“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
- Kahlil Gibran
We celebrate Teacher's Day in India today. Since I hated school, I did not care much about the teachers. However, after all these years, I still recall certain aspects of their personalities.
Their faces, their clothes, their put-downs, their occasional laughter, their speech pattern, the way they enunciated words, the way they came round to inspect nails and uniform hemlines - mine had to be cut and ripped respectively, the times one bumped into them outside class, the suddenly affectionate "Good Evening, Sister" to the nun we met in our outside the school dresses...I discovered that daydreaming worked better, especially since one was ticked off for it.
I shall, however, be indebted to the physics teacher who caught me scribbling and not concentrating on her rambling. She had held up the notebook and said disgustedly, loud enough for the whole class to hear, "What is this? in my class you are writing poetry, tchhah!" I did not know that what I was writing was poetry. Her anger, her insult not only made me realise that I had created something but also that I was accepted as such before an audience!
I learned by observing, by the squeamishness I felt over cruel words, by the few times I was sent out of class, of the first flush of menstrual blood and the tightness in the chest. They tried, they followed the books.
I learned by tearing chapters and rearranging them. Perhaps I'd have been better-off had I followed the tried-and-tested ways. It just so happens that the worse-off hasn't been too bad for me.
This song is how I would like to continue to learn - by finding connections, crossed or straight: