Sunday, October 18, 2009

This post is called ‘The Drop’.

Internal exam was a cakewalk for me. I had time to study from 8:30 to 10:45. I would study and then write exam from 10:45 to 12:45. Then after noon exam would be 2:00 to 4:00. I didn’t even go to my class during the internal exam. I studied with Raj Kamal in Mechatronics. I performed really well. Only a girl named Gauthami performed better than me. I was quite happy. I also noted that Johnson, Arun, Vimal Kumar were the other guys in the top ten. I took notice of them. Karthikeyan did reasonably well too; think he got the eleventh rank.

And then the classes went on for a month. Here I should mention about three staffs, Vijayanandhi Ma’am (Electrical Engineering), Sengodan Sir (Engineering Physics) and Velmurugan Sir (Engineering Drawing), next to my school teachers, these were rocking. They were giving their very best. I did exceptionally well in the second internal exam where none performed better than me. Till that, I did not make any serious friendship with any of my classmates. Johnson and Vanavan still were the only people I spoke with. Other than this I used to speak with Karthika, Kalyani and Jinju mostly to get the notebooks and observation works from them. He he. What else to speak? :-P.

Karthikeyan used to call me up once in a while. We discussed nothing but the subjects. Life was monotonous.

After the second internals, there was an announcement about a National Conference called Confluence and students could present paper in that. I did not know what a paper was not had idea of presenting a paper. Karthikeyan asked me whether I was interested in presenting paper. He informed me that Arun was already in the team. I thought for a while on the possibilities and replied positively. Karthikeyan became Karthi after sometime and I noticed that Arun was Arun Kumaar. The double a in his name was to be noted. Karthi suggested Solar Cell as the topic for our paper. We discussed with Sengodan sir on this. On a Sunday noon, Arun and Karthi came to my home. Arun was using computer at a rapid speed. Infact I noticed that during an English lab when, he changed the Show Hidden files from the folder option. But his speed was very much evident.

That day was like a training period with Arun and Karthi. Those guys taught me the shortcuts and I had never used Google images before that. That was also taught by those guys. Arun was using MS-Paint and Print Screen like magic. I had never seen such stuff before that. We used to get OD (On Duty attendance) for works on this paper. We later changed the topic as Solar Photo Voltaics. Prabu later joined our team.

Preparation went smooth. Meanwhile I joined Orkut and was introduced to chatting. Well, it was a kind of distraction to me. To be honest, I spent lot of time on this. But it helped me to get new friends. Especially, Deepa. I used to write my fan fiction work of Harry Potter in J K Rowling community. Deepa liked my work and sent me her friend request in Orkut. We used to spend lot of time chatting in Yahoo messenger. From being unknown strangers, we became very close friends. And due to excessive Internet usage (initially I had bandwidth restricted to 250 MB). I got a pretty fat bill! So I switched unlimited bandwidth. So I started downloading lot of movies.

I didn’t spend enough time on studies. In the third internal exam, from 1st rank I dropped alarmingly to the 11th rank. But the convincing part was that my performance was the same except for Maths. I still remember my mark. I scored 58. Karthi and Arun flunked but requested for marks from Sivasakthi Ma’am and cleared. So I wasn’t very much worried about my drop.

It was confluence day

We presented the paper. I don’t remember presenting it with flying colors. But we did a good job. Arun and I presented the paper. Karthi and Prabu took care of the slideshow.

Surge-2007 was an event organised by my seniors and the placement cell. I attended the Mock Press prelims. I had some ten GK questions and dialogue writing between Bill Gates and Lalu Prasad Yadav. I tried to be funny, by making all replies of Lalu in Hindi (I managed with the few words I know in Hindi). So I was able to clear the initial hurdle. And reach the finals. In the finals, I did pretty bad because I got the role as James Bond and I was against Vadivelu. So obviously I didn’t win the event. But, my schoolmate Gopalakrishnan who was studying IT in my college made it to the debate finals. Along with him he brought his friend, Gokul. He was into debate finals as well. They did really well in the finals. But there was one IT senior called Priyanka who stole the show. It was a wonderful evening. It was so late in the evening. I was waiting for my dad to come and pick me up.

Devaki Ma’am finally taught Linked Lists, Queue and Stack. I feel that it was an important phase in my programming career. Learning this stuff was very important.

It was the last week of the semester.

Semester was to be over.

I was not absent even for a single day in that year.

It was a Monday. I had to submit my mechanical lab records. So I took three hours leave. (3, 4, 5)- 6th and 7th hour was Mechanical lab, went to Vanavan’s room in hostel and finished the record. In the same week I had taken another couple of hours leave on Friday to finish Electronics lab record.

Those were the 5 hours; I was totally absent in that semester.

Top ten students from each class were given a scholarship of Rs. 10,000 by my college. Having performed well, I was an instant choice to that list. Unluckily, Johnson missed out. Arun and Karthi got it too.

I feel that, it should have been based on merit. But it had reservations.

1. OC-3
2. BC-3
3. MBC-2
4. SC/ST-2

If OC was 3 then BC, MBC, SC/ST all had rights to compete in OC and their reservation. But it was not the case.

Even when it was based on reservation, the reservation was not well-organised.
In my opinion, Arun was the only OC category guy to deserve it. In my class, there are only 3 OC students who joined through merit:

1. Arun
2. Karthikeyan
3. Kalyani

So naturally what happens is that, every year they would get it.

If it was similar to counseling, only Arun had the chance. But it was not the case. I do not know whose mistake it was. But it was a mistake.

Then the semester exams started. I did well in all the papers, except Engineering Drawing where I made 2 big blunders and knew that I would lose 30 marks in that paper for sure.

Overall I was happy with my performance in the semester examinations. In came holidays. I was glad that I would be entering my department the next semester!

The drop in academic performance was not hurting me because, I always believe, “Form is temporary and Class is Permanent”. I knew I could always bounce back, if I wanted to.

Journey will continue…