Reviewing events of 2 years back……………………….
12th boards. Fearful and nasty. Just before D-Day, came the Happy Practicals’ Week in the month of Fantastic February. Exam bells are heard around the corners. Questions are anticipated and answers are discussed. Revisions are in a full swing. How awesome.
Most of the students love practicals, but not me. I am very afraid of them. One single mistake and you have to start it all over again. And repeating that stuff back home in the Lab manual is another headache. We do not have time as such, and then when we pupils see those dusty old manuals on our desks, we find it even nauseating.
During lab classes every Thursday and Friday, our teachers divided us into groups for the lack of time and instruments. But during exam, no such luck. We have to be on our own. When with my friends, I try to do everything correctly but when I perform them alone all the experiments go horribly wrong. And I think you should not know about my handwriting. With each page and diagram, it turns worse. So in short practicals suck for me and I hate it.
But Man proposes and God disposes. Soon came my Physics Exam. I was a bundle of nerves. When my turn came, I bent to pick up a paper from the lottery system and I had been assigned Meter Bridge experiment. I thanked God and started writing.
Everything was okay, until I started the practical. My observations looked alien to me. Most of my friends had learnt the observations from the earlier version of the experiment, but not me. You can say that I’m somewhat honest, but I’m pretty lazy too 😄
I must have looked confused. My teacher came to me.
“What happened? Aren’t you able to do this easy practical?”
“Ma’am, I’m so sorry, it’s just that I’m unable to correct some of my observations……………..”
“You are performing the experiment? Now? At this hour? Oh my God, manipulate them, fast!”
Surprise was building on surprise. I was thinking that I was a good kid. I do not know the art of manipulation. But I had to do it. All the waters of sincerity and honesty finally went down the drain.
Don’t ask about the viva. I got 4/5 questions right, and the teacher on inspection must have thought what a silly kid I am.
Fast forward 3 days. Chemistry practical exam. Smarting with excitement, I was handed my own set of organic compound for detection. I did it without any help. But still, I had my Salt chart with me. At the last moment ever Sir allowed us to have a little peek into the book……………
Biology exam was the best. I was able to answer all the questions and did my experiments with perfection. I mean, you can call me as a perfectionist because the rest of the class copied down my work when Ma’am was not in the room. Well, what do they say? The mice play while the cat’s away.
I’m definitely not against manipulation. It is actually required sometimes, because theory can never carter fully to the needs of the Lab conditions and vice versa. Manipulation saves time and marks [And of course, a good spank from the teacher :p ] It’s just that I can never forget the lines from a Lab manual that I had:
“As a science student, you should treat your subject as your religion and your Lab as your place of devotion and worship. Manipulation by any means is wrong and disrespectful towards your subject.”
Try explaining it to a modern Indian teenager who watches IPL like crazy and has made Cricket his faith.
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