Teachers at college are like workhorses, poor people have to take, at the very least six classes everyday; add that to the tuition they have to do and you have some very, very unhappy group of people as your professors. We, students try to help, partly because we don’t want them so overworked that they would snap at the slightest misunderstandings, and partly because, well, hoping for better grades becomes much easier when you’ve done them a favor or two.
On one such afternoon, I was checking chemistry papers for a teacher (No, they weren’t mine, and yes, I am capable). I was sitting in the quite lawn, the sun on my back felt like…well, the sun, second shift classes had started, and there wasn’t a soul in sight. It was peaceful.
Checking was easy. I didn’t have to actually check for mistakes in the tests, just add up numbers and record them on a sheet of paper. She didn’t think I was qualified enough for the real deal. (see how underestimated I am!)
So, there I was, with the papers; when I saw her (the teacher), crossing the lawn with long strides, coming towards me, I put down the pen and watched her, she carried a bundle of papers in her arms. My heart skipped a beat.
She approached the patch of green, and without a word, sat next to me on the warm grass. She lay down the pile, and sighed. Pulled back her long dark hair, and threw it over her shoulder, tired. I assumed her classes were over and she came here to relax. I resumed checking, as clearly, I was being deliberately ignored. My self-esteem didn’t allow me straight up ask her. With time, I could feel her gaze shift towards me little by little. My neck burned.
“How’s it coming along?”
“The papers, how many have you checked?”
“Oh, yeah, right.” I gulped,”I think…15, maybe 14 remaining…”
She fell quite again, this time, there was an awkward pause. I shifted with unease, pulling my collar like I was sweating. My eyes darting towards the pile in her hand with increasing frequency.
“Are those…are those, Um…my papers?”
She smiled,”As a matter of fact, they are! How did you guess?”
“Well…there are like hundred benches in the garden, and well, you…um…you came here, so I figured…”
“What do you think your result will be like?” this time, her voice was stern.
“Take a look yourself, I personally checked it.”
I could sense just the slightest bit of acting in play here. A ray of hope. I took the papers, with shaking hands. This is what I saw…
- Mathematics – 99/100
- Chemistry – 89/100
- Physics – 84/85
- English – 89/100
- Urdu – 66/100
- Islamiyat – 45/50
I scrambled for my calculator, shaking with sheer gratitude, typed in the numbers and...
I practically ran around like a 9-year old in delight. When a little more sober, I asked her about who came out on top. She fumbled with some papers. I knew the name before she even moved her lips. It was not me.
I asked her about the runner up and this time, it was me.
I can’t complain, really, considering how bad my exams went. Didn’t feel like being a sour-puss on this happy, happy day.
I ran home. The remaining papers were left unchecked, and I think she understands the haste. Who wouldn’t?