Posts Tagged ‘College’

waking dreamHello again, everyone! I’m just going to direct you to Lucid’s last post (or any of the ones we’ve posted sporadically over the last two years or so) in lieu of making my excuses (which have not changed). Instead, I’m going to get right to the point and fill you in on the good stuff.

Last you heard from me, I was bemoaning my lack of Life Skills. I am less-than-happy to assure you that there has been no significant change in that department. In spite of this, however, I have managed to trick my professors into believing that I am degree-worthy, as have Lucid and Fuzzy. Meaning we are now (somehow!) bona fide graduates.


And what’s more, we are venturing perilously close to Adult Territory. Lucid is now Employed (!!). Fuzzy is heading off to graduate school. And I… I am possibly going to graduate school, also. OR I am going to be an unemployed, overgrown child for the rest of my life. One of the two.**

Now that I’ve brought you up to speed, I am totally going to do the annoying BWC thing and turn the rest of this post into a review. To be fair, it was the reviewing that I missed enough to want to get back to blogging, so here it comes. A while ago, Lucid and I watched Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I lovelovelove the novel version and I cannot imagine a film equivalent to Fitzgerald’s words. That aside, I still didn’t find a whole lot to recommend in this adaptation.

I think the central trouble I had was with the Gatsby character. I never, for one moment, bought into the legend. You could argue that he isn’t, in fact, meant to be a legend, but rather a man playing at being one. He is, however, meant to play the part well enough that those unacquainted with the truth fall for the facade. The oft-repeated “old sport” line, I felt, was grating throughout. It seemed like not even Tobey Maguire’s Nick Carraway (unquestioning Gatsby fanboy) bought into the tale. I wouldn’t fault DiCaprio (another solid performance) for this odd choice so much as Luhrmann. Secondly, while I cannot quite call it lazy film-making ( the detail on those sets!), more effort seems to have been expended on fancy (and pretty amazing, really ) visual styling than on story-telling. Ironic, since Fitzgerald’s story explicitly cautions against glittery exteriors. Nor can the argument be made, that this sense of superficiality is what the movie seeks to capture, considering that the eye-candy after all, seems to have been the movie’s most worked-upon aspect. It ultimately detracts from the story, with the end result being that the movie lacks that sense of unease, dissatisfaction and judgement that permeates the novel. It also reduces every valuable insight to be earned and discerned by the viewer to simplistic voice-over exposition. Dr. T J Eckleburg’s eyes, watching wordlessly from a hoarding, a stand-in for an all-seeing god, for instance, is delivered matter-of-fact not early in the movie (and then repeated to death just in case you overlooked its cleverness). Finally, the soundtrack. Although quite fantastic taken on its own, the contemporary music was jarring against the 1920’s setting, demanding greater suspension of disbelief than I could manage. I’m not certain if this was Luhrmann’s way of decrying the current state of affairs and reaffirming the story’s pertinence today. Unfortunately, for me, it sort of mixed both eras in the most unsatisfactory way possible.

Where the movie scores, in my opinion, is in that it does not romanticize the Gatsby character. By setting up Nick as being unclear in his mind, he is established as an unreliable narrator, early in the movie. This, along with several other cinematic choices, allow us to see the self-deluding Mr.Gatsby for the flawed character he is. Even as we watch Nick fall for Gatsby’s perceived modesty, it becomes increasingly apparent to the viewer that in the orchestration of his reunion with Daisy and all that follows, he is merely terribly controlling of his image and quite used to getting his way by less-than-noble means. Alongside Nick’s proclamations of Gatsby’s incorruptible Greatness and steadfastness, we are witness to a much different truth: that Daisy is but a selfish obsession– yet another fixture to be acquired in order to enhance Gatsbyland. Daisy herself is portrayed complexly by the always-wonderful ( I will profess myself a fan) Carey Mulligan. We are able to see how the impressionable Daisy is also complicit in the lie that becomes her own undoing. I think her character here best encapsulates Fitzgerald’s fears for what would come to pass through such irresponsible, decadent living. Overall, the cast is pretty fantastic, with good performances all around.

In closing, I think Luhrmann’s take certainly does add something to the Gatsbyverse and also sets the stage for future retellings . I just wish the story had taken precedence over the distracting fluff.


* We haven’t done that whole robes-and-tasseled-hats thing yet. But that is because college is ridiculous as ever and the official ceremony is scheduled for next year. I am leaving this can of worms unopened, on the topmost shelf, well out of my reach because, really, who wants to hear any more on that?

** Update: I may be an overgrown child, but gosh-darn it, I’m an overgrown child with an admission to grad school. Yeah!

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ChinxHi everyone anyone..

Its been almost an entire year! You know the excuses, I’m sure. Initially, it was mostly on account of the fact that I’d been really frustrated with college and didn’t really have anything to say but then, well, lets just say it escalated. I started actively avoiding the blog, it was almost as if the WordPress logo was judging me, telling me how disappointed it was that I wasn’t doing this anymore. I felt terrible for the most part about avoiding this thing that I loved doing for so long, but as the delay got longer, the idea of actually writing something got more and more intimidating until it was this huge, insurmountable mountain.

Judging You

So, what’s changed now? College’s done, that’s what, which means that I have run out of excuses to avoid this. Lets get on with it then.

I have all these post ideas in my head about all sorts of things like how Facebook makes me feel socially inadequate, about this amazing book I read called Embassytown by China Mieville which was so good that I wanted to read it again as soon as I was done with it, about the fact that I’ve started cooking and it makes me really happy and lots of things like that. But, most of these are just fragmented thoughts, they don’t have enough meat in them to constitute an entire post, except for the book related one I guess. So, I figured I’d just talk about all those things?

I created a Facebook account. I did it. I swore I never would but I did it. It was mostly because I was feeling really nostalgic one evening and had the entirely ridiculous notion that it was a good idea to have an account so I could keep in touch with people. Except, I am abysmal, that’s right, abysmal at talking to people on the internet. I never know what to say, when to use exclamation points or periods and the acceptable amount of smiley usage, which I swear varies person to person. But mostly, I suck at small talk.

So, I joined. It was a decent sized deal. I reconnected with a bunch of people and there was the cursory, ‘Hi! How are you?’s and the ‘What are you upto?’s and the most common ‘How come you’re on here?!’. There were friend requests from people from school and college and some people who assumed that the fact that we had at some point said hellos to one another meant that they could be my ‘friends’. There was even one guy who said that he had seen me ‘on’ his friend’s wedding! Seriously guy? Creepy much? This whole thing lasted about a week. After the first week, I had no idea what I was supposed to do on there. If was to follow the leads of everyone else, I was supposed to post pictures (which I’m not comfortable with), share images and quote type things(for which Tumblr/Pinterest is much better) or say inane/passive aggressive things on my status (which, just no.). This is the reason that the only activity on my timeline is a conversation with Fuzzy about books, which I can do just as well or rather, better, in person or on the phone.

So, basically the end result of the Facebook experiment was this feeling of social inadequateness that made me feel uncomfortable and generally miserable. I think it may be due to the fact that talking to these people make me feel like the shy and unsure teenager I used to be. I’m not saying I’m super sorted superwoman now, but I’m more self-confident and sure of who I am. Its also probably due to the fact that we essentially have only school in common and nothing else, so the lengths of the conversations I’ve had have been severely limited. I think I found one, maybe two people that I will continue to speak to after this and these were people I was actually friends with way back when, as in, we talked about more than school stuff.

So now, the Facebook account just exists and does nothing, kinda lika a Metapod.


Well, that got away from me. I suppose I’ll write about the other things another time. Hopefully, soon.

I missed you Bloggy.

*Please forgive the terrible image. MS Word can only do so much. ヽ(´ー`)┌

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I like Sundays even if it signifies the beginning of another week. Another Monday.

Another week of college. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like my subjects (well, most of ’em, anyway.). It’s just the process of going to college that I dislike. And Sundays are the days for relaxation and going out and a day when everyone is at home. However, the last few hours of Sunday is spent starting assignments and other work for the Monday.

Anyway, today is Lucid‘s B’day.


So, BWC and I spent yesterday getting her ‘gifts.’

#1. The dress-shopping: In case you are unaware, Lucid here loves dresses. Especially red ones. And so, we figured, the best thing we could do is make a video for her of us shopping for dresses. We head to this mall and walk into the clothes store. And we film us heading up an escalator and us looking around the store. The two of us are entire clueless as to where the dress section. We walk around the place looking for dresses(Yes, we were lost!).  We even venture into the furniture section.  We’re filming all of this, when some store guy says no photography. Oh well. We did manage to get something. And then, we get confused as to where the exit is.

We did buy her :

  1. A photo frame with a sketchy picture of us.
  2. A painting for her new shelves in her room.
  3. A welcome mat for her room!

#2: Get  random people to say ‘Happy Birthday’ on camera: This is by far the craziest thing we’ve ever done.  We walked around the mall, asking people if they’d be willing to say happy birthday on the camera. Well, asking random people to say ‘happy birthday’ is weird, looking at their awkward expressions is weirder.  We spent about 4 hours stalking people and looking at them and judging whether they were potential ‘happy birthday’ say-ers. And we spent another hour on the beach looking for people. It was hilarious. BWC and I would take turns asking people.  And our conclusion: People in groups (and larger the groups are) were more prone to saying no than individuals.

So that was yesterday. A day with these random social interactions.

Today, we met up and went for lunch at an Italian restaurant. The highlight of the menu was this creamy custard like dessert which was just heavenly. Also, Lucid’s brother had a strange dog-like fascination with the table-cloth; he sniffed it a couple of times.

So now, the Sunday’s almost done and I must start college work.


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It is nearing that time of the year again– College:Miserable Year-II Of is about to commence.

Technically, we have half a month to kill before we get there,  but the ingenious founding fathers of said college apparently had strong sadistic appetites that require us to spend about a week in Camp, to be sated. I, as part of the National Sports Org. ( it only sounds fancy, we’ve never done anything worth a mention) have to stay at the hostel and run around campus for about two hours, daily.

Issues I have with this:

1. Hostel = Ugh! I’ve no issues with hostels in general, but our campus is pretty crappy. True story: Some kid injured his head because a fan fell on it !( They rushed him to the hospital, and my dad treated him, so this really isn’t just me taking advantage of artistic license.)

2. OK, so I run around for two hours. Great. That gives me.. 24-2=22 HOURS WITH NOTHING TO DO! ( I’m not going to factor sleep-time in, seeing as I just don’t think I’ll be able to.)

I wish I was exaggerating, but honestly our campus boasts:

i) Library with exactly ZERO non-academic-related books.

ii) One ground inhabited by (and I kid you not!) one family of pigs, a host of camouflage-savvy snakes, hanging worms ( no, really) and other such depressing fauna.

iii) No real internet, so to speak of.

iv) I cannot watch four episodes of House a day and then be swallowed by a vortex of self-made depression upon re-realizing that, at this rate, I’m going to catch up with the rest of the world and will soon have to wait a week for episodes, just like everyone else. ( I’ve been watching the show online for a little over a month now, and am half-way through Season 6.)

v) Will be forced to do my own laundry because  I am required to wear the ‘NSO uniform’ for the 2-hour sessions during which I will actually be doing something sports-related. And when I say ‘uniform’, you should picture  men’s disco pants from the ’70s.

vi)Despite these less-than-satisfactory events that I must partake in , I do not actually want to kick the bucket. And yet, if I eat at my college’s ‘canteen’..

vii) I will have nothing to do.

viii) I will have nothing to do.

ix) I will have nothing to do!

X) I WILL.. Maybe I will eat at the canteen!


I don’t suppose you want to listen to me whine much longer, and honestly, neither do I. So, here are some photos from better times ( my all-too-short vacation):

That's right. We went boating.

That's right. We went boating.

We had bright orange life-jackets on and everything.


Did I mention the mangrove?

We sailed through this mangrove, went right up to the sea. We might have gone  a little further, but my aunt was convinced that she was going to, uh, die. In the four-feet of water beneath us. So, then, we turned back.


…Which turned out not to be such  a bad thing, since our guide decided to take us through narrower waterways. These were beautiful, although at times we had to crouch low so as not to have our eyes gouged out by low-hanging twigs.


"Light at the end of the tunnel"


..And back out in the open.


The End

We were pretty exhausted for a bunch of people who had done nothing but sit on a boat for about an hour and a half. But it was pretty awesome.

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…this girl who goes by the username Fuzzy Logic was bored. So bored, that she decided to draw the funny stuff said by the professor.

So, take a look at the earth quacking and magnetic love.

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Ok. Let’s not.  don’t like Johnny Bravo either.

Remember, how I mentioned there are animals in my college? Well, after the first semester, we were shifted to another block, which thankfully was free of monkeys till now.

During this past week, this one certain monkey (see picture below) has been visiting our block, particularly our class room.

First time it came, we had a break and it entered our class through the door, and leaped onto the desks. When a guy tried to shoo it, it almost clawed him. And then, it walked off to a window and sat there, baring its teeth and yawning as if it ruled us insignificant homo sapiens. It was in class for a whole 10 minutes before heading out of another window. What was I doing all this long? I was lugging three bags, protecting them from that vicious, lunch-box stealing creature.

The second time was during our electronic hour, when it walked in again.The professor himself was too scared to do anything. As we moved around the class fearing the monkey and clutching our bags, the monkey paused at the window it escaped through the last time it visited. It tried forcing it open; the window was locked. And it headed back toward the door, where we were standing. We half ran out of the class and the monkey followed us until we made a full circle on the corridor. Needless to say, class was disrupted for atleast 15 minutes.

Today, it came in just after lunch.  I was on the phone with Lucid when I saw it enter. I probably yelled “Oh Shit! Monkey! Bye! ” and I cut the call. As people ran out of class, we stayed in to watch its antics. It seems obsessed with windows, I swear. It’s probably fascinated by it. Anyway, a few pictures later, it headed for us and once again, I ran out of class. That was when, another girl standing by the door of the neighboring class told me to get inside. I did and we slammed the door shut only to realize that there was a teacher in that class. Ooops.

And now, ‘The Monkey:’

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Hihi! I’m ba…ck! So. My creativity is just about dead and for the last month or so, I’ve been opening the new post page and then shutting it without wring anything(obviously). You can blame college (which absolutely Sucks by the way, but I won’t go into that or it will take up an entire post and the 3 readers that we have might decide never to come back). But, today I decided that I will post, no matter what and I went on over to mindbump.com and got this bump, that I really liked!

“Describe somethings seemingly unimportant or ridiculous that make you happy.”

Alright then, here’s a list of absolutely ridiculous things that make me happy;

  1. When two characters that I like in a book, movie or a TV show get together: Yup. Crazy and irrational. That’s me. BWC can certify this.
  2. Watching Friends: Even on mute! Friends will always, always cheer me up after a crappy day at college or whatever.
  3. Dancing around madly to a song I love!
  4. Washing my hair.
  5. Singing at lunch and in class.
  6. Getting up late on a Saturday.
  7. Chocolate or Chocolate Cake or anything covered in Chocolate.
  8. Shopping! ( I can’t believe I almost forgot that one!)
  9. The Rain
  10. Finding out that there’s no college because of rain!
  11. Sitting on the beach and talking with my friends!
  12. Going to Barista! Also; convincing my friends to go to Barista!
  13. Finishing a really good book.
  14. Having nothing to do all day.
  15. Getting a comment on the blog! 😉
  16. Coming home after college : I’m really glad that no matter how sucky my day gets at college, I get to come home in the evening.
  17. Planning birthday surprise things (Even if certain people ruin them by figuring out stuff in advance *glares at Adzzie*)
  18. Remembering school. ( Yeah, I sound like I’m 80, I know.)
  19. Finishing a crossword puzzle.

That’s it for now. I could go on but you guys might die or something. In other news, I got an iPhone! I am so in love with it. Also; Tap Tap Revenge! My new obsession ever since I discovered it. Its one of the very few games that I don’t completely suck at. That’s it for now. Later my people! I will try to post fairly regularly from now on, even if it is just rants or something!


OMG, I missed this!!

Just a note;

» mindbump «

1. a remedy for blogger’s block that also serves as a blog promotional tool;
2. the opposite of a “brain-fart”

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Numbers were never the same: P.K. S. in action.


P.K. Srinivasan (November 4, 1924-June 20, 2005) was an extraordinary person in the world of math education. I met him in 1998, while making a set of videotapes on innovative teaching methods in mathematics for the DPEP, the distance education cell o f the Education Department, Government of India. PKS became the chief protagonist of those tapes.

He had retired from the Muthialpet High School, Chennai but continued to work as consultant for schools as diverse as Rishi Valley, the TVS school in Mysore, and Corporation schools all over Chennai. I attended a conference with him at Rishi Valley and heard his exquisite clarity on concepts ranging from fractals to the Fibonacci sequence. But my favourite memory of him is teaching the Narikuravar (gypsy) children at the Corporation School in Saidapet, Chennai.

Unique way

He had a unique way of introducing numbers to Kindergarten children. He felt that because they learnt numbers mainly in sequence — as 1,2,3,4 etc. they never really grasped the concept of discrete quantities. So after first letting them rattle off the sequence, he would intercept by asking, “Now show me 3 in as many ways as you can”. Initially there would be consternation among the kids and he would smile, his eyes gleaming with a fiery excitement. Putting up one gnarled hand he would first show 3 fingers, and they would all chime “3”. Then he’d bend his fingers, put out 2 first, then one more and say “2 +1” and they would repeat, “3”. Next he’d put up four fingers and bend one – “4-1 = 3”. Then “2+2”, “5–2”, and so it would go on.

I have seen the excitement that erupted among those toddlers for whom numbers would never be the same again; nothing like the anonymous sequence that they began with. Soon all kinds of finger play broke out and PKS just stood smiling toothlessly, infinitely careful not to disturb that first moment of epiphany. Quite unobtrusively he’d introduced the concept of quantity, and also laid the foundation for the primary functions of addition and subtraction.

He had a vast collection of books in his house at Nanganallur, and once he showed me a World Encyclopedia on Mathematics to prove that it was not just the zero that India invented, but also the fraction. The world was afraid to break up numbers, he said, for fear the whole edifice would collapse, but Indian mathematicians proved that the concept of the ‘Whole’ was in itself quite relative.

Later, in the same school I was to see a wonderfully concrete demonstration of this abstract concept. Taking a long strip of paper he first folded it into eight equal parts. Then opening it out with the creases clearly visible, he pointed to the first part and asked the children, this time of 3rd standard, to name it. “1 by 8”. Yes, that was fairly simple. And so it would proceed till he reached the last part, to which in predictable sequence, the children would intone “8 by 8” and then like a magician he would close the paper and re-open it, pointing to the same whole again to which they would now exclaim, but with some thoughtfulness, “ 1” . And slowly the concept would sink in, that every number is merely a complete fraction of itself. From here, it was a small step to simultaneous fractions. Concept always came first for him, and only then the function.

However complex the concept he never prodded the students. Just waited patiently till they discovered it for themselves, and it seemed to me that they all did. I could barely shoot from excitement myself. Infinity lay right there within the interstices of the feeble chalk points on that faded blackboard and PKS helped us all to see it.

In the interview I recorded then he spoke passionately about his faith in education. “If a child falls sick, the doctor cannot blame him. It is his duty to heal the sickness. Similarly, the teacher has to find a way to clarify misunderstandings and release mental blocks about maths. He cannot blame the student.”


He had visited the U.S. on a Fulbright scholarship and Africa on a teaching deputation. He also travelled frequently to Delhi and other parts of India to attend conferences and workshops. But his real commitment lay with the under privileged. His son, Kannan Srinivas, explained recently that, to PKS, this was his personal form of patriotism, this abiding faith in children to “develop themselves under proper exposure”.

Another great area of fascination for PKS was the life of Srinivas Ramanujan. PKS was his first biographer, travelling every weekend after school closed for many years to Kumbakonam, in search of details of Ramanujan’s life. He discovered the house where he was born, the temple he frequented and the letters he wrote to his father from Cambridge. All later biographers from the West were to use these primary sources and acknowledge PKS in their works.

Here again the interesting insight from his son was that this interest in Ramanujan fed into his passion for math education. Rather than simply celebrating a genius, PKS strove to create a climate where more Ramanujans could flower. PKS will remain one of the most inspiring individuals of his generation.

– SOUDHAMINI ( Chennai based documentary film-maker)


1. This is one more reason why I shouldn’t read the newspaper ( Otherwise I will take these stories seriously and force them upon readers).

2. Who titles paragraphs  ‘Commited’ and ‘Unique way’? The rest of the article is really well-written and all, but seriously.

3. I had a teacher like that in my last year of school. I think I’ve mentioned him earlier, too. Anyway, he was awesome. Appreciating that even more now that I’ve a set of  utterly disinterested ‘teachers’ in The  Reputed College ( Just how this turned into a rant about college, I’ve no idea!) that I attend.

4. Sorry, I’m a Math-nerd.And a word-nerd.

Update on our lives: Lucid and I are miserable ( Because of college, in case any newer readers haven’t already heard). In addition to this, Lucid is also a Loser because she doesn’t go on the internet ( The  Internet! Where the normal people are!) anymore (also why she hasn’t been posting). Fuzzy’s college sucks less and she has Happy things to say, so we’re not talking to her.wakin-dream

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untitledThe one on the left reads ‘Mr.Obvious’, for anyone who’s having trouble reading it. He’s a fellow from class.That is an anvil. The one on the right is a near-perfect copy of generalno1 (Lucid’s brother). Needless to say, these things aren’t real.Yet.

Disturbing, aren’t I?

Update:  Lucid is also currently busy not watching a show* because two of the characters aren’t seeing each other anymore.And this is my sanest form of company at college.Wouldn’t you hate my life?

*don’t want to ruin it for anyone.

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wakin-dreamNo, that title is just to add a little drama, because there really is no question.It IS purgatory. Just what atrocious crimes Lucid and I have committed in  our sorry previous births, we can’t tell but they must have been unspeakably atrocious for us to deserve this thing we now must call ‘ our college’. I know what you’re thinking. Oh, big surprise. That’s what your opinion of school was like, too! But consider– Lucid, who answers to the description of  ‘pink, lighty-up bouncing ball’ is (and here I quote!) miserable, too.

We’ve only had 3 days of college thus far, so I’m being told over and over again that I need to keep an open mind etc (so, none of that in the comments, please!). The trouble is, we’ve only about 2-3 classes over an eight-hour period which is really annoying, particularly when you find that you have just spent six perfectly good hours studying the kinds of lines (dotted narrow/broad, dashed, continuous..).I wish I was kidding you.Also, some of the professors are really rubbish, which is incredibly annoying when you consider  how highly the place is rated and so on. I  won’t even start on the students (makes me miserable, and I’ve only just stopped sulking.Also: Mom will murder me if I so much as mention it again, today.And then what will you do?).

So, basically, Lucid and I are currently thankful for

1) The fact that we’re going to the same college so there’s ONE person to talk to.


OK, no.That’s it.

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