Friday, July 23, 2004

Down the Memory Lane - Part II

I admit. Academics in college IS different from that of a school. But what I didnt expect when I took that leap from school to college is the total stark change in the method of teaching, the system of academics and the intricacies of college education.

First Day. Monday morning (Why does it always have to be a Mon Day?) Me. Cycling furiously in sweltering weather towards the distant classes. (On retrospection, the distance seems to have reduced as the years passed by.) Reaching the Class Room Complex. Confused as to where to go. Asking equally, if not more, confused students where to go. (Remember the dis-orienting orientation?)
First class: Material Sciences. 100 (equally?-)brite students jotting down seriously and sincerely the syllabus, books, prof's names, email id's and room no's followed by the heaving at the overwhelming enormousness of the entire thing, the quizzes, the mid-term exams, the end-sems, the assignments.

Days passed. Courses passed. Snickering remarks behind the back of bad profs, didnt-know-what-they-were-teaching profs, pedantic profs, passed. Exams passed. Assignments successfully passed. End semesters successfully passed. Waiting anxiously for grades, passed.
And then the whole routine, again. Over and over again. 7 more times. The only thing changing: more courses, more tougher courses, more assignments, more difficult exams; and the added project work in the last sem.

Typical first year problems faced by me and everybody, fazed me and everybody.
A course called ID110, Engineering Design Principles, which involved the brains to sow their engineering skills into practical problems: like measuring the length of a 2km long road, without surveying instruments; like measuring the height of a water tower, using trignometry: like developing a cantilever out of broomstik and have the maximum weight held/cantilever weight, (Mine came third at 500gm/8gm) did kindle the interest of all students.
An interest which was never rekindled afterwards.
A course called Engineering drawing. Memories revived everyday by seeing juniors hurrying to classes in their huge drafters, and the even larger chart boxes. It was quite a fun course. 3 hour long sessions of drawing, followed by even more furious rubbing, moving scales around, asking the girls innocently as to what to do next, inspite of having finished it already. The AutoCAD sessions really spiced my day. They made the job of Engineering drawing much more easier. (The S grades I had got in both the Drawing courses did help buoy my spirits).

The dreaded workshop. Especially the fitting workshop. 3 hour workshop Heads made us 3 (sometimes 4) hour drones, shafing the file mindlessly over a stupid iron piece which wouldnt care less if it werent filed and then, miraculously increased in size. The files, with equally ridiculous names, only job was to file away our hands, leaving way to blisters and torn skin to take over the pain that resided for the next week.

For the not so lucky: NCC. A dreaded 3 letter 4 hour gruelling session, that dragged us every weekend day early in the morning, for 20 days a year. Wasting most of the energy saved from eating the thimble sized morsels at the hostel mess into stomping the ground in torn, but yet, still hard boots under a hot sweltering sun; the only consolation being a small creamless cake and a hot puff, which, most of the time went to the mouth of a more hungry dog that promptly and punctiliously came to every NCC session. The 20 day "compulsory" "camp" conducted in one of the hostels was perhaps the last straw.

Somehow, the last 4 years have passed by. 'N' nerve-wracking nite-outs doing assignments, mugging for exams, doing project work. I persevered. I didnt give up, unlike the exceptionally some who did. I survived.
Academically, I was, perhaps, successful. I can't say otherwise. So many other things I had wanted to do, yet couldnt...

Next Post: Hostel Life.
To be continued...


At July 25, 2004 at 9:50 PM, Blogger A Good Man said...

I was expecting a lot of comments to your last post,and to this one too. But probably it's seen absolutely none because it's exactly what almost all of us have experienced. Reading your account makes all those experiences liven up and (at least this is what happened with me) we forget everything else. Really looking forward to Part III on Hostel Life. IIT Hostels are in all probability going to be the most endearing memory all of us will carry away from here.

At August 1, 2004 at 10:00 AM, Blogger satosphere said...

Thanx da..
I guess no one has been reading it.
But, I think, I am finished with the series now (after the 4 parts)

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