A jolt. A killer test. Free time. A back ache.
Perfect ingredients to instigate my insides to want to blurt on- thereby making me write a post again. I have been busy. Eighteen hour schedules; if you pretend to pretend- sleep just evades you. And now that the mood has been set for some complaining- it would seem like the right thing to do to rant on about a recent Maths lecture I had the good fortune of sitting through.
The entire discussion from this point on may be peppered with worthless insights on conventional education. It might also contain words or phrases that only the average engineering student could comprehend, even appreciate. Make no mistake, I would have it no other way.
So, Monday morning- late as usual for the 11:30 am lecture because of making the most callous of assumptions that it really only takes 14.53 minutes to make it to college from home when it really takes closer to 28. But in the face of danger (of expulsion from lecture) when witnessing the clock at home already reading 11:15, it pays to be optimistic. Let’s not lose focus. Twas a Mathematics lecture and I was late. Sat down after muttering an apology I did not even mean at the most superficial level. There were strange symbols on the board. They looked to be associated with integral calculus. There were also some other unfamiliar but intimidating expressions. I chose to ignore them (for the time being). I looked over the entire board again. Nothing. Again I tried. In vain. There was just one possible explanation. I had walked into a class that clearly wasn’t my year. But then all around were the same faces- exasperated, sleepy, disgusted, frustrated and simply bored. It was happening finally. The whole world was racing ahead too fast for me to keep pace with.
Twenty minutes had passed. The usual droning noise that emanated from very close to the board was now undulating with characteristic fervor. The derivation was nearing completion. But this time I thought, all hell has broken loose. What the eff is going on? How could it be that less that 24 hours ago I had registered just the prelude to this scenario but never saw the avalanche coming? How is it that the introduction of a simple exponent has now enabled the confusion etched onto the board to seem like lines of chalk alone and nothing else? Pure emptiness. Nirvana. Nirvana? It’s times like these when doodling comes to the fore encapsulating the mind in all its recessive tendencies. Circles, spirals, boxes, all the albums of Pink Floyd, blotches, alphabets and anything more that could collectively fall (shamelessly) under the category creative juice were explored in the next part of the lecture. By this time of course, the differential operator and its direct consequence on what seemed to be the word “sin” was making its presence felt publicly. Sin, I thought. Is it sin not to feel even a shard of shame when the world around me is disintegrating and I’m doing nothing about it? Is is a sin that I find the two quarrelling freshers(as seen through the west window) more interesting rather than the chaos on the board? Is it a sin (Lord, tell me!) if I am able to convince myself that three weeks and two tests later all this will just be a bad dream, the contents of which I am never required to recall again?
Mind boggling mathematics. Crammed in a semester. 900 pages of text. 24 hours of survey before regurgitation. Zero utility of knowledge (under the callous assumption again that some has been gained through the course of the survey). Why man? Why can’t we take this slow and steady? Why not add an extra month to the course? But no! Then that would mean a month less of vacation. One month less of absolute lethargy and negligible productivity. Instead, if that same time were used to pursue the “understanding” of a subject, imagine how much more could be delivered per individual. But come on, who needs deliverance and similar such hobnob.
And may it continue that way till nothing remains. Let us go to rest having fooled ourselves into thinking that one hundred percent is oh so synonymous with what I have done. We’re all perfectly happy being mediocre.