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A Jump Over the Four-Foot Wall (standard:humor, 1549 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Nov 22 2010Views/Reads: 1508/928Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A funny/sad story about a teacher.

A jump over the Four-Foot Wall 

Subba Rao 

Sankaram, a physics teacher was known for his antics in his classroom.
While teaching, he would stretch his hands back and forth; stand on his 
toes as if trying to reach the ceiling, tiptoe around his chair in well 
choreographed steps, and dance in circles like a chu-chu train, all 
these to make dull lessons in Physics more interesting. 

One would learn about different plants in Botany. And a visit to the
city arboretum to study the collection of rare and exotic plants could 
be exciting. Conducting chemical reactions by mixing various chemical 
reagents in the laboratory to make new substances is a thrill while 
learning Chemistry. Students are eager to visit a zoo to watch animal 
behavior and catch insects as part of Zoology. But Physics, a subject 
with no set boundaries is off limit to many students as is boring to 
listen to lectures and hard to understand. For example, why an apple 
dropped from a tree travels downwards but not upwards. Physics is full 
of such senseless questions and mathematical explanations. But, 
Sankaram's classroom antics to induce interest in students to listen to 
topics such as how sound travels in air or why light travels faster 
than sound or how people could stand steadily on the constantly 
rotating earth, made him a standout from the rest of the teachers. 

The college where Sankaram taught was known for unruly and rowdy
students. They went on strike for any cause, just to abstain from the 
classes. The students walked out of classes if the cafeteria food was 
not tasty, or if they were not allowed to cheat during the tests or 
teachers insists on timely submission of home work or if a train 
derailed hundreds of miles away as a show of sympathy to the victims. 
They heckled the teachers routinely, and every teacher was given a 
nickname that stuck for rest of their lives. 

The Zoology teacher, a tall and lanky person was named after an aquatic
organism with no limbs called Hydra. The Botany teacher's pants zipper 
was found inadvertently fly-opened on few occasions, since then he was 
named Venus fly trap, an attractive plant with a trap that opens and 
closes to catch insects. The Chemistry teacher was called H2S for his 
body odor that smelled more like H2S (hydrogen sulfide), a foul 
smelling chemical reagent. The Math teacher's over-bite earned him the 
nickname Dracula. Sankaram was referred to as Four-Foot not for his 
fancy footwork or other antics in the classroom but for other reasons. 

The unruly students in the classroom routinely intimidated the teachers
at the college; teachers could barely teach in the allotted one-hour 
class period. It was more of a livelihood for the teachers to be 
employed at the college than teaching the students. On the other hand, 
some students attended the college to please their parents, and some 
parents were proud of their children for simply attending college, no 
matter whether they benefited or not. For sincere students, it was hard 
enough to understand a tough subject like Physics and was particularly 
difficult to concentrate while some students disrupted the class at 
every opportunity. 

The college was located on a hilltop next to the medical school. The
wall separating the college and the adjacent medical school was around 
four feet high at the college level, but almost 20 feet above the 
ground level of the medical school due to difference in elevation. 
Practically, anybody that attempts to jump over the wall would be at 
risk of serious injury. 

Scores of students took science courses (or pre-medical courses) at the
college to get admission into the medical school and yet very few 
students, if any, eventually got admitted since the admission 
requirements for the medical school were very stringent. 

As a teacher, Sankaram was different; he stood apart from rest of the
teachers. The unruly students did not bother Sankaram at all. When a 
student from back of the classroom tried to mimic Sankaram's voice to 
disrupt the class, “go ahead make noise but can you jump over the 
four-foot wall to get into medical school?” Sankaram would shot back. 

In the physics class, Juggernaut sat in the first row to escape the
wrath of Mr.Sankarm's barrage of questions to the troublemakers at the 

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