Bachelor of Engineering. That was the honour bestowed on me by BITS. So how did I earn it? The general opinion of the public is that we bitsians probably slog hard all semester with very little time to take a break for relaxation and fun. But we all know it’s the other way round. We take short breaks from relaxation and fun just before exams for some quick preparations. Some guys don’t even do that. Anyways as I walked the hallowed corridors of the institute building, some fond memories of our classroom experiences came rushing back.
Every hour spent at a lecture was like cutting your life short by 60 minutes. The excruciating one hour was shortened by 10 minutes by the smart idea of coming late to class. I remember one prof, who had just joined, thought he could put an end to this ingenious idea by bolting the doors once the lecture had started. Little did he know that by the end of the week he would have to respect the old adage ‘beggars can’t be choosers’. He had to accept students arriving even 30min late so as to have a decent attendance level by the end of the class. Then there was this time in a mechanical CDC lecture when there were two profs and one student. Yeah it had to be the highest teacher-student ratio of all time. BITSians have always been smart. They know that in order to increase the teacher-student ratio, you have two options: increase the teachers or decrease the students. We unanimously chose the latter!
There were so many measures taken to lure students to class. Some were obvious like attendance marks, some dumb like not allowing students to go out of campus before 5pm, some useless like blocking internet access during class hours but keeping the LAN on. You can’t make a horse drink water if he is not thirsty! Sometimes the situation got so bad that the students didn’t even know who was taking his courses. This was exposed when once during a viva, the prof asked the student who was his instructor and he didn’t know! Then there was this course numerical analysis. I went to collect my T-2 recheck paper just before the compres from the instructor’s chamber. He checked my name in the list and showed me my attendance. It read PAPAAAAA.... He asked me what the problem was. I said to myself I miss my Papa!
And there were some memorable instances of the times when I did go to class. Like the time when we went to class thinking we would get our test papers. But when we walked in, we saw no papers with the prof and so promptly walked out! And when I got chucked out of a class for laughing or got lectured one-on-one in class and after class by a prof because I was messaging in class! I was so traumatised by the ‘lecturing’ episode that I stopped messaging for a whole month! [:D] There were some instances which were quite hilarious even though they happened in classes that I wasn’t present in. Like the time when a prof slipped and fell and instead of helping him, the students were laughing. And when the prof said ‘magic’ as he didn’t know what had happened when a screen saver came on.
The lectures really increased my patience and mental endurance. Although I didn’t master the art of sleeping with my eyes open, I still did and learnt many useful things like practicing meditation, trying my hand at drawing, messaging without looking, learning to say the alphabet in reverse and when I was bored of that, I tried saying numbers in reverse! The practical sessions will always be remembered for all the gossiping and dry joke sessions. And as a result sometimes we obtained results better than the theoretically predicted ones. Who said experimental results can never match the theoretical predictions?
Some profs knew their subject well but didn’t know how to express themselves. They should have used Airtel. There were others who knew nothing but had good oratory skills. They used every minute of the lecture to impart, I won’t say knowledge, but I‘ll say to impart stuff. They spoke so much about themselves and what they had done and what was wrong with us that we would have pasted his poster in our rooms and say to ourselves ‘I must be that guy when I grow up!’ And there were those who knew nothing and didn’t know how to talk also. Negative negative cancels out right? Not in this case though because every rule has an exception. This combo led to the 2 prof-1 student incident or the 5/500 attendance lecture. And finally there were the good profs. Those rare gems, for which you yearn for and because of whom you say to yourself, I wanna be a prof like him when I finish studies! And to get a feel of our profs Bushisms check the immortal quotes listed on Orkut.
All in all it was a wonderful time of my life. I thank all my friends for making my undergraduate years so awesome. I’ll forever cherish those fun filled days. So here I conclude this tribute to BPGC with a hope that my life ahead will be at least half as much fun as my BPGC days.