Shivang Menon
on 28 August, 2012

Of Assignment, Submissions and Sucking up

And so the time had come, the time we bid farewell to our friends and buckled up for the new journey ahead, the time we embraced the new identity of engineering students. With high hopes and the new collegiate-feeling mounting the enthusiasm and excitement within us, we were ready to enter the so-talked-about college life. But by the time we realized we were in college, in fact even before we knew everyone by name, the never-ending saga of assignments and submissions had already kicked off. And trust me; it is a hell of a rollercoaster ass-kicking ride with your teachers in the driving seat (metaphorically speaking, otherwise they would be on the ass-kicking ride too).

Soon we learnt the new engineering phrase “An assignment a day keeps the teacher away”; okay I know I am exaggerating. But many a times, you enter the class and realize you have a heap of assignments to complete and to be submitted the same day. And that is when you explore a quality you thought you never had, your incredibly good writing speed (and by writing speed I mean copying speed). You write, you write even though the teacher is in the class and will rip your paper if you get caught, you write with sweat dripping from your forehead, you skip your lunch (along with a few lines) and with an empty stomach craving for food, you still write; you finish the assignment and the teacher has a surprise for you: she has decided to extend the deadline! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! You couldn’t have disclosed this news before we decided to skip our lunch! And that’s when you realize what real engineering life is about.

A couple of months later, when we get used to the assignment problems, it is time for submissions- the “baap of all problems”. The submission week is probably the most hectic and the most frustrating one in an engineer’s life (especially if you are a fresher). We have to adhere to all kinds of whims and fancies of our teachers, just to get one signature on the submission card. Submission time is invariably a time when we take to sucking up to our teachers. We take printouts, we write all the experiments (in case we haven’t written it, which is usually the case) and when we go to get them corrected, we end up getting an earful for late correction and the penalty of writing more assignments. We go to the library, finish the assignments (on our own, as there is no one to copy from) and when we go for correction again, its lunch time and we are dismissed only to come after an hour. We go after an hour, but the teacher is nowhere to be seen. We wait, we wait and we wait and finally the teacher arrives. But he is in demand as everyone wants to be done with their submissions, and obviously the nerds get first preference over us. However, when we finally do get a chance to get our experiments corrected, its late, the teacher has to leave and well, we are dismissed yet again. What choice do we have but to come begging the next day. And we do. But the teacher decides to skip the day and take a break. AAARRRGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Need I say any more? And this is just the case with one teacher. Imagine the scenario with all the teachers. Such is the life of an engineer.

Years flow by and we find ourselves a year away from graduation. It is time for the final year project. All of us are really excited to do it, but there’s just one tiny problem; we don’t know anything!!!! We have learnt nothing in the past four years. We mugged up like crazy, gave the exam, cleared some, failed some and finally, crossing all the hurdles reached the final year, and now we have to do a freakishly scary project??!!! We know we can’t do the project on our own (and by we, I mean most of us). What choice do we have other than paying someone else to do our project? But there is yet another tiny problem, the cost is too high and we can’t afford it. But we know a few persons who can. They are none other than our very own parents. So the next job is to persuade our parents; and that’s where the going gets tough. We get an earful everyday for the next few days about how if a few people can do the project on their own, you can too, and we have to put up a sad face for every lecture. But finally, we win, they agree, and the project is done. And if all of the above wasn’t enough, we have our relatives to put the icing on the cake by asking us our embarrassing results. For some of us, who have a drop, this experience can be daunting.

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Shivang Menon

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