Classrooms across the world often provide the settings for highly absorbing interactions. If watchful observers were allowed by divine law to somehow transmit themselves seamlessly and unseen, in and out of classrooms, they would have much to say or write about later.
In one such classroom, a venerable Professor was waxing poetic and expounding forth the nuances of English literature. The undergraduates in the hall were lapping up his deep insights into the minds and thoughts of great authors long departed from this world.
But classrooms can be unpredictable places. Anything can happen therein.
At one point of time when Mr Professor was in full flow and was dissecting the finer aspects of the classics with great facility and aplomb, Trisha, a charming young lady stood up and began speaking without preamble. The Professor paused in mid sentence, askance, hugely peeved by the unwarranted interruption. The expression visible across his countenance was a none-too-subtle combination of chagrin and sheer shock.
But Trisha was not to be denied. Her mind was obviously in an animated state and her voice was even more high-pitched than it usually was.
“Sir, there’s an urgent matter which needs your attention immediately. My apologies for interrupting you, but someone in this class just sent me an anonymous ‘I love you!’ message. The number is unknown but the sender is obviously in this room right now and I demand to know who it is! “
The Professor’s expression softened perceptibly. Years of delving into the intricacies of English literature had made him fall in love with the idea of romance. He raised an eager eyebrow now.
“Who sent this message to her in the middle of the class? Come on, out with it!” he demanded of the assemblage, his gaze shifting from one end of the classroom to the other with rapid frequency.
“How does Trisha know that the sender is in this hall right now, Prof? And why was she paying attention to her phone in the midst of your class?” a wry questioner wondered aloud from the back benches.
The Professor’s visage underwent several quizzical transformations on hearing these words. But the class stared at the pretty young thing, awaiting her response. And respond she did, without ado.
“I know for certain because the next sentence he texted was: When the Professor pauses to have another sip of water, let me know if you love me too!”
The class laughed loudly in chorus. “Hush, hush!” hollered the Professor.
Trisha went on. “Sir, he knows that you’ve been sipping water repeatedly in this class! He is here!”
The Professor glanced towards his nearly empty glass, but was not impressed with the romantic interlude any more. He thumped his desk a couple of times.
“Alright, alright! That’s enough of a diversion. Whoever texted you, Trisha, will undoubtedly follow up his declaration with some more messages soon. Let’s get back to Chaucer now…”
The class sighed in unison and went back to work. Trisha went back to gazing at her phone. The Prof went back to waxing lyrical. The mystery message-sender smiled to himself in the front row.
Thousands of classrooms across the world witness similar incidents at times, if not always quite so dramatic. The very feel of being in a class, whether among the listeners and learners or standing upfront in an educator’s role, is a special feeling, which regular students do not adequately cherish, since they get so much of it! Once their student days are over and the years roll by, they miss them and long to relive them. But those days never come back, do they?
Some of us have had the opportunity to return to the classroom in different avatars. Those who haven’t can try taking out time to sharpen their intellectual axes a tad by enrolling for a course. There’s no place quite like the classroom. It invigorates, inspires and energises in a manner that no other human setting can quite match.