Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meeting my makers

Parent Teacher Meetings…the very word brings a flood of warm memories for me…and a flood of harrowing memories for my Mom. I smile happily in reminiscence while she cringes. I loved going for PTA meetings even if my report card and discipline record was the pits. My Dad always accompanied me and he had a healthy disregard for Parent Teacher Meetings (PTA). Like most primary school kids, the villains in my small world were mostly teachers and not ghost and ghouls and Goblins. And like most kids I was convinced that my Dad was a superhero and hence my expectations of him was err...a bit too high.

Dad’s friend: Shall we meet up today for lunch?
Dad: No. I have to go for a PTA meeting.
Friend: That would take about an hour right? You can drop by after that!
Dad: Nopes, My daughter says that I have to meet the Science teacher….
Friend: Well that shouldn’t take more then 10 minutes!
Dad (continuing): …and tell her that she is no good.
Friend: Huh!
Dad: And then I am supposed to meet the English teacher ….
Friend: Ok!
Dad: And tell her she sucks.
Friend: What language!
Dad: And she says I cannot use any other language.
Friend: tch tch!
Dad: And then I am supposed to go meet the Hindi teacher and pull her hair real hard.
Friend: OMG!!!
Dad: And then meet the Math teacher and punch him a bit and then threaten him so that he leaves class and there is no more Mathematics in school.
Friend: Jesus!!
Dad: Then I have to meet the History teacher and flirt with her so that she gives my daughter grace marks in History exams.
Friend: *shakes his head disapprovingly*
Dad: And then I am supposed to haul the PT teacher by the collar and drag him to the football ground and punch him around the ground, thrash him to pulp and then pick him up and throw him into the garbage bin.
Friend: :-O
Dad: After that, I have to barge into Sister Principal’s room and tell her that she should abdicate her post and give it to that nice sister Marie who teaches kindergarten and loves my daughter to bits.
Friend: That Nun is over 100 years old surely!
Dad: Exactly! And then I am supposed to intimidate the Canteen lady and tell to either shut shop or stock Chips and Bubble gum banned by the school management!
Friend: God!!!
Dad: And if I have energy left…I am supposed to slap the watchman for not allowing her to go out and buy Guavas which she is forbidden to eat. But she says she buys it for her friends you see.
Friend: Heh!
Dad: I am dreading the day she starts Computer classes next week.
Friend: Why?
Dad: Then I will probably have to beat myself up, as they don’t have a Computer Teacher yet !

Thankfully my Dad had no notions of being a super hero and tactfully ignored my creative suggestions in dealing with my teachers. He believed in handling the situation practically. So while most parents met the class teacher and then the rest of the subject teachers, my Dad bunked after meeting the Class Teacher. And since there was no record of the meetings we were never caught!!

Every attempt by the school authorities to get my Mom or elder brother to come for the meeting was futile as I was trained to give the PTA Meeting Slip only to my Dad.

Mom: When is you next PTA meeting?
Dad: Oh! That was four days ago! I forgot to tell you. heh heh
Mom: %$$#$ (turning to my eldest bro) I swear on everything that is holy and sacred to my family that one day I will get that slip.
Dad: Please make that your “maternal family”.

My Dad slept on the couch that day. But that was for the good actually. We got him all to ourselves to tell us a whole lot of tall tales in which he was the super hero!

I will give anything to walk those dusty corridors again, hanging onto my Dad’s hand, passing class by rickety class and glowering teachers. If looks could kill, a certain Dad and daughter would be deader than a Dodo fourteen years ago… killed instantly by the violent looks of the daughter’s History Teacher, English Teacher, Math Teacher, Hindi Teacher, Kannada Teacher, Geography Teacher, Science Teacher, PT Teacher, EVS Teacher, Catechism Teacher and Watchman.

( When in Dilli do as the higher IQ Dilli'ites do... says Babychen!)


Dhanya said...

Wow PTA meetings were always a nice thing.. Even I never allowed my mom to attend these meetings.. Always Dad handled it and I escaped un-bruised :P

Adorable Pancreas said...

We didn;t have PTA meetings, but we had a monthly thingy whose name I can't rememeber, but was the same as a PTA meeting. All my language teachers would say nice things about me, while I had to hide the from my Maths and Social Studies teachers. :)
I had a shock when they met my Chemistry teacher. "Your daughter is the best student I have taught in my 15 years of teaching." They stammered and stuttered, and left when some other parents came in, only to hear her say the exact same thing to the new arrivals!

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

PTA meetings. Oh.. they were always scary. Your post reminded me abt a real bad incident happened in my school life. It was the aftermath of a PTA meeting and my lie :) Will write about it some day.


Nishant said...

Well I was this nice-nice kid..So PTA meeting were never a problem for me...

Anonymous said...

Brings back a lot of memories. My dad never ever attended those meetings. I won't blame him. ;-)

Anonymous said...

ROFL!!! This was too funny and very cute!

Neena Padayatty said...

"If looks could kill,.... Catechism Teacher and Watchman."....LOL!!strangely familiar too..thankfully we started having those stifling rendezvous' only by high school...but dad was never in the pic..poor Mum...great post!

Deepti said...

ROFL.. I used to take along Dad too... Only once when I was in 10th
mom came along and then she almost did a post mortem of my answer sheets :)

Anonymous said...

sooper post!!


Alexis said...

That was a really hilarious post. When I was in school there was no PTA meetings or open houses, all we had to do was get the progress report signed. So missed all the fun. But your narration is simply super and made me ROTFL.

silverine said...

@alexis: *Huggggs* So nice to see you!!!

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

In the last few years of school, I had the privilege of not having to get the parents to the meetings because they were traveling the world to serve the human race ; But all the report cards were always signed and returned in proper time – by “the father’s older brother”.
When I was leaving school, I had to get the real father’s older brother to sign and receive the documents. That day I almost decided I had to grow up and be a hostage negotiator: I successfully managed to distract both parties at every single reference to the report cards (which was about 20 times in half hour Yay!)

Nave said...

i used to wait for these PT meetings to happen so that i could extract gifts out of my parents.. lol .. i was a good boy.. "disciplined bright boy" as they would call it .. atleast thats wat my teachers thought .. :P

one funny thing that i can never forget is that my english teacher, who was a bengali, used to think that am a bengali (mistaken by the surname dutta) .. n every year she used to talk to my dad in bengali and my dad would reply in bengali without even finding it strange.. i never let this out, fearing that might have serious affects on my grades ... heheh .. it was only after my pre-board that she came to knw that i wasnt a bengali .. lol .. :P

Great post Silverine !! your posts make me run down the memory lane everytime i read em.. :)

Amey said...

We didn't have any PTA meetings. We had to get our report cards signed, and the parents would come to collect the final exam reports (till 5th or 6th grade).

After that, even that was discontinued, giving some kids ample opportunity to find what one of our teachers called "parents in the class" (to sign the report cards, you see).

The few times my parents met my teachers, all they heard was my praise. I am such a nice boy, you see...

Karthik said...

Ugggh..I dreaded PTA meetings, though for many years only parents were allowed to go for them. I think my father needed to have some ear plugs when he went there, to escape the wrath of so many teachers who used to shower their complaints on me :-)

mathew said...

This is unfair world..
For me I dint even have the slightest whiff of hope..or a know what life is tough being children of teachers..

You can see the writing on the wall even before you open your eyes...!!

Except for a few "friendly" teachers whom I still look at with admiration, most of em were paara!!

as usual..awesome post!!

Anonymous said...

i can think of "the incredibles" :D

Safari Al said...

I used to, according to various stories, invent situations before the PTA to get out of trouble. And when my folks turned up for the PTA, I used to get into trouble for my imagination. But somehow, Daisy miss used to never really punish me. This was back when i was in UKG or something.

After Class 2, I stopped caring about PTAs altogether.

Anonymous said...


Your Dad's list of things to do was too good!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, you should ask your dad if he knows my dad... I'm not sure how superheroes operate, but I'm pretty clear that they would have a club or something where they meet up.

My dad's name is Joy George, and his secret identity is as a humble civil engineer.

Dad's always been my superhero, and I swear he can burn people into a crisp if he stared long enough. I usually run and hide when the heat starts getting unbearable.

We didn't have much experience in PTA meetings. I'd been able to divert attention from that most of the time.

There were a couple of instances where the teachers forced my hand and dad had to attend, but my mom usually restrained him from unleashing his protective force field, when the teachers read off my 'offenses' from a big scary book...

Anonymous said...

PTA meeting in our school were always a political thingy.. the fights there used to be worse than the ones in Kannur.. The reason for the fight -- School timing! Some wanted classes from 7:30-2 (sat working day) other from 8:30-4:30... no plan ever came out.. and no teacher-parent meeting ever took place.. thank god... if not for this politics! my karyam katta-poka

Unknown said...

at least u took ur dad....

I hired ppl to be my mom n dad... Ironically I was caught when i had topped the class in my 9th std finals... The results come by post first, so mom became so happy... she came to school to collect the marks sheet with me...

And the head master asked me that I had got some other mom when I was punished for bunking school and going for an adult movie! Gawd! That was embarrassing!

Alameen said...

Till 10th std, as you mentioned in ur previous post, I didnt have any individuality.. I just wanted to be the best.. be it the class or home..

When i watch some comedy movies i used to look at elders and will laugh only when they laugh...

It's a bit weird.. I don't why

jj said...

Hilarious post!!!
My parents were over-enthusiastic to make it a point that, they would meet my teachers at least once a month till I was in class 8.
After that, when their goody-goody daughter turned into a not-so-goody one, the frequency decreased.
And in my last year in school, the PTA meeting caused a lot of confusion. The comment made by someone else's parents was mistook as that of my parents and I had a tough time dealing with the teacher who was insulted!
How I wish my dad was a super-hero neuro surgeon and set her brains right!

Jiby said... parents dreaded going to my PTA meetings but would jump at the chance to go to my sister's. i wouldn't give the PTA notice home, unless asked for, by parents... and by the time they came to know of it, the date would have passed. the teachers would ask, "where were your parents" and i would say, "they couldn't make it. they were busy" and thus pass on the blame!

the school soon found out about errants like us and they started sending the notice by post!

ap said...


For me PTA meeting were usually good....

/urgu said...

Cool ... wish i could do that as well.

flaashgordon said...

Really loved this one !
Especially the part of meeting the Hindi teacher and pullin her hair real hard :-))

As for me, the "parents-world" and the "teachers-world" existed in 2 different dimensions and the twain never met. Being a rather quiet / not too prone to vandalism sort of kid, i dont rembr parents havin to get involved in any sort of PTA meetings. And ever havin my parents come to meet teachers was my worst nightmare as well.

Anyway was so concerned of my "privacy" , i never even bothered my dad to sign my exam much that when i first got a bank account whn i was 10 or so, and they asked my to put my signature in the application, I did and then dad said.. "they meant ur own" !!

Nrupesh said...

hey Anjali, nice post. I remember only one PTA where my teacher tells my dad that I am very careless and have to concentrate if i have to get more marks. coincidently my dad calls me "the most care-less fellow on earth" at least twice a day!! :P - even now!!
Always wanted to ask you a question, how much time do u spend writing your blog? and reading and replying to almost every comment (very commendable). It takes me nearly one whole day to write post....after the idea forms in my mind.

silverine said...

Nrupesh: Thank you! It takes me half an hour to write a blog as I write about incidents that have occurred. And not more then 10-15 minutes to read comments.Regarding replying to comments, that will stop now as comments are a contribution to the post and do not need to be replied unless there is a subject of debate or discussion happening here. You asked a question and hence I replied :) I will however be replying to comments in my other blog as the posts there are more interactive.

Indian Home Maker said...

Very well written. All Indian teachers should watch 'Tare zameen par'...

silverine said...

@All: Thank you so much for sharing your exp of the PTA :) That was one amazing read. Looks like I am the only bad girl here :p

Thanks again and latecomers please feel free to add your experiences!