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# Kids say the Darned Things

Children were lined up for the annual dinner at Bhavan's Vidya Mandir School in Cochin. At the head of the dinner table was a large pile of apples. A teacher wrote a note and placed it next to the apples. It read, "Take only one. God is watching." Moving through the line, to the other end of the table, was a pile of chocolates. One little boy wrote his own note and put it next to the chocolates. It read, "Take as many chocolates as you want. God is watching the apples."

School evokes the funniest memories in everyone's life. The fun we had in school had something candid and artless about it. It didn't hurt anyone. It often arose out of our ignorance and uncorrupted mind.

When I was in 4th standard, my history teacher asked a question 'How are tides formed'. My friend answered, 'Teacher, the tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water in the earth rushes towards the moon due to vacuum, as there is no air or water there. I forgot where the sun joins in this fight'

Cadbury Chocolate not only brings water in my mouth but also a smile on my face. You really witness many hilarious moments in a classroom when your teacher is witty and considerate. Our 4th STD teacher was once giving revision of multiplication lessons. He asked a boy what is the product of 9 and 8. He replied 74. The teacher immediately took a Cadbury chocolate and gave it to him. We protested to the teacher that he should not be given the chocolate, as the answer was 72. The teacher replied 'Calm down! Calm down! ' He is improving. Yesterday he told 88.

Sometimes an indifferent modern student can really puzzle a teacher. The same mathematics teacher once asked a student 'Thomas, if we subtract 75 from 75, what is the difference?' Thomas promptly agreed with the teacher 'That is what I say teacher, what the difference is? Why should we worry? Who cares?'

I have started reliving this nostalgia about school days with my school going kids .Fed up with the logic of Arithmetic, my son, when he was in second standard, came and told me 'Papa, our Maths teacher is really crazy'. I asked him, 'Why?' He replied, 'Dad, yesterday she taught us that 1+3 is 4, today she is telling 2+2 is four. I don't know what she will come up with tomorrow.' Don't you sense an aura of innocence when children make such queries?

Sometimes your kids find new meanings in old sayings. My elder son is quite lazy to wake up in the morning whereas my younger son wakes up with me, takes his breakfast and is ready by 7'O clock. I once taunted my elder son saying that he should learn from his younger brother and advised him 'Remember, only the early bird gets the worm'. His wise reply was, 'Let him have it Papa, I will settle for an Omelet'.

Children can be inventive and creative on occasions to outwit you. We were once having a dinner in a friend's house. A girl in third standard proudly brought to me a nature scenery she had painted. I asked her 'Meenu, What is this painting of yours supposed to show?'. She replied 'Uncle, It is a cow eating grass in a meadow'. I asked her 'But, where is the grass'. Meenu answered ' 'Why, the cow has eaten it all'. I was puzzled and asked her' 'But, where then is the cow'. She retorted smartly 'It has gone to another meadow to look for more grass'

Misunderstanding is a common ground for laughter in school life. I belong to a teacher family. My mother, grandfather, uncle were all teachers. My sister also started her career as a teacher. At the time of her marriage, the school headmaster who had a typical British style of writing put up a notice on the notice board, which read like this- 'The teachers and Students of St. Joseph's School, Alleppey convey their heartiest felicitations to Miss Valsala on the occasion of her forthcoming marriage and wish her a long and happy married life'. A day after this circular, my sister went to the Headmaster thanking him for his kind gesture but suggested to him that possibly he could have avoided certain tough words like 'forthcoming' because many students asked her what happened in her earlier three marriages.

Kids can be really smart when they come up with ingenious answers. My wife who is also a teacher had this incident to tell me about a 2nd Std student. She was asking her students about the homework she had given them the previous day. She noticed a boy looking downcast.

She asked, 'What happened Paul? Haven't you done the homework?'

'I was stupid teacher. I did my homework but my little brother made an aero plane out of that paper.'

' Well, it is too bad Paul that you did not keep your homework paper safely after completing it. Anyway, give it to me, I will try to unfold it'

'Oh! Teacher that is just not possible.' said Paul looking sadder. 'You see teacher, the plane was hijacked today morning.'

Truly, kids say the darndest things!

16-Dec-2007

More by :  P. G. R. Nair

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