In life, people may come and go, some will be remembered and some are forgotten. But one thing is for sure, I’ll never forgot the person who is known as my second parent. Who did efforts for me to gain knowledge, the one who has been my guide for so many years, the one who scolds and corrects me when I am doing wrong, the one who has been there as I face to reach the stepping stones in my life. The one who appreciates my efforts, the one who is always there to feed me a bit-full of information that I might use someday, the one who saves me from this unfair life where everyone should be feed with the same level of knowledge. The person who sacrifices for our own good, and yet, the laziness that I’ve shown them, the tiredness that they have seen from me. After all, they never give up and they never stop to fill us with knowledge and when we are going to fall, they are always there to reach our hand and pull us back and so, the years might have been overthrown, and everything will fade, but they always be my hero for life and for all that efforts and sacrifices that they’ve done for us.
How would life be without our teacher?When my friends asked me to write again, I decided to start my compilation with something meaningful, a themed essay for the My Teacher, My Hero theme, contrary to last year wherein I had a hard time choosing who to pay tribute to, this year is much different, it was easy and I believe, it is the most obvious choice. Everyone has someone to keep them on their own feet as they walk through life. Normally, it would be your parent or friend, but mine is different, I had kept myself intact with the help of a teacher. Teachers are usually there to impart knowledge and give you an opportunity to move on with life, I was blessed to have someone during my college days who takes time to make sure that I was okay and the strength to hold on to when everything else went astray, he was Engr. Elmerito D. Pineda. I first met Engr. Pineda as my professor back when I was in First Year (Advanced Programming Languages in C) , back then, things were just inside the classroom – lectures, quizzes, exercises which brought my confidence back after losing my scholarship during the previous term but things turned different when I was in my Third Year and he became our thesis mentor.
He turned out to be the #1 Supporter to what we have wanted in the first place, the Alumni Tracer for FEU – East Asia College. Despite both parties having to adjust to the situation of having a part-time mentor last year, we both exerted effort to follow-up and communicate with each other. Since I was always doing the documentation portion of most our projects, I was the one responsible for making follow-ups with the mentor, which happened to be Mr. Pineda. I took it as my responsibility to stay late, meet him after classes for checking and even go straight to his FEU Main class just to finish the proposal for our thesis. Unfortunately, our second term was cut short after failing the proposal defense – but when things thought that it was the end of our mentorship with Engr. Pineda, we were wrong. He stayed..
Kenny Sebastian, stand-up comedian
My favourite teachers were my English teachers, Vasuvdatta and Jayashree. This was one of the few subjects I really liked because it promoted storytelling and creative writing. In the Central government school I studied in, my classmates had no interest in language — they only cared about maths and science. And even though there was lack of interest in class, the English teachers taught with so much passion. They inspired me towards acting and storytelling. They even let me talk most in class, when other teachers tried to keep me quiet!
We also had a very good physics teacher, and if I was not doing comedy, I would be doing astrophysics even though I don’t understand it!
H.N. Girisha, paralympian
I remember my teacher Lourde Mary in higher primary school (at Mariya Nagar near my village, Hosanagar) who was the first person to motivate me towards sports. There was a competition in our school to select students for inter-school sports meet to be held at Handrangi, a village in Arkalgud taluk. I was in class seven. Despite the impairment in my left leg, I participated in the high jump event and won it. Ms. Mary then recommended me for the inter-school event.
Though there were many students in the meet, she was there at the end of my event with a sachet of glucose. It was my first event, and I stood second. The credit should go to her. The inspiration and support I got from Ms. Mary motivated me to compete with able athletes and win.
N. Santosh Hegde,former Supreme Court judge andformer Karnataka Lokayukta
I have had the benefit of many great teachers, but the one that influenced me the most was Kalmanje Jagannatha Shetty (who went on to become the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court), my constitutional law professor at Government Law College. Without him, I would not have joined the profession.
I had then been studying law only to join some company that has a sports team that can allow me to pursue hockey. I was leading the hockey team for the college then.
But, Prof. Shetty took a personal interest in me and persuaded me to pursue law. I even joined his practice as a junior and he allowed me to appear in small cases. It was when I got injured playing hockey that he told me to concentrate on law. He was always there with his advice on how to go about cases and finer points of law. If not for him, I do not know what I would have become.
U.R. Rao, former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation
I have had many great people, colleagues to teach, inspire and guide me. Vikram Sarabhai (father of the Indian space programme) was my mentor for the Ph.D. It was he who encouraged me to take up the offer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where I did my post-doctoral work.
After my stint in the U.S., it was Sarabhai who wanted me to return to India and work in the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmadabad.
Mingling with such luminaries and Nobel laureates increases your confidence. I came from a poor family, and my father was just class 4 pass. In fact, he felt happy when an astrologer told him I will pass my SSLC! Confidence is not easy coming from this background, but I was encouraged through the process.
Naresh Bhat, HoD, Medicine and Gastroenterology, St. Philomena’s Hospital
One person who made the most profound impact on me was not merely a teacher, but my mentor, Dr. H.S. Bhat, who was a renowned urologist at St. Philomena’s Hospital when I joined as a fresh gastroenterologist in practice.
He very subtly ingrained in me commitment, responsibility and the art of communication with patients. He ensured through various humorous anecdotes and stories the importance of maintaining a high ethical standard in practice.
A simple formula that he taught me was: when in doubt about performing a certain procedure, ask yourself what you would do if the patient was your father or brother. This mantra of his has guided me through many difficult decisions. He also showed us how writing detailed notes was of great importance.
Dr. Bhat will remain the greatest mentor who guided me in the philosophy of clinical medicine and hence he is far more than a teacher but a father figure.
(As told to Mohit M. Rao, Sathish G.T. and Afshan Yasmeen)
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