‘No class today’

December 23, 2009

I forgot that our class was cancelled today and was waiting patiently in the classroom. I called the teacher who said – Dont you remember, No class today.

It felt strange that I felt bad. Those three words were the sweetest words any student could ever hear. Indeed, in school the reaction would be one of ecstasy. If it was the last class of the day, less so. If it was forty minutes of ‘no class’ in between two classes, it was amazing. We would just sit and yap and do nothing and by the time the next class started, we would have drained ourselves so much that our bored looks would tempt the next teacher to say the same.

In college, we decided if we would be in class or not. But if we were in the classroom and there was no class, the same feeling would enthrall us. This unexpected joy overwhelmed us.

This unexpected joy is not the same as someone surprising you. There is no one there to surprise you and therein lies the joy. It’s a joy of just doing nothing for those forty odd minutes. But that was in school and college where you seldom wanted to learn for the sake of learning. Thats probably what changes in PhD life. That’s probably why I didn’t feel the unexpected joy today.