D. P. Dash

गहना कर्मणो गतिः (gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ) | କର୍ମର ଗତି ବଡ଼ ଗହନ ଅଟେ | complex are the ways of action (Gītā, chap. 4, ver. 17)

Professor D. P. Dash
research educator, academic editor, slow professor ...
professor.dpdash[at]gmail.com | WhatsApp +91 99378 28816

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dear Students

I'm not your favourite friend,
Nor am I your foe;
I just question all your limits,
Because, I am your teacher. [1]

It's not for me to please you,
Nor cause you pain;
Only spur you to excel yourself,
Because, I am your teacher.

Your fame doesn't impress me,
Failings despair me not;
I just seek your steady unfolding,
Because, I am your teacher.

Rise and fall are Nature's strokes,
Upon the canvas of life;
If you need to widen the canvas,
Find me by your side.

Of no use are maps and compass,
Facing the unknown sea;
An explorer's nerve in you I seek,
The heart of a teacher in me. [2]


[1] Inspired by the Native American wisdom, "I have no friends; I have no enemies; I have only teachers," cited by Dharm P. S. Bhawuk in his 2010 article, "Humiliation and Human Rights in Diverse Societies: Forgiveness and Other Solutions from Cross-Cultural Research," published in Psychological Studies, 55(1), pp. 35-45.

Interestingly, Rob Jenkins at Georgia State University Perimeter College also expressed a similar idea in an article written around the same time as this poem. In his words, "I’m not your BFF" and "I’m not your adversary." His article is published in the Vitae blog, a service of The Chronicle of Higher Education, on August 19, 2016Defining the Relationship.

[2] Inspired by the title of a talk, "The Heart of a Teacher," delivered by Snigdha Pattnaik at Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, India on 14 June 2016.

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