It is almost 20 years since I finished my undergraduate engineering degree from a premier institution in Chennai. We had some truly fantastic and committed professors who made learning a pleasure and had us looking forward to their next class. BUT, it is way more fun to recall those others – the comical, scary, abusive, amusing, and self-important characters that we also called teachers:
- Dr. DV, who would have such mind-boggling questions in exams as: __ invented __ in the year ___. And expect the same answer from everyone.
- Dr. K, who was a terror. Openly sexist and greatly favoring boys over girls. Telling girls “pasangalluku answer theriyalana summa irukkanga illa. Neeyum summa irukka vendidaane?” (Aren’t the boys quiet if they don’t know the answers? Why don’t you keep quiet too?).
- The other Dr. K, who entertained us with discussions on religion and philosophy instead of electrical engineering. The whole semester.
- Dr. J, who would peridiocally address the boys in the class as “you stupid ass”.
- Dr. V, who was a leching perv, more fitting to be standing at a street corner sight adichaxing than being a professor.
- Dr. G, who at 5 ft tall, did not like girls who were taller than him. And graded them accordingly.
- Dr. R, who never showed up to teach. Ever. But yet routinely sent us exams and sent back grades.
- Dr. S, who (rightly) decided that I was not “giving” enough and had me enroll in the National Service Scheme volunteer organization. And worse, had me singing duets with him to spread public service message songs to villagers in interior Tamil Nadu (oh, the humiliation!).
Not to be disloyal or anything (well, a little late for that, isn’t it?), but did and how did we ever learn anything from these rock stars?