Gratitude for my professor
One day, I went into a classroom to wait for a friend of mine. When I went into the room, the professor, suddenly appeared and asked me to go to the board to write something, to work something out. I told him that I couldn’t do it. And he said, why not?’
I said, ‘because I’ m not one of your students.”
He said, it doesn’t matter. Go to the board anyhow.”
I said, “I can’t do that.”
He said, why not?”
And I paused because I was somewhat embarrassed. I said, “because I ‘m educable retarded.”
He came from behind his desk, and he looked at me and he said, “don’t ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.”
It was a very liberating moment for me. On one hand, I was humiliated because the other students laughed at me. But on the other hand, I was in liberated because he began to bring to my attention that I did not have to live within the context of what another person’s view of me was.
And so professor became my mentor. Prior to this experience, I got less marks .I was identified as educable retarded. Professor help me in my studies. It made dramatic difference in my life.
Professor believed that “nobody rises to low expectations.” This man always gave students the felling that he had high expectations for them, and we strove, all of the students strove, to live up to those expectations.
One day, when I was still a junior, I heard him giving a speech to some graduating seniors. He said to them, “You have something special. if just one of you really can get a glimpse of a larger vision of yourself, of who you really are, of what it is you bring to the planet, of your specialness, then in a historical context, the world will never be the same again. You can make your parents your community proud .you can touch millions of people’s lives.” He was talking to the seniors, but it seemed like that speech was for me.
I remember when they gave him a standing ovation. Afterwards, I caught up to him in the parking lot, and I said,” sir, do you remember me? I was in the auditorium when you were talking to the seniors.”
He said, “What were you doing there? You are a junior. “I said, “I know but that speech you were giving, I heard your voice coming through the auditorium doors. That speech was for me, sir. You said everyone have something special. I was in that auditorium. Is there special within me, sir?”
He said, “Yes, Mr. Marutesh
“But the fact that i got less marks. What about that, sir? I’m slower than most students. I’m not as smart as my siblings.
It doesn’t matter. It just means that you have to work harder. Your grades don’t determine who are or what you can produce in your life.”
”I want to build an education institute.”
“It’s possible Mr Marutesh. You can do that”. And he turned to walk away again.
“What do you want now?”
“Uh, I’m the one, sir. You remember me, remember my name. One day you’re gonna hear it. I’m gonna make you proud. I’m the one, sir.”
College was a real struggle for me. I was passed from one semester to another because I was not a bat student. I was a nice student, I was a fun student. I mad people laugh. I was polite .I was respectful. So lecture would pass me on, which was not helpful to me .but professor made demand on me. He made me accountable. But he enabled me to believe that I could handle it, that I could do it.
Professor restructured my own picture of who aim. He gave me a larger vision of myself, beyond my mental conditioning and my circumstances.
Later, I got first class my friends appreciated me. I was sitting in a park when professor called me. He, said,” may I speak to Mr. Marutesh, please?
“You know whose calling”
“Oh, sir .it’s you.”
“You were the one, weren’t you?”
“Yes, sir, I was”.