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April 03, 2009


After family, teachers wield the most imfluence on a child. I've been reflecting on this. Who are the teachers that come to mind when I look back on my own childhood? I shall try to list them as they pop into my head...

Today, what popped into my head is Plutarch's brilliant observation - "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." I realise the truth of this when I think of my college teachers. One who stands out vividly is a professor of astronomy who loved his subject. Regretfully, his name escapes me. One day, so engrosssed was he in describing a problem of the celestial sphere that he took a piece of chalk and drew curves on his coat sleeve ! Is it any wonder that he succeeded in firing my imagination? In the same year, we had another professor who was concerned more about his appearance than anything he taught. All that I remember of his classes is that he used a big handkerchief to dab his face and a tiny comb to preen his hair ever so often.

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