Random Thoughts

I am sorry, I haven’t posted in a very long time. The last post, which was a book tag I did, after a lot of pain was swallowed up by the damn server. It’d told me it saved my draft, but, once I clicked the button… it was NOWHERE to be seen…. The torture still lingers!!
Life’s being so-so lately. We’ve been having loads of ups & downs and it’s all quite hectic.
Our college is having a great year; we’ve had 519 placements with 430 odd first jobs and all the reps (and sir) are as pleased as Punch (whoever that is!) The hitch is, I’ve not attended too many classes this sem and I have no idea what is happening in, say Process Dynamics & Control. But then, consolation is, neither does anyone else!

Then, in the middle of this hullaballoo of placement season, we’re having both our seminar and our project design part. God! This is when I wish I’d taken a saner undergrad degree. When the University decides to dump work on you, they do it with a vengeance! Of course, it would’ve been easier on all of us concerned, if they just did what they did every other year: Take the fact that you are actually attending classes and give you your internals based on that, instead of making you go in front and talk about some godforsaken Electronics subject you’ve no interest in!

I have noticed this illuminating fact:
The measure of acceptance of your seminar topic by your guide is in inverse proportion to the actual interest that you showed in the topic in the first place.
A topic like Co-Simulation for the Functional Verification of RTL Implementation will be picked out from the morass of unintelligible gibberish by the guide, (aka the Homing Pigeon who returns to Home Base: Topics that’d send any intelligent person to sleep in 10 minutes… FLAT!)
So, after some struggles, I finally got a topic approved. The topic, surprisingly enough, in light of my theory, wasn’t too bad. So, fingers crossed in that respect.

This semester has also seen us start on our projects. Now, what we’re doing for our project has not been attempted by any sane human beings before. Especially not any sane human who is still only doing their undergrad degree. Not to worry… says our all-knowing-project-guide aka GOD (I mean, seriously, you got to check this guy’s creds, he’s in MTech in CET and we spend half our time wondering what the hell he’s doing in Trivandrum still. Whoops! Not that there is anything WRONG with Trivandrum, I mean God’s Own Capital and all… but STILL, man!…)
Yeah, anyway, where was I before I started rambling? Right ho! “Not to worry”, says he,”We can handle it. We might most probably get a result for this project”
Most probably…. now that doesn’t sound too promising. There must be something fundamentally wrong with me, but I can’t see the glass as half full here! Our actual project guide (the sir, ie) is this person.
All in all, it’s quite fun.. really! But, I forsee a LOT of work in our near futures coming up!!

Since this much work is not really enough for my poor soul, let’s add some more, shall we?
CAT fever has gripped CET. The TIME Mock CATs have started and my TIME start page has ‘started’ (pardon the pun) looking very pretty indeed! Lots of figures in yellows and reds and blacks and greens. In fact, if you stare close and long enough, you’ll develop a headache that seems to be a hangover of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (I always wanted to use that one!)… Witness one of these selfsame Mock CATs (so called, since they make a mockery of the fact that the questions asked in the test, in no way bear a resemblance to any of their learning material questions, past or present!)
Me: multitasking by singing songs in head during RCHO
Neighbour: feverishly attempting DI and QA
Me: finding a LA question very pretty and filling in the o’s, while simultaneously trying to work out who is taller, heavier and older than Abdul.
Neighbour: finding the constant hums disturbing and looking at me sharply….
What’s the lesson learnt from my Mock Cat experience?
1) I have a very short attention span.
2) I can’t manage time for peanuts.
3) I really don’t like listening to people analyse a Mock CAT paper to death. My motto’d be “Let dead papers be”
That’s the Mock Experience. However, what comes next is worse.

Monday: Check out TIME website to see if results have been put up
Tuesday: Bug IIMians to actually understand WHEN the results will, in fact, be put up
Wednesday: Crib about exam to everyone in vicinity and wonder out aloud what the TIME fellows are doing.
Thursday: All of the above, and hear the results are out. Rush to the nearest computer, en route chewing nails to the bone. Hearing friends commenting on dire straits and how worse they will be for the ACTUAL exam. Grin. Bear. Hope that friends will shut up. Wish the CAT thing was done already. Wish it wasn’t. Hope that something good might happen. Lose train of thought and forget password. Give up.
Then, of course, was this marvellous experience of trying to get a signature from the principal attesting that I was, indeed, a final year student from the prestigious CET.

Step 1 Write a letter to the Principal, asking for a certificate attesting your final yearship… err final year studentship… ahh… attesting you’re finally almost through with college… uhm… throw the first three drafts.. Squabble amongst one another. Decide that the subject needs to be Certificate for eligibility for writing CAT by dint of being a final year student in CET and if I don’t get it I am going to be rejected by ALL the IIMs and it is all going to be your fault and you won’t be able to say, “X, our prestigious alumnus at IIM-A/B/C/D/E/…”

Step 2 March to Staff Advisor. Realise she is not in college.

Step 3 March to Senior Staff Advisor, who promptly asks you to submit an ID card for actual proof that you actually ARE a final year student! Get sign and recommendation.

Step 4 Saunter to the office (since marching is not really necessary!) and wait for 10 minutes outside the Academic Section, waiting for the Her Majesty, the Queen of all things Academic, to wend her way from her extended (early) lunch break and deign us with her presence.

Step 5 Go to the Superintendent’s desk, on firm orders from Her Majesty. Hear Superintendent say that “Actually, the Principal has stopped signing anymore forms (tennis elbow, perhaps?) and has transferred this enormous responsibility to the UG Dean!”

Step 6 Wend way to UG Dean’s office, with big group of friends. Stand outside office while the Dean scolds some peons. Hear a phone ring and think Dean is calling you by saying “hello hello”… After slight misunderstanding, stand to attention, while the Dean comes out.

Step 7 Now, this is the crux of the story. I can’t be this dispassionate about it. This is how the incident went!…
The Dean came out and we were all waiting with our hands outstretched, like naughty school children, holding letters from their parents.

Dean: What are you doing here?
Bravest Guy: Sir, we need a letter from you saying we are final year students.
Dean: Ask the Principal
BG: Sir, he told us to ask you.
Dean: He can’t afford to give us a peon and he expects me to sign the form? Go and tell him, if he can’t send a peon to bring the forms in, he can get off the chair! You go and tell him, okay?
(Pouncing on fellow who is struggling to hold his giggles) You look like children from very big families (“No sir, our parents had heard of family planning”) You shouldn’t be doing peons’ work. Go and tell HIM “Get off the chair, if you can’t give me a peon”

Step 8 Belatedly, realise that you are caught in the midst of a power struggle, and chortle all the way back to the Superintendent’s Office.

Step 9 Keep the letter aside for tomorrow and a (hopefully) peon-filled day….
Well, that’s about it. More, next time!


16 thoughts on “Random Thoughts

  1. vi5in

    Haha good stuff!

    I love dealing with bureaucracy.

    I have a similar experience although it had to do with dealing with a lady who was a total bitch to me. In fact, she is the terror of the CSE Admissions Department, and everyone hates her.

    Well, anyway. Last year, I graduated college (or so I thought). I walked the walk, got my diploma, and did all the other things that new graduates do – namely have naive and optimistic ideas about how the working world is going to welcome YOU the NEW GRADUATE into the workforce with open arms! That’s when you realize that the world is mean and terrible and that’s also when you run away to graduate school. I was lucky enough to be offered a position by Intel though. But I digress.

    I had graduated. A few weeks after that, I had my two week annual training with the Army National Guard. While I was away at training (in the midst of Nowhere, Wyoming, Population 0.5 [it is a very short person]) my university sends a letter to my permanent residence in California (I mean, WHAT? Can’t you just send it to my residence in ARIZONA?!) saying that I hadn’t really graduated (even though I had walked the walk etc. etc.) because I still had one more credit hour to complete. Now since there was no way to get in touch with me, she couldn’t tell me what had happened. So I’m coming back from my training, and our bus has finally reached civilization and I have a cell-phone signal. I have a message from my sister that informs me of what has happened.

    I feel some righteous indignation as I call up Arizona State and demand to know what the hell’s been going on. Basically, you have to go to the Student Services building to VERIFY that you actually have all your credits so that you can graduate. I did this, and they said I could graduate and that I had all my credits. But ahh! Apparently the CSE department has its OWN requirements. WTF?! But no one told me about that. So I told them “Look here, you. This sounds rather ridiculous. It is obviously a mistake on your part since the university has already told me that I have graduated. So figure this out yourself!”. The lady said ok and said she would talk to the dean. She also gave me the number to the Demon Lady’s (mentioned earlier) phone. I called her and left a firm message too. I get a message later saying that I can meet her (Demon Lady) on Sunday. But since I wouldn’t be getting back to Phoenix from Military training until Monday, this wouldn’t be possible so I left her another message saying that.

    Come Monday, I saunter into the admissisons office. The Demon Lady storms out while shooting fire out of her yes, demands to know why I didn’t take care of this issue before. I was perplexed. Mainly because I couldn’t understand how a person could be:

    a) so dumb
    b) so illogical

    So I politely point out that I was at military training and that there was no way I could have known until I got to Phoenix. Logic and Reason crumble to ashes in front of the blazing fury of Demon Lady’s stupidity. “YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN CARE OF THIS BEFORE!”. I say what I said before again. Then she says it’s my fault because I did something wrong. I said “No, it’s your fault. I didn’t graduate with honours for nothing. Don’t talk to me like I’m stupid”. Then Demon Lady goes “DO YOU WANT ME TO HELP YOU OR NOT?!”, and I say “That’s precisely what I’ve been asking for, for that past 15 minutes. I wish you wouldn’t make it sound like I am an idiot or something, or that this is my mistake. My future employment is at stake here, and I would appreciate it if you just fix the mistake you made”.

    Demon Lady wasn’t accustomed to being talked back to. She glared at me and then pulled out a form “Here, fill this and send it to the Dean’s office”. Then she walked out in a Huff.

    Ahhh… bureaucracy and stupidity! They go so well together, often with disastrous consequences!

  2. >|' ; '|<

    holy shit.

    i never thought it’d be such a fuss to get a sign from the princi. i will most probably forge a signature and seal if they keep at it.

  3. ~phobiac~

    Co-Simulation for the Functional Verification of RTL Implementation ??…

    steps to get in to IIMs ??….uhmmm….ok…

    btw nice blog u got here !

    …..man the first comment was longer than ur blog !!!

  4. Shrutz

    The comment that Vivin wrote was….. awesome, in more ways that one!!! Thanks man 😀
    Ask my classmate, his son@Poison, he does a good job of uhm.. 😉
    And a banana skin under your feet@Aravind!

  5. Senthil

    Power struggles! We likessss it, we doesss, don’t we, preciousssss? We wantssss to find out who won! Whoooo wonnnn? Whoooo?

  6. vi5in

    I want to contribute to general looniness! Although my very existence should be enough, I want to put it down in electronic form. Where do I sign up?!

  7. Sid

    @Alberto yeah, the Dean is one notorious example of what booze can do to your brain, especially at 9 in the morning
    @Aravind I will explain the banana skin thing to you later
    @Senthil Yet to be decided my preciousssss
    @writetrack HUH? 😛
    @Vivin you need a blogspot id and give it to me, I’ll add you

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