Friday when I got back home, I noticed that the postie left the mail partially inside the mailbox and the letters were soaked in the afternoon drizzle. All the postie had to do was to push the letters in to the mail box. I was mad at the postie and at my children who came home before me and could have picked up the mail. As usual there were bills in the mail and then I noticed two letters from the school. I am a bit scared to receive letters from school, mostly because the only letters my parents ever got from my school/college were detailing my crimes. Since apple doesn’t fall too far from the trees, with trembling hands  I opened the soaked mail.

Both Yaya and toothless won the academic honours award for their respective grades and the school send a formal letter to inform me.( they also got individual subject awards and I was aware of that. Academic honours and that too both of them was a real surprise)

Happily I opened the door and found Yaya sitting on her favourite spot all gloomy and sad.

“What happened?” I asked her

“Mom, my teacher is so mean, today she drew a chart in class to describe the characteristics of students who will be successful in their life, then she told me, ” you have no future, I saw you talking to your friends in the assembly, you show no respect and people like you will never get anywhere in life”

I showed Yaya the letter from school. This should have been the proudest moment in her life, but her teacher’s remark made much more impact on her.

I told Yaya about Dr. S. He was my forensic medicine lecturer. He only had basic MBBS degree and got a job as a lecturer because his father was a big shot at Medical council of India. ( probably why he got admission to do medicine in the first place). Initially he was teaching anatomy and after teaching everything wrong, he was transferred to Forensic medicine. He picked on my from day one and  told me ” You should quit doing medicine, for people like you give a bad name for medical profession” It wasn’t because I wasn’t a good student, it wasn’t because I failed a subject. It was because he didn’t like me, because my reputation had preceded me after all the things George had done.The only other subject other than anatomy that I didn’t get the first three place is Forensic medicine. He didn’t give me the mark I deserved and it was fine with me. But when I got my final marks card, I took a copy of my marks card, went to meet him and gave him the copy and told him ” It isn’t people like me who should quit doing medicine, it is people like you with just an MBBS degree acting as if the world revolves around you that should quit the medical profession. Today, you and I have the same degree and one day, I will have more degrees than you and you will still be an MBBS degree holder and teaching forensic medicine, so remember the next time you go after another student, that you are nothing”

I told Yaya that the opinion of one teacher doesn’t determine her destiny, but it is a reason for her to work really hard, so one day, she could walk up to the same teacher and prove it to her that she was wrong all along.

2 thoughts on “Mean…

  1. That is rough.. by that standards, I should not have gotten anywhere, I talked all the time in the class..sat on the first bench and talked. When the teacher moved me to the back of the class and made me sit between two boys, I chatted with them too. This was in school
    Then in college, I use to sit on the first bench when I was doing my undergard and sleep in the morning classes. The teacher who taught Indian Economy was ultra boring. But I always scored near perfect scores. I think it always surprised her. I am sure if she would have known my roll number, she would have graded it differently.

    You are right.. opinion of one teacher does not really make or break your life.

    • MS: I never talked to anyone in class. I was always a loner and was in my own world..still I used to get in to trouble.I asked Yaya if she wanted me to go and talk to the teacher and she replied ” What for? I am the one who is talking in the assembly”

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