Question 1 : Read the extract given and answer the questions that follow.
(i) What did the narrator want to talk about with the students?
Answer : Braithwaite went to the class with a plan. It was not well thought one but made as things went. He wanted to talk to the students regarding their general conduct. He wanted to break the barrier between them and it was possible only after talking one-on-one by putting their expectations right in front of each other.
(ii) How did he want the talk to take place?
Answer : Braithwaite wanted to have a straight-forward talk with the students. However, he wanted that they should be reasonable with each other. He wanted them to listen to him without interrupting in any way. And when he was through, any one of the students may express their point of view without interruption from the narrator. He announced that they would talk and listen to each other.
(iii) How did the students react to Braithwaite’s plan?
Answer : The students were interested after listening to the narrator. Even the husky lase Denham was leaning forward on his desk observing the narrator. While the narrator spoke, no one interrupted him. They all sat quietly and were curious about the narrator’s plan. It was also something that was other than their usual teaching lessons which might have aroused their interest.
(iv) What all constituted the narrator’s talk?
Answer : The narrator told the students that he was there to teach them and he shall do his best to make his teaching as interesting as possible. If at any time things were not clear to a student or they disagreed at a point, all they needed to do was speak.
(v) How did the narrator address the students? Why?
Answer : The narrator stressed on the code of conduct to be followed in the school. He said that most of them were going to leave the school within six months or so and search for jobs. This means that in a short while they will be embarked on the very adult business of earning a living. Hence, they would be treated as young men and women and not as children. He said that once they would move out of the state of childhood certain higher standards of conduct were expected by them.
Question 2 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
(i) What was the subject of Potter’s protest? Why?
Answer : Braithwaite expected certain courtesies which would be observed at all times in the classroom. He wanted the boys of the class to address the young ladies as ‘Miss’. Potter was first to protest. He asked why they should call the girls ‘Miss’ when they already knew them.
(ii) What was expected of the ladies according to the narrator?
Answer : It was important for the ladies that in future they must show themselves both worthy and appreciative of the courtesies that men will show towards them. The men should feel proud to know them and how proud they shall feel will depend entirely on the ladies.
(iii) What did the narrator expect from the boys of the class?
Answer : Braithwaite expected the boys to look clearer and tidier. He said that there was nothing weak and unmanly about clean hand and faces and shoes that were brushed. He added that in years to come they would be thinking of girlfriends. He said the girls would find them much more attractive with clean teeth, hands and faces.
(iv) What was the responsibility of being the ‘top’ class in the school?
Answer : Being the ‘top’ class, the students must set a good example in front of the rest of the school. The juniors always aped everything they did or said. Hence, much of their conduct was the responsibility of the senior students. As the top class they should be top in cleanliness, deportment, courtesy and work.
(v) What all did Braithwaite expect from his class? Why?
Answer : Braithwaite expected courtesies which would be observed at all times in the classroom. He asked his students to address him as ‘Mr Braithwaite’ or ‘Sir’. The young ladies would be addressed as ‘Miss’ and the young men were expected to be addressed by their surnames.
He wanted so because in a little while all the students would be expected to express these courtesies as part of their jobs. Hence, it would be helpful to become accustomed to giving and receiving such courtesies.
Question 1 : Describe Braithwaite’s plans regarding the conduct of the class and its effects on his students?
Answer : Braithwaite went to the class with a purpose, a plan. Although nothing was clear cut, merely speculative, but he considered it all the way to school. He announced that they would talk and listen to each other. This was an ad-hoc plan and he was observing his effects on the students. He told them that he was there to teach them. It at any time things were not clear to a student or they disagreed at a point, all they needed to do was speak. Moreover, most of them were about to leave the school and search for jobs. Hence, they should be treated as young men and women.
Braithwaite expected the students of his class to observe certain courtesies at all times in his classroom. He told the class that they would address him as ‘Mr Braithwaite’ or ‘Sir’. The girls would be addressed as ‘Miss’ while the boys by their surnames. He explained to them that such things were very important as in a few months time these would become part of their jobs. The next thing, he wanted from the young ladies was to become worthy of their courtesies.
He told them that Mrs Dale-Evans would be having a talk with them regarding certain things that needed attention. He then told the boys that they need to clean themselves up. They should be tough but only in the mind and not by the clothes. Braithwaite also stressed that they were the top class of the school and hence juniors always aped them. Thus, it was their duty to set a good example. Their junior’s conduct was their responsibility now.
As the top class, they must be top in cleanliness, deportment, courtesy and work. Furthermore, Braithwaite assured them that he shall help them in every way he can, both by example and encouragement. He wanted them to be a fine class and the best, the school he had ever known.
Braithwaite was at ease after discussing his plans with the students. There was an absence of the silent hostility. There was no further questions on the subject.