It’s been two years, and now at the end of this tenure of my teaching I am trying to answer the various questions that never mellowed down, till even today, as to “Why I chose to be a teacher!”.
The skepticism was mainly from people who knew me only from the outside, and had gone bonkers over how a promising, successful industry resource was whiling away himself within an academic institution. Not just peers, but even many of my teachers were ‘surprised’ at what I got into.
As I said, it’s been two years of teaching, and now with one more month to go in this term, I can proudly confess that these two years have been the best time hitherto in my life. Not about the supposedly ‘relaxed’ time one gets to spend within the campus – I was busier than ever, doing things that I love the most.
Teaching, brought me back in touch with myself. Like I usually quote a friend, it connected me with myself. The last two years, I have not been working, just doing things I love to do most of the time, and getting rewarded in more than what even a bulky pay could have brought me in any IT company.
I do not intend to demean all the others who are working in industry, but this is only a case of me.
A small anecdote that I quote, may well also get on to record.
It was one full semester, close to 6 months into teaching, and post exams there is a trend of teachers also going on vacations. I was in my first year of teaching, and I was not going to get any vacations, which did not bother me at all. So, this one other colleague of mine in the college comes up to me and mockingly asks me “So you don’t get a vacation this time? So sad. Huhaahaaa”. I look up and then tell, “Ever since I quit my industry job and got into teaching, I’ve been vacationing. Hehe”.
This anecdote is not about the little triumph I had in the conversation, but even now, after two years I have never felt that I was ‘working’, in the modern sense, where I would have to stretch myself beyond what I naturally could do, and then crib about it. The stress and strain associated with working were all gone. I was happy, and getting enriched, and importantly on a daily basis.
The day-to-day gratification I would get, after every class , every interaction with my students (more friends than students) was immeasurable. That small speck of inspiration they seem to get, because of something that I had done, or were doing together is the biggest impetus that simply kept me ease through these two years.
The decision of wanting to teach, against common advice has been the grandest thing that I led myself into. The immense joy, deep sense of satisfaction, the inspiration I derived from my students, the learning I was constantly engaged in, the friends I’ve made and all the transformations that have happened to me over these two years shall remain the epoch of this life. The transformation of Raghavendra into ‘Raghav’ will be the one I will forever cherish, and carry on proudly.