As a student, I have spent endless hours giving nicknames to Profs and classifying them into the good, the bad and the truly ugly. I have always wondered whether the Profs do the same on their students.
Well, since I did teach at a coaching class for 4 years, and have some idea on how to lull 40 people to sleep at a time, I think I shall share some of the species that I identified from the other side of the table, so to say…
So, here are some of the interesting species of vidhyarthis… in random order
He is the pride of every parent and the nightmare of every under-prepared teacher. The guy wears glasses 4 inches thick and carries books 40 inches thick. He is always seen poring over the notes and doing his thirty-second revision. He reads ahead, and bombards you with questions all the time. He has never come second in the class in his entire life. He loves calculus and other obscure mathematical fundas. I have found that the best way to tackle the mind boggling questions that he asks is to turn the tables and say – “this is your home assignment for the day.” Rest assured that he will search every book in the Library and manage to come up with the answer the next day… but, he brings along a new set of doubts [for the day after tomorrow’s homework…] and the cycle continues!
The Dumb Babe:
She is the pride of every potential boyfriend and the envy of the other gals. She is always perfectly made up and you just wonder whether she is coming for a class or for a movie shooting. She wears color coordinated lenses, matching the dress and shoes and watch and lipstick and eye shadow and whatever other piece of crap that women apply on their face, hands and er… She wears the tiniest of dresses and you can’t help but ogle at her. But, since you have a class to teach, and you can’t show your complete emotions, you reserve it for later. But, it still happens that sometimes, she catches your eye by leaning forward oh-so-slightly, and so, you take a dramatic pause, pretend to think deeply about the obscure accounting concept that you are about to teach, and somehow manage to look away till you can recover from the ‘killer look’. She is always called for special sessions after the class is done. Of course, it helps that she is not as well endowed in the brains department, and will never understand anything till you repeat it 25 times. This also means that you give her a fail mark in exams, and watch her go down on her knees… to beg for a pass mark, of course… what did ya think? ;)
The Bull - Dozer:
He is the quintessential Jughead [much fatter though] of every class. If you find him awake for 20 seconds at a stretch, you can pat yourself on the back [since you obviously can’t the back of the species above, much as you may wish to] for the interesting discourse that you are giving. He waits for that perfect moment when you are looking at him [out of 40 people in the class] to let out that hippo-like yawn. And, since yawns are more contagious than bird flu, you can’t help but yawn yourself. But, the strategy, I’ve learned, is to always to turn towards the board so that the class doesn’t realize what you are upto.
The Ms. Perfect:
Now, this one is a rare combination of beauty and brains. She will come second in class [after the Geek, of course], write poetry, sing, dance, win sports competitions, become class monitor and basically achieve all that you wanted to, but could not. She will play the veena and practise karate with equal élan. You start thinking that she will make prefect ‘wife’ material, till you realize that her idol is some Greene feminist who has vowed to remain single till no man desires them. She is too busy planning her corporate climb 20 years hence and so you leave her to her alpha world and look elsewhere.
This species is unique in the sense that they firmly believe that what is left unwritten is forgotten. They will want to take down your every word, and ca be relied upon to produce a verbatim report at the end of the class. Destined to be the ‘Secretaries’ of future corporate meetings, their only aim in class is to fill pages and pages of useless data that you spew to confuse them. They are helpful in the sense that once the year is over, you can ask for their notes and use them for perpetually [or atleast till the Education Board decides to revamp the syllabus].
The ‘mera pass baap hai’ guy:
This guy is filthy rich – yes filthy and rich. He knows that he can buy the Education Board and University if he so wishes. But, he is the most cherished student of every coaching class in the town. Who else will pay 18 grand, and not attend classes, while the tuition centre auctions the seat to another willing rich bugger… The day he attends classes, his mobile HAS to ring the latest polyphonic ringtone, and he just HAS to flash the latest im-poh-ted mobile that his dad bought for him from some exotic country. The other guys in the class envy him for his designer clothes, Nike shoes, bike, car and all such knick-knacks. Of course, the biggest knick-knack is the dumb babe [mentioned above], who is always seen ‘hanging’ around with Mr. Rich. You can rely on him to ‘buy’ the question paper a week before the exam, and to ‘buy’ the examiner a week after.
The giggly wiggly queen:
This species should have been admitted to a mental institution long back. All they know is to giggle. You start teaching the intricacies of Accounting Standard 6, and they giggle. You give a problem to solve, and they giggle. You ask them a question, they giggle. You shout at them, they giggle. You send them out of the class, and they still giggle. By the time you are through with them, you wonder whether you are in a class or already in a mental asylum. [giggle giggle].
Of course, there are endless varieties out there [after all, every individual is unique in his/her own right], but since I don’t want to bore you further, I’ll stop here…
As for my students, I love every one of them, especially the dumb babes ;)