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My school teachers...

So I got to thinking bout my school days recently and it saddened me that I was starting to forget a few teachers who had shaped my life, I have already forgotten nearly half the classmates... though its not my fault. Some people just don't want to join facebook, then how can you find them in this big world. Even if I do find them, there is not much to talk beyond the 'where are you & what are you doing' phrases. But the teachers are another matter, they deserve to be remembered for moulding us. I gotta hand it to the convent school I studied in, they really knew how to select their educators... all the teachers I had shared a genuine passion for teaching and above that they had strong moral values and faith which invariably shaped our lives. To them being a good person was what mattered the most and they made sure we grasped this knowledge, it also helped that I had staunch catholic parents who cemented this view. Anyway, I just wanted to jot down stuff bout my teachers so that when I am old with white hair, sans teeth or eyes... I will remember those people who made a difference to my young & impressionable growing up years.

My primary schooling in Abu Dhabi is just a vague memory, I remember having music classes where a pretty lady used to play the organ and teach us Church hymns. I studied in St. Joseph's School, located just behind the only church in Abu Dhabi, the St. Joseph's Church. I love that church, it brings back some good memories of catechism classes, children's mass, Christmas gifts and the Easter vigil. Here are a few pictures of the church...

Anyway coming back to my school, I had a nun (don't remember her name, I think it was Sr. Decla) who was very particular that we should write in cursive writing, she would hit us on the knuckles lightly if a word did not start or end with a tail. That's the way I write even now, in the cursive script... and when people tell me that I have nice handwriting (I get this a lot) I remember her. I also remember that we had a Library period and that we were given one book to read, we could take it home and bring it back during the next library period. I got an Enid Blyton book one day and the last thing I wanted to do was read it, I was barely ten & it was the last period of the day and we were all sleepy. The cover spoke of a mystery and a few kids who were caught in it, so I thought I might as well read it till it becomes time to leave and then I can give the book back. From the very first page I was hooked, my sleep had vanished, I was somewhere else with those kids trying to solve a mystery... I had no idea bout the time, or what was going on, or when the bell rang or anything else. I took the book home and devoured it, from that moment the library period became my most loved period, and I had fallen irrevocably in love with the written word, there was no looking back thence. Sadly, that's all I can seem to remember of my schooling there...

I then happened to change countries and landed at the southern tip of the Indian Peninsular, in a place called Nagercoil. Here too I studied in a convent school called St. Joseph's Convent Higher Secondary School. Here there are loads of teachers to remember...
  • Janet Teacher : She was our english teacher in the 5th grade and very pretty, that's all I remember. I met her recently after a long time, say 18 years... I was sitting in the bus travelling to the special school when she got in and I recognized that pretty smiling face, (she was still the same, slim with long hair) and got up to give her my seat. Of course she didn't recognize me, but she smiled and took my seat...
  • Arul Teacher : She taught me maths in the 5th grade and she was old and kinda strict
  • Sr. Teresa (1cm sister) : She is a very interesting person, very short and hence her nickname. She taught social studies, and she had this crazy urge to check my lunch box (which would invariably contain chappathi or sandwiches)... she would exclaim,"What kind of food is this! Tomorrow you should bring rice with curry, a vegetable and an egg or a piece of fish on top." I hated her for that, I mean I am not a rice person... to this day I still eat chappathi or sandwiches and avoid white rice. All her antics seem funny in the light of today, after all she only meant well. I ran into her a few years back in church, she seemed even shorter now that I had grown up, I introduced myself and spoke to her.
  • Vimala Teacher : She was our 6th grade class teacher, I remember that the school stage used to be our classroom back then.
  • Katherine Teacher : She was our 7th grade class teacher, taught us maths and catechism I think. She was a short, rotund and kind lady.
  • Jagadha Teacher : She was our pretty English teacher and the class teacher in the 8th grade. She's actually a relative, a cousin twice or thrice removed... we all liked her a lot.
  • Chandrika Teacher : She taught us Social in the 8th grade, she made us write a lot.
  • Pressy Teacher : She was our class teacher in the 9th grade and she taught us English and Science too I think. I like her, she was all prim and proper & always hustling and bustling around. She would make us recite poems loudly until she arrived for class, she brought out our creative aspects too. She was teaching a poem about a blacksmith and how his sinewy arms work hard at forging iron while bending over his anvil & sitting under a tree, she told us to picture this scene and draw it. I drew this blacksmith with his sinewy arms and the big tree behind him, and she actually liked it. (I'll put up the picture when I go home next). The other day she told us all to take a plain sheet of paper and write a poem, anything from the top of our heads... whatever we felt. I still have that piece of paper with me, it was a nice feeling to know that you could string words together and come out with a pretty good poem, if I may say so myself. Here is the poem I wrote in her class...
  • Chitra Teacher : She taught us Science in... which grade, I don't remember. All I remember is not being too fond of her...
  • Padmashree Theacher : She was my Hindi teacher through all the grades, her classes were laid back and fun. There used to be just the three of us (Me, Geetha and Divya) and we would wait for hindi class, with only three students to teach, the lesson would get over soon and then we could just laze around in the sun under a eucalyptus tree. Hindi teacher was a typical brahmin to the core, she liked to talk... she would tell us her problems, what's happening at her house, stuff like that. She was also a dedicated teacher, we could go to her at any time of the day with doubts, she taught us well... I liked studying all the Kabir and Rahim ke dohe.
  • Ida Teacher : She was a fantastic teacher, taught us maths in the 8th and the 9th grade. She lives in my colony, we used to travel to school together. She's a funny & lively character, her eyes would twinkle with delight when she taught us maths or cracked a joke... she was less strict and more friendly. I meet her from time to time when I go to church, her house is on the way...
  • Thangam Teacher : She actually took Tamil for my classmates while I capered off to Hindi classes. She also taught us Catechism and that's why I remember her so vividly, she was tall and graceful and forever meticulously dressed. Not a strand of hair or a pleat in her saree would be out of place, she always wore her hair in a tight little bun at the nape of her neck. She was regal looking, and carried herself with poise. She was a true believer in the word of God, and her heart belonged to him. She taught us catechism with a passion, you could feel her love for Jesus emanating from her words and actions. I still remember her telling us that her favourite part of the mass was when the Priest lifts up the chalice and host proclaiming 'Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all glory and honour is yours almighty God forever and ever, Amen."
  • Leela Teacher : She taught us maths (and a lot of moral stuff) in the 10th grade, she would always talk about honesty and how to behave in the world, and how to be good pious and chaste girls. She gave us tips on fighting off assailants if ever we were attacked, go for the soft spots... like poking out the eyes. She was the epitome of calmness and patience, she would talk so softly, it was difficult to hear her all the way to the back. So sometimes we would come closer and sit on the floor to hear her teach. She was the one who started a new concept called the honesty store. A little corner room was turned into a stationary shop and students could buy what they wanted and place the money in a tray nearby. There was no shopkeeper or attender, we had to be honest and pay for what we bought. The store actually went off well, she was like that... she believed in the goodness of students. She used to dress plainly, almost nun like... dull sarees with minimal print. She would start each class with a mental test, she would give us a mathematical problem and we had to work it out in our heads and then jot down the answer.
  • Rajeshwari Teahcer : She was our English Teacher in the 10th grade, a short little woman who would animate her teaching. She was funny that way, she was sweet and kind. I meet her too in church from time to time.
  • Stella Teacher : She is another example of poise and refinement, she was our social teacher in the 10th grade. She was kind and helpful and we all liked her, she taught us well.
  • Jesintha Teahcer : She was our English teacher in the 11th and 12th grade. Her classes were fun, there were less tests and exams... as compared to the other classes. The other teachers were preparing us for the public exams and it was a period of intense hard work. She was easy going and fun to be with... I meet her from time to time at large family gatherings.
  • Merlin Teacher : She was without a doubt the coolest teacher around, she was a few years elder to us... she was a student of the same school and she came back to become the Computer Science teacher. She was practically like one of us, we loved her classes and we loved her. The computer science classroom was located at the extreme end of all the class rooms, even beyond the hindi class... it was an eerie room that was hardly used and it had huge windows, and bats used to hang from the ceiling. I loved those classes, there were about 20 of us and we all shared a great camaraderie. I thought if this was how college was gonna be, I can't wait to get into college... little did I know what shock would be in store, but that's another story.
  • Sujatha Teacher : She was our Chemistry teacher and our class teacher in the 12th grade. She was a delightful teacher, witty, smart and beautiful. She taught with a passion and I enjoyed her classes, she was delicate, graceful and I liked her a whole lot. Turns out she is a relative too, I meet her from time to time at large family events. Everybody is related to everybody else in my small hometown...
  • Vinsula Teacher : I know weird name, she was our Physics teacher in the 11th grade. She was also called the neckless or cylinder teacher. She was a picture of rotund bliss and her neck could never be seen, it was hidden by her plump smiling face, she more or less resembled a cylinder. She is a nice person, with a kind smiling face, whenever she taught she would scribble the equations or words on the board and the more she got into the subject the more she scribbled... by the end of the class, the blackboard would be white and it was as though a deranged man was let loose in the class, you couldn't make out a thing, it was crazy. I met her when I had gone to her house to give her my wedding card, she was the same picture of rotund smiling bliss.
  • There was a maths teacher in the 11th grade and I can't remember her name, got into an argument with her one day...
Well, that's all I seem to remember... Nameeta, Raina, Saras, Bella you guys probably remember more, let me know what I've forgotten or if I've wrongly entered stuff here. To all the teachers named here and to those I don't remember, wherever you are, I hope you are doing good and I just wanted to say thanks for everything.


appreciate the hard work

i remember pressy :p

what is a school stage ...

i see usage of rotund more than once

"rotund bliss " is too much

and i also note that you have not learnt from the past .


you should remember

The Mahathma said...
very nice :-)

Pressy --- what a horny name

11:06 PM
Carol said...
It wasnt Pressy. it was Prissy Teacher. She was my Science teacher and English Teacher :)

11:12 PM
The Mahathma said... a pricky name

11:15 PM
wildeyes said...
actually presssy is a horny name. why wud anyone wanna name their child pressy OR it short for stg like priscilla?
pushpak, I remember the comment... knew you would remember it too. But apparently you haven't learnt that I was ignoring you...
stop calling me pushpak
See, Pressy teacher was comfortable in her skin and with her name, she didn't mind it... you on the other hand, haven't made it to her level of coolness yet.
pushpak is not my name
Check your baptism certificate... what does it say.
it says Daemon Zak now !

lets discuss on "rotund bliss" has my blood boiling
Why saj, those two words aptly describe you too...
tht was 2 years ago! not anymore!
is this your nonchalant way of getting more comments
well, I was hoping on gettin relevant comments, but you ruined all that now...
do not deviate from your agenda for the day! being nonchalant! im just trying to help u!
mazhalai said…
awesome post
and remarkable memory!
Anonymous said…
karen ... you got me all nostalgic!
do you remember chinna rani teacher from assisi? she taught us english and have some vague good memories about her. i so badly want to go to nagercoil and meet them :)

i do not like the fact that comments are equal in size to your post
ABB said…
We used to call Rajeshwari teacher Jackdaw :-P There was a story in English Supplementary book about a Jackdaw, and the description of Jackdaw somehow reminded us of her, so we started calling her that.

I still remember Thangam teacher, but I always thought she was from Little Flower. Cos I studied in both schools I get confused with teachers from both the schools

I used to hear a lot about Merlin teacher from my friends in Computer Science.

Is Sujatha teacher the daughter of Saroja teacher? Saroja teacher used to teach us Botany, she was a very good teacher. She was very calm, she taught us a lot about cleanliness, how to dress up neatly, etc etc. I always had a great amount of respect for her. By the way, Saroja teacher is James advocates wife. So she is related to me through Sajeeve.

I remember the Physics practical periods, I enjoyed those periods mostly cos, you can see the road from the room :-P

Jesintha teacher, I just remember her for being friendly and cool, I guess that is the only period we used to relax.

Leela teacher, I respected her values very much. She used to be very strict, and once some girl committed suicide in our class, I guess her name is Teresa, and there was a rumor that it was cos of her. In fact, her parents had come to the school to talk to Leela teacher. But I always remember her as a person who encouraged us to be honest.

I guess Chithra teacher taught us science in 10th grade, not sure.

There was a Zoology teacher, she was such a mess. Most of the times she takes class in the lab. The worst thing is, she used to show us how to cut a frog, then she will ask us to cut the frog and she will just wipe her hand without washing in the saree and start eating snacks with the same hand. It was gross. I forgot her name.

Benjamin teacher is the one who taught us Chemistry, she was very boring, but very nice teacher. I never used to like Chemistry, most of her classes are after lunch, and I sleep almost for every class, whenever she asks me why are you sleeping, I say I am having a headache or some other reason, then she will say Ok sleep :-P And the good thing is most of the times she forgets about the previous day’s class. She passed away few yrs back due to Cancer. I feel very sorry for her.

Jeya teacher is the one who taught us Maths. She is tall, slightly huge and has long black hair. She was very strict and most of the gals never used to like her. But she always was my favorite teacher as she teaches Maths very well and it is my favorite subject.

Next time we go to Nagercoil, we should probably try to go and meet them.
still i have the same feeling
did u offer to pay raina
Anju Sabu said…
Good post, kav.. it's very important to remember teachers because their job should be the most rewarding!

And yes, everyone should join facebook so that we can atleast have a chance at remembering them :D
Mazhalai, thanks for dropping by... I don't remember much, just few incidents.

Saras, I don't remember Chinna Rani teacher, what did she teach us?

Raina, even I remember the girls in my class calling her Jackdaw. Merlin teacher was awesome. Yeah, Sujatha is Saroja teacher's daughter, she was perfect. Hahha, I remember the Physics practical lab too. That's too bad bout Leela teacher, that will forever remain on their conscience. Now that you mentioned suicide, I remember what Leela teacher had said one day, she said it takes a lot of guts to commit suicide, if you are weak you won't be able to do it. So if you have the guts, why don't you use it live life, instead of using it for the wrong purpose... your Zoology teacher sounds funny, I do not recall a Benjamin teacher. I remember Jeya teacher now that you mentioned her, she took maths for us for a few months, when our maths teacher was on leave. Yes, we should drop by school one day when we are home next, it will be great! This is what I was expecting a long post of memories... thanks.
Anju, let's hear about your school teachers... you always tell a good story.
Ryan Williams said…
why are all of them women????
It was a convent school Ryan, they employed only females teachers. There was only one guy in the whole school named Xavier, and he used to manage the sound system or carry heavy objects...
Anonymous said…
Nice post Karen! Brought back a lot of memories of our school days. You have all of it covered :).
Chinna Rani miss taught us English in 4th grade. Remember we used to run from 4A to 4B to jot down notes for her classes.

Susan Deborah said…
Zak Pushpak Daemon bombed the entire comments' section, I see.

Karen, appreciate your time and memory. Feels good.

Joy always,

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