Class Of 2006

03 March, 2021
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Class Of 2006

03 March, 2021

Serene, cloudless, unhurried. A perfect summer’s day, a picnic by a pristine lake and the class of 2006. It was a year of comfort, contentment, and a masterclass in community-building.

The beginning

The day brought forth milestones aplenty: my first day as a teacher, in a new school, in a new city. Also, the class teacher of the worst decorated class in the entire section: anemic charts and unimaginative desk arrangement. The welcome speech by the section head, summed up in a nutshell was: make the day count, because today is the first day of the rest of your life. It was the worst thing to hear, on my worst day as a teacher. The students trickling in, quickly caught on to my mood and drooped at their desks, with a why-me expressions on their faces.

The making of 3B

But of course, life goes on. As we all dusted ourselves off, and got on with the year, I wondered what would become of the disparate bunch of people in the room: wallflowers, porcupines, plodders, geniuses. And yet, somewhere along the way, we settled down, settled in, and found ourselves being knit together into a unit: 3B.

We were too mismatched and unwieldy to be a star class, shimmering in the spotlight. What we managed instead, was the art of exhaling and leaning back into the sunshine. We watched other classes put up perfect assemblies, and synchronize themselves into winning units that won competitions. Then, we went back into our classroom, shut them all out and munched on our snacks, companionable and content. Quite clearly, 3B craved community more than competition!

I also have vivid recollections of a group sports event, when two of my students misunderstood the instructions and ran off in all directions. As a result, we lost in the worst possible way: we never completed the event. On the trudge back to class from the sports field, I armed myself with a talk on losing gracefully and maintaining team spirit. But the memory of the defeat never crossed the doorway of the classroom, and in the event, the homily remained undelivered. A quirk of fate had brought together a motley crew, with a common, deep-seated  need to belong: a longing that had broken surface under ideal conditions, and sprouted deep roots and tall shoots.

The memories

The year ended, 3B was dismantled, the segments floated away to their next station: blooming, blossoming and winning laurels in the years ahead. But for as long as we all walked the school corridors, our eyes would seek out our 3B compatriots, a smile already forming in anticipation. Together, for a whole year, we had walked the yellow brick road, in search of wings for plodders,  hearts for geniuses, courage for wallflowers and peace for porcupines.

Archana Rao-D'Cruz