As a student, in a private institution in Pakistan, one gets to witness and experience a host of things. For some, it’s a truly magical time and the memories stick with them forever — and obviously their Facebook friends, who everyday have to scroll through another one of their “2 years ago” memory. For the rest, well, let’s just say they are still infatuated with snakes in university memes. Either way I believe we can all still put aside our differences and stand together on this one subject — the mood swings of our professors.
To put it in simple terms, a student, irrespective of his or her age, does not have the capacity or the tools to deal with the onslaught that occurs when one of our ‘Ustaads’ (teachers) transforms from John Keating in (the Hollywood movie) Dead Poets’ Society into the Hulk from Avengers, in just a matter of seconds.
I would like to stress here that the argument which usually befalls such a conversation is that it is the students who are in fact pushing the teacher to the point of such a radical transformation. In our defense, there are certain factors which promulgate this mood shift amongst our professors that have absolutely no relation to us.
Such as the fact that when a teacher in the classroom proclaims we are doing nothing but adding further misery to an already troubled day that he or she is experiencing. While we are extremely willing to offer our sympathies to our esteemed mentors, almost all of us are not trained in the art of therapy. For us, the classroom suddenly changes to a one-on-30 confrontational seminar that a patient may undertake with all of their past and present psychiatrists.
All we can do is to sit and provide silence, while the professor goes on a rant to which the only appropriate response in any other setting would be: Would you maybe want to calm down and have a chat about it, buddy?
And, God forbid, if a slacker suddenly decides to grace the classroom with his or her presence the exact same moment a professor is having a full-blown meltdown, hell breaks loose in a manner that even makes the Satan push aside his agenda for destroying the world and start taking notes instead. Air is sucked from the room but even faster from our lungs because we now know that we are all going to be punished even worse than the first man and woman. Our Original Sin: Classroom Special is in session.
Even more so, greater confusion arises when the supposedly ‘chilled-out’ teachers snap so randomly in class that it even puts our loved ones’ mood swings to shame. I’m not saying that we are all not prone to random lapses of anger; I’m just saying the whole framework doesn’t make sense when the one tasked with bringing out the best in a group of dysfunctional group of individuals is instead busy laying claim to the cuckoo’s throne themselves.
So, in summary, while it is one of the hardest jobs in the world to tame us students who are no less than wild beasts, a more sensible approach could be adopted by our teachers. While it may be hard on us students to adapt to a strict policy regarding classroom participation, attendance, and quality of work, it still makes more sense in comparison to getting the wind knocked out of us by a random spark of insanity.
Disclaimer: The author would like to highlight this work as a piece of fiction in case his grades are affected in the future due to it!