Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Engineer's Story

Look at the life of an average MU engineering student. The year is basically divided into 2 parts, when you have preparatory leaves (PL) and when you don’t have preparatory leaves. The former is the most boring and for some, the most daunting prospect anyone could face while the latter is always the ‘most-eagerly-looked-forward-to’ part of the academic year.

Having just completed one more PL, I realize that at the end of four years of my engineering studies I would have spent effectively only a year studying. The 12 months are formed by adding up roughly one and a half months of PL for each semester. I had this SMS forward which read, “4 years, 40 subjects, 400 practicals, 4000 lectures, 40000 submissions and roughly 400000 rupees, that’s what engineering is all about.” I couldn’t have agreed with it more!

Yesterday, at the post-exam chill-out session, my friends and I were discussing exactly that. Seven semesters into engineering and we really haven’t progressed much beyond our junior college in terms of the practical aspects of technology. Yes, we have written exams, given vivas, tried to grasp concepts in the process of avoiding KTs and we definitely know more about technology than people in other domains, but we have a long way to go before we become ‘employable.’ Right now, it is all restricted to general knowledge.

If we only study for a 25% of the time, then where does the remaining 75% go? That’s a question to which almost all people have an answer to, whether it is valid is a different issue. The answers include college festivals, society work, entrance preparations,etc. They don't contribute to the process of becoming a better engineer. They only give you first-hand exposure to organizing and managing events. We do all this when instead we should be involving ourselves in more projects and co-curricular events. I am not preaching but look introspectively and ask yourself "What percentage of you has become an engineer in the process?"

Having said all this, for a final year student, the realization comes a little too late. Another PL has ended and it is time to catch up with all that I have not been able to do because of exams. It is back to the good times. I will think about wholistic learning later.

1 comment:

Puneet said...

Very true.. the realization usually hits you at a time between the exams and you cant help but ignore it and move forward coz the paper is just 2 days from now!

But you actually cant blame yourself for it.. the whole education system here is such that anyone with a decent short-term memory can get a degree of engineering without even knowing what engineering is! And to support that we're given a loooong PL ensuring that the time we get between two semesters (around 2 weeks) is wasted away just to get out of the exam hangover whereas it actually should have been an ideal time for a project or an internship and stuff.

Having said that, its time for me to get back to reading Katre.. communication circuits is next :P