Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stripped to the bone

The cog propels the shaft and at a preordained space time, the springs recoil to hit the hammer and the law of conservation of energy takes it from there to convert it to sound waves, knocking on my ear drums. After waking all the books, knocking down the midnight teacup, my arm silenced the chattering alarm clock. As though my RAM has been formatted for the day, I sit up and wonder what day it is and what’s happening. Though this comatose state is a fleeting one, in the order of nanoseconds, it’s more blissful than the sudden deluge of pumping adrenaline, at the thought of OB (Open Book) for the S-Bone course (Stripped to the Bone).

The allure and the complexity of the subject were more enticing than the warnings of my bruised seniors that I decided to take a plunge and test the waters. The first few classes were so mundane, that I skipped it for more sleep. Though refreshing to see the professor after 1 week, it was quite puzzling to note that there was only 5 left of the 25 who signed up for this particular course. It seems that our grades for the first 15 days were out, with class topper at C. The prof’s “Do I know you” look gave way to warm smile as he handed me my grade of C- along with a spot quiz. Gone past my last day for dropping my courses, I realized that I am in for a big surprise this semester.

What followed then were a bunch of assignments, projects, group work, class lectures, which made no sense to anyone in the class. Especially during the class lectures, we used to take comfort in each other’s resentment, reluctance and fear writ all over our face, while cursing the crooks who delineated the tensor calculus, the statistical analysis, etc. Special mention has to be made of a SINGLE QUESTION, open –book, mid-term exam running for 5 pages that we all handed back without answering, for want of more time to understand the question.

Yet to open an account in this course, here we are trying to salvage some pride in this “multiple choice” open-book exam. Pretty glad that I read the statutory warning of my prof in the front sheet which goes as “ Look to your left and to your right, one among the three will fail this course” – adapted from THE PAPER CHASE movie. I lay cooped up in the corner with no one near me, tossing the penny up in the air ……

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