Sunday, May 01, 2005

Gallows Pole

I'm starting have a greater appreciation for what a man sentenced to death feels like the night before his execution. My first practical exam is tomorrow, and it's going to be certain death. (Which causes one to wonder why I'm spending my time writing this?)

- I know nothing.

- I know I know nothing.

- I know my knowing nothing means I'm going to get screwed.

- And yet, there's no fear here!

It's like the man who knows for sure he's going to die come sunrise. He's not afraid because there's nothing he can do about it. Might as well die happy.

In my case, there is something I can do about the whole thing. And that's quit writing this post and bury my nose in my books! But why bother? Some people will swear that you can get as much studies done in the 12 hours immediately before your exam as you can in the 12 weeks preceding it; but in my case the 12 weeks saw no studies at all, and so I doubt these 12 hours are going to see too much either.

Our examiner tomorrow will be X. My only previous experience of him as an examiner would have been hilarious, had I not been one of the hapless victims in the story.

It was my DPL (don't ask me what that stands for, I'd forgotten it 3 seconds after leaving the exam) practical examination. I had no previous interaction with X, and he looked benign enough. That impression was to change, and fast! He called up the first few guys for their oral examination. I was one of them. (Now that I look back, giving an 'oral' in the other sense of the word may actually have been better!)

He asked the first guy some question.

The guy started to answer, "Sir... Basically... "

He immediately stopped him and whirled around in his chair to face me. "Define 'basically'!"

Here I was having somehow managed to cram the finer subtleties of the COBOL Programming Language (that's what that Lab was about) into my average sized cranium, and now this ass was asking me to define 'basically'? I don't even remember what I mumbled out.

He focused his attention on another student. "What is the difference between COBOL-74 and COBOL-86?"

"Sir, actually... "

I saw it coming. And sure enough, another whirl later he was staring at me again. "Define 'actually'!"

Bottom line, as he as never ceased repeating from then on, eradicate the words 'basically', 'actually', 'fundamentally', 'may be', 'could be', 'whomsoever', 'whatsoever' etc from your lexicon. They are very vague terms and must never be used. Ironically of all our teachers, he is the only one who uses the last two, and frequently!

The batch after our's was even more unfortunate. One guy was made to repeat "I am a fool" ten times. However, in all fairness, X is one of the most generous distributors of marks around. His bark is worse than his bite.

To get back to my troubles though, I know absolutely nothing. So, umm... basically, I'm screwed!! At least the condemned man gets a last wish. Hmm.. wonder what I'd ask for?


aussie said...

dude : i dont think u need ask for any thing .
u truly are the only guy doing BE that aint studying and not getting KT's either.(the other guys i know are never out and though they pretend to be doing nothing_and believe me they actually are all the time tied to their books_.

and i guess by the time u read this u wld have been done with the orals and prack's so "party on "

arnold said...

actually, yeah, i am done with my pracs .. but tht's only one.. now the second oral next week... and you know something - it's more fun to be partying when you know you hv an exam the next day.. rather than just after an exam!!

there's some perverse, masochistic pleasure in it!!

(btw the practical wasnt as bad as expected!!)

Aditya Bidikar said...

I find the average Engineering student's attitude to life and studies immensely interesting, amusing and illuminating.

I am in Arts (which means I have six exams - hence I study for six days a year) but almost all of my friends are in Engineering. And let me tell you that you guys have all the best anecdotes in the world. They would never be amusing to the person who's suffering, but the listeners are usually rolling around on the ground (laughing, by the way).

You guys have a great attitude to life. Now if you could just tell me what that attitude is ...

arnold said...

it's similar to the attitude of a person who fallen out of an airplane without a parachute and decides on enjoy the view on the way down!!

Aditya Bidikar said...

See what I mean? ;-)

arnold said...

Not really.. wht?

Aditya Bidikar said...

What I meant was that only you Engg. students would be able to equate it to that sort of thing.

arnold said...

LOL! Thnx.. actually I was trying to think of a more mathematical way to put it.. but yea.. ain't nuthing like an engg student.. (too bad most girls dun think so ;))