It will not be in any manner a mismatch to compare education with the craft of sculpture and a teacher with a sculptor. The analogy is befittingly apt in a sense that your education formally and formidably shapes you and a devout and zealous teacher chisels you on the very anvil of his experience.
Both a competent teacher and a skilful sculptor are well-versed with their job and leave no figurative and literal stone unturned to carve the best artistic piece out of their subject matter. A few years back, while addressing a congregation of savants at a seminar, I was reminded of one of my teacher’s contribution in sculpting my career.
It was my first day in the class of MA English. As the teacher had not arrived yet, there was an unbearable commotion replete with excitement in all the corners. Discordant voices with their high octaves were audible even in the corridor attached to our classroom. Least acquainted with any student in the class, I was self-absorbed, waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the teacher as he was the one who could restore order to this anarchic state of affairs.
In a few minutes entered Dr Oberoi (with whose moniker I was not familiar at that time) with a justified indignation writ large on his face. His august presence was enough to bring much-needed silence, which was now music to my ears that lingered momentarily in the air. Then we heard the teacher’s voice, which sounded grim and gruff.
Annoyed over the mayhem, he said, ‘It is quite easy to blabber all this loud sitting on your desks. I would wish to see any one of you come here on the podium and deliver a barely brief talk of five minutes in English.’
When he again brandished the challenge at us in his vigorous and vehement manner, I raised my hand and elegantly tiptoed towards the dais to salvage the situation. Not having any previous experience of public speaking, I was jittery, but the next five minutes changed my life entirely. I gained my poise and confidence in no small measure.
Today, I am able to teach public speaking with aplomb, all thanks to that rumpus and the five flowing minutes that followed it.
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