Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Brightest Spark

In life as a lecturer I have come across many varieties of students. Needless to say some are bright..while others..lets just say..the lights are on but no one's home...not sharp, to say the least.

As a fair person with an overly developed sense of fairness and duty I try my best with the second category..encouraging, cajoling, threatening and sometimes also scaring them into trying harder. But it does not always work!

So at the start of last term, I was approached by a very quiet first year who asked me which lecture she must attend. As she is one of my students I told her it would be the Textiles lecture at 12 in the Main Room. She then proceeded to attend the Graphics lecture from 10-12 and then my lecture from 12-2 and then moaned that its too hard. I had to explain quite calmly that she only needs to attend her own class and does not have to sit through some other lesson. (To be noted - each class has over 200 students and so it is hard to notice new faces and figure out for lecturers who do not belong in the session).

It was the start of term, she was new, a little lost and perhaps would figure it out eventually I thought. But nope...she did attend all the lectures all of sept-dec from 10-2pm. She came back this term and told me she cant handle this..and I asked her, without trying to sound condescending..if she is sure that she is attending only my class..and when I heard the answer I gave up. I dont know what she cant get...
- no one in that room is from her friends etc
- no one in that lesson speaks about textiles...ever
- no attendance sheets in that lesson have her name
- no one else complains of attending 4 hour lectures.

Thus I am pushed into making a few guesses:
A - She likes the Graphics lectures
B - She loves the Graphics Lecturers
C - She sleeps in both sessions
D - She wants to learn more than what she signed up for
E - She is not very smart, and perhaps shall never be.

Oh yes, she is incredibly sweet and nice and polite..but apparently E is the best guess..she is NOT the brightest spark!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

and this was a long time coming..

So I moved was manic..needless to say. The change of address with a million people, moving of TV and Internet and Phone, buying of new furniture and conflict of opinion about where to put what...well...anyone who owns more than 20 pairs of shoes and more than 4 suitcases of clothes, more than 3 book and definitely more than 1 DVD/CD carton and is a foodie and enjoys cooking, therefore has a huge kitchen... would know what I am talking about!

Mom came to visit me in this part of the world for the first time...and it was a short trip and I wanted to take her everywhere..forgetting her limited energy levels and my unlimited enthusiasm levels :) it was more slow walking, talking, eating, shopping, English Breakfast Tea and Crumpet breaks than sight seeing etc. As usual..good times go by really quick and leaving her at the airport watching her clear security and disappear into the vast terminal was sad..I felt like a school child again..not wanting to let go of that hand. But then I am heading to India soon for the mother of all I was okay in the knowledge that I shall be back soon with the family.

I finally got around to attending the PhD graduation ceremony. 2 are held each year and I was busy in finally got my robes, my funny hat and my photos. Mom and the Husband came along with me to the city in which I spend 8 long years..long, fun, sad, painful, hardworking, ill, ecstatic years of my life. I had not been back for a year or more and it felt strange yet familiar to be back. The city of Leicester holds too many memories for after a while of happiness the sad and painful memories came back and I said goodbye. My education..for over..and so the chapter is closed.

Moved to the new house, unpacked with the help of the lovely friends and managed to get back to work without taking time out. And then came sad news of the person I respected the most and loved a lot passing away. Yes he was old and yes he was ill, and yes each time I left India and said Good bye I was not sure if I would see him again. But its known..that when you love someone, truly and deeply..there is never a right time to let go and say goodbye. The news came as a shock..and the instant reaction of floods of tears took a while to be replaced by deep emptiness and a brain struggling to contemplate a life without this important person. He stood for knowledge, humility, justice, affection, indulgence and kindness..memories of wandering Rashtrapati Bhawan, eating Chinese, getting a Sony Walkman in the late 80's, getting endless gifts of books, shoes, music, clothes, warm hugs and endless chats...came back. Being in Delhi without still hard for me to imagine...being away from family and not being able to share their grief and pain was not helping. Even now..I am welling up at the thought of reaching India and not heading straight to his house to say hello before heading home to mum and dad. Strange. Not really.

It was a hard year 2009..with tension, losses, victories, achievements, good, bad and startling news..and so the way to end it was not planned...till off we went to Prague. It was fantastic place..lovely dogs and beer, German crafts and tall people. Trams and trains from the Communist past and a new country with clean empty streets, old old architecture and the space to walk and breathe, seeing as its not a very popular tourist destination. The place was straight out of a fairy tale with castles and Gothic spires..very very nice. Saw the New Year Fireworks..interesting it was...and entertaining to see this free for all firework display.

Came back with a tummy bug and promptly landed up in hospital..:) nice. Am okay now, have overcome work and paperwork and all the misc things you queue up to do when you get a vacation. So at the end of my winter vacation..I am finally in a place where I can say..I have nothing to do till tomorrow morning. done, food cooked, clothes sorted for tomorrow's start back at work. Ah...I think this calls for a cup of tea and relaxation with some music.

Apologies for disappearing...but if the aforementioned is explanation enough for you...come back again..I shall come back to this world now.