BEING A BACK BENCHER
Being a back bencher is both a joy and a comfort. It is rather a blessing than a curse. One has not to grudge it but enjoy it. Front benchers are puny creatures – either just out of the lap of their mothers or those who have a craze to please the teachers. It is not a respectable place for an honorable boy who wants to stand on his own. He has self respect. He comes to study not for sycophancy. It hardly means that a back bencher is a shirker. Of course he has the prerogative, sometimes to do whatever he wants to do when the teacher delivers a sermon or relates a story from his life. The back bencher can make himself free from these whims of his teacher and finish his incomplete work.
Sometimes back benchers may be shirkers. If one of them is studious he can lead the others. Otherwise if he is an intelligent boy he would be appreciated by a sincere teacher as he is better as compared to the other ones. Thus he gains importance. He has a plus point at the time of supervision either by the teacher or the Principal or a guest or an official. The first volley of questions is asked from the front liners. By the time it is the turn of the back-bencher he becomes cautious and generally wins the point. He has the same advantage when the teacher or the Principal enters a noisy class. He is generally saved from being punished.
The back benchers are generally jovial, unimposing, large hearted boys who share many other activities rather than be pedantic. They are the essence-the spirit of hilarious side of the class. In their absence the class is like a gathering of deputies in the communist party or of slaves listening to their master. The back bencher has the comics and other stories to read. He would lend these to others too. But he alone has the special right of reading these in the class. He has just to pose that he is a serious chap looking into the text. It is not only funny but pleasant to be a back bencher.