Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 'S' of Precis is silent..

It was a long wait for the 1400 English class at 16- a little confusing nah! But the students  and teachers here had grown up a habit of using such codes; outsiders and freshers takes a little time to get suited. Actually this is the notation how our classes’ time and halls are awarded in the routine. 0840, 0920, 1000, 1040, 1120 and so on which means 08.40am, 09.20am, 10.00am, 10.40am, 11.20am etc. Our General English class was determined to be taken, that day, in the hall number 16 which is more like a gallery with steps.

The class was to be taken by Mayuri Mam. I had to wait for about 2 hours to attend the class. My major class ended at 12 noon and then followed the long wait. My friends from Science had their practicals and so they remained busy. I had nothing to do- no practicals. I was searching for a nice place to sit. The Media Centre was closed- the operator, Porag’da had went for lunch. I looked at the Canopy- it was occupied already, no seat there. The Boys' Common Room remained locked- an injustice to the boys. At last I found an empty classroom. I opened my bag took out my tiffin box which my mother had put there forcibly in the morning. I then took out a magazine and started reading it. The time in the mobile phone now seemed to take a faster pace.

After sometime I heard somebody calling me. It was Deep, my new friend. Behind him was Lohit. Lohit had finished his Physics Practical and came looking for me; we go home together. Both entered the room and came near me. “Bolaa, Duita Baajilei Dekhun, Claasot Bohuge”- said Deep. (Let’s go, its about 2pm, let’s sit in the classroom). Lohit said- “Aami Ki Kori?? Eklaa-Eklaa Kothay Ghuri, Bolto??” (What should I do? Where should I roam alone?). I told Lohit to attend the English class with me; after all he is also having the same English paper. He refused at first but then agreed.

We all headed towards the gallery. The bell rang. The students who were having their class there started coming out. Everybody tried to enter the class at the same time. This rush brought to my feeling the situation I had to face to place my foot on the board of the Jorhat Passenger. We went and occupied the second bench of the third row. Lohit suggested that we should sit a little backwards so that we don’t come in sight of the teacher but soon dropped the idea saying that the teacher would never recognize him within the 150 odd faces.

Soon unexpectedly, Rana Kr. Changmai, the HoD English entered the room. Everybody shuffled to their own seats. We all were expecting Mayuri Mam- the sudden entering of Sir made Lohit uncomfortable.

Sir changes his behavior with his classes- his behavior with students of Arts is completely different from the way he behaves with the students of Science. He assumes the Science students to be far more hard working from those of Arts and thus behaves with them very sweetly. The case with Arts is completely different- he feels that students of Arts enjoy the college life more and hence he keeps on pulling strings.

That day was no exception. Sir came and asked what Mayuri Mam had taught us in the earlier classes. A buzz followed- the teacher is familiar with such replies. Sir pointed at me and asked the same question again. I replied that Mam was teaching us ‘Precis Writing’. Sir corrected my pronunciation and suggested to pronounce it as ‘Preci^ Writing’. I sat down on my bench. Sir, then asked a girl to stand up and say what she meant by Precis Writing. She too gave the correct answer and sat down. “Precis writing means to summarize a given piece of writing.” Sir gave a more vivid description on the topic.

Our classes are of 40 minutes. It usually takes 5 minutes for the students to get out of one hall and to get into another. The teachers usually take another 5 minutes to arrive leaving 30 minutes of reading time. Now, included in this reading time are Attendance-registering, Topic introduction etc. So to be true a teacher gets about only 15-20 minutes to teach. In this 15-20 minutes’ time the teacher has to keep in mind his rush of completion of the syllabus.

I could see that most teachers neglect the duty of Attendance-registering when it is to be done in a class of about 200 students. This is clearly visible from Sir’s face. He picked up the register a number of times and then moved on to another topic dropping the register back to the table. At last the time came when he was completely determined to take the attendance. He started it- simultaneously my friend turned uneasy for the fear of being discovered by sir. But nothing bad happened. By the time my turn of giving attendance came the bell had already rung. Sir hurried away after giving us a paragraph to summarize.. to write the Precis.. errr.. Preci^.. remember, the ‘S’ is silent...

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