Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Physics class memoirs

Hi Friends,
This post of mine has been truly inspired by Chetan Bhagat’s column in TOI and the movie 3 idiots. The idea of penning down this experience shaped up only after reading the column and watching the movie.I honestly wanted to give credit to its origin; otherwise this post would have remained back as a memory in my brain cells. I think its necessary as personally I also don't encourage plagiarism.
When I was a student, I used to think that I was one of those very few persons who hated the prevailing education system, teachers, lecturers, professors who work as mere programmed robots, but I recently came to know there are a bunch of folks who think alike. Thanks to CB n to the movie.
Once I finished schooling, I had to enroll into a junior college which was one of the most sought after colleges by many students then. I was so much influenced by one of my friends, that I ignored My Dad's best advice too. As my high school scores were high I was put in the first section. I always hated math, but I had to opt it as my major. Don't ask me why...I also don't know the reason. Probably I was also a sheep in the herd then ;-).
Right from my schooling, to me, an instructor/teacher/lecturer should be capable enough to capture the attention of even the most distracted student in the class. In fact such instructors are/were very sparse. Most of the lecturers at the junior college who taught us were not so appealing...I mean I felt they never taught the actual essence of the subject. All they taught were the 350-500 page books. In the exams they expect the students to print (not write) the same phrases from the text book/supplied material notes otherwise he/she will not be awarded proper grade.
Among so many lecturers, there was a young physics instructor, an IIT pass out who was looked up as a gem of physics. He came to teach us replacing another oldie for few days. As I had all good qualities of a bad student :-p , I was late to his very first class. It’s quite obvious that I was not allowed and had to stay out of the classroom. After the class, he came out with Hitler's statement in quotes "I don't want to see you late again". When I walked into the classroom all my classmates were so dumbstruck to see me late for his class. Everybody knew he was the most strict lecturer ever. For the next class I had no choice but to be on time. His very first lecture seemed as if some strong physical energy has been transformed into sound energy with some automatic starts and stops.
I was so unlucky that even in my second year of college, this guy had come to teach us. Much to my relief it was the end of the year. But, I had to sit in the class though it didn't instigate any interest to care for what he lectured on. It happened once, during one of his lectures I was so much distracted and completely lost my ears for a conversation that me and my friend shared, until we heard a loud shout....evidently it was from Mr. Physics Instructor. He was so annoyed and abused with fury. Although we apologized, he asked us to leave if we have no interest in his lecture. My friend apologized again and remained in the class. n me.. what will I do if given a golden chance...just grab it right?? I walked out of the class proving him that his class was truly boring to me.
Next day reactions were like this (in language of physics): everybody knew this phenomenon of repelling a so called/believed "strong magnet" in spite of me being ferromagnetic. I guess none of them understood the characteristics of “ferromagnetism". College coordinators warned me of not being able to sustain my properties., my Dad knew and said nothing but helped me render my characteristics (I am not sure if he knew the principals of Physics but knew that I was not foolish)., my friends were shocked (very obvious as none of them knew that phenomenon existed)., Though there were so many reactions, none of them helped me withstand my physical properties and I was again made to sit in his class after some negotiations from the principal. Well, so called/believed "strong magnet was not able to add any more positive ions to his magnetic field and his magnitude did not give him a moment to retaliate for what I did.
Finally, my laboratory records were not signed, and when I approached him the reason he said was “you think I don't know to teach...now I will not sign these which won't let you pass the exam". I did not react as I knew that won't happen anyways. The process of signatures took a while but finally, he had to sign my records because lab exams were not a big deal in such colleges. All he could do was to curse that I can never score a pass mark in Physics. On the contrary, I always secured much better score in Physics than in any other subject but was unable to escape many other lecturers who were more or less like Mr. Physics lecturer in later years.
I guess many of you have had the similar experience of running a marathon for securing ranks in such colleges. Well, I am sure that kind of education cannot to be termed as knowledge. Mere learning will not help. Education is a medium to acquire knowledge...and quest for knowledge should not stop at any stage of life.
Whatever the incident is, my love for Physics persists forever.

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