It’s an incidence from that time of my life when confusions, emotions, ambitions, relations all tend to mix up and when brain and behaviour is dictated more by hormones than wisdom. The high school time, perhaps it is the most adorable time of one’s life and it brings you memories to giggle again and again. It is also the time when your ecosystem along with your own abilities, shape your life in a certain way at least for the near future.
For this incidence I proudly consider my high school time as truly adventurous as our attitude and behaviour was true to our age, considering that time of our society and the mindset our society had.
I was in a Math class in a coeducation system school where girls to boys ratio was 1:6. The meaning of coeducation at that time and in that society was co-existence of boys education and girls education rather then co-existence of boys and girls for education.
One column of benches for girls in the class that too half occupied and rest all columns for boys, girls only and boys only groups for any activities, practicals, group performances and many such things. It was a normal way of doing things in those days in coeducation system. We never complained, we grew up in those times. It was not a hurdle to us in any way, we were growing in times when education, degrees and certificates were the ultimate measure of success. Scores were more important than “you”.
It was so normal and part of life that we didn’t even recognize this separation of society until few of us extended friendships beyond our fraternity. Our limited interactions started to extend and we really became good friends, the difference was that, we were not a bunch of only girls or only boys, we were boys and girls. The limited interactions were not noticeable or were normal but friendships were not. The limited interactions used to turn into relationships in those times also but they were managed to be unnoticed but we were friends and we never felt a need to manage.
We became a bunch who loved hanging out together in today’s language though that time we couldn’t call it hanging out, we didn’t know it. We were good friends, like minded fun loving bunch.
We used to visit each other’s house, our families were open to it and because our families were accepting it we didn’t bother much about the rest of the society. Perhaps we didn’t register any thing or we felt so right about ourselves that we didn’t care, I need to think more about that I guess.
The incidence occurred when this “hanging out” was noticeable in school. In a school where there was a ladies staff room and a gents staff room, teachers could not accept it easily. It was phenomenal for them that boys and girls are hanging out together in recess time and a mere friendly hi-five could not get assimilated by the teacher who saw it from a distance.
We girls from that bunch were summoned to the ladies staff room and were lectured on our conduct and moral values and culture and how we were disrespecting and downgrading the entire fraternity. The boys were spared from this lecture, morality has always been Women’s (self imposed) responsibility even when they themselves are victims of immorality.
We at that age could not take this “nonsense” and objected that is we literally argued with our teachers (before this moment we never hated them, not sure we respected them beyond the degree of it which is inherently attached to a teachers job). We tried our best to be polite and worded our thoughts carefully but nevertheless an argument is an argument that too with teachers. We bluntly excepted that we are friends and we did not produce any explanation or accuse for the hanging out, we did not came up with a “need” which existed for the limited interactions.
This made the teachers all the more furious that we were not ready to accept that we are wrong and as usual they came up with a suggestion to take the matter with our parents (now after so many years I have a strong feeling that they didn’t mean it really) but they subsided when we declared that our parents already know all of them and know what “we are up to”.
At this point few of the teachers, probably younger or liberal interfered in a manner not to support us but to suggest to their friends to calm down.
We were given some warnings or instructions and then sent back to classes. We were sort of famous after that in school but for us personally at that tender age it was a blow.
We continued our hanging out and became more open about in school particularly and now the feeling of being right was taken over by feeling of rebelling. What other kids thought about it or whether we were a good example for them or a bad example for them was never our concern at that time, we were only focused on our bunch. Hopefully things must have started to change for others as well.
The unspoken tension between the teachers and us was quite high for few days but by the end of first half year of school, teachers seem to accept us the way we were to the extent that we performed two plays at school’s annual function that year including other boys and girls. We enjoyed that time thoroughly and the teachers seemed to understand too or at least decided to go with whatever the “new generation” is.
After so many years now when I recall this incidence, I no more feel bad about those teachers. It wasn’t much of their fault in that society to react negatively and to think that we were spoiling the school’s atmosphere and it would affect other kids negatively and it wasn’t our fault to be aggressive rather than just feel right about it, we were at that age where wisdom spoils the fun.
Rather it make me wonder and laugh that at the end everything was going to be accepted or perceptions were to be changed then why all that fuss was created, it was just an inertia to allow a small change in the set norms which seized to exist soon.
I find it funny now when I revisit each details of that episode and think the teachers were probably jealous that we were doing something they couldn’t do 🙂 🙂 🙂
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Retrospectively Funny.” Tell us about a situation that was not funny at all while it was happening, but that you now laugh about whenever you remember it.