Tag Archive | College

All In A Day’s Work

The duties and responsibilities of a technical lecturer comprises of teaching, instruction in laboratory, students assessment and evaluation, assisting in departmental administration and so on. Some may think teaching is a boring and dull profession but the truth is that the nearer one is to the youth, the more exciting life/job is. Now before I narrate an incident you must know that I work in a private college and many influential people’s sons & daughters study on management quota. Few days ago, over a girl; boys of two different streams (IT and Mech) had a fight which led to serious injury to one of the boys (Mech). Police came to arrest the main accused (IT) and our Jt.Director of college is said to have slapped him too. But the student turned out to be the nephew of a big politician and somehow construed the slap as politically motivated. So on 6th Aug around 100-150 boys (goons??) came to college and wrecked the administrative building. They even hit the Jt.Director with stick and manhandled the Chairman and Director. We all thought the repercussion had ended there.

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Education Boom or Education Doom ?

In the coming college session 2008-09 of Engineering, around 10 new colleges will add to the existing 19 colleges in the state of Chattisgarh. Also the number of seats in the existing colleges will go up. That would mean around 10000 seats for engineering admissions. Similar conditions exist in other states too where day by day new colleges, technical or otherwise, are coming up. Education is the one of the biggest investment areas now in India. Big parties are pooling up their legal or illegal money and setting up colleges. Just by showing basic fulfillment of norms, they are getting approval from the AICTE too. Students getting absolutely any rank or even no rank in the state’s entrance exam can now get admission in Engineering easily. The fees of this state is more than Rs.50000 per year, not taking into account donation money for management quota seats.

The question that arises is whether this education boom is actually a boon or bane? Will it prove useful in the long run for India or will it spell out the doom of Indian technical workforce? These are the important points to be considered before deciding the answer to this question.

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The First Day

Yawn!! Yawwnnn!!

I can’t believe I inflicted this torture of attending classes and that too in morning on myself. How very masochistic.

Ok. Enough. One gotta do what one gotta do.

Pay attention.

OMG!! This man is teaching the stuff we have already read in the undergraduate level.

Stare outside the door. Look at watch. 45 mins more.

Ok. He is an old conceited egoistic grouch. Better listen carefully and take notes.

Shit!! Never took notes in B.E. lectures. How can I take now? Ok. Its better to scribble than doze off while sitting on first bench.

Yawn!! Stare outside the door then watch. 30 mins more.

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The Studies Reloaded

The sense of relief and happiness that all students feel after their exams are over, is indescribable in few words. The exaltation is more if the exam is the last one of whatever course the student had been studying for a long time. The sense of riddance from studying on exam’s eve, doing an “all-nighter”, the nervousness, the nausea induced due to tension, sleepiness in exam hall, sudden blankness shrouding the memory and the postmortem of the question paper; is nothing short of a pleasure comparable to the sensation caused by cocaine (as rumored by drug abusers). And after graduation, often we pledge not to fall again into the trap of education system and its encumbrances. But as I’ve expressed my philosophy earlier, one often meets his destiny in the road he takes to avoid it.

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The Other Side of Bench

All of us have been students but few have got the opportunity or have chosen to be on the other side of the benches as a full time job. It provides a different perspective, an understanding of the things which seemed to bother as students, some shocking realities, some realizations and some funny moments. And it helps if one doesn’t forget his or her time on the bench. It helps not only to connect but also to see through many tricks of one’s students. These are few thoughts for all students out there from the Other Side of Bench.

#1 Some of us are always aware what each one of the class is doing and can make out who is faking writing down the lecture or looking out of window lost in thoughts or ogling at a girl classmate. We can make out when a student starts to press calculator buttons just to show he/she is solving the given numerical when we approach his/her bench.

#2 Don’t think the invigilator won’t know what you are up to when you crane your neck forward or when you lean back sliding little on the seat. We know that’s when you are going to asking your friend answer to a question. All other tactics ( I’ll not mention here) are also known to us and sometimes we just pretend to ignore.

#3 Writing absolute nonsensical/irrelevant stuff or repeating the same words over n over again and making the pages of answer sheets look filled is not going to work because we read before giving marks.

#4 Literally writing Ramayana in Hindi for 5 pages just because you had time to kill in the exam room is not going to help either. We are secular when valuating answer sheets.

#5 Why do guys need to write in scrawly handwriting and draw horrible diagrams? Even if the roll number is hidden we know which one is a girl’s copy and which one a guy’s. And girls, please don’t use glitter pens. We don’t like our palms and faces to shine.

#6 Writing “Sir, please please ( 5-10 times) pass me. I’ll be eternally grateful/I’ll touch your feet/You’ll get my good wishes” in the end of your answer sheet is not going to help. Firstly a Madam may be valuating your answer sheet and she may get offended by the presumption of Sir. Secondly, unless you have written enough to be passed no pleading will work even if you write “Om Sai Ram”/”Om Ganeshaye Namah”/”Jai KaalBhairavi” at the beginning.

#7 Some of us are merciless and some are generous in valuation. So, once you have passed, even on border marks, DO NOT apply for revaluation. 95% chances are you’ll fail.

#8 We have a personal life too. And sometimes we are really busy personally or professionally and unable to give time to solve your doubts. That doesn’t mean we don’t care.

Click to enlarge and read

P.S. Wish I could take and post snap shots of some classic answer sheets I recently valuated but that was against my ethics. Cartoon images (except C&H) credited to clipart.net

Shame! Shame!

I’d decided the world would never come to know of a recent and one of the most embarrassing incidents that happened to me . But then by not sharing I lost the opportunity to rant about men. So first the incident then the ranting.

Few days back the college where I work was a center for candidates appearing in Pre-Medical Entrance Exam. The candidates ranged from general category to the reserved, urban to rural and intelligent enough to understand instructions to the dumbest. We, the lecturers, had been assigned as invigilators. Now, each floor has 4 bathrooms at its corner…for girls, ladies staff, gents staff and boys and has that written boldly in red at top. Before the exam started, I went to freshen myself in the ladies staff one and just as I went inside the already open door, a young boy (must be candidate) was answering nature’s call!!! I rushed out shouting “its ladies bathroom” and went straight to the assigned exam room.. [Yeah laugh at my plight!!] Thank God he had his back towards me!!!

Later in retrospect, I thought why was I feeling embarrassed with no fault of mine and I was disgusted at the non existence of the feeling of shame in most Indian Males (or maybe all males of world). Even if the boy had entered the wrong bathroom and didn’t even know that there are separate facilities in cities/colleges; still he should have locked the door not out of manners or etiquette but out of shame. As I analyzed further, I remembered the common sight of men(any age group) answering nature’s call by roadside or on a wall and mostly not hidden from view. For pictorial depiction you can see here.

One may argue that maybe men have less bladder control than women but anatomically speaking women are supposed to have less bladder control. But do we see women sitting on road side? Maybe the poor and illiterate women are seen but males of any class & any age can be seen. They consider it their birthright. The trouble we girls have to face when we go on a picnic or trip!!! We have to take a friend (girl) along to stand guard against any Peeping Toms. Why us? Men don’t have to worry about such problems.

So is this habit a result of the difference in upbringing of the male child and the female child in Indian society? Do we encourage our sons to become shameless by allowing them to bath openly or roam around without wearing vests? Is covering up essential only for the girls? Is lajja or shame meant exclusively for women? Is decency a feminine virtue?

Why is it wrong for girls to wear low waist jeans and not for men? I don’t like seeing or knowing about the brand of brief they wear!!! Another example.. this attitude “We are men. We don’t need to hide” is so expressed in the design of Men’s bathroom (note: no personal experience..as seen in movies and asked guy friends) which is different from the Ladies’ in matters of privacy.

Of course the Govt is to blame for not providing public utilities along the road on an infrastructural basis and for not maintaining those which are provided. One factor is the so called lack of funds for such a trivial thing when we have bigger problems to deal with like price rise and poverty. Another may be that are not most of the politicians male and have the same attitude towards “shame”? Thus they feel no need to provide such a basic amenity even in slum areas. There is an old joke about this Indian habit. You can read the joke and a good rant about this habit and another famous Indian habit of spitting here.

I admit its fine when one goes long distance driving like from one city to city. But in normal circumstances why can’t you just stop at a restaurant/petrol station or hold it till you reach wherever you are going? And for God’s sake look if its for men or women & for Shame’s sake Lock The Door!!!

P.S. Some (like a very dear guy friend of mine) may think “what an absurd topic!” but its My Blog and I can rave and rant about whatever I feel like. So there!

The Business of "UFM"

Firstly for those who are unaware of a very important term in an Engineering student’s academic life, UFM means Un-Fair Means (Some universities may use some other name) i.e. the tempting, illegal, sometimes lifesaving, mostly time consuming, always risky methods used by students during the exam duration. I, being a cog in the wheel of Education since I stepped into kindergarten and till I became a lecturer, have so many anecdotes to blog about but never got around to do so. This particular incident however just had to be told.

Gone are those days when kids in school and students in colleges used to just peek into their neighbour’s answer copies or ask around in whispers or bring hand written chits of paper. Due to the birth of Generation Y and Z in a world of rapid advancements in technology and economy, these kids and youth have understood the power and importance of technological applications and money fast enough. The extent of this was unearthed during the recent end semester exams of 1st year Engineering. The university provides with only one day gap between 2 papers (I guess to encourage regular studying and to end the famous tradition of studying in the long gaps by Engineering students in most private non autonomous colleges). But as usual with recent growth of private colleges like mushrooms and every other kid doing Engineering, there are many students who use UFM as their life jackets. The students are divided into two groups in 1st year and study different subjects. They have exams on alternate days. So on the fateful day (a cliche!) two students of one group were caught lingering near the bathroom with solution of the paper other group was giving. After strict and rough inquiry a whole organised scheme was disclosed. A student in higher semester was the kingpin and he took money from these 1st year students. A question paper after being distributed was smuggled out of any room by various ways. Solutions of various parts were made in small chits by several hired students and stuck in a single A4 sheet and then xeroxed into number of copies as per buyers. Students were told to sit with their mobiles in pockets. A sms used to be sent to inform that so-so guy is waiting there with solution. The candidate would then take permission to go out to drink water and take the solution. And this same solution was found in other colleges of the city. 19-20 year olds implementing such an ingenuine business plan comprising a strong network of finance, messengers, bikes, xerox shops, mobiles and even the sweepers of the college. Its like “hey I have to use UFM anyway. So why not make money out of it as well” and the policy of “You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” because its obvious any student who is busy giving such social service in the gap will need the same aid next day. This exposes the fact that studying has become the last priority and option.

In the pursuit of monetary investments, higher gains, possession of latest stuff, getting the desired results; have the older generation instilled such attitude and values in their children urging them to become rats in rat race be it of education or career? Is “The end should justify the means” the motto of this Gen Z?

I wont go into discussing the glaring shortcomings of the invigilators or exam conductors or the “Flying Squad” which comes from the university. Of course it takes two to tango. I have just focussed on the leading partner!

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post shall be construed as prompting the students to employ such means. The blogger does not endorse such methods. You hereby acknowledge that any use of such methods shall be at your sole risk.