I was reading my feeds when I came across –
Takes you back to movies like To Sir, with Love, doesn’t it? Just that the students are not half that bad. What often moves or works against the teacher are the preconceived notions of the students. In our lifetimes as students hell bent to finish the term as soon as possible, we sometimes forget the main task at hand – knowledge and learning.
I remember one of my Services Marketing professors in this regard, Prof. Ram Kumar, who was the faculty at IIM-A. In the second lecture, he gave us senior students as quiz, one simple question – “What is services marketing?”
Having finished our preliminary year with a lot of poppycock, we had learned the management mantra and more than eager to try it out. At the end of the quiz, Ram Kumar made us write a textbook definition of the same, 20 times on the back side of the question paper. Honestly, I felt like a school kid. The only thought that was going through all our collective minds was – “This is what they do at IIM-A, huh?” or “All this effort for doing this?”. The rest of the course was awesome, with presentations and assignments which made us think … no, really think. Come out with ideas, collaborate, discuss the merits and demerits of different services, and most importantly, learn to ask the question Why?
At the end of the course, the last session had us sitting in the class, with one minor change. The class’ mike was attached to a mini stereo system. Our disastrous quiz papers were distributed amongst the class … I was staring at my bad handwriting and wondering, what am I to do with this paper? Ram Kumar, then hit the stereo’s play button … and asked us to tear up the quiz sheet where we had expressed our rote learning and throw them in the air. The background music was – Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd.
Tearing up a piece of paper never felt that good.