Day 17: On stage embarrassments


The morning assembly was hosted by the student council and they conducted a quiz across all classes. It was done very beautifully and it was a great show of their leadership skills. It showed more than just that by the end of it.

The various rounds were themed on topics like Prakriya, Sports, Geography and GK. Each class had a question and received a point for each right answer. The teachers were one of the teams too. Each round progressed smoothly, and as I sat with my class, 5A, with 5B close by, we discussed and got a number of answers right. Bad move.

The last move was rapid fire and each team sent one on stage to answer a question within 20 seconds. The 5th graders named 5 rivers, the 6th graders named 6 states and so on, until it was the turn of the teachers. The organizers called for one teacher to go up on stage, and the notorious 5th graders start chanting ‘Swetha-aunty-Swetha-aunty’. I HAD to go up on stage because of all that overwhelming love, and trust in my abilities. And what’s the question? Name 10 presidents of India.

It was very ironic for me to get the question considering I’ve been dead against any form of rote learning. I fumble a little, fidget a little more, edge closer to the mic and say ‘Can I pass to another teacher, please?’

I slowly take my seat amongst the 5th graders, feeling very guilty of breaking their trust and a bunch of sweethearts go ‘It’s OK, aunty. You can’t know everything in the world anyway!’

We are doing something right with these children after all.

But aunty, we can’t hear the audio at all.

(Shoot! Damage control. Plays two videos in two YouTube windows: one with good audio and one with great visuals)

You’re a Rockstar, aunty. That was genius!

You need to do better in your written work, H.

Yes, aunty.

Do you promise to concentrate on it?

Yes, aunty.

Is that a pinkie promise?

Aunty, I’m in 5th grade. We are too old for pinkie promises.

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