Ajit Umale
on 30 July, 2013

Assignments - An Eventful Journey


Assignments - An integral part of an engineering student's life. The word invokes mixed feelings within me. You probably winced a bit when you read MIXED! Don't worry, by the end of this article you will agree with me.

When I was a fresher 3 years back, I had the following conversation with a senior of mine. It went something like this-

Me - How does the assignment system work?

Seniors (S) - *cracks up*

Me (was baffled) - C'mon! I am asking something important..tell me.

S - You start on the deadline day.

ME - What? I'm not going to.

S - This enthusiasm is all at the beginning..later on it vanishes. The whole of it.

Me (Angry) - I will be consistent till the last year!

S - Okay. Lets see.

Do you guys think I did what I said? Naahh!! Now I know how naive I was at that time. Just a 17 year old guy, eager to be an engineering student. Currently, to me, assignments are the biggest harm to our beloved environment, given the voluminous amount of pages wasted on them. As the semesters passed by, I grew more and more nonchalant towards assignments. By the sixth semester, I had learnt so many ways to get things done easily! Shortcuts is what they are called! Everyone learns them eventually. I have heard of students getting away without writing whole of assignments! (Now those guys who have done this have a huge grin on their face) Anyways,this is not an article where I boast about the "JUGAADS" students have done.

There are some things I observed w.r.t Assignments. There are specific behavioral patterns exhibited by professors and students. And every engineering teacher/students will correspond to atleast one category that I am going to describe:


Professors Category


1. Thinks too much of himself - Points out mistakes even in the arrows of lines. And accuses you so harshly that you think you have committed a treason! This type is always a pain in the... Giving a lot to write in a limited time, making you wait for long and in the end, gives you 6 on 10.

2. The Rookie - He thinks assignments help a lot for our final preparation! Haha! Always tries his best to give a lot of assignments, tries to show that he is strict. But no one listens to him. Everyone does as s/he pleases. These guys are harmless and helpless. *pity*

3. Surprise Package - It's the 1st time he is teaching your class. We hardly know him. So he tries to be all cool. Everyone thinks highly of him but his behavior is what they call,"The calm before the storm"! Come submission period and the silent one is on FIRE!! He behaves just like the 1st category but is worse! Everyone feels, he backstabbed us.

4. God - Knows what the students are going through. Hence does not bother to give much trouble over assignments. Such professor is a GOD! You will have one every semester. If you have two, then you are the luckiest person in the world and if you're unaware of his existence. *There,There* (Pat on your back).

5. Pretender - Shows that he is very strict when it comes to assignments. Everyone is scared of him. "Dont mess up with his assignments", they say to each other. When it's submission time, this one just signs on the 1st page. And when you realise, how he decieved you into believing him, you give yourself - FOOL of the semester award!

6. Absentee - Gives a deadline and is absent on that day. You have to run behind him with your assignments/journal. Shows that he is busy. Tells you to come at a certain time and then disappears to have a chat/snack with his colleagues. During the submission day, when he sees your unchecked assignments; he asks,"Where were you for so many days?" *I was chasing you all the time*, is what you say in your mind. On the exterior, all you can manage is, a stupid, apologetic smile.

7. Genuine Professor - He is an assignment veteran. Catches every little mistake. No one can fool him/her but good thing is he really wants to help the students with this system. Tries to give challenging and intriguing assignments. Solves doubts. Students adore him. This type is on the verge of extinction.

 


Students Category


1. Nerds - They start the assignment the day it is assigned and complete it in one day. They have a neatly organized file on the submission day. They hardly share their assignments with anyone.

2. Deceivers -They show that they do not care about assignments. You think they are just like us (people who will start late) but are the ones who submit them the first! Just to show the teachers how smart and sincere they are.

3. Dudes/Dudettes - Does everything in the world except writing assignments. Sports, Festivals, Parties and what not! Writes almost everything in one night and submits it properly. In the end, all you can tell them "AAP DUDE/DUDETTE HAI".

4. Pretentious Dude - Tries to behave like the above but fails to cope up with everything. On the submission day, he can be seen running around the whole college with loads of files. Complete mess! (We all know pretentious dudettes do not exist!).

5. Kurt - Yes! The one among X-MEN. Hardly comes to the college and when he does, collects every writing material available from his "friends" and disappears to some distant place! On submission day, you try calling him and the operator says,"Try once again". You vow never to help him yet he takes advantage of your helpfulness by making puppy faces.

6. Average Jay (Joe is too common and we are in India) - The common guy/girl. Promises oneself that s/he will start assignments beforehand but fails miserably to keep that promise! Starts as the deadline approaches. Helps friends and takes help from them. Completes the file on the last day, submits on time. Nothing extraordinary.

 

There may be some more categories. They might give you sleepless nights, some people may not be so helpful when you need them and you will go through a lot of frustration. Teachers will trouble you over silly things but they give you some special moments worth cherishing too. I am of the opinion that "Hardly anyone will remember what we wrote in our assignments, it will be the moments that we will always recollect fondly".

Moments like

  • Coffee at 2 am with your friends and drawing sheets lying all over the place.
  • The times when you decided firmly that you will assemble at your friend's place and finish off everything. but all you did is played poker or watched some South Indian movie.
  • Chatting on Whatsapp groups till late (Everyone is online while writing)
  • The JUGAADS that you did to get through.
  • The time when your friends helped you to complete your journals because you lost them somewhere.
  • Assignments acted as ice-breakers when you had fought with your friends. They showed you who your real friends are and who are not.
  • The demanding long days and nights made you aware of your limits.
  • Sometimes, when you had no material to copy from and only 1 night to complete the assignment, you actually studied and referred some papers on the web. You got to know how smart you really are.
  • The harshest of criticism from your professor taught you to be patient and made you mentally strong.

I still have a year left but I have figured out many things about assignments. The experience helps you discover so many things about yourself and others too. My seniors will agree with this and to the juniors who have just started their engineering journey: This is the best roller-coaster ride in the world guys! Why? It has many highs and many lows. It lasts 4 years! It is almost free (except the papers and ink you use)! The prominent feature being you will never ride another roller coaster with your whole class at once! Experience it!

The article might have been long but so are/were the assignments, my friends!

Image Credits: www.futuretrend.co.uk


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Ajit Umale


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