This term Akank’s grade is learning a very touchy lesson in science. The Human Reproductive System (HRS). I recall my school days when the boys and girls were separated into two groups just for this lesson. Of course, I am talking about 30 years back in Trichy, where I grew up. I think it was in a higher grade too, maybe in Grade 8 or 9 when we were much older and could digest some hard facts of life. Things have changed, I accept, from what it was 30 years back in a little town to now. Akank said her science teacher played them a video of the HRS to introduce the lesson to the class. She said the whole classroom erupted with a war cry like objection, voicing how they felt about the subject. She feels insulted to be in the same classroom with the boys when they discuss the finer details of a female body. To add insult to injury, her home assignment was to colour and name the parts of the HRS of both the male and female body.
But that is not all. Akank’s English teacher was not in class last week and so the Science teacher stepped in to keep the grade busy with an exercise in poetry. He chose a topic for them to write a poem on- Science this week! Akank said that while they wrote their poems, he whistled and waited for them to come up with their thoughts. This is what Akank wrote –
Science this week, Was worse than bleak
It was sicker than a lizards suction, we were learning reproduction!
It made our teeth grit, even the ones with wit
I went totally red, like when I was one and wet the bed,
All the girls had closed their eyes,
We wished we had been separated from the guys.
Akank also asked me to observe if she become quieter of late. When I wondered aloud why she had asked me the question she blamed it on the poor lesson.