The funny side of teaching MBA

A funny account of the MBA Class


1. The MBA CLASS - Explored

       It was a Saturday afternoon. The statistics professor in his munificent gesture had given me his last two hour slot on this afternoon. As an aspiring professor, I need to manage them best.I decided to conduct JAM(JUST A MINUTE- where an extempore topic is given and one needs to speak on it for a minute) for the next two sessions. Being provided with three newspapers and an hour of internet access per day, this should not be a great deal for them. After preparing a mental list of about twenty topics, I entered the class with an artificial air of authority. The first blow landed on me at the sight of the three guys with their heads resting on the desks. The typical weekend freaks!

        When one enters the first year MBA class of our college, expecting future Kishore Biyanis and Cyrus mystrys, nope – You are sure to be shocked. The protocol of the class is “We are different”. Oh, well, that’s good. But how are they different? Just have a peep. After greeting them , I opened up my idea of JAM. There was a dead silence followed by some hushes and murmurs. Before they subside, let me give u a bird’s eye view of the class.

       The majority in the class are ‘mundane muggers’ who have a morbid fear towards academics. There is this backbencher guy-enjoying his monotonous musing, occasionally turning his head and moving his body, thus proving his existence. One needs to follow the never say die spirit to drag him out from his dreamland.

      The ‘frightened brights’ play a major role in keeping you alive inside the classroom. They are kinda obedient, follow a rhythmic pattern in maintaining the eye contact and head nods, in appreciation of your concepts and never ever desert you in your struggled journey inside the class room.The ‘enthusiastic extroverts’ are confident, cool and always maintain a good rapport with you. When you shot a question at them, pat comes the reply  “NO IDEA”, irrespective of the question.

Now, back to the Jam Session:

   I looked at the confidently dressed Arti who happened to be the class topper also .I declared her as the opening batsman. Arti, alighted the dais with the tassels of her salwar jingling with the rhythm of her steps. The topic given to her was Gender Bias. She remained silent and was looking hard at the ceiling as if trying to read something pasted over there. I waited patiently for her to muster up the courage. She lowered her head and stared down for two minutes. Then she looked at me with her glistened eyes. I felt like shouting “I hate tears, Pushpa”, as in Raj kapoor’s film .She transformed from the silent phase to sobbing. Before she made a plunge into the next subsequent stages, I pacified her and asked her to take the last turn. Next came this confident kerala guy. Believing that he would alleviate my distress, I gave him the topic of India 2020.he started his speech with a Jaihind and that was the first and last word which the entire class understood. After finishing his expedition of words, he was back to pavilion.

        Am I being very hard on them at this last hour of the weekend.I reminded myself of Pranabji’s borrowed quotes before announcing the tax proposals. ”I have to be cruel only to be kind”.So lemme continue with this exercise.

      Now it’s the turn of the class representative. He is inherently garrulous but when it comes to formal presentations , he remains silent .After climbing the Dias, he asked whether he could speak in regional language. For a second, he appeared like the lackluster “Dhanush” of the film, “ Yaraadi nii Mohini?” in the group discussion scene. But I am no Nyandhara here. If I allow him to speak in Tamil, then what about the keralites and Manipuris , switching to their respective languages. With my limited language skills, I did not want to open a Pandora’s box of multilingual mutilations.

        I gave a stern NO as a answer and encouraged him to speak in English. I should say he managed well with the concept though the output was similar to a telegram. I appreciated his spirit and encouraged him to come forward for more presentations in the future. He gave back his trademark smile as the reply.

       It was a bit hard for me to decipher the mood of the class now. Cursing myself for trying the two way communication, I switched back to my sweet solo mode. In my attempt to help them get a glimpse of the Dos and Don’t’s of GD, I started the lecture on the importance of group discussion. To shift their mood to a lighter vein and to enable them to overcome their apprehensions, I gave them the topic : “The present education system in India”. To my surprise, students came forward with a lot of ideas and the class now turned in to a lively session bustling with eager voices, ideas and suggestions. Wow!!. Mission accomplished at last!!! Even the reserved ones came forward with their opinions. But soon a pandemonium was about to set on and my seventh sense was screaming “May day! May day!” Sensing the fast approaching peril, I concluded the session and there was a collective sigh of relief from the entire class.

        After the class, I was pondering over the issues that happened. This class definitely suffers from a chronic disorder – “lack of Confidence”. Should I say “Mea Culpa” for the sorry state of affairs of the class. Whatever it is, thanks to the early diagnosis. We are now planning for the treatment by way of therapies, counseling and booster doses. This class is sure to see a healthy transformation by our collective efforts.

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