Friday, July 18, 2008

A Whole New World

I was distinctly reminded of the song “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin as I nervously sauntered to my first class, whilst my parents scuttled behind me, excited. The last ‘good-bye’ was murmured in haste just outside class, and I entered, heart pounding. (Incidentally, I was the only student who was shepherded to class by her parents, here, that stops in Kindergarten). There is always the fear of unfamiliarity on the first day of college, those initial jitters, accompanied by slight reluctance. In me, it shows in exaggerated ways. I felt small in this new crowd, like a ship lost at sea.

I surveyed my surroundings….here, someone is babbling on a phone, blissfully oblivious to the surroundings, someone switching on their laptop or an ipod, or reading Marian Puzo with their head slightly inclined. Nobody was curiously peering at anybody else, or fidgeting about in their seats or throwing shifty glances. This I found slightly unnerving, because it was something I unconsciously did in the beginning of a new class. I meddled with my lucky ring, playing with it occasionally to engage myself. Then, the class started.

My art teacher, Mr. Roehl, began the class with a slideshow. The first slide was of a vase painted with Flamingoes.
"Now, Can anyone tell me where the flamingoes are?"
Instantly came a babble of answers.
"Uh--Florida?"
"On the Vase."
"They're sort of standin up...."
"No" said Mr. Roehl, "They're standing in the water, don't you get it? It's Water." and that's how he started off on the importance of art analysis and observation.

The class went fairly well for the first one. I shall never forget it….but I couldn’t help comparing it to my first class back in PU. There, every student was asked to pronounce their name and their tenth standard percentage before class began. And that’s the day we had found our first friends.

It’s been 3 weeks since college now. The “Whole New World” I live in throws surprises at me everyday….I look forward to college. Open Jazz concerts in the Cafeteria, a fountain in front of the library and Graffiti on the walls in art class (named ‘Beautiful Chaos”) are some things which interest me. I find them strange, yet beautiful. The new method of teaching is what I need to get used to, though. I was familiar with my professor nodding curtly and saying,
Alright, class dismissed.” In his characteristically deep and throaty voice.
Now, Mr. Kline smiles and adds, “Have a nice weekend. Don’t drive home fast and kill yourself, because you better be here to submit your assignment next Tuesday!”As I said, it’s a whole new world.

11 comments:

Indrani said...

The description sounds so similar (modernity minus), to Rabindranath Tagore's Shantiniketan I heard from a aunty who studied there years back. Sounds like a good environment for studying. :)

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Happy days ahead, I can see. :)

Maddy said...

i can tell you, you will enjoy it - i was telling my son that he is lucky and unlucky to just have 16 hours of classes a week. we had 45 hrs of studies every week - 6 days.

Praveen G K said...

I am sure you are going to have a great time in class...As you have realized, it is so different here, isn't it? The student has complete freedom to do what he/ she wants; as long as you understand what is going on, nobody really cares!!!

Have fun!!!

Nimmy said...

Good luck, lak(shmi)! What course are you doing, btw? :-)

Kadalabal said...

so american means business and everthing has to be taken in its right perspective. it is good to hear yes you will find lot of difference here and u will adjust to new environment soon like so many who go from here for studies. have a wonderful time and glad you have a art class, history class so great learning. enjoy and continue your writing for all of us here
pranesh

Vishwa said...

As Alvin Tofler says, "Change is Inevitable". Embrace it, then life becomes Simple as Sparrows and Squirrels.

Good Writing...always puts me into a kind of sedataion. I recall my Granny who use to tell tales that catches kids attention.

It's all ur's, enjoy the World :>)

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Indrani: Wow, that was some comparioson!! Rabindranath tagore!! Flattered!!
Raji:thanks fr ur assurance.
Maddy:well, i have to agree fully if u say it. Afterall, u should know!! Yeah, it can b a little relaxed.
Praveen:yes, it's so different!
:-0 Tell me abt it!! But hav begun to enjoy it. Thx fr ur comment.
Nimmi: Thanks. I'm majoring in biology. But currently doing gen ed subjects including arts and history this summer.
Mr. Kadalabal: As always, i seek your blessings. Thanks fr being there.
Vishwa: Thanks firstly fr dropping by my blog. Thanks for your comment. Will view my world in a brighter perspective, now! :-)

Karthik Narayan said...

Hi there - thanks for ur comment in my blog (for the poetry dont quit).

So, i see a lot of familiar names in your comment box :) do i know u from somewhere.

BTW nice post, will explore ur blog further

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Mr. Karthik. Thanks for dropping by. I don't know if u know me. Do you?? From where? Curious.

Ash said...

Wish you all the best, Lakshmi. Wishing you all success and every happiness in your whole new world :-)