Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ruminations before the beginning of a new academic year

My college on a rainy day

My college reopens in three days. It will be my third year in this college and after spending two years with the various departments and people, one feels that one has seen it all. In spite of my two years here, I feel a certain anxiety coupled with anticipation when I look forward to the coming year. I will be teaching the same subjects albeit one and more or less familiar with the students as well. The introduction to new energy levels and slightly different goals and aspirations gives me the feeling that a thousand butterflies are preparing to take flight from the pit of my stomach.

I wonder whether every teacher has this feeling of an anxious anticipation. Perhaps they might or they would have become comfortably numb carrying on their business like a robot which is devoid of any tingly pre-academic year sensation.

The path leading to the main entrance again, on a rainy day

Alongside, I also wonder whether I will be like this after ten years. Will a new academic year make me feel giddy with excitement and anxiety. Will I look forward to the raging adrenalines of young students as they burst forth with tireless hormones and shiny smart phones. Will I be able to cope with the information overload that my students seem to possess, challenging me with news of the latest gadget or the selling price of an IPL team. Will I smirk at them when they say that FC Goa has won over Chennaiyin even without me having watched a single match.

Although I complain to others and the students themselves that the ought to shake off their susegaad attitude, I like their company better than the whiny adults who lose no time in making lives miserable for those around them. Well, this is not a sweeping generalisation and all students/adults do not fit into that description. There is a lot of trust and sense of belonging when I am in the company of students. To cite an example, once a senior member of faculty happened to be a bit rude with me and immediately the students started showing their solidarity by vocally stating their position on the rudeness. Even though that incident warmed my insides, I am careful not to take sides or even show a minute iota of affirming their actions. Well, sometimes I tend to romanticise the student-teacher relationship.

The lovely triangle campus with glistening rain

Now, standing at the threshold of a brand new academic year, I cannot wait to find out what kind of students I will be meeting for each class and how they will respond to my theatrics and eccentricities -- They will either take to it or brush me aside as another old soul who tries to be in line with the young minds of this generation.

Ah, well! I hear the pitter-patter of the raindrops as I write, diverting my attention to the beautiful weather. I shall pause to revel in the rain and leave ruminations of my new academic year to be soaked by the smell of red earth and pouring rain :)

Picture credits: Author's own

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A collage of this and that

The past few months just gushed by giving me more than a bowlful of memories. I am afraid that the bowl is slightly overflowing. It happens almost always - there are so many things happening with us or around us that we fail to stand/sit still and savour one moment. But I managed to savour many such moments. It is June and half a year has already whizzed past giving a glimpse of an international conference, some solid academic contacts, a discovery of beautiful places and monsoon in two of the states closest to me - Goa and Kerala (in that order).

Sometimes when beauty happens, there is an urgency to preserve the moment - I somehow want to scribble atleast few lines capturing the moments but I refrain more out of laziness than a stoic vow to etch the moment in the crevices of my mindscape. Alas! How many such moments will I strive to remember. I also realise that I remember only certain happenings; my sister tells me of a time when she was rather pale and sick but me, being me, don't even have an iota of remembrance of that episode. I loathed myself for the loss of that memory. Age is rapidly spreading its tentacles on my once-upon-a-time-sharp-memory. Then I remember that one is only as old as one thinks. Bullshit. One is forced to think of the age only when there are obvious symptoms, such as forgetfulness, in my case.

I guess I should just BE. Thoughts of memories, remembrance, nostalgia and so on and so forth should just happen, not forced out of the person's being. The blog is one such place where I strive to preserve memories but then, did I just say that one should live in the moment and no matter what I do to write what I remember, I am fabricating a story which is romantic and readable. What could be said in a few words, I drag to a post and then gloat over the written crap. Well, I am overfed with so many stories these days that my stories seem jaded to me. Quora, today, jolted me with a line that said that passive entertainment should be cut off from one's life if time and productivity should be improved. I guess that is precisely what I should be doing - limit my online reading of anything and everything ranging from the Stanford rapist to Trump to breast-feeding to yoga poses for a sexy back! I have become a carnivore of the highest order when it came to chewing and swallowing information.

I am tired.

I wish I write more.

I strive.


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