Day 74: Teaching sisters-to-be

I miss the Thursday escapades in Bethany Special School. Since we’ve completed our planned two month stint there, we moved to a different assignment and as my luck would have it, we’re off to teach Computer literacy to a group of Sisters and nuns in training. Remember the punctuation first meeting?

From get go, I was shocked at how disorganized the whole thing was, because SrA was more concerned about building up the paper pile than getting work done. We eventually started, 30minutes late, and I realized that we had a task ahead of us. Some of these girls, sorry sisters, were touching a keyboard and a mouse for the first time in their lives. We had to start from pointing to the parts of a computer and move up.

They were all extremely eager to learn and keen. They listened to us like children and giggled when they had a word typed. The little pleasures of being a teacher were clear.

There’s a definite cracking between SrA and me, and that is showing by the day. I could sense a lot of the disconnect through the session, and it was obvious that A would be the meat and us the bun. SrA and I are clearly poles apart. She’d sweet talk anybody to get a favor; I’ll dig my own grave by calling a spade just that. She uses her religion as a handicap to procure little goodies along the way; it’s that system of unwarranted reservation that irks me about our policies. She will sit back and let another do her job for her; my self-respect would rather have me pull a nightouter than have another do my job. Poles apart.

You and I are also poles apart, S. I like to laze and relax, while you like to steer that wheel and zoom by. And yet, we’re good pals, no? Maybe SrA can be the shower to your doglife!” Scotch 

Day 44: Religion’s Drama

Buoy, did the Tuesday end with the drama of the century!

We had a group presentation that the three of us split the work into, SrA, A and I, and we were due to submit it today. We reviewed all our work and started consolidating before the class, when we realized that SrA had done a lazy-ass Copy-Paste, and did not pull up screenshots that we really required. So, I explained the simplest Windows function, Print-Screen, to dearest SrA. 15 minutes, and no progress. A went a step ahead, walked up to the board to replicate the keyboard, and drew it out. Of course, SrA had shut down by then.

No amount of our telling anything to her on how to take a simple screenshot of the screen took us any closer to where we had to be. As GD, our teacher, walked in, SrA had gone into a trance, had completely tuned us out, and was staring at the same dot on the screen. GD checked on progress, we updated her about the only missing piece, a 15-minutes’ worth screen print, and how we’d finish it up in a bit. GD acquiesced, smiled, and noticed SrA’s trance. One small probing question, and SrA started the water works.

I haven’t such a dramatic wailing in years; assuming I did something like this when I was 5. For at least three long minutes, she was stuck to the door, crying like her life was at stake. When A brought her back, and GD started asking SrA to settle down, SrA went into this major ramble about not knowing SPSS, or anything technical, and us trying to help her extensively, but she not understanding technology at all, and having spent time till 2 AM the previous day, and not having slept at all for the last few weeks, and us being helpful and her not being able to reciprocate at all. Of course, GD was overflowing with concern for her mentee’s feelings, being a sister of the Christian congregation and all. The height of dramatics in the whole episode was unimaginable; hands flaying up in the air, falling body-front on to the desk, pulling GD towards herself and pushing her away; dramatic to the C.

The charade went on for 20 minutes, a class of 3 and of 45 minutes, completely disrupted by one person’s inability to learn how to take a screenshot on their laptop.

If I had any respect for the clergymen, and women, this drama squashed it entirely. I have seen a 45 year old mother of two come back to college to get their second Masters. I worked with a 65 year old gentleman pursuing his PhD at that post-retirement age. My mom, of 55, learns something new with her computer every day, and never says “I can’t do it!”. Aren’t they all working on the basic educational philosophy that we are all learners for life? Isn’t there a life philosophy that you’ve lost the minute you’ve given up trying?

When did it become OK for one to use their religion as a handicap badge to get a parking spot? Whatever might have been the reason that pushed SrA into entering the church, she chose it for life, spent 20-odd years preparing for her life in the seminary, and had to be vested in it entirely. Did that somehow give her a permission for preferential treatment? I understand she wakes at 4 AM, works towards the convent’s upkeep, attends college from 9 to 4, goes back to complete some more chores in the convent, finishes course work, and hits the bed by 10. I understand she squeezes in a number of rounds of prayer in the middle of all this, because it is after all the life she chose. Do you know how I know this level of detail about SrA’s day? She makes sure that she tells us about it at every possible opportunity.

Well, none of us non-clergical people (is that even a word? What’s the word for ‘us’? Normal people?), have an easy life now. We pay for our own education, we struggle with interviews and rejections, we see a life outside the four walls of religion, that may not be all that pretty as promised. We live with the harsh realities of life every single day. But do we wear it around our necks as a badge? Do we carry it around like the blind man’s stick, expecting the road to pave the way ahead for it?


It’s no wonder that I relate to atheists the most. Religion has invariably become a banner for you to hold aloft and claim reservation, preferential treatment, when there are others spending their energy going where they need to. It has become that fast pass that you’ve used one too many times and yet never get pulled up far. Religion? Rubbish!

“You humans are weird. Religion? What does that even mean? 

If it doesn’t help you with ‘eat, sleep, repeat’, then why even bother?  No?” Scotch