Friday, May 25, 2007

The Last Days

There are times when you wake up and feel that you can do nothing right, and you just want to return to your sleep and dream away the rest of the day, without having to think and make the right decisions all the time, just the way we like it. There are days when you wake up and you ask yourself what's the point of getting up and subjecting yourself to the same old things again and again.

But for the past 6 months, despite the incredibly early get up timing of 5.45 am (Okay. I know what you are going to say. You do that everyday, and you've been doing that for the past (insert double digit) years. But no other job I could have picked requires this!) after shaking off the initial lethargy, there's a sense of purpose to the day, and more than that, a sense of meaning in life that is very hard to come by.

I try my best every lesson to interest, inspire and at the very least help you learn the bare essentials in a subject that you may not enjoy thoroughly, but still have to take anyway. I tried, and many times I think I failed. I looked at other physics teachers and felt pressure looming over my head, as I watched them plan flawless lessons and whip out incredible applets and other resources for use in the classroom, and sometimes you feel so emotionally drained: because you try your best, and you don't know whether that is enough. You feel for the subject, you know exactly what the concepts you are trying to get across are, but you can't convey it in that particular way that everyone instantly gets.

This has got to be the most frustrating and life-consuming job ever: there was never a lesson that I walked out of without feeling drained and tired. There were a few days when I would be in the physics lab teaching pin-sighting method, and then I'll trot down to the chemistry lab to teach how to test gases, and then back to the physics lab again.

But at the end of everything, what keeps a teacher going is the students. And strangely, despite all the rather frustrating times, and scolding (though I'm sure most of it bounced of you, though I mean it all the time) and marking scripts with god-awful mistakes that make you feel like quitting the job because obviously you have got absolutely nothing across, I enjoyed myself in all the classes, each with their own weird concoction of terrors. Ha. Just kidding. It was fun, and, for lack of a better way of putting it, you guys were entertaining, and in many cases surprising both on an intellectual level and maturity.

In some ways, we are tied together. There is something inexplicably strong about the bonds formed in the process of learning. I hope you'll remember something in this 6 months, and hopefully it's something fundamental, although I'm being sickeningly self-righteous here, believing what I try to teach is the right thing to learn. But every teacher inherently thinks he's correct. So indulge me.

Good luck to all of you guys, avid (ha, avid) readers of this blog. I wish you the best of luck with your time here in RI, because I swear this place is the place that will define who you are in the future. Don't give your new physics teacher a torrid time! Though I trust that he will do a better job than me. I seriously think you all are getting short-changed in some aspects. Other teachers seriously have some cool stuff up their sleeves.

Don't worry, I'll keep updating this place to follow your syllabus and all: I can roughly remember what the next few chapters are. As my English teacher (Mrs. Selvan) emailed me when I sent her my farewell email to the RI staff:

"This is not a farewell. It's a till then.
So till then!
(I don't care, our paths must cross again!)"

Till then!

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