Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Truth be Known...

Far too many people have waxed eloquent about the supposed positve qualities of VIT; counterfeit allocutions by faculty members at various events, fake speeches by parents during the Annual Day function, phony articles by sycophantic students etc. Hence, my aim today is to represent the true picture in the form of an uncensored diatribe where political correctness has been intentionally ignored.

My first complaint involves the unnecessary load of journal-work that is ruthlessly dumped on students. There is little sense in the machine-like copying of vast quantities of information, which is often wrong and rarely ellicits more than a fleeting glance from the concerned staff. In fact, this semester one of the assignments involved the copying - word for word - of an Intel Manual! I have seldom come across anything more ludicrous!

Absolutely nothing of any merit is achieved through this asinine exercise. Never will the student learn anything, for he will do nothing more than copy blindly from his mate's journal, who in turn will have copied it from someone before him. As this chain of Chinese Whispers (or should it be Chinese Transcriptions?) progresses, the amount of errors in the write-up inevitably undergo the process of cumulation. Thus a majority of the students will have write-ups that contain more mistakes than correct statements!

The simplest solution to this problem is to simply do away with the idea of write-up's. Completely. The focus should be on comprehension and not scribe-like blind copying, Thus at the end of every practical a student will have to fill up a printed sheet with his observations and conclusions of that practical turn. The student will then be subjected to an oral examination by the concerned staff member followed by the staff member signing his sheet. This sheet is then filed away and need not be looked at again until the final submission. This idea will work extremely well for FE and SE practicals. A slight revamping may be necessary to adapt it for TE and BE practicals.

The teaching staff aren't the greatest in the world either. Of the five subject lecturers I have this semester, one is a hypocritical, schizophrenic megalomaniac; another is as capricious as a Persian Sultan; the third is as ignorant about her subject as Mickey Mouse (at least she's honest enough to admit it though!); the fourth spews out a steady stream of words at a rate faster than Ricky Ponting, ensuring all of us are fast asleep; and the fifth is, well, decent.

Most of the staff speak English only a little better than I speak Hindi, thus providing for entertainment as well as 'education' during their lectures. The lectures consist of the mechanical repetition of information that they have learned by rote from some book. In fact, I remember one professor last semester who was a little more clever; he didn't waste his time learning anything by heart, but instead employed the better expedient of simply carrying the book to class and copying it ad verbatim onto the board! Asking questions to any of them would be fruitless, for even on the extremely rare occasion that they actually try to listen to (and understand!) the point you have to make, they will be incompetent to provide an answer.

The sole reason they command any respect from the students is because of the term-work and practical exam marks that they wield. And wield effectively, I may add. Some of them are not averse to using these marks in a manner that amounts to downright emotional blackmail. This leads to scores of sycophantic students who will gladly condescend to sweeping the ground in front of these teachers.

The library staff is not much better. In fact they are far worse. Their cold eyes and emotionless faces lead me to hypothesize that they can probably trace their Aryan lineage to somewhere in Germany and share a common ancestor with the F├╝hrer himself. A smile on their faces is rarer than a Ganguly century. God forbid anyone should ever require any assistance from them, for it will be as forthcoming as gold doubloons from a miser.

I have a bone to pick with the management staff of the college too. I believe that the people laying down the law in the college are too old. This is the reason for the preposterous rules that are in existence today. They also possess a Conservative ideology which frustrates this modern day Liberal to no end. I was born into a free country, but that freedom ceases to exist when I step over into the confines of my college. I am not allowed to use my mobile phone, wear the kind of garb I wish to don or kiss a girl in college because these things are prohibited! During the Annual Gathering, the band is not allowed to perform Rock songs because it goes against the "Indian Culture"! I once even got into trouble for carrying a cigarette lighter to college!

I think the best way to improve matters on this front is to get rid of all the gray hair in the college offices. Bring younger faces into the management and things may attain a semblance of normalcy. I'm not saying all of the younger staff are better at making rules, but I feel they are less likely to come up with ridiculous canons like the ones currently existing.

The above screed already paints a dismal picture of the state of affairs in our college. Throw in a canteen that serves only over-priced vegetarian food, a severe paucity of parking space and a lack of adequate sporting facilities and the picture only becomes more bleary!

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