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Surprise. Surprise... things aren't always what they seem...

You have come across them all your life: some look happy and cheerful, some look sad, some look scared, some look reassured, some look proud and disdainful while some look humble and modest. They all have one thing in common… they are all teachers' children.

Ever wondered how they felt? Ever envied their supposed benefits of being a teacher's child? Don't. Although many of them seem to be born with a silver spoon, they too face dilemmas and find themselves in weird predicaments. Scroll below to sneak a glimpse into their lives.

CASE STUDY 1: Sharmin had always enjoyed the easy way of life. She believed school was wonderful for socializing and never gave a moment's notice to her academics; just studying enough the night before exams to somehow barely keep her head above water.

Her mother was a teacher of junior classes, and was quite familiar and friendly with Sharmin's own class and subject teachers. She often noticed that her teachers complained to her mother about her lack of seriousness in studies, but never stopped to give it a moment's notice. She knew, like her mother knew, that studies weren't always the most important things in life to succeed. She continued her relaxed attitude… and continued failing her exams. Her outlook on studies changed one day when she heard a comment directed towards her by a teacher.

She had just failed drastically in English, getting a mere 24 percent in her final exams. Unconcerned and unruffled, she went forward to accept her paper with a smile. Her smile froze, however, when she heard what the teacher had to say. 'Teacher er meye hoye tumi ai result korle?' she spoke. Sharmin froze. 'Tsk, Tsk.

You must me a disgrace to your family.' Without another word, Sharmin turned away. Ever since that incident, she hasn't been the same. Smiles don't come as easily to her face as they used to. She socializes less, and almost spends all her time devoted to books. Whenever she feels like letting up, those dreaded words return to her mind, forcing her to plough on. 'I used to be a carefree teenage girl, who wanted to enjoy life before settling down with a career,' Sharmin says. 'These days every thing I do reminds me of my bond with my parents. I am afraid of letting them down; I am afraid of ruining their reputation.'

CONCLUSION: Just because you are a teacher's kid, doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be an excellent student. Sharmin also says: 'It's strange how people have these preconceived notions. Just because your parent is an excellent teacher, doesn't mean that you have to be an excellent student. If I am a bad student, it doesn't mean that my mum is a bad teacher, or a bad parent. The fault lies in me not her. Whatever I do, should reflect on me, not her.'

CASE STUDY 2: Raihan was your average happy-go-lucky guy. He was the kind of person who could make friends easily. During recess there was always a minimum of 25 boys and girls in a crowd surrounding him. To say that he was popular was an understatement. His mother was the strict Chemistry teacher who never spared anyone. She was famous for her complicated tests, which was an achievement in itself if one could pass them. In spite of having such a difficult parent, Raihan never seemed to be boycotted by his friends. If anything, the opposite happened. He was hardly ever left in peace and always surrounded by faithful admirers.Life seemed all roses for Raihan. He didn't mind passing on a bit of information about his mother's complex tests now and then, so that his friends could do well in them. After all, what were friends for?

There was no lack of parties to which he was invited. Raihan was in a state of total bliss. Until he noticed tiny things that he didn't before. Little by little these 'little things' increased in frequency. Once he knew what to look for, it was easy to spot them. He noticed how the conversation in a room stopped abruptly when he entered; how the people engaged in conversation gave him exasperated looks for a split second before turning cheerful and welcoming him with open arms; how sometimes word of parties reached him, 'parties' that he could not recall having received invitations to.

He became painfully aware of the fact that he was never let into any 'secret' if it was secretive enough, the ones he knew were ones which the entire class knew, sometimes even the teachers; in other words, all he knew were 'harmless' secrets.

He finally realized what was wrong. He was suffering from the stigma of kids not wanting to socialize with him; they were afraid that he would spill the beans to his mother, and possibly get them in trouble.

CONCLUSION: Just because someone is a teacher's kid, doesn't mean that that person is not 'normal'. Raihan would never in a million years dream of disclosing any of his friends' secrets to his mum.

He was a normal teenager, and he thought and felt like all other normal teenagers. There was simply no reason for other to act like he was some kind of an untouchable entity. When Raihan speaks about his predicament, his voice is sad. 'I know how to keep secrets just like everyone else does.

The Chemistry teacher might be my mum, but she is a parent after all. If you don't always say everything to your parents, what makes you think I would?'

CASE STUDY 3: Natasha was always the most brilliant student in her class. She always excelled in academics and was almost every teacher's favorite. Being a good writer, her work was also often sent to competitions and she often won awards at them. Her father was a very important teacher, and being a senior teacher, he commanded respect from his colleagues, many of who were also Natasha's own teachers. She knew her father was proud of her many achievements, and she felt confident of herself, wherever she went.

However, one small thing constantly irked her: she was always referred to as Mr. Kashem's* daughter. It was always, 'Oh, so you're Mr. Kashem's daughter? I have heard so much about you!' 'Mr. Kashem's daughter? Yes, I have heard about her. She's the one with the long hair and brown eyes, right?' 'I can't believe they sent her essay to the competition!' (a disgruntled parent) 'Just because she is Mr. Kashem's daughter doesn't mean that she is good at everything!' For Natasha it was the last straw when she was elected as Head Girl of her school. 'I hear she was elected as Head Girl? Dekhte hobe na, meyeta kar?'

CONCLUSION: Just because someone is a teacher's kid, doesn't mean that they don't have an identity of their own. Natasha might have been a very successful teenager in her own right, but she never had the satisfaction of knowing that it was solely because of her ability, and not because she was someone's 'daughter'.

Surprise, surprise! Ever thought of things from this angle? Its just shows that things aren't always what they seem. Another thing is that it's a proven fact that teacher's kids often get less attention from their parents, and in that that aspect they are definitely not lucky. Appearances are deceptive. Anyone with different opinions, or something to add can let me know at jenniash@yahoo.com . Till next time, Ciao!

By Jennifer Ashraf

Chocolate trivia

Chocolate can be used as...
a. An exfoliant
b. Finger paint
c. Jewelry
d. An antifreeze
Answer: an exfoliant

In the 18th century, chocolate was used to disguise the taste of...
a. Penicillin
b. Poison
c. Cod liver oil
d. Nothing
Answer: poison

The first cocoa trees were harvested by...
a. The Aztecs
b. Honey bees
c. Queen Elizabeth's Head Gardener
d. The Conquistadores
Answer: the Aztecs

Chocolate is an ultra-secretive industry. Many famous chocolate manufacturers used to work for the competition in order to learn their secret recipes and techniques. In fact, spying became so commonplace that a movie was made about it called...
a. Chocolat.
b. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory
c. Mars Attack
d. The Secret Chocolate Recipes
Answer: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The first chocolate bars for eating were...
a. Fed to pigs
b. Used as money
c. Developed in England
d. Responsible for the Boston chocolate flood in 1919, killing 21 people.
Answer: developed in England (the chocolate flood was really a molasses flood)

The scientific name for cocoa is...
a. Podomus Cocaramus
b. Chocolae Delicium
c. Trufflufagus Theobroma
d. Cacao
Answer: Theobroma Cacao

By Jennifer Ashraf


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