December 29, 2009

New Happenings

Disclaimer: This article is purely a work of entertainment, influenced by real life events in the author’s life. The author has no intention to hurt a single soul’s sensibilities. Any hurt that may occur is thus, purely coincidental and unintentional. The smiles/laughs/guffaws on your faces are intentional though.
He is like a breathless parrot in a hurry to catch a flight. And he never seems tired speaking so fast. He should go in a speed talking competition where people talk about OS&D, Harvard and Wharton University, where he has an old friend called Prof ‘Dick’ who wrote our prescribed textbook. And yes, he has learnt lessons from the past. So he will not put up his PPTs on the intranet as he has assimilated, begged and borrowed some of the content from top companies’ executives whom he has trained and not trained, and from Profs around the world including Dick. Confidential and internal reports. That makes the slides pretty much sacred. The MBAs-to-be are gearing up to take vigorous notes. Most of them that is. I am too busy for that.:)
I, and most others for sure, were glad to know his views on evaluation. He does not believe much in the evaluation system. He says with gusto that when he was in the US, he had a grading system which graded his students in just 2 ways- ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’. Had he had his way here, he would love to do the same here as well. But no, alas. I could sense a collective sigh.
He acknowledges Dick, IC and other Profs (including one from Japan) who helped him decide the course outline of 4-pages, which has been derived from the Wharton B-school’s Executive Education Program course outline of 36 pages. Hard work really, converting 36 pages to just 4- deciding which part to reject. At the outset, he clarifies that this course is meant for directors and senior level excecutives and not for entry-level, first-year students (aka idiots) like us. ‘Pedagogy’ is not what he believes in, so he calls it ‘Course Andragogy’. Wow, never before had we been acknowledged for being adult learners!
He is the first Prof ever who explained the reasons for his course study material being so thick. First, a Gold Medallist in Business Finance, then a PG in HR and then a PhD in advanced IS. That’s him. So, cutting across backgrounds, the articles and cases congregate for a grand academic get-together which looks healthily spiral-bound. The next thing he says is, ‘just get entertained by watching the slides’, like it was a screening of ‘3 idiots’. ‘And don’t take load for reading the material. If you have time from your busy schedule, then you read and come to class. It’ll make understanding much easier’. No, busy schedule never changes its ‘busy’ness. So, I mentally toss the spiral bound material in the top side rack of my room. ‘But’, he adds entertainingly, ’there is a wealth of info there. It starts from why OS&D to the end article which says ‘do we really need OS&D’ which brings the whole course to where it started.’ Wow. Had the poor fat material had a brain, it’d be in a serious identity crisis. ‘So where do I begin and end? Am I needed here?’ Poor fat material perched on the top side rack in my room....I feel pity for it already.
He fidgets with his half sweater as he rattles off with names and dates of publications of journals from which he had picked the articles and cases. Wow, this guy has a phenomenal memory. Finally, he removes his half sweater and puts it on the chair. He is tall and young by Prof standards. He is wearing a pink full shirt with black and purple stripes. He announces that every individual has a quota of asking one stupid question a day, which does not get carried forward. The MBAs-to-be laughed loudly, thinking matter-of-factly ‘Intelligence and us are inseparable. Whom are U kidding?’
Good. He knows he is a fast speaker. And he says, he always teaches in a relaxed manner. I add- with a talking speed of 150 words a minute. He admits that next class, he would speak double or triple times faster, and has high hopes for us to catch up. Woooooooo! Now that will be a roller coaster ride- words fly by U and U perch on them to have the ride of your life! But he down-to-earthly confesses that if we first year students (aka idiots) are able to catch up with at least 10% of what he would teach, it would be an achievement. And he didn’t say it to scare the MBAs-to-be. Anyway, they are idiots who are turning intelligent enough to never be scared of anything.
He really misses his US students who drank juice in class and makes a sign with his hands to show the size of the bottle. He makes us feel free to carry food into class but be like the ‘civilised’ US students who never made crunchy sounds with the snacks they got. Reminiscing Swami Vivekanand who said- “U cannot do religion with an empty stomach”, he does not chuckle when he alters it to- “U cannot study with an empty stomach”. A good physique is after all necessary to be a good leader, he proclaims.
“Any other questions?” he asks. Immediately he answers himself,” OK, no questions were asked in fact. So, any questions?” The MBAs-to-be who were making signs or managing to talk inspite of the roller coaster ride, sat signless and speechless. So, he opens his slides and starts teaching. On the third slide he says, "See, this is borrowed from a company representative". MBAs-to-be start taking notes madly. He won’t give his slides, remember? At one point, he cuts the air really deep to signal ‘in-depth’. He is generally happy with any answers students give- we are more responsive than the other sections, he excitedly observes. The class proceeds and towards the end we are to form project groups. He says- ‘Let U not blame me or your friends for your groups. So let’s blame destiny’. He makes us pick chits of numbers and tells a faff-Guru guy to write the group members’ names. The faff-Guru guy is tumultuously excited at the power suddenly unleashed upon him instead of the CR. While he busily unfolds destiny with MBAs-to-be surrounding him, the Prof adds- “Do put that in an excel and send it across to me.” Now that’s work. A little less than catching up with his breathless flight of words!!
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