I have a confession to make. On a public platform, yes.
You might have already guessed it by the spoilery headline and here I go.
I was always a good student. The one who got the great grades, tried to obey teachers and toe the line. Tried to stay away from mischief (but mischief would always come running towards me with open arms). Gave all the answers in class like Hermione. Apart from getting chided from the teachers, my only unforgivable sin was – Not completing my homework.
Having been a teacher in the early part of my career, I know and I understand the importance of revising lessons at home. But try telling that to a student and he/she will look like you are taking away their basic rights!
Me for instance, hated opening my books as soon as I reached home. My mother used to help me study till I was in grade 1. Grade 2 onwards, I was completely independent and that is when I started taking liberties with my homework.
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Well, it is not like I had no inclination towards studies. I loved school. I wanted to go to a school as soon as I started speaking. Other children packed in school vans and buses in neat uniforms and bags made me green with envy. The day I joined school was the best day of my life. But then, the monster called Homework ruined it for me.
While I loved doing my English homework and to an extent my Science homework, I loathed other subjects especially Maths. I somehow managed to wrap it all up before going to play with my buddies. But then, not everyone had the same schedule. They all were more lazy bums and took longer time to complete theirs. As such, I got very less time to spend playing outdoors with them.
I also hated the fact that every year, with a new academic session, the pile of homework seemed to increase steeply. I could literally feel myself sweating with all the pressure. Homework did not allow me to enjoy my summer, autumn and winter holidays, which I would usually spend at my relatives’. Homework kept me exercising my grey matter when all I wanted was to play and read my story books and novels. Homework made me cut down my TV timings and it cut down the time I could spend in the company of guests, who frequented my home.
Homework was Voldemort to me. Homework was The White Walkers. Homework was the Disease. I hated it with all my might.
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I had a nice study table. With drawers of course. The drawers had comics, children’s magazines and my beloved novels and drawing supplies. So all the while I was supposed to be sitting and completing my homework, I was having a whale of time procrastinating with reading. Cheating on my textbooks with fictional tales of weird looking comic characters or learning who was Elizabeth Bennett interested in.
By grade 7th, I was a pro in procrastinating. I was a pro in not doing my homework. Or doing maybe the half of it and completing the other half in between all the lectures I had the next day at school. I would do my Maths homework in English class, Social Science in Hindi and Sanskrit in Social Science. Wasn’t I a great multitasker? I was indeed. And an ace actress!! And Friday was my favorite day of the week. Because – NO HOMEWORK for two days at a stretch.
By 9th grade, I had a whale of time evading all the homework. I had a best friend who would be my partner in crime. We hated the same subjects and loved the same ones. So we would roll up our sleeves and utilize the time before morning assembly to rapidly finish the homework. It was the last moment thing and completing it in time gave us an adrenaline rush.
Many a times, we were bold and did not complete the homework. But because we were the class toppers, teachers were very lenient with us. Also, because our names started with an alphabet that falls way behind other names, we escaped the first batch of ‘notebook corrections’ and that bought us more time and more relief. Also, we were pro in English and good with words. That made us experts in elaborating what could have been written in 3 lines to 7 lines and shortening 7 lines to 3 lines. Such bliss.
We did get punished sometimes- when the teachers were atrocious and vile and just couldn’t understand why we didn’t submit our work dot on time, even though our classwork was the best in the history of the entire school.
A very funny incident that I ought to share here is that we were always ahead of the class in English. Our English work shone and sparkled bright. Neat handwriting and all that. The teacher knew us well and was very fond of us both. He was strict with homework, but we didn’t have to worry. We were super duper efficient. Always completed the homework before the bell rang for the school to get over. He used to smack others on hand with wooden ruler (not very hard, just as a punishment). Once the entire class got the punishment except us two. The very next week, we both genuinely forgot our English homework for some valid reason. The whole class was shocked! The teacher was shocked too.
He knew ours was a genuine reason and asked the whole class, should he forgo our mistake for once? The classmates knew us and we were popular, so they said No in unison. There was giggles…and we couldn’t stop giggling ourselves. The teacher said, rules are rules and punishment is the same for one and for all. We accepted it as well. But what was more hilarious is that he was shaking with laughter as the ruler came down on my palm and my friend’s the next. It was as if we had won a prize or something. We had smiles on our face 😛
This was the core of my homework story. Have a similar experience to share? I would love to listen 🙂