Chapter 17: Take the Risk Wholesale
I said, “You can keep him, but you are being unfair and unjust because I have not done anything harmful to him. He is the professor of logic and if a professor of logic cannot argue with a student, then who is going to argue? The whole subject of logic is argument and sharpening of arguments, and I’m really doing my work as every student should do. The students are behaving like dodos; they don’t bother about the subject. They have other interests - somebody has a girlfriend, somebody has an interest in the movies - there are a thousand and one things in the world. And they study only at the end of the year.
“And now, because questions have become stereotyped, the same questions are being repeated every year. Just read four years’ question papers and that is enough - prepare for twenty questions and you are going to find five questions from those twenty in your examination. There is no need to bother about the whole course because professors are lazy. Even to find a new question is difficult for them, so they just look at four or five year-old examinations questions and find questions - maybe they rephrase them. That is their whole work.
“And in the market now examination keys - which are a very profitable business - have appeared. Some retired professor knows perfectly well what is going to come up in the examination. He takes ten years of questions in his book and gives the answers to each point. You just purchase a key book. There is no need to go into the originals because that is a difficult task.
“And if you give the answers, nobody bothers whether you know it or whether you have crammed it. Those keys are made by retired professors in such a way that the answer is very small and can be crammed, so no intelligence is needed.
“I was trying.because I have not come to the college just to sit there. I am not interested in degrees - my interest is to sharpen my intelligence.”
The principal said, “I can understand you, but still I will have to expel you. It is unjust and I am feeling guilty because I cannot let that professor leave. Without him, our whole logic department will collapse. He is the most senior professor and he’s a very stubborn man. If he has said that he will not come unless you are expelled, he will not come. But knowing the injustice.you have not been doing anything harmful, you just don’t have a teacher of a real caliber and genius.
“He is a mediocre man. He can write PhD theses and he can be awarded a DLitt for his services, but he is not a genius. That I know. So I will expel you because he will insist on seeing that your name is there on the notice board and that you are expelled. But I will make arrangements for you in another college. I will phone the principal.”
I said, “I don’t want to create any trouble for your institution, or for you, or for the old professor. I have no antagonism towards him - I just feel a great pity. You make arrangements, but it is not going to be easy because this situation which has been happening for eight months, has become the talk of all the colleges in the university. Every principal knows..”
He tried. He phoned one principal who was very close to him and the principal said, “Just forgive me. You are sending a trouble to us because you cannot manage it.”