!

L said...

Hey, who's the kuch log? Banerji Sir or me?? :O Well the kuch log referred to students like me who plot against teacher inspite of a "zero" past success rate..!!

Starbreez said...

I have to say ... that really was a good example! Didn't even know magnetic keepers exist, and now I'll never forget what they do ... :) Look at it this way, if he didn't think you were strong enough for a bit of ribbing, he wouldn't have bothered.

Rohit Talwar said...

"And I hope that in some part of the world, his kids are being made to stand and used as examples in class."
hahahahaaa... aww you poor soul!

but...a really cool example at that! good teacher!!


reminds me of my physics classes... i had 6% attendance in physics and almost full in others.. my teacher used to hate me for doing all my school work (various clubs n all that school committee work) in his classes only... i used to hate physics. i hardly managed to pass high skul. i hated it!

i still do.

V said...

Haha.Must have been a very interesting experience, eh?

But tell me one thing: Just WHY exactly have I been removed from your links??

Nandya said...

oh u poor baby.....damn...hillarious..girl u got a knack for humour....good job

Harshi said...

Hahaa.....what a nice memory. Sash, actually I feel he liked you, you know :-).

Reminded me of our Physics Sir in school. Very intelligent but dry. I wish he was an examples waale prof too. I probably wouldn't have remained confused and disliked that subject that much then :-).

ritzkini said...

:)
it's 12 AM here..and i am reading this post..do i need to say more ??
=))

Just Mohit said...

Fantastic example!
Will probably use it in a couple of years life, when i quit the corporate life to treat physics (or when i'm teaching it to my daughter). ;-))

Rays Of Sun said...

Ohh! that Banerjee:P
Ohh! Our poor Sayesha!
BTW, Is this the way how Magnetic Keepers work:P?

Just Mohit said...

BTW, I was "that guy!" in my school years...turned into a backbencher in my engg/mba days & wass much the happier for it! Find myself turning into "that guy!" in my corporate life once again, although it's usually to pain the teachers (managers?!)

spamtaneous said...

what a cool teacher...perfect for "that girls"...:)
if i were to become a school teacher...i'd be that one

Ginkgo said...

rofl..poor u...
I can totally imagine..:-)

remembe a similar thing that happened to me...but then I dont think Id wanna spill the beans as it happened wid u ..:-p

Sayesha said...

#Sneha,
Welcome to Sayeshaz! :)
Yeah, he was a wicked wicked man! :O

#L,
Haha! Okie okie! :P

#Starbreez,
Of course it was a good example! But why was I chosen as the guinea pig and why did I have to stand??? :O

//Look at it this way, if he didn't think you were strong enough for a bit of ribbing, he wouldn't have bothered.

Hmmm... now you're talking'! ;)

#Rohit,
Hehehe! :D

#Tequila,
//Just WHY exactly have I been removed from your links??

You're kidding, right? First, you kill your blog off, and then you bring it back to life and you have two posts that have been there for like a million years, and you never update! Dude, when I do blogroll housekeeping, I remove all the 'dead' links. Unfortunately, without updates, a blog is as good as dead :(

#Nandya,
Thanks! Sayesha getting saboed is always hilarious, eh? :P

#Harshi,
//Sash, actually I feel he liked you, you know

Whoa! My best friend in school said the same thing! I told her she was nuts.

#Ritzkini,
//it's 12 AM here..and i am reading this post..do i need to say more ??

This reminds me a an ex-friend of mine who used to say that I have a sad life and way too much time, because I spend time blogging and talking to people. You know what? He used to spend valuable moments of his not-so-sad life reading my sad blog! :P

ps: Welcome back! ;)

#Mohit,
Hey you better not use Sayesha as the example when you teach your daughter! Or I'll join her school as the Physics teacher and then you've had it! ;)

#ROS,
Yes, baby. :)

#Mohit,
Hahahaha! Every word of that comment of yours holds true for me! Just substitute 'guy' with 'girl'! :)

#Spammy,
Meano! If you were my school teacher na... tera jo haal hota na... heh heh! ;)

Sayesha said...

#Gingko,
Hey, you must have posted as I was posting, missed your comment.

Awww c'mon, spill the beans already! :D

Vikram said...

In school, I was the "back bencher"
In college, I could be seen just outside my class.

Now, I won't be visible for 2 miles around the class. :D

educatedunemployed said...

I don't know I could be way off here,,but teachers who gave me a similar hard time in school were the ones who loved to challenge me.See what extra mile I could go to keep my dignity intact.I loved taking on such teachers and being the sore thumb.Those were the very teachers who were most sure that I would follow my dream and be what I wanted to be...

Could it be possible, that you have totally misunderstood the intentions of the very mean Mr Banerji?..Teachers don't really enjoy challenging the weak...but love to push the strong to be stronger.
~Malika

Sayesha said...

#Viks,
Shaabaash mere sher! Naam roshan karega! :D

#Malika,
Though I do not doubt that Banerji Sir meant no harm, but he did make my life a bit difficult. :)

Every bad thing that happens to us makes us better and stronger in some ways. Does not mean that we give all the credit to the person who inflicted the damage :)

Raj said...

Your post brought back memories of the one time my hindi teacher humiliated me in front of the whole class when i was in 6th standard cos I pointed out that she had missed a speling mistake in my friend's test answer sheet. Of course, i did it to annoy her cos we shared a mutual hatred but i didnt think she would go that far. The humiliation lasted for 10 mins. I hate her till date.

Ravi said...

//gritting my teeth, and looking at her with eyes that would bore a hole in concrete

When I am angry, I too have my own strong gaze than melts even stones! The gritting of teeth path has stopped (thankfully) as I feared that they (the teeth) would break with the extreme inhuman pressure. :)

Keshi said...

aww he was a mean old teacher wasnt he...I mean why would he always pick on u...teachers have to be unbiased no matter what goshhh! Forget him...he's just too immature.


**As for me, I just wanted to punch whoever came in my 'path.'

LOL awww...

Keshi.

rimjhim said...

I M backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
!!!

Hey..u should be thankful to him that finally he made u understood "magnetic keeper" concept so well...that u can xlain that in ur magazine..!!!!!!!hehehe,,,

Sayesha said...

#Raj,
// I hate her till date.

Whoa, strong feelings, eh? :O

In my case, I don't think I hate Mr. Banerji but yes, I will never forget the incident! :P

#Ravi,
Whoa the dark side emerges. You sound scary when angry, man! :)

#Keshi,
Hey, welcome to Sayeshaz! :)
ps: I think your BITCH theory on Puneet's blog was awesome! :D

#Rinku,
Heyyyy welcome back!!! How was the shaaadiiii???? Photos photos photos!!!! :)

ps: There is no way I am using that example to explain about keepers in my magazine! :P

virdi said...

hehehehe... hyper active electron... :-)

V..

virdi said...

not electron but a "sayeshatron"

wakaw!!! like Bose discovered the Bose-ions, it was Virdi who discovere the "sayeshatrons"

;-)

ABiasForAction said...

I must admit that the example was too good.Dont you urself feel that you understood the concept much better.
Its too bad that you became the sacrifical goat.But you shouldnot take yourself seriously at all times. Sometimes learn to laugh at self.
And its not too illustrating of you to write
''And I hope that in some part of the world, his kids are being made to stand and used as examples in class''

rimjhim said...

shaadee was cooooooooooool!!!(though I m hot :p)

i ve sent some marriage photusssssssssss to ur gmail id..

I dont know but somehow i Feel very attached to some of the bloggers...I missd my bloggers frnd in my marriage

Just Mohit said...

Sayesha: I think i'll probably use my daughter's name while using this example...although i could always tell her to read your blog! ;-))

ritzkini said...

:)
i hope the friend (ex ?? i thot he was a friend !) has his fundas rite...

Lalit Singh said...

OK... If u can answer this one, u r in
Who was 'Chand' in the movie?

justme said...

hehehe... :-)

Sayesha said...

#Virdi,
Hehehe! :P

#ABias,
I do not take myself seriously all the time, sweetheart. And I do laugh at myself. All the time. You can't make statements about me, Anirban. You don't even know me. :)

Did I say that I was scarred for life, or that I will hunt him down and kick his ass? Naah! This was just an incident I remembered, not a resolution of revenge.

If he expected me to take it in the right spirit, am sure he's trained his kids to take it too. And if what he did was all right, what's the harm in his kids going thru it too?

Lastly, perhaps it's indeed not illustrating of me to write like that but isn't it unbecoming of you to judge me like that? :)

#Rinku,
Saw the pics! Wah, what a fabulous jodi! Best wishes, girl! :)
ps: I missed you too! Was wondering kitni der se shaadi kar rahi hai Rinku! :)

#Mohit,
This blog is outta bounds for both mere oopar ki generation and neeche ki generation! :D

#Ritzkini,
He almost was, yes. Is not now. And by his choice, if I may add. Hence, the word 'ex' :)

And his fundas are fine, I mean... they're his, and I respect them. Who am I to judge or express my opinion about them? Hai na? :)

#Lalit,
Damn! :(

#Justme,
Hey, you're back! :)

sunshine said...

That was just amazing! Could you gimme a few more examples he used to use? Might help me in my job as well. BTW, hi, this is through munnu.

Sayesha said...

#Sunshine,
Hey, welcome to Sayeshaz! Munnu ka har dost mera dost! :)

So you're a teacher? Well, offhand I can't remember any other examples (I wasn't the guinea pig in them, you see!) but if I ever do, I will drop you a note! :)

Keshi said...

thanks and yep I have a Masters in Bitchology lol!

Keshi.

Sayesha said...

#Keshi,
Haha! Will get some more pointers from you some time. These skills come in handy now and then! ;)

Just Mohit said...

"This blog is outta bounds for both mere oopar ki generation and neeche ki generation!"
I think i'll still let my daughter see this...if only as an example of what not to do. :D

Sayesha said...

#Just Mohit,
Itna bada insult! Theher tu, I'll come back as your daughter's class teacher! :D