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Monday, August 27, 2007

Young Minds & Teachers

Americans have traditionally maintained a romantic, love-hate relationship with the notion of nonconformity. Deep down, they each cherish an iconoclastic image of themselves. American movies and literature are full of rebel heroes and heroines who reinforce that image, At the same time (as these characters attest), we sure do resent it when other people don't behave the way we think they ought to -- that is, "like everybody else". I was amazed to watch "Dead Poet's Society" movie from this perspective.I want to express my feeling about upcoming Teacher's day on 5th September before writing anything more. It will pass from the calender like any other day. I just want to give some words not in praise but only in search of true teacher.

From the moment we enter in the premises of the school, we are taught to sit in a row, be quiet, do not ask questions, do not interrupt the class and on and on. This proves wonderful training for when the young minds leave formal education behind and enter the work world, where we are encouraged to sit quietly, not ask questions and do not interrupt. To have the opportunity to learn from someone who believes that education is more than rot memory and regurgitating facts is indeed spectacular, potentially life-altering and unfortunately rare. Those who cannot learn, teaches to the next generation.

A teacher inspires the value of individual thought, life, and beauty, and his students in return show their understanding, love and respect in the desk scene in the end. How many of us mentally revolted at the dissection of poetry when we were in school?

Young minds all over the world are just waiting to be filled; take care what you fill the with. Back when you are young, you never really stop to think what in the world you are doing with your life. You simply live for the day, hope your grades will be enough to pass, and that's it. Long term thinking involves maybe flirting with a girl. Nothing more. What this film showed me was that we have the responsibility and the joy of being alive in this planet. That we are dust, and we will go back to it, so we have precious little time to make a difference. That we have a moral obligation to "seize the day, and make our lives extraordinary" (my favorite quote in all movie history).

That the world, basically is ours. That the only limitations are within ourselves, and that we owe it to us to fight, to rebel against conformity, to change what we hate and keep what we love. That living in this world is a beautiful responsibility, and that only cowards dare not to change it for the better.The fact that the cast was basically my age, and was passing through the same dilemmas and situations .

I view it as a tribute to the profession at its best...teaching not merely the subject but also the person, and having a lifelong impact on students' lives.A teacher should not only teach but also learn from his students.As the time passes by experience will count with their learning ability.

# The above image is of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on whose birthday, Teachers day is celebrated in India.

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