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On a clean slate

india Updated: Oct 29, 2011 23:12 IST
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'And we never write anything negative", says.....a teacher at the school. "Even if there is scope for improvement, it is put across in a positive manner"
The Times of India, September 5

Dear Parent,
We are delighted to inform you that your child displays remarkable initiative. Not for him the simple-minded obedience to teachers. We refer to his admirable refusal to do homework. We have, however, humbly requested him to stoop to our level and condescend to do his homework. Your support is appreciated.
Yours anxiously,
Teacher

Dear Parent,
Your child's distaste for mundane subjects such as mathematics shows an imaginative mind. Why, he wonders, does the square of the hypotenuse have to be equal to the square of the other two sides in a right-angled triangle? It is no wonder that he has scored a splendid zero in his math exam. Unfortunately, even brilliant students have to pass exams. Could you gently break that news to him?
Yours entreatingly,
Teacher

Dear Parent,
We are pleased your child has one of the same qualities that Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, possessed. Like him, your son believes that history is bunk. But it may be best to disabuse him of the notion that the Mughal emperors were Amar, Akbar and Anthony.
Yours beseechingly,
Teacher

Dear Parent,
Your child submitted a blank paper for last week's science test, influenced perhaps by Albert Camus who said 'Whether the earth or the sun revolves around the other is a matter of profound indifference'. Your son shares that profound indifference, undoubtedly for philosophical reasons. But could you inform him that in order to study philosophy, he has to pass class eight first?
Yours plaintively,
Teacher

Dear Parent,
Your son has obviously read Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, which is why he was copying from the boy next to him during yesterday's test. Like Nietzsche, he believes that Supermen like him have little use for conventional notions of morality. The teacher who caught him copying is a conventional type who gave him zero.
Yours desperately,
Teacher

Dear Parent,
We are impressed by your child's knowledge of martial arts. In the past month, he has broken two legs, four arms and three noses. He also shows prudence while fighting, taking care to pick on weaker boys. For some reason, however, the fathers of the boys who were beaten up are planning to go to your home with hockey sticks.
Yours wretchedly,
Teacher

Dear Parent,
Your son has a talent for using colourful language. Why, just the other day he called me a 'silly ass', 'old hag' and an 'a***hole'. Please come to school so that I could tell you more such colourful terms, which you can then use on him, which will help his vocabulary.
Yours gleefully,
Teacher

(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.)