Saturday, October 15, 2011

In praise of Prof. Sivasegaram

I am writing this to extend my heart felt gratitude to one of the best teachers I had at Pera eFac, Prof. Sivasegaram or Siva as he was popularly known.

Comparison with CLVJ would have made him shine brighter but even on absolute terms he was such a friendly man from whom I could ask some clarification even on a corridor without any fear.

He would tuck his brief case between his legs and start explaining writing on the back of a file or whatever piece of paper available. He made the feared Thermo lab a pleasant place to go to and the dreaded Intas just deflated dummy giants.

Best was the turn around he made at the First Year drawing class. We could ask any question at any time and he was at hand till the end of the session to readily answer them.

Almighty instructors who used to ignore and ridicule us so far had a big problem now as Prof Sivasegaram asked our questions from them first and they were often found wanting. Pretty soon they became very friendly with us and some of them even addressed us 'Machan'. The 'Incompletes' and marks in the order of 2,3,4 which was the norm in the first two terms became 7,8 and even 9 & 9 1/2.

If we had a few more good teachers like Siva and Mr. Saman (Abeysekara) who taught us electronics in the third year (for only one term, unfortunately) I would have learnt much more at the university.

This doesn't mean all others were bad. I liked the teaching of Prof. Jayatilake specially his problem solving approach - starting from the final answer and working backwards and even Prof Gunawardena in patches (how good it could have been if he chose to go with the average rather than the elite few). Prof Jayasekara for me was a traditional teacher who did not make his exam paper 'for champions only'.

May be I should have written a separate blog. But that may not have materialized if I kept it for later. May this be a tribute to the great man Prof. Sivasegaram. Thank you Sir!

-Ananda Piyatilake (E/81 Batch)