With about a month to go to me finishing my first year in law school, I have come up with this theory, The Less Knowing Teacher’s Complex, not in any way related to law. But first things first, sorry for such a long delay. You know when I see a few of my teachers, I realise, when one really doesn’t know enough about one’s topic that they are supposed to teach us, a class of 78 students, what goes on in their minds?? Now I am not being mean, OK, nor am I badmouthing my college. Today we gave a farewell to the batch of 2015 and though this is completely unrelated to them passing out of college but it still made me think, what am I doing with my life? And that is when it got me thinking about my teachers and how some of them annoy the crap out of me, because of well, you guessed it right, the less-knowing teacher’s syndrome.
Now, the first sign of such a teacher is their heavy reliance on powerpoint slides, even if it was the subject of their PhD. If they do not have their slides, they tend to stutter while teaching or if there is no choice, make a move to a topic for which they have the slides. Then they will practically read out stuff from the slides and assume that you are listening to them and hence there is no need for you to note down the stuff in the slides. These slides, as they like to think, are their secret weapons. They will never give you these slides even if you beg. They know that if they give away the slides, no one will pay attention to what they are saying because even they themselves know that no one pays attention to what they utter in class.
Another thing I have noticed, that works both ways, is that these teachers , flowing from the fact that no one actually pays attention to them, either feel that the one moment that they need to be in the eyes of everyone in the class is when they come in. They will ensure that everyone is standing and only then greet the class. They will be willing to spend a full 5 minutes to ensure that everyone acknowledges their presence by standing up in their honour. They will provide randomest of the reasons to do it but they want people to just do it to maybe get that 15 seconds of fame. Or these teachers might just come and start speaking without noticing whether people have actually settled down or not. Maybe they feel, if they don’t break into that rut of their speech, they will forget what they are here to talk about.
Also these teachers are the ones that feel that they can do anything in the college including mandating attendance for something like an utterly unnecessary and pointless class that was not supposed to be there in the first place -wait for it- by the academic rules as in legitimately the teacher cannot ask you to show up. Because they cannot exert their influence anywhere else, they try to do it through any other means that are in their control like your project/research paper topics. They try to threaten you through these two things, namely attendance and projects, because hallelujah, marks for both count.
These teachers have ego issues- and they have them big time. So if they allege that you were talking or doing any other ‘unparliamentary’ (sorry law school effect) and you merely say that you weren’t, they will feel that you are calling them a liar or talking back to them . Hence if anything goes wrong in class, they will without knowing who actually did it will hold you responsible and thus you will end up being subjected to a long series of not being given attendance (when you valiantly, or not so valiantly, tried to fight sleep through his/her class), less marks for papers or projects etc etc.
They also have other ways of asserting their importance- mentioning exams. They feel if they point out stuff like, today’s discussion will come in the paper, they think people will have this sudden urge to actually leave Facebook, 9GAG, ScoopWhoop, Tumblr or in my case Stumble Upon and pay attention, sometimes I feel such pity for them. And, they will definitely avoid taking questions from people who are prone to asking smart questions. Because, obviously, if they will not be able to answer them, it will become a huge prestige issue for them. They will also refuse to give you free periods because their supremely important subject might suddenly lag behind in syllabus because of a free periods here and there. These teachers will also have problems with you leaving class because that again for them is an affront, even if you have a hand that is bursting with puss and requires a change of bandage or if you actually genuinely want to go to the washroom.
These teachers also have a tendency to suddenly take discussions away from the topic that is actually being discussed in class to something completely unrelated and preferably something related to their own experiences, especially, if they are self-glorifying experiences. These teachers also love taking the first class of the day because they feel that their subject needs the maximum amount of attention, because it is oh-so-technical that we will understand only in the morning when we are actually still waiting for the caffeine to kick in. I think Nescafe has stopped working on me. They will repeat what they have said at least five times, I guess more for themselves than for us, probably, want to be sure what they are saying is correct :P. They also have this annoying, not that all of it before this was not annoying, habit of suddenly asking questions on some homework that they had supposedly given us. This also gives them another chance of pointing out how incompetent the class is and how great our luck is to have such a teacher, who knows all about this supposed homework that we had to do and will hence be enlightening us about it.
I don’t know whether it is law school or just me that my tendency of committing murder,mind you- not CULPABLE HOMICIDE, is increasing everyday. It feels like a pointless day sometimes but then I guess this is what is called paying your dues.