‘Jenita Mam- The woman #madeofgreat‘
People come, and go in life, but only the best of the best leave an indestructible footprint in the path of our lives, and make us greater than before. They will make us realize our true worth when we didn’t and inspire us to do more, feel more, achieve more.
In the quick and hasty steps of life, we often forget many people we meet, but then, after decades, we will still hold on to the memories of some, even if we have lost contact. Because…. These some, wherever they are now, would have made an impact in our lives, with their words, their strength, their wisdom. And these some, we can’t help but remember them from the deepest of the consciousness. It’s hard to let go of them, despite of having no communication whatsoever, they will always have a quiet corner in our hearts.
And to me one such person is my Chemistry ma’am of eleventh and twelfth grade. She is the greatest source of inspiration and a true teacher, but I love her because she touched my heart with her kindness and compassion, her knowledge and girth. Jeni mam as I lovingly call her is one such person that is truly #madeofgreat.
Now I had seen teachers, all sort, some I despised and wondered how they could grime the art of teaching, because… These teachers made school a burden. They made studying poisonous. It’s the attitude, it’s the egoistic approach.
But then there were some I loved and admired…. Teachers that are true example for The Teachers. And Jeni mam is one such person, will always be, in my heart ‘The Teacher.’ Someone who scored 101 out of 100 in my heart.
I had never wanted just another lecturer, never wanted someone who would dictate me, never wanted a tyrant. But mostly I got these kinds, because… Let us admit: most of the teachers believe the students know lesser than them, most of them treat the students as slaves.
But then there was she — The Teacher. The person who changed my opinions about teachers. She was someone who listened to my opinions, who said she didn’t know when she didn’t really know the answers to my questions, who promised to find the answers tomorrow, and who kept the promises.
She was so easy to talk to, and she understood us students. She treated us as equals, and never depreciated us.
When she talked, she taught, she knew what she was going on about, she made me listen, she made me understand. When some struggled with chemical formulas and equations, when some memorized them with with much difficulty, it was she who made me understand and love chemistry. Chemicals were like my best friends, formulas my closest pal, because… There was such an ease with which she taught the subject. While I slept away most of the classes, I was always awake and alert in hers. She made the subject I once hated into my most favorite subject.
And then she had words of wisdom for us… She guided us –me– through life, like a lighthouse.
She was so simple, yet so magnificent.
She inspired me, when I lost inspiration.
She ignited me, when my fire was doused.
She guided me, when I get lost in my way.
But then… These weren’t the only reasons I loved her.
I loved her because, she was there when I crumbled apart.
I loved her because, she stood by me when I have no strength to stand.
I loved her because, she trusted me when I didn’t do it for myself.
Twelfth grade was when I was so weak and depressed. I was scared of studying (What do you call phobia of books?) And always felt nauseous and had low blood pressure when exams arrive. I spent most of the time in hospital beds during exams. I had lost all my strength then… Oh, yes, I was a very good student, I studied well, I scored well… But then, no, didn’t know what happened to me after eleventh…
But then she was there….
When every teacher force their students to study more and score more, she sat with me and said to do as I pleased. I still remember what she said…
“Fathima, you don’t have to do anything more than you are able. I know you’re capable of great things, but then… If you can’t score good grades in exams, it is okay as well. What is important is you and your health – both physical and mental. So do what you can, and stop being scared of it. What is it… It is just some scores, and it won’t be enough to judge your talents…”
She said so much more. She asked me to eat and sleep well, she gave me notes, she gave me her books to read, and when I scored low marks, she never criticized. She always encouraged me, she always helped me…
And I knew she helped me in getting stronger. My phobia started to decrease, and finally I can study without hyperventilating…. Without getting my blood pressure low.
And really… I scored 190 out of 200 in chemistry exam and 200 out of 200 in math… And got the overall of 1139. I got placed second in my small town. (Well, it was like a big feat for me, for a girl who was afraid of school books).
I proved myself and then her.
She was the second person to call me and congratulate once the results came… And then, I felt like I have achieved something.
A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. – Brad Henry…
& she was, is and will always be a good teacher in my mind.
Ps. Ma’am, I know you will never come across this, but how I wish you will accidentally come by this and know how much I appreciate your presence in my life. You have made me what I am today, I have come a long way, a long distance after some awful, difficult parts of my life. And you’re one of the reasons for who I am today… You’re really beautiful on the inside and the outside (of course, I –we– loved your wardrobe ;)) and you are someone who left a footprint in the sands of time. Love u…
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