Friday, October 14, 2005

To kill a mocking nerd

In school, every class has a CC (Class Clown).

Similarly, in university, every course has a CP (Cruel Professor).

A CP has a general dislike towards your happiness, and delights in making you squirm.

I've had the good (or bad, if you may) fortune of being the CC for most of my school years, but never ever had I seen a CP as cruel as the one I encountered last week.

We're sittin' in the lecture theatre, all 50 of us, some listening to the lecture, some sleeping, some sms-ing, some eating, some lookin' around for interesting faces, when CP decided to drop the bomb.

"We'll take a break now, and after we come back, I will flash some emails that I received from you about the assignment. Students will point out what is wrong with them."

"What? Emails? You mean the emails that we sent him about our research assignment?" The whole class was buzzing with anxiety.

You see, the emails in question were really dumb. We had been asked to send in research proposals to him over email, and that's when we'd not yet learnt anything. So everything about those proposals were raw and juveline and sometimes plain illogical and dumb. And there really was no point of this exercise. Everyone knew what was wrong with theirs, and we never wanted to be reminded of the fact that we'd sent them.

Not to even mention how atrocious I thought flashing someone's email in class was.

And so the trauma started after the break. One by one, my classmates were asked to go and stand next to their emails near the screen (at 300% zoom, no less). And some cruel classmates found reason to wake up and tear each proposal apart based on what we had learnt after we sent those emails! It was freakin' embarrassing to stand there for a full 15 minutes and be made to feel really really small.

It made me very angry.

Finally, it was my turn. I took a deep breath, got up from my seat, went and stood next to my grossly magnified email on the screen. Before anyone could say anything, I picked up the microphone and said, "Hi everyone, I'm Sayesha and that's my email you're looking at. The professor mentioned that students will point out what is wrong with the proposals. Being a student of this class, I am also entitled to point out what is wrong with this one. Now before you guys can tear my proposal apart, I am gonna tear it apart myself and save you the trouble."

I then proceeded to tear my own topic apart. Pointed out all the flaws, all the weaknesses, the vagueness of the variables, the uncertainty of the attributes, the impractical research methodology. Every fault I could find, I handed it to the class.

By the time, I was done, the professor and the class were gaping, and I was feeling victorious. (Though later I did ask myself a million times over if I really did what I did!)

Chin up, I walked back to my seat as the class cheered.

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

You wanna mock me publicly? Not if I get there first and do it myself, buddy!


Shuuro said...

I hate this "i'm first business" specially when i want to remain "silent reader" but don't want to let this opportunity to go. mhuhahahaha, i'm first! perhaps people would ask me, who are you anyway?

Rays Of Sun said...

# easy it you make it sound, I know its not a joke to go stand in front of a class full of people and pointing out your own mistakes..I really really understand..
You did a marvelous job at that. I know I could never do it:-)

Adi Oso-Groot Finch said...

way to go buddy.... and nice inspirational idea... next time i'm doing that in my class :)

Anonymous said...

Self deprecation is always a good way to make friends and to put people at ease. :-)

However, making people stand next to emails or even associating a person with an email in class is MOST distubing. Where's the right to privacy and freedom?

Speaking of which, I read recently that singapore is one of the top "content filtering" nations in the world next to china. They actually filter out web pages so their citizens don't see stuff they are against.

Is this true? Why do they do it?

I'm strongly against content filtering and I think companies who allow their software to be used to do this are despicable. No matter what it may be noone has the right to impose their morals on others. You can try to convince them to change their morals but you MUST not force it upon them.

And now, lets all hold hands and sing.... :-)

Ashish Gupta said...

wats wrong with standing next to what you wrote ? your words! your own say! stand by them proudly or accept their limitations gracefully!
as you did! *clap* *clap*
modesty and humbleness ..... :-"
I wonder sometimes if we would all stand for truth and be frank & not feel ashamed about accepting it, how great this world would be :)

PS: hey virdi where are you? Hiiiii :D

Vikram said...

I went through a similar situation when I was an undergraduate. I was supposed to give a presentaion to the entire class and the professors were going to test me on that. I wasn't well prepared and was apprehensive about taking questions from the audience. After I was done with my presentation, I knew I was going to be bombarded with questions from all directions. Before anybody could do that, I started pointing out the mistakes in my presentation and how I would have corrected them if I had some more time to prepare for the presentation. I think the Professors appeared to be a little sympathetic towards me and let me go without having to answer a single question :). I wasn't expecting that but figured being honest about your shortcomings pays in some situations. :D

Sayesha said...

Who are you anyway? ;)

Yeah, it wasn't easy. Even when I picked up the microphone, I was apprehensive if it was the right thing to do. But I knew I did not wanna let CP delight at my squirming. And I have no regrets.

CPs are everywhere, aren't they?

Yes, I was quite outraged when he started flashing emails on the big screen! Whatever happened to professional behaviour and respecting other people's privacy?? I'd understand if he'd picked up some topics and used them in his presentation as case studies without disclosing any identities, but flashing emails wholesale in front of a class of 50???
ps: Yes, Singapore has a lot of rules.
pps: Sushant, muh band! Don't anything started here. I don't want my blog banned. :P
ppps: On for the holding hands and singing! Hum honge kaamyaab... :D

We're 25-year-old professionals, not 2-year-old kindergarteners. There has to be a basic level of professionalism on the part of the lecturer when he's dealing with mature adults. It is not about us accepting our mistakes. It is about him respecting our privacy.
ps: And my dear, many a times, we do not want to stand next to what we wrote once upon a time. Think about it. :)

Homework kar liya? Come out, Ashish wants to play.

Haha! Cool stuff! I also maintain that. Before someone else prepares to mock you, stand up and mock yourself. That makes them feel like shit and makes you feel like a million bucks! ;)

BP said...

That's just way cool :)

oxymoron said...

gutsy sayesha...

Sahil said...


good one Sayesha! I've said it once, and i'll say it again, u're a bad-ass.

CP koh dikhadiya na? Put that moron in his place. *Applause*

Looks like u've learnt a thing or two from me. Shabash :)

Vikram said...


Bulls-eye. It doesn't hurt to mock yourself if you are sure it'll save you from a bigger embarassement :)

Anonymous said...



I'm all for truth and honesty, but email is for private communication and is not to be disclosed to others without the sender's approval. Who knows, it must just say the truth about something or somebody :)

nuttysocrates said...

heh well that is an idea

Anonymous said...

Sayesha, I simply loved this post. I wish I had seen the expression of the CP. Am sure you are a star in your class right now (or perhaps u were already one;))


Anonymous said...

Wow Sayesha, what an inspiration you are! You are so courageous.

This was a puzzling exercise. In all my school experience so far, I never came across this one. What was he thinking?? I mean, there are Better ways to help students learn. I am *hoping* he probably had good intentions but just did not think it through. But I am still very puzzled.

rimjhim said...

Some ppl just never get enought of "sadistic pleasure"! U did the most right thing brave girl...KUDOS to you!!!!!!!

ps:Now I m getting kinda sadistic pleascure by thinking bout ur CP's (cheap prof) reaction at that time!! :-D

virdi said...

:-) i am here!!!

just some work chal raha hai... completeing a project and just reading coments... havent read your post as of yet... :-)


Humjoli said...

//By the time, I was done, the professor and the class were gaping, and I was feeling victorious.

Hey Sash, itni lambi lambi nahi chhodte. I am sure the professor must have said something after what you did.

Sayesha said...

When the CP gets tough, the CC gets going. :)

Thanks thanks. But I dun think I can pull off another one of these though :P

Credit lena toh koi aapse seekhe mahaan aatma! Yeah, I learnt all bad-ass stuff from you. Khush?

Egg-jactly. :P

Couldn't agree more, my friend.

The feat performed was by a trained professional. Don't try it at home! :P

Hey hey Prince, I thought you disappeared man! Still pissed off about the polar bear or something :P
ps: Am not a star in my class yaar. Am just the class clown who knows when to stop being funny if someone threatens her territory.

You know, on some levels even I think his intentions were good, maybe he really wanted us to "learn" or whatever, but the execution sucked bigtime.

Ok stop it, now you're makin' me feel guilty! :O

Tu duniya ka pehla insaan hoga jo comment pehle padhta hai aur post baad mein! :D

He did not say anything. Kya bolta? It was not like I was being rude or mean, I was just being assertive. His only defence could have been that I could not comment on my own stuff, which I had pre-empted and addressed by mentioning that as a student of the class, I was entitled to comment on the proposal as well.
ps: Khair, if you think I am phekoing, I can't do anything to convince you na? Toh, bas chill aur kya? :)

oxymoron said...

salaam namaste ishtyle:

i dont the likes the attitude of yaar prof...
wat say I wifey abt such prof.

wifey: 'saaarrrry'


wish u the many the more the such vichtooories!

Ravi said...


Maybe the prof was not such a CP after all. This whole drama was organised to find out that one student who could come out of this situation unscathed. He probably was testing who among you will have the courage & the smartness to tear apart their own emails.

But I have two very important questions I need you address.
Q1 Why no CC in university?
Q2 Why no CT (Cruel Teacher) in school?

lazy leo said...

hey sayesha.........way to go girl! you are quite the heroine for so many of us... very inspiring!

and i dont think there is any excuse for the CP's actions......if he intended it as a learning exercise he could have shown anonymised excerpts.... calling out people to stand beside thier emails while being pilloried smacks of sadism.....

oxymoron, i the completely agrees vith you


Anonymous said...

Interesting move. I like that :).

Nandya said...

sayesha girl...that was some damn funny stuff....hillarious....stumbled on ur blog through some dark back alleys..

will keep coming back for more...


Sahil said...


Where r u these days? Seems like u're awefully busy, or something is up - coz I'm not getting the 'dil-se' type posts like there used to be.

Hope you get some time soon and write something even more from ur heart. Not just for me, but more for urself. Coz I know how much your blog means to you and what it does for you.

Aajao laut kar abh tum
yeh dil kahe raha hai

ps - i know i've been away from the blog world for a bit, but yeh kambakht kaam... uff.

lazy leo said...

ooooohh sahil, senti kya?

Sayesha said...

I the likes your style! ;)

Gosh, you and your theories I tell you! :)

//Q1 Why no CC in university?
A1: Ok, here's what I think, though it may seem like generalising. It's difficult to find CCs in the uni (esp in PG courses) because pple at that age tend to think of themselves as very mature adults and seldom play the fool. At least that's what I think. I get funny looks when I do any crazy stuff in class.

//Q2 Why no CT (Cruel Teacher) in school?
A2: In school, the age difference between the teacher and student is so huge that teachers tend to take pity on the kids and not be so cruel. (Of course, there are really cruel ones too!) In uni (PG courses again), some lecturers are paranoid about the students knowing more than they do (esp if the students have industry experience and they don't). They tend to get over this insecurity by being a CP. Again, just my theory! :)

#Lazy leo,
I the also completely agrees with yous and the oxys!
Case studies, if at all, should be anonymous.

Thanks! :)

#Hey Nandya,
Welcome to Sayeshaz! :)

Pata hai Sahil? When I first read your comment, my first reaction was "What the hell does this chap think of himself?? He want to dictate my thoughts on my blog? Let me give him a piece of my mind, 'cos he's obviously running low."

And then I thought about your history with my blog. And I realised. That you read my blog in a different way, it holds a different kinda meaning for you, you feel a sense of belonging, a sense of 'ownership' (if I may use the term), a protective feeling for it. And so, yes, you may feel let down by some of my posts, or think that my posts are not very dil se nowadays... but let me tell you my friend, all my posts are dil se... if not, I wouldn't post them... and you know it. Yes, it's true that some posts strike certain people more than they strike others, and they find it very dil se while others may not, hai na? :)

I know you stumbled upon Sayeshaz one fine day and found some reason to stay. And I hope that you continue to find reasons to stay on at Sayeshaz.

Aaina mujhse meri pehli si soorat maange...
Mere apne mere hone ki nishaani maange...

Rays Of Sun said...

Hey Sash!!

Re: nandya...Hmm..this guy thinks he discovered you "in some dark alley" huh!! Dont worry, Nandu, tu jahaan jahaan chalega mera saaya saath hoga:))

Well, you know..each blog does represent your innermost thoughts and each one who comments perceives it in his own way! I think, if I look back on the first time I ever wrote a blog, I was something else..but then like I always say"we evolve" through passages of time, through phases!!

starbreez said...

Good for you! The prof may have thought he was doing some 'alternative' teaching, but it was a childish way to wake anyone up, or to get them to prove what they have learnt. People should never give in to this crap, and I'm glad that instead of just saying that to the prof's face, you managed to show him up AND show your own mettle too. Uniquely Sayesha.

Sayesha said...

Couldn't agree more! I believe that I have evolved a lot too, through my blog. I think differently, feel different, identify with different things. I am not the person I used to be anymore.

Thanks, girl! :)

Humjoli said...

sash, i didn't know my small teasing comment will lead to such a big explaination. i was just trying to pull your leg which i think i am quite succeeded in.

I am not doubting your gutsy show in the lecture theatre rather I actually appreciate what you did. it just makes me feel proud of you and myself also that I have chosen you to be my friend and feel lucky that you have reciprocated the same. sounds senti??? no way!

Pradyot said...

awesome... you gave me an idea i m going to implement on my next project evaluation presentation. :D

Anonymous said...

lol...good job....

i would never do that...

Prahalathan said...

Nerd? Class Clown?
he he...
The courageous have the grits to do things others can't imagine themselves.
If thats the case.
I'm my CC too;)

Sayesha said...

Theek hai theek hai! :P

Read my warning to NuttySocrates first! :)

I wouldn't do that again either! :P

Welcome to Sayeshaz. Good to meet a fellow CC. :)

Aye Kay said...

I cant help but think that this idea is somewhat of a wierdo :-s Why would any prof wanna publish emails of each person... If the idea was to help the class learn, then he could very easily have made it an annonymous email (hiding the student's name I mean) and ask the whole class to identify what was wrong! That way the whole class - email author included would know what was wrong. Nicely dodged by you though!!!

Anonymous said...

I am always here reading your posts, wondering how come this gal gets things to blog on. .... :)

and also keeping my eyes wide open so that I may bump into you in NTU campus ;) hahahahah..kidding :)

Anonymous said...

What a great post! Waise toh main bars nahi jaati, nor do I have drinks (yeah! fruit juice zindabad!)lekin I like the feel of your place and love what's dished out! :-)
I can tell you, the clietele's gonna grow in size and aren't we glad we have space for them all!

Sayesha said...

#Aye Kay,
Yeah man, I'm still wondering why anyone would do that!

Hey, long time man! Catch up with you at NTU! ;)

Thanks, girl! :)

Di said...

applause..u go girl.. :-)

Bivas said...

as much as the experience would have been painful to see ur stuff being teared apart by someone who doesn't even know why it was written in that fashion; the way it was hadled was just great...really would hv loved to know what was goin thru the profs. mind at that moment.
However, as someone rightly pointed out earlier, maybe the so called CP had an ulterior motive in this exercise.

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