Paper Planes

Paper Planes

College had just begun after the summer break. New admissions had taken place in the first year of the five year integrated law degree course. The fresher’s were in class for the first time. Some were serious kids, other naughty; while some were just tired or bored.

A young professor at a college of law had just started his lecture. He was giving them an introduction to the Civil Procedure Code of India. He had his back turned to the class as he wrote something on the white board with a marker. Just then a swift paper plane landed on his ear.

The professor turned around with brows raised. He decided to ignore the prank and returned back to his writing on the board. Zip! Along came another one that landed on his shoulder now. He turned to the class and said, “Who is that?” Everyone looked innocently at each other. The class was silent. Despite repeated questioning, no one owned up.

So the professor said, “Alright, since you are not in the mood to study today, let’s chat.”
He sat informally on a desk and crossed one leg over the other. He then asked, “Let’s get to know each other. My favourite hobby is travelling. I love to see new places. Tell me about yourselves. Do you guys like to travel?” “Yes!” came most of the voices in chorus. So, they talked about travelling by car and trains and planes. Discussions stretched from holidaying in London to Las Vegas and Kashmir to Kerala. There were excited inputs from back-packing to trekking to group tours for river rafting and snorkeling too. Everyone got involved and many interesting travel stories were narrated. The entire mood of the class was chirpy and bubbly.
The professor said, “You know, last week when I flew here to Delhi, I took the early morning flight from Mumbai. I happened to meet the pilot of our flight just after we landed. I was so impressed with her! She was a lovely girl and we had a lot in common. We became friends and I am meeting her, for dinner tonight. I asked her how she chose to become a pilot. She said that as a kid, she and her kid brother used to make paper planes and fly them. That childhood play became an obsession and then a profession for her. Her brother however decided to do law. She told me that he is studying in our college. She did tell me his name but, somehow it’s slipped my mind. She said I could easily know who he was, because he still has a penchant for flying paper planes.”

Instantly all eyes turned towards the boy who had thrown the plane at the professor. The boy blushed crimson red!
The professor, put both his hands on the boys shoulders and said, “Bro, I am beginning to grey, and my crop of curly hair did not fade just by standing in the sun. I want you to know that I’m the boss here and don’t you ever forget it …”

Well! Conventional ways of teaching and handling the youth sometimes fall short. Teachers have to innovate constantly to influence young minds. The youth are full of naughty ideas. Disciplining them requires presence of mind, intelligence and wit too!

Kids today are smart. If the teachers have to groom them they have to be over-smart!