And finally, the fun sinks in…

Contrary to most people’s experiences about having fun (i.e its all fun and free time in the beginning and then come the exams which vaporize the tiniest bits of fun that could ever exist), the fun is now beginning to show up in the most unexpected places. No, my course work hasn’t reduced nor have my assignments and mid-terms vanished. We are beginning to have fun in the middle of it all, that is the fascinating part!

There are jokes in the middle of a matlab code, sarcastic comments in the middle of partial differential equations, simultaneous hunt for articles on the net which is immediately mailed to everyone else, detailed explanations of solved homework questions to those who dont understand, plenty of cross-talk, discussion about the running back and the quarterbacks in the middle of a transport theorem, inboxes full of current homework files and most importantly, collaboration. The class diligently troops into the computer lab after every class and after the flurry of printouts to be taken of papers, assignments and lectures, starts their homework. There is doubt asking, clarification, help and lots of laughter and fun. Interspersed between course work is probably the tactics of the last football game or the last match that federer lost or tid-bits of interesting gossip and news about the faculty that goes around. You have discussions about how Indians nod their heads in the exact opposite fashion of Americans or how our vector symbols are so different from their squiggles. There is imitation of teachers, whiffs of free food being detected by someone and the rest zooming in that direction to make the most of it and so much more! Gosh! I’ve never had such fun in my life. It is globally diverse education at its best. Amazing fun, (though might be very geeky superficially, trust me, its the best amalgamation of fun+knowledge that anyone can aspire to have!)

Speaking of different things, (thanks to end of thermodynamics mid-term and final submissions getting over), I decided to swim in the Olympic pool of our recreation center. Of course, facilities are world class with heated showers, sparkling locker rooms, shower gels, absolutely clean pools, plenty of lifeguards and fresh warm towels. The feeling was a class apart. It felt absolutely great to use the same pool that the best in the world once swam in. Though, the temperature of the water,as I discovered the moment I dived into it, is kept such that your body does not sweat once you have warmed up. In short, it is cold as soon as you enter. It takes around 10 laps to warm up. There are 3 pools, diving, competition and family pool and it was packed with people. Awesome experience. I am so making it a habit. Georgia Tech Aquatics – simply godlike!

I’ve had my dinner (rice and peas curry) and am now contemplating if I should open my box of Haagen Das Dule De Leche. Maybe not. I’ll save it for when I’m blue. Ah, that reminds me, Chiggy wiggy seems to be pretty hot in Indian airwaves, though I didnt appreciate it all that much. Let me continue listening to the remaining of the blue songs and yeah, I didnt like Porcupine Tree’s latest at once but I hope it grows on me.

Man, I love weekends 😀 :D.

Sometimes…

There are the good days and there are those you wish you never lived through. Sometimes there comes those days which leave you wanting some more and certain others when despite having everything you crave for something else. Today was the latter.

Things were normal. Submissions, a pop-quiz that went rather normally, assignment, fairing and then a college football game to which I had tickets. Sounds good na? Only thing, I didnt have company to go see the match. Surprising, that in a crowd of so many thousands you still never find that good friend you can drag along, bully, to drop every other commitment and accompany you to some place. Mostly, there is never time to think of such things, (even now the marquee in my head is beeping about the Thermodynamics assignment in queue), but those rare instances that you are forced to think of this, it gets sad. Today as I walked past the Bobby Dodd stadium and the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding it, I felt really alone. For the first time in my existence of twenty odd years, I dont have someone in person to run to, to walk to the store with, to take my mind off homework for a while or to giggle and laugh at silly nothings. Sometimes, I just wish I had someone here.

I’m waiting.

Its time to start my next assignment. All the best Yellow Jackets, hope I get to see the next match at least.

Vacation

Vacation is

…getting first off a plane only to get lost in the luggage concourses, followed by a relieving hug from G-Joo at 1 am!

…cuddling up and sleeping next to mom after 3 whole months.

…giving sis a bear hug after half a year.

…introducing yourself first time to your 2 month nephew and being called a-gooo. 😀

…playing with all his toys and rattles.

…watching the Manhattan skyline from the bed.

…looking at the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island bridge and Hudson from the living room window.

…eating steaming hot idlis and mum-made coconut chutney for breakfast.

…driving in a BMW to the biggest mall and entering every shop possible.

…trying out shoes at Nine West.

…getting locked out of a GAP trial room in the store.

…digging a Mama Sbarro’s pizza and planning the next store to attack.

…not being able to decide between a Donatella or a DKNY jacket for half an hour.

…tasting divinity with Dule De Leche from Haagen Dazs.

…hunting for swimwear in Macy’s and buying something totally unplanned for.

…getting irritated with the full-of-attitude AT&T store people.

… introducing G-joo to twitter \m/

…enjoying the morning breeze on a walk with mom.

…giving nephew first ride on shoulders and making him sleep.

…eating homemade godlike pulao and beans sabji followed by Ben&Jerry’s Imagine Whirled Peace. (yummm)

…finishing the shopping list with visit to the all-familiar Target.

…eating california burgers with coriander chutney and sauce.

…more ice cream.

…showing mom around facebook and all my friends.

…hot mom made dosa with garlic powder from Grand Sweets.

…debating which phone to buy for ages and finally deciding on the iphone.

…thinking of a twitter nick for sister.

…watch nephew sleep and smile in his sleep.

Ladies and gentlemen,now that’s what I call a PERFECT VACATION!
😀
{Thank God for the awesome break, Im all set to hit my books again! \m/ }

When Amnesia strikes..

…and it always strikes at a very wrong time! After nearly a year of my doing core chemical engineering (as I have mentioned umpteen times before), amnesia hits you the hardest when you are subjected to blasts of core thermodynamics, mass transfer , transport and kinetics at an advanced stage wherein your undergrad was a prerequisite.

My classes include the very frequent (almost habitual) narrowing of eyes, brain conjuring up flashes of similar terms and words from the distant past and me going “Aah…I think I’ve heard of it, yes yes…” and by then the professors have already uttered the words “..and all this you should be expert at..”, to the horrified muttering in class with everyone recounting the years it has been since they did all this or some very blatantly sighing with hands pasted on their foreheads. I personally believe the professors just love this reaction and must be smiling victoriously as they turn to the boards and write the next long-forgotten equation. I always wonder how it is that my brain spotlessly wipes out everything about engineering I learnt a year ago but keeps stuff like song lyrics, movie stories and other shit intact!

Fresh graduate students are here to get screwed. It is like putting them through the toughest first so that the years after that seem like a cake-walk. Papers are heaped upon us with material appearing on the course websites faster than you can say the word next. Amidst endless assignments, hurried submissions, red puffy eyes and stifled yawns through classes, there is an amazing bonhomie developing amongst all of us. Its like facing the fire together. You get to know and see a plethora of methods, ideas and there is no dearth of help around. Most importantly, the bonding factor is the feeling of stupidity. It might seem funny but everyone is just amazed as to how they’ve forgotten everything and/or are making stupid mistakes. Then there are always the few who somehow manage to read everything beforehand or are blessed with brilliant memories to aggravate this feeling of stupidity. Almost like telepathy, a professor distributed a paper on “Importance of stupidity in research” to read before class. Believe it or not, it was the most motivating paper I’ve read in recent times.

Yaaaawwwnnn! Its 12 45 in the morning and I still have a paper to finish reading and an early morning class at 8. I guess I should ask myself to shut down wordpress and finish the paper before crashing for the day.

But why am I not doing that ? I think I’ve forgotten the answer…