Sunday, February 22, 2009

WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE…

...a teacher. That’s what I always said when I was very young (I don’t remember saying so, but have to believe hearsay evidence from the family).

A lot of time was spent on rehearsing for the future profession. I would come back from school, take an ancient handbag belonging to my dida (granny), wrap a black orna (veil) around my head to simulate long black hair tied up in a bun and persuade my mother to drape a saree on me.

Then, frequently tripping over the voluminous folds of the saree (which would have to be double-folded to fit my childhood height), I would start taking lessons with various imaginary children. Sometimes I would scribble comments on last year’s used notebooks (Good, V.Good, Fair, V. Fair, Poor, V.Poor; the difficult-to-spell Satisfactory was avoided, and the equally-complicated Excellent rarely awarded) with a red pen kept for this very purpose.

I would teach lessons loudly and earnestly with a lot of imitative gestures like tossing of the head and raising of the eyebrows in the approved teacher-like manner (learning the syllabus myself in the process), praise a few students (whose names were those of my real life class-friends) and vigorously scold a few non-existent poor chaps (with names of classmates I did not like). A boy called Rajeev regularly received severe beatings from a wooden scale – my mother says that the patch of mattress which was supposedly Rajeev was quite worn out because of my strict disciplinarian nature.

I did not tire of playing “teacher-teacher-khela” (teacher role-playing) even when I was nine or ten. Sometimes, my cousin J, who visited frequently, would join in and then we could jointly and gleefully make life miserable for the make-believe students by imitating the classroom-manner of the most fearsome of our teachers. Not all the time, though, because we would also take turns in pretending to be our favourite teacher of the moment.

My Barama (aunt), who was a real-life school-teacher, would sometimes give me stubs of white chalk and I would scribble profusely all over the grey-painted door (which served as a blackboard – scribbling on the walls was forbidden). Once my mother bought a whole box of coloured chalks, and I was over the moon for months. Just as our real school-teachers did, I would draw complicated scientific and geographical diagrams, happily explaining related concepts to my invisible brood of students. In fact, in hindsight I feel it was a brilliant idea of my mother to encourage this role-playing, because it definitely made learning lessons a very attractive game.

Later on, I switched loyalties and wanted to become a journalist. Still later, I compromised by becoming a teacher in a college myself, and getting married to a journalist.

WHO DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

16 comments:

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

I wanted to be a cricketer.
But destiny is the right word.
Men made plans but implementation is in the hands of God.
Currently, a kid again continuing/wishing life journey...

Kavi said...

Holy Kaw ! Talk of childhood dreams coming true !!

So is there any real life 'Rajeevs' now !?!

I wanted to be a journalist. A pilot. And then, i didnt know what i was going to do.

Well, the third one came true. I still dont know what i am going to do !

ugich konitari said...

My wanting to be a doctor was colored by the fact that my municipal bus that took me to school also carried medical college students of BJ medical college. I used to pour over their Greys Anantomy books and get smitten by the pictures. And our family doctor would crack up over my usage of complicated organ names to descibe things like sore throat etc.

Unfortunately in college I liked maths and the system of the day forced me to choose between that an biology.

Medical science will never know what a great loss it had and my daughter curses the day she started algebra.. :-)

The Weekend Blogger said...

I began by wanting to be an engineer like my dad...then for a brief period I wanted to be a doc...then I copied a senior in school wanting to be a journalist...then a lawyer...and finally, I just wanted a job !

seanag said...

This post reminds me that I had an early dream of being a veterinarian. I can remember playing this game with a friend where we made up quizzes for each other on our chosen vocations, and that was the one she had to write up for me.

I think the whole idea of having to put animals 'to sleep' was what finally put me off the idea.

My other cherished idea was to run a giant home for animals saved from the pound. I think this was heavily influenced by some Walt Disney movie I had seen.

And I was just recalling the other day an idea that I wasn't even going to wait till adulthood to implement--running a goat farm, where income was supplemented by giving goat cart rides. I even drew up the plans.

Yet today, I don't even have so much as a goldfish. Just can't be bothered.

Koel said...

first I wanted to be a doctor, as that was one of the most respectable professions for a girl....and then IAS officer, which also sounded very glamorous....but I really had no clue what those jobs will be like...By the time I was in Class 10th, I realised that I had to study something that had mathematics and I also wanted to have a career as soon as possible...so engineering was the obvious decision....

The Scatterbrain said...

I wanted to be a teacher too! I'd do the very same things you mentioned, except that my dolls and teddybears were my students. Seeing my interest in teaching excited about all the learning I was doing in the process, my parents fixed a small wooden board, painted black on one of the walls in my room and that served as my black board.

I am so glad I'm living my childhood dream of being a teacher now! And I really hope some of my younger cousins are interested in the profession as well.

SGD said...

I too played the 'teacher teacher' khela. I guess teachers are the first professionals of the outside world who touch the lives of children and that too on a daily basis. And so their's is the role we love to emulate. As you said, the game goes a long way in making enjoyabke the otherwise mundane chore of studying and doing homework.
The red pen, the remarks, the writing with chalk (I used my wooden cupboard door as the blackboard), answering the questions on the board are all so familiar...I've been there and done them all. But i guess i wasnt such a strict teacher...never beat up my 'students' with a ruler...hence the mattresses were saved from ruin!!! lol...
but unfortunately my childhood dream didnt become reality.....

SGD said...

Oh...now when i see my 3 yr old playing the same game, with her teddies, barbies and other soft toys as students....i relive my childhood!

Braja said...

Nice to meet you Sucharita :)

Peter Rozovsky said...

Interests, yes. Ambitions, no. I was interested in astronomy and later baseball when I was a child, though I never had the drive to peer through a telescope or swing a bat for a living. Mostly I read about these subject, and I read to this day. Quite naturally, I became a sub-editor in my professional life.

But enough about me. I believe your family that you always said you wanted to be a teacher. I am impressed from this post and your previous one by the determination with which you have stuck to your childhoold progessional dreams.

I am also impressed by the rigor of a childhood marking system that descended as far as very poor. What a tough teacher!
================================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
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Lazyani said...

Lucky you that you childhood dreams came true.

I wanted to play cricket( I still do) , but it was not to be

Aleta said...

I wanted to be a teacher, to follow in my Mom's footsteps. When I was in 13 years old and through high school, I helped Mom grade papers and taught the class to assist her. When I entered college, it was with the intention of becoming a professor. English was a favorite, but one particular professor, the dean of the English department was so nasty and ugly to the students ~ well, he turned me away from the profession. How sad. I ended up with a degree in Sociology and also a degree in Business Management. Both are put to good use in the business world where I'm part of the rat race. Though I must admit, I find I prefer teaching and training people.

my space said...

Lol!I did all these things..and even we had a grey door which was used as a blackboard...i would tie my moms black dupatta like a bun!
I wanted to be a teacher,then geologist,IAS officeretc...finally ended up doing clothesthen planning curriculum.. took up studies recently and now am planning to get back to regular teaching!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks so much for teaching me about your childhood ambitions.

Mampi said...

Umm, I wanted to be an IAS officer but settled to become a teacher. Never wanted to be one but then, that is destiny. Now am trying to contribute in the best possible way.
loved your post. We all have had our teacher-teacher phases. I too, had.