Wednesday, 1 January 2014

“I am Always Your Fan! – A Short Story on Attitude” - Professor M.S.Rao

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” - Winston Churchill

I worked in an educational institution as a Professor. I commuted regularly with students in the bus provided by the institution. The educational institution had many colleges under its group, and students from different colleges traveled in the same bus based on their location of living. I lived in a metropolitan city. Hence, students from a particular part of locality, studying in different educational institutions commuted regularly in the college buses. Usually professors preferred to travel separately by car to maintain distance with students, and to have privacy during their commuting time. But I preferred to travel with students in the bus as it energized me due to my passion towards students. It was also an opportunity to understand the psychology of students, and to shape their careers.

In college bus, I regularly observed the attitudes and aspirations of students apart from their tastes and temperaments. Some students talked to me regularly in the bus to clarify their queries on career, personality development and psychology. I was very excited to share my knowledge with them as most of the students are highly ambitious and intelligent with their goals to make a difference. When I liked some of the students who showed more enthusiasm towards learning with a right attitude, I included their names in the dedication list of my authored books to inspire them. I cultivated the habit to include around 50 students in the dedication list of my authored books as it helped them show these books during their employment interview, and also served as a lifetime gift.

However, some of the students rarely came forward to talk to me due to their introvert personality and nature. But I understood from their body language especially from their eye contact, smile and angling of their body postures towards me that they were eager to talk to me but hesitated and felt shy to talk to me.  Since I am also an introvert person by nature I hesitated to talk to them in the college bus. However, I took initiative to talk to them. But due to the interference of other students at that particular time, I lost the opportunity to talk to some of the introverts.  Usually I kept the inclusion of students in the dedication list as confidential to avoid the rest of the students getting hurt for their non-inclusion. Additionally, it was not possible for me to dedicate my book to all students. Hence, I dedicated my book to only deserving and meritorious students.

There were two girls – Swati and Alekhya who were introvert personalities and well-behaved by nature commuted along with me the in the same bus. Both were meritorious students with a positive attitude and a huge potential to grow in their careers. Swati studied in the fourth year while Alekhya studied in the third year of engineering. I tried to talk to them in the bus. But whenever I initiated to talk to them some students came and talked to me in the bus about their careers. Basically I wanted to include their names also in the dedication list of my upcoming authored books.  Academic year came to close, and finally, Swati passed out from college by being the topper.  I always regretted for non-inclusion of her name. By then, Alekhya came to the fourth year of engineering, and one day I invited her for discussion to my office. She was a very polite and soft spoken girl who came to my office with excitement. I clarified her questions on career, and I asked couple of questions to know her areas of interests and goals to achieve in life. I provided some tools and techniques to achieve big in life, and then included her name in the dedication list. Subsequently, I also gifted my authored book to her.

One day I was waiting for bus at the bus station along with my wife.  I saw Swati going along with her friend by scooter. She was so excited to see me. She smiled with excitement and waved her hand with great respect. My wife was intelligent enough to guess that she might be my student.  I said my wife that Swati studied in our college who commuted with me in the college bus, and passed out now as the top scorer.  I also informed her that Swati was excellent student academically with a great attitude. The day night, I was thinking about Swati, and especially for not having included a meritorious student in the dedication list of my just published book. The very next day, I asked Alekhya in the bus about the contact details of Swati. She took initiative and gave me the phone number the very next day.

I am very persistent by nature. When I want something, I will chase it until the end. Hence, same day evening, I telephoned to Swati and asked whether she got employment. She was so excited to receive my telephone call as nobody takes that much interest to call an ex-student as the life had become too busy for everyone.  I shared how much efforts I took to get her contact details. I felt very excited when she greeted me when I was standing with my wife at the bus station three days ago.  She replied, “Sir, you deserve such kind of respect. You take a lot of interest towards students. I observed you regularly in the college bus when I studied. I wanted to talk to you but hesitated.” I was very much excited with her response and felt that she thought about me the way I thought about her and Alekhya.

I enquired whether she got any employment offer. She said that she got a job in a private company, and was happy working in it. She revealed that her father loved her so much that he wanted her to work in the same city. She respected her father’s love, and preferred to work in the same city.  I told her that I tried to talk to her many times in the bus but could not talk due to interference by students, and also due to my continuous reading in the bus. She felt very happy with my comments.  I revealed that I included some of the names of students in the dedication list of my authored books to inspire them. She complimented me that it was a great initiative.  I told that that I would include her name in the dedication list for the upcoming authored book. She replied, “Sir, Thank you very much for your kind heart. Whether you dedicate your book to me or not, I am always your fan!”  I was so much amazed and excited with her prompt response. I felt that I was looking for such kind of students who don’t expect anything from me. I appreciated her positive attitude. Her sincere comment enhanced more respect towards her and made me more responsible to contribute my best to students.  

There are many students who ask me regularly about the motivation behind my passion and commitment towards teaching. It was basically because bright students like Swati who motivate me to move forward to make a difference to the students, and to accomplish my lifetime goal to build one million students as global leaders by 2030. 

I have taught and trained more than 20,000 students so far. But I will always remember Swati for her positive attitude and comment, “Whether you dedicate your book to me or not. I am always your fan!” Hence, I implore students to emulate from the example set of Swati to grow as good citizens with great attitude.

"It's not the situation. It's your reaction to the situation." -   Conklin Robert

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  1. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your positive attitude as well. I am confident that you will become S. Sukumar IPS one day.