The IT bitmap

March 13, 2009

The Branch Diary, Third Year

Filed under: Branch Diary — itrags @ 12:07 pm
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Year, The Third– “This is IT?”

Where did all the fun go? If ever there was a time when we doubted our very essence of existence, it was now. There was no free time. Okay there was free time, but by our standards we might as well have been in a concentration camp. But Of course here we had classes, and more classes and nobody starved us.

First up Harjot trumped OC winning the CR elections quite comfortably (I think OC lost his deposit). The ‘hallowed’ Bhatta climbed out from the depressed abyss that he had found himself at the end of the 2nd year to become campus ambassador for a certain company. Everyone wondered how. He took to the job quite well with his unabashed embracing of every software that came from its stables. The goodies were simply annoying.

The HOD was back and so were the projects (please note the plural). The classes were piling up one over the other. We had guest lecturers coming all the way from exotic places teaching us the ways of the Zen (But why the marathon classes?). The ALs were there trying to hog the limelight in their own little ways.

One of the teachers crossed the line and tried to hammer some sense (the profs definition) into us. But sensitive beings that we were it was not long before we decided we couldn’t take it anymore.

In a generally muddled affair with a lot of histrionics thrown in we took it to its logical end (The general opinion is that Madhava challenged the lecturer to a duel). Though I would have loved to have stuck the IT flag up this incident. You know like the time India conquered the Tiger hill at Kargil and we had contented soldiers sitting around the flag laughing nervously for the cameras. The girls also had finally broken their general apathy towards the proceedings of the class by actively taking part in this ouster.

The semester was largely uneventful after that. The generally wary and distant teachers saw to it.

Most of the non-HOD classes had abrupt ends that left us pretty happy and confused. Operating systems was a con and we saw through most of it. Networks was, well, different. For some reason, the prof assumed that the class was seated 10 feet above ground level. He will also be remembered for crushing Abhi like a fly when the poor fellow asked for a break seconds after he had announced one. Economics classes were more of handwriting practice than studying statistics and figures. In the end the projects were done and submitted. Most of them looked eerily similar. The evaluation was a long con for most groups. See in IT you do learn some skills.

The sixth semester was more hectic than the previous one. Afternoon naps had become a luxury.

There were more clueless ALs joining our department over the course of this semester (Where do we find them?). Also the new building had been constructed (finally). So our department had finally found its rightful place. Though the building was yet to be painted and had a general unkempt look about it we had come a long long way from the days of calling L109 as our department.

Math was back in a big way. Graham and Knuth, with their liking for footnotes and side notes provided the needed distraction for those who decided to give the text a pass. Then there was compilers. No one got beyond analyzing and parsing lexicons. Some of us drooled with excitement at each new problem in these subjects. Others looked at them with deepening sense of dread, incredulity and hopelessness. To the rest, the subject was just a set of weird symbols. Seniors added to our general state of haplessness by taking care of the networks lab. Playing tic-tac-toe and chatting were no longer a piece of cake. The seniors were pretty enthusiastic about it. We watched them with nervous concern.

The Humanities class was a riot. The friendly teacher’s feeble attempts to get some sort of order in the class were met with respectful banter and more chaos. She was brilliant for it.

Helpless AL : “Who is the founder of Microsoft?”

Class : “Bill Gates ma’am”

Harassed AL : “Wrong! It is William Gates”

Professional practice was always there to keep us interested. The strict attendance requirements meant we hardly missed any. But some of the presentations just weren’t worth missing. Aimol (lecturers still fumble with his name) decided since he had been feeling extremely nervous the previous night he would speak about the nervous system (Trust me, those were his exact words). Prashant’s general concern for the welfare of women in India (Or was it the world) were met with deep sense of skepticism by the concerned lecturer.

In the meantime the new lady in charge of engineering software was causing quite some flutter in the ranks. Many a mail in the group was replete with cryptic wordings that were deeply debated across the board.

Also for the first time ever we were beginning to get together outside and do stuff that didn’t involve the college or the department. Harjot’s desperate thread the previous day had finally worked and we, for some weird reason, had a lunch out. Although it was sparsely attended, the lazy bums that we were any activity that wasn’t routine was really some progress.

Then we went a step ahead and organized a cricket match. Surprisingly we had enough turnout for two teams. Kote finally decided all that chanting of his name in the class really needed some substance to stick to and carted the bowlers around. Yeda (who had exhausted every possible video on the LAN by now and, so was playing cricket) got hit on the face with a vicious rising delivery but he went all Graeme Smith on us and ,despite his life threatening injury, continued his labored batting. One of the writers of this memoir capped of the proceedings with continuous beamers that generally put to rest any chance of victory for his team and his general bragging regarding how the only thing he was good in life was cricket.

But it was the 6th sem. Our final frontier before we crossed onto the calm waters of the final year. The depressed banter and wailing over cold lassis at the samudra darshan were slowly being replaced by the hope and freedom the new dawn (read semester) would bring us. We were ready to walk on burning cinders for what the future promised us.

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