#2. Not By Name

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WhatsApp Image 2018-03-30 at 11.39.58You leaned over displacing your elbows on the desk acting as a cushion for your head to rest. You are in the middle of a lecture just staring at the big blackboard where the professor scribbles some important economics formulas that gives you the creeps, just extremely tired and bored of taking down notes yet struggling to listen and you glance at your watch to see how long for the class to end. Then suddenly, you hear an indefinite scream from outside. A sudden rumble and notice the whole classroom is shaking wildly, everyone is freaking out and you could hear things are just falling apart, chaos everywhere. You see tress from the windows collapsing and everyone startles from their seats trying to figure out what on earth is going on. But then the unexpected happened, a flood of brownish black water have taken a sudden toll into your classroom and you can notice everything around you just coiling at a force towards, a few of your friends have ran for their life through the back exit whereas many unfortunate colleagues being swallowed by the darkness of the tsunami right in front of your eye and your survival instinct kicks in and without thinking twice, you jump on a broken door partially floating, holding your balance and trying to fight your way in open light, still struggling to hold on, kneeing in the middle and having that strong grip firmly on the door knob ,you make yourself to the open waters. You see your best friend calling out your name as he is trapped in the cluster of debris in the corner of the open stairs, you scream as loud as you can “give me your hand”, feeling like a hero and your friend stretches his arms wide till he has got a good grip on my reach and he looked in joy and said “JOSHUA, WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL DEMAND AND MARKET DEMAND”. Huh!!!!!!!

Your friend shoves you from under the desk. You stumble back to reality and see your economics professor having a cold dead stare at you and you look around the class and everyone is looking at you. And you suddenly start to recite this mantra for no reason that you know is fake “please not my name, not today again” For a brief second, you take the time to process where to zoned out to, “did I just literally dream about a tsunami hitting the class and how I manged to survive it” and my silence is broken by the harsh voice of the teacher

Joshua, stand up!!, said the professor and your body reflex takes over and you are up in a sudden puff ready for a dozen of dreadful scolding. “Do I have to repeat myself” and in the softest most innocent expression possible, you say, “No Sir” and before even you could even reply, you hit the brain-dead mode already.

Let me just clarify, what do I mean by brain dead? Our brains are like a huge factory inside our head and the people, who biologist call as brain cells, but I call them as brain workers, tend to operate your physical and mental activities of your body. These workers feed the core of the brain known as the brain furnace so that your daily life keeps going on and power is generated equally throughout your body. So, me being a scary-cat/introvert have reality issues. When someone asks me an oral question of something I have never heard off, the whole factory inside my head starts to malfunction and those brain workers have to put extra coal into the core furnace just to face the terrible situation and give him the answer that he expects you to give but if your brain furnace tends to have a outburst, the commander inside your brain sends off an alarm inside your brain that goes to into lockdown protocol and you face brain-dead mode.
Yes, I have a weird imagination. I know!
In simple interpretation, I was scared to give an answer and fear took over my body. I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself and give the dumbest response possible. So, I chose silence over my guesses.

If you are like me, you need to demonstrate your innocence in this situation.
First rule, don’t stare at your professor eyes because that triggers them. The more you look at them, the longer you will get your feedback. You need to let him know he is in control
In the meantime, stare at his shoe and admire the brand that he has worn and appreciate the little things in life.

Second rule, don’t completely ignore him, that would anger him even more because you need to give me the respect he deserves. So, look at this eyes for 5 seconds and the for the next 2 mins, keep staring at his shoe and then back at his eye and don’t forget to keep nodding and mimic your mouth “Yes, sir” but be stealthy as possible. Okay, I just realized I give the worst advice ever. Please don’t practices them. You will end up like me……………………. happy!!!

The feedback I get is usually the same, but I never complain, it goes like this. “I know you weren’t paying attention in class, your mindset is somewhere else, and you are still teenagers and you like to dream a lot. I understand you are interested in the opposite sex and you dream about them” Inside your head you argue to yourself.” Are you kidding me, I just dreamt of a tsunami hitting this class and how I only managed to survive, and you just concluded that I was getting involved in an affair just because I zoned out of your class. How is that even possible? And he goes on “you are in this classroom to study and these all thoughts can wait, first focus in class, finish your studies and then think of all the dreams you want to have. This is not the first time I have caught you for the same reason!!
You feel embarrassed to your toes and you hear your friends giggling in the background and you wonder “Well, another terrible memory no one is gonna forget” and without a word you keep standing in front of the whole class and you could feel that emptiness in the world since you are the only one standing among the privileged .You have hit the breakeven point where you just wished you could have skipped this day and you feel numb and sorrowful, pity to the heart, just drowning in your own tears of thought and just looking at the teacher in grief once more for making you the clown of the class.

Probably, right now, you would feel sorry for me and expect he would let you sit down and continue his class but……………. he does the unexpected thing I wouldn’t even think of.

You put his book down and adjust his glasses glanced directly at me. “I have seen your answer sheets before and the way you present your answers in the sheet. I am aware you are actually good at what you do, and you are one of those potential students that can attain a 100% in economics and I still believe you can, But all I need from you is your attention, be in class and study your daily portion and I am sure you will reach that goal and achieve a bright future. May be you won’t realize this now and think I am joking but I still believe in you”

Could you imagine the reaction I would have felt in that situation!! That first, I thought he was drunk because how is it possible to change your viewpoint in matter of seconds and I was still in this state of disbelief and questioning myself. “did I just get a compliment, is this even possible! You start looking at him in his eye with sigh of innocence and everyone eyes are still on you. Like as if you turned from the villain of the play to the hero.

He picked up his book and he told me in his kindest gesture to sit down. I was back in the comfort of my seat, staring at my course material and replaying the whole scenario like as if this one of those magical moment in my school life. Then, you hear the school bell ring off, which was every student`s favourite sound and you could hear a swam of hungry students just rushing their ways to the cafeteria .But he was still in class and he swept his eyes around the class in a flash and said in his professional tone over the noise generated outside “I want all of you to study chapter 3 and come to class next day. You will have a class test on Friday. That’s all. Thank you!
He gently opened the door and was on his way out already absorbed in the crowd of humans. I sat there for another minute just to accept the fact this has happened, and I always thought he considered me as that kid who wasn’t worthy in his “good student list”
And, honestly, he was the only teacher who has had an issue with me because I zoned out in his class most the time and he basically caught me eight times.
Do you know why I keep count, because he is the only person in my whole life who keeps getting me into trouble for not paying attention in his class.

A part of me is still scared of him even today whereas the other still adored him. He was kinda right, I managed to get a 96% in economics in my finals and even though, I never payed attention in class and zoned out most of the time. My motivation grew from him because he believed in something that I thought I was never good at and that’s what makes him a special teacher in my life

Although you wanted nothing more than to get away from them back in your school days, you find yourself missing them while you’re attending the lecturer of some professor who doesn’t even know your name. They showered you with all the unwanted attention in the world which bothered you like crazy, but you find yourself smiling like an idiot just thinking about it now. Sometimes I narrate the stories of my chivalric bravery and narrow escapes to my college mates and even while we’re all laughing about it I sense this dull ache that simple refuses to go away. I guess even if I daydream or zone out in a million more lectures I’ll never feel that sense of carefree happiness because getting into trouble was what made it special. I simply refuse to believe that I am not getting those days back.

Written by DOCHI

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