I sat down at my desk calmly after the presentation. This random instructor who had already made life miserable for hundreds of students was calmly shouting at a colleague who was giving his presentation. Suddenly he turns back and then the conversation began. For the simplicity, lets call him Prof. X.
Prof. X: Do you even practice your presentation before coming here?
Me (Taken by surprise): Yes sir, I did.
Prof. X: You guys take things so lightly, as if everything is so casual here. I don’t know why do we have presentation as an evaluative component.
Me: Sorry sir, I tend to get nervous when speaking to a large audience.
Prof. X: So, how far do you think this attitude is going to take you?
Me: I get it sir, its just that sometimes I get nervous when presenting.
Prof. X: You are manipulating your own words. Earlier you said, you are always nervous. Now you saying something different. Worthless students.
Me (Still very politely): I get it sir. I will try to improve my public speaking skills.
Prof. X: You better do so, instead of giving useless excuses. These evaluative components are to improve your public speaking skills. What will you say to your interviewer? They will kick you out right away.
Me: Yes sir. But doesn’t the content matter?
(The guy beside me started nudging my feet to stop talking)
Prof. X (Now getting to his temper): NO, it doesn’t. I wish you were in my PS station. I would have given you a straight zero. Then you would have seen your grade shoot down. I could even have your PS station cancelled. If I am the examiner I have the right to evaluate the question paper as I wish. Does the student have the right to argue against the evaluation?
Me (Still being calm): Yes sir, I get it.
Prof. X: Today, I am in a very good mood. Ask the people from my PS station. And they will tell you how miserable I have made their lives. They don’t even dare to speak against me. I don’t know what manners you have got. Don’t you even know you shouldn’t argue with a faculty.
Me: Yes sir.
Prof. X gets back to his original posture, but unable to find his mind at peace, looks back again.
Prof. X: Do you know, if you were in my PS, I would have made you run a hundred times on this 100ft road otherwise would have cancelled your program. You should be glad that I am not evaluating your presentation, otherwise you would have received a zero.
Getting no response, he turned forward, frustrated.
He turns back, one last time and asks with a mocking smile “Kaun se campus se aaye ho?”
I smilingly replied “Goa campus.”
He shook his head smilingly. As if Goan students are worthless.
I smiled. As if I cared.
The instructor behind me poked me with his pen. He wrote the professor’s name on a piece of paper and smiled. I smiled back.
I could have thought about how weak the system is. When we couldn’t speak against someone for the sake of saving meagre grades. I could have stood up against him. Ask him where were his manners when he was shouting at the students as if they were his servants just because he wanted to show off that he was a senior faculty. I wish I could tell him that he was some frustrated person who made others filthy in front of him. But I didn’t say anything. Because even I wanted a safe grade. I looked back at my instructor once again who mouthed “Take light.” I smiled back.
The presentation continued.
PS. PS stands for Practice School. The internship program of the college.