Thursday, June 26, 2008

Preoccupations With Occupations

Super hectic time of year. Work's in full swing again though it isn't something that happens often or for very long. Very soon, little odds and ends will crop up disrupting the smooth rhythm of classes, lectures and thought processes.

Among them, the inevitable students' elections which are seemingly casual on the surface with the kids putting up relaxed friendly faces but oftentimes there's actually a lot of frenetic activity behind the scenes. What's it with the male psyche and the lust for power? We once had a student candidate crying disconsolately on the steps after a loss. He was all snappily decked out in his Sunday best, suited, booted and neck-tied, and we were told he'd blown a small fortune on little professionally printed vote tags and a huge banner bearing his name. Enough to drive anyone to tears.

And then the sports. We had an unimaginably hooliganish intercollege free-for-all last year where rival college students taunted and threw stones at each other on the streets. Something similar had broken out the last couple of years but the powers-that-be had obviously dismissed them as one-off incidents and failed to provide adequate security. Needless to say, all hell broke loose last year which ironically brought it to the notice of the local media which tends to do nothing much else besides the in thing of lambasting politicians and eulogising our little small-town "celebrities." I suppose negative news is better than being constantly roundly ignored.

On the personal side, I've scored a little triumph this year. After all these years of teaching lit, I finally have the privilege of teaching Hamlet. I've taught Shakespeare before, put in several years of teaching Julius Caesar, in fact but Hamlet is in a class of its own. The brooding introspection and existential preoccupation. The Oedipal undertones. This is a challenge I'm enjoying every aside and soliloquy of.

Here's to the classics.


  1. Hey J, you are one lucky dame to be enjoying your profession so much. Believe you me not many people enjoy their jobs. Those who do are the lucky ones. Most of us, especially Indians, coming from financially and economically weak backgrounds just take whatever comes along, I think. Job satisfaction or doing what we love usually takes a backseat in such a situation.
    Hope your students realize how lucky they are! :)

  2. Yeah Plats, I guess I'm incredibly lucky to be in a job that I love. I didn't always know it though. But when my sister was in hospital with her spinal injury and I was on leave and far away from the academic world for months on end, I had to set some exam papers, and going through all my books and notes and remembering the tranquil moments I'd had teaching them made me realise how much I missed that world and how much I loved being part of it. That explains why I'm so appreciative of my work now :)

  3. Job satisfaction hi awm thei bawk mah se, salary satisfaction hi chu a awm thei meuh lo chu a nih hi. Hlawh hi a tam emaw, a tlem emaw, ka indaih lo tawk ve chiah chiah zel niin ka hria!!!

  4. Games turning violent within our land is a very bad thing. Hope some people do something to stop it becoming a trend.

    And have a great time with the melancholiac Hamlet! You know, when i was young like you i used to love the tragedies. Now i'm older and wiser i prefer the comedies.

  5. A ni ngot mai, samupa, hlawh han pun ve apiang lah hian thil man hi a lo to ve ziah bawk a, in daih hi a har a ni.

    mesjay, again I think the sports and violence thing is something our gullible kids have picked up from TV, sigh.
    Well yeah I guess the comedies have a certain appeal. And speaking of comedies, a good friend of mine doing her BA Hons at the time once famously quipped that the Greek tragedies made her laugh and the Roman comedies made her cry :D

  6. Hi there Miss! It's good to get such positive updates from you regarding your job... too many of us go through life complaining! Hmmm... Hamlet, eh? so far, I've been able to avoid teaching Shakespeare... hehe. As for the Student Elections, I'm told that once they're in office, they have ingenious ways of recovering the money spent on the campaigns through student funds... does that remind you of certain practices in certain circles? They learn early!

  7. Madame Doc, congrats first off! You are truly an inspiration, and our convo on W the other evening was really helpful. I have the vid too now if you ever need a copy. Abt good ol' Will, I love the cadence of his speeches - they're so musical. And yeah, the sneaky, furtive practices of the kids is what makes me seriously doubt their tall claims of rooting out corruption and other related ills.

  8. Thanks J, tho' I wouldn't see myself as someone who inspires!I'd really appreciate a copy of the CP, thanks.

  9. zirlaite tana zirtirtu tha lo ni zel teh..kan ramah hian pawl zawng zawng a in hmang mahi zirtirna hna thawk hman lo lek tul zirtirtu tam tak ai chuan mahni zirtirna a thawkrim leh inpumpek ngam tlemte pawh awmse kan thatpui zawk ngei ang ke

  10. azassk,ni e mahni hna a rinawm tak a thawh hi a pawimawh ber mai. Manganthlak thung chu zirtirtu te hian phur takin thawk mah ila zirlai te hian tih tak takna thinlung an put ve si loh chuan a bum der

  11. job satisfaction: one thing one understands only after having a job.

    i'm happy to say that i'm lucky to love each job that i have had and am still holding...

    samu-a pa, i totally agree with you...hman ah chuan tun a ka hlawh half aia tlem ka hlawh thrin a, ka indaih ve ziah, hrehawm in ka awm ngai lo...tunah a double aia tam ka hlawh ve toh a (Pathian zar ah), hman a ka indaih dan nen khan a in ang reng..ka khawl hnem thei chuang lo...

    i once mentioned this to my mom...she replied "Maate, pawisa hi eng a tan nge an siam i hre nange? Indaihloh atan alawm an siam"