Saturday, October 03, 2009

College life - Part 2

A lot of my blog readers have asked me if Purdue had conspired enough to subdue my interest in writing. And I had to prove them wrong, especially since they couldn't have been more right. Hence this post.. But yes, I do have to 'make' justice to my readers, who hopefully, have been reading content that they find worth reading. And what better occasion than today, when Google Analytics sent me a mail today saying that my blog page has taken 5000 hits this year.

If you had been reading my posts regularly, you would have seen my inability to get to the topic of my post right away. I have been vehemently trying to make an impression with my opening and have been failing to do so with infallible regularity. This post, as most of you would expect is going to be about what I have seen at Purdue for the past couple of months. You would find this post to be randomly placed with an abstract ending the reason for which I am still unable to reason out.

Last week was one heck of a ride for me with my first exam in three years and it wouldn't be just right if it weren't destined to be an algorithms paper. And it wouldn't be right at all if I didn't have to submit a programming assignment and three other homeworks on the very same day. One of the first things that struck me at the University was the height of the buildings. Most of the buildings were just a couple of floors tall but inconspicuously held another three floors below the ground. And so there I was, locking up myself in one of the subterranean rooms of the library wondering how the complexity of finding my way through the university buildings could be bound asymptotically by a polynomial function. The thought provoking dream ended in an hour with the evening exam which is oxymoronically named (there.. I've invented an adjective) as it was held at 9PM.

As I made my way out into the maze of corridors fighting against my dis-oriented and dyslexic vision for routes, I was joined by a couple of fellow conspirators (from now on I've officially discontinued the usage of the word classmates for aesthetic reasons) who were battling out for the maximum number of questions they had attempted. For some reason, then perplexing to me, people here at Purdue talk about 'attempt' synonymous to 'correct' when in an academic context. Around the corner were another group of students who were boisterously considering the fabrication of a covert transistor (whose sister? ). A part of me felt immensely proud to belong to the league of geeks (a claim that we proudly print on our department T Shirts)and be capable of these discussions at unearthly and the bell tower (another landmark at the university) brightly screamed 11 PM to drive home the point.

Automatic doors have been one of the things that I truly hated here in the US - you never know when the open up. I invariably end up clutching thin air instead of the door knob with amazing regularity. But this time, it was a person who opened the door from the other end. "Excuse me, I'm sorry" said the mammoth of a guy who opened out the door. The apologetic gestures are one of prominent things that I've noticed here, and surprisingly still, it came from my fellow countryman who I'm sure, if it were to happen in the Chennai streets, wouldn't have had thought twice about bashing me (if I'm lucky enough) apart from swearing right through my ancestral chain.

To top it up, my name has added incredible complexity to my life at the university. The length of my name has already become a legend at the university and to top it up, I am now being called 'The one with Three parts to his name'. Not to mention the fact that the delivery folks get a free practical training on Adiabatic Random variables thanks to the various permutations that they work out on my name. But yes, until now, I have managed to stick to my identity and have successfully thwarted the temptation to call myself John, Superman or Pinocchio.

All things said, it still is one of the fruitful period of time that I'm spending here and yes, I am enjoying what I'm doing here. If you know me well, you would know enough that I'm a person incapable of living a dream, or even dreaming in the first place. I'm far too lost to have these thoughts that belong to the Utopian realm - they have ceased to exist even in my conception. I let my surroundings carry me through to where it wants - I live in a world where people still try to build a perpetual motion machine and solve P = NP...


Nikhil said...

Nice post man...
"there.. I've invented an adjective" - picked up from Mithuna ?? ;)

Mighty Titan said...


Well, if not algorithms, I did have to learn something, shouldn't I ? :P