Life as a student can get very boring and monotonous in lecture halls, especially if the teachers are all alike except for the faces they wear. But every once in a while out of this stock of lullaby-singers arises one great man with the born capacity to reduce a class of sleepy humans into an army of raucous monkeys. And one such man did grace our classroom the last few weeks. Confusing? Then let’s make things simpler.
After six months of attending one boring lecture after another in my college I have arrived at one conclusion— the Physiology Department is the only department in our college where every other staff member is either half-mad or a complete nutcase. I mean, if the H.O.D goes around making kissy-faces at practically every other stranger he encounters then what can you expect from the rest of the staff? I have written on this unconscious perversion in a previous post— Teacher Trumpets: The Air Kisser.
So obviously when it was time for a new professor of Physiology to turn up I betted that it would be another weird chick/wacky dude with a skull full of rattling loose screws. And statistics proved me correct when on that fine sunny day turned up that one great man who was destined to NOT be a lullaby-singer but a fabled prince of parody.
The new professor was a tall but solid man whose outline was kind of cylindrical. He had a slight hunch at his shoulders and a good crop of dark hair with dry pasture peeking through in places. Add to this fact a moustache that resembled a cut section of a dead squirrel’s tail and the habit of constantly wringing his hands and you have your average ironically nervous looking professor.
Well, it’s not a squirrel but aint the octopus growing on my face pretty?!?
When this man entered the lecture hall, most of my classmates were still half asleep from the previous sleep session. But I guess they were awake enough to catch on the harried expression on the professor’s unique features since practically no one bothered to get off their lazy asses and pretend to make a show of respect. Not that he minded the lack of standing students in the classroom since he proceeded almost immediately to the seldom used teacher’s table and hastily occupied the seat behind it. After that he pulled out a transparent roll-call sheet from inside the folder he had earlier been protecting with his life and started to call off the roll numbers.
By now almost everyone had come back to life and the air was full of the usual jibber-jabber that students carry around with them and take out when the situation appears lenient. So it was quite surprising when the nervous-seeming professor shouted out— “Quiet, please.” Ah, well he did shout it out but undermined his authority by adding the PLEASE in the end since the jibber-jabber volume was turned down for maybe two seconds before it was turned up again in an act of rebellion.
The next five minutes were spent in an unusual manner for a college classroom with the new sir shouting out every thirty seconds what appeared to be the only two words in his vocabulary as he took our attendance and to which the students always responded by quieting down for a second or two before reverting back to their original state of miscreancy. Anyway, this game of ball didn’t last for too long and when the new teacher stuffed the sheet back into his folder, left his place on the seldom used teacher’s dais and finally stepped down to walk among us lowly undergraduates, the entire class finally fell silent.
Any other teacher would have wiped the sweat off their forehead at this point and gotten straight to the core of the lecture on respiration after a brief introduction. But not this one, no sir. This man, destined to be the prince, lectured us for fifteen minutes on what exactly were the two membranous organs found inside our chest on either side of the heart. Yeah, you guessed it right, he told us, no EXPLAINED to us what exactly were lungs. And the obvious result was that he lost us in some wilderness in these very fifteen minutes.
Doctors, these are called lungs incase you accidentally got into med school.
Anyway, he somehow managed to get to the point at some point of time and that’s when he was revealed to be the prince of Kingdom Quirk. You see, this professor wasn’t using PowerPoint presentations to teach us the topic of his lecture. No, he was using the old-fashioned projector, which magnified written sheets, just like a few other old souls in our college’s pay. And so it was obvious that if his handwriting was more like the scribbling of a two-year old we would ask him to read out aloud what was written on those bloody pages.
Graciously accepting our request, the teacher proceeded to read out his too long notes. And the way he did it stumped us all into silence for three seconds before we all started to shake silently. It was because the man was reading out the lines as if we were kindergarten kids and it was dictation time. He didn’t even leave out the commas and full-stops. I guess we all were reminded of our childhood that day (damn, the way I am saying this is as if I am a hundred and four years old and not just eighteen).
Like I said earlier, the man wasn’t a one trick pony but a bag of wonders. Besides the obvious fetish for dictation classes, our silly professor could DJ his own words. Yeah, you read it right. I say this because the man had an odd habit of mixing up his words, going at bullet-out-of-gun speed for a few seconds and slowing down like a slug in the next. He was one mean S.O.B. And we took full advantage of his quirky ways. At times we would make him repeat his words four or five times just for kicks and giggles (don’t tell me you never did this when you were a college student yourself). And at others we would starkly laugh on his face.
And his DJing abilities didn’t end there. The man would speak normally for a while and then suddenly out of nowhere his volume would rise so high that we would wonder if someone had burst a firecracker in his vicinity. Believe me when I say that he was one mean volume modulator.
And this is just the beginning of his long list of quirks. So if you wish to go and get yourself an ice-cold soda before we continue with this epic tale, you may do so. Who said only movies have intermissions? And once you are done, head on to Page 2 to read more…