You rarely encounter a teacher who is so passionate about teaching and about the subject he is teaching. I’m sure each and every Gladiator who opted for Strategic operations planning course would agree to it with 200% confidence level. We heard a lot about the professor from our seniors – the patriots- and were waiting eagerly for our first class. On 29th October, we had our first class and as we entered the class, there stood a serious looking gentleman waiting for us to take our seats. Class started and these were the first words from him: “I’m Dr. Natarajan from NUS, and teaching is my hobby and passion”. There are many things that are special and unique about his teaching, just to name a few- he would start every class with an explanation of some unusual business like “Book Crossing”, “One day celebrity” etc and would ask us to think of operational issues that such businesses face. Another interesting experience in the very first class was, when he showed a video of chocolate making industry in the USA and as we were watching tasty chocolates being prepared in the video, we suddenly saw the same chocolates on our tables, and then we realized that, he had passed the packets of chocolates that he had bought from Singapore. Hmm, how yummy a video it was!!
Not a single phone rang, not a single person looked at his watch and not a single person ever came late to his classes, and all this, without enforcement of any rules from the professor. Can you believe it? His passion for teaching was unparalleled, again to give an example: We had SOP classes mostly in the late evenings and we were given a break mid way through the class to have dinner, but the professor himself never had his dinner before the end of the class, and his reply for that was “If I too have my dinner, I can’t teach as passionately and effectively”. We had no words, as here was a man with so much teaching experience, still having so much passion, while we are always eager to break for lunch, dinner etc.
He brought a great charm to his teaching. He asked us to think and question the phenomena we see around us. Simple things like “the reason for stitching the last button horizontally”, “scheduling systems used by UDUPI hotels” had so much logic behind it, but we had never cared before. Finishing the course was never his only objective; he was here to develop an interest for the operations area in all of us, and the way he taught the subject, he made every second person in the college talk about the course and the professor and feel bad about not having chosen the elective. Within no time came his last class, and due to a delay in his flight arrival, the class was postponed to 9:15 PM. As usual, there were no absentees in the class even though it was a late evening one. The class went on till 12:30 AM the next day, and still no body was ready to move from their seats as all of us wanted to listen more. This tells the whole story.
Sir, we are thankful to you for inducing the quality to question the things we see around us and not just accept them as they are and most importantly for making us believe that, indeed, operations guys are profit centres. Above all, we thank you for making the operations subject so interesting and such a GREAT experience. We would definitely miss SOP classes and the humorous anecdotes that you shared with us like the one in Heathrow airport, which brought about a roaring laughter. Hats off to you sir!!
“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book, and indeed we didn’t have a text book for the course”
– Jithendra Koduru