There has been a flurry of activities… I barely find the time to list them here…
1. I have conducted a 7-day course on FEM for a group of about 20-25 working engineers. The trainees were a mix of both highly experienced engineers (with 2 to 3 decades of work experience) and 4–5 IIT trained MTechs. All of them came from a couple of government organizations active in civil engineering design and research. The course, though nominally meant for 7 days, actually ran into almost 10 calender days. It was a big success. … In conducting this course, a very senior faculty-member from IIT Bombay had also very graciously joined me for a couple of days. (I esp. appreciated it because, these days, normally speaking, I find IIT Bombay hateworthy—for a very good set of reasons.) The course happened in end-May—early June. More on it all, later…
Both these organizations were government organizations. I am still looking to receive my paycheck. However, being government organizations, it is guaranteed, in a way, that the check will certainly arrive some day… (How I wish the organizations were not being run by the government!)
2. About my earlier undergraduate course on FEM at COEP. I finished teaching it. And, also grading the students for their performance… There are times when one wishes god existed so that he could be on one’s side in performing tasks like these—I mean, grading… In the end, one makes as best choices as possible, though!
This course, too, was a wonderful experience for me, and, if informal student reactions is anything to go by, it too was a great success.
The students themselves took a lot of interest… There was a query, rather, a couple of them, right at the beginning of the course, which had caught me not just “unprepared” but actually “ignorant.” … Somehow, I had always associated the word “ignorance” with the word “disease” (not to mention “darkness” etc.)… Little did I know that the same word could be associated, in a way, with “joy,” too!
Anyway, despite such brilliant querries, I had enough of a “teacher” in me to sail smoothly through the course… More on those queries and all, later. (I will surely share them, but later on… You know, this is supposed to be a real *rapid* update.)
3. More serious. All concerning Congress (I) and Times of India… (If you know me, you expect this off me.)
Kapil Sibbal, my favorite debater on TV (and if I let my emotions interfere, more favorite than his enemy Arun Jaitley), has recently become HRD Cabinet minister. Our PM ManMohan Singh, the Cambridge graduate, has a way of learning, albeit late—he should have removed Arjun Singh long time back.
Immediately after assuming his charge, Kapil has done something about 10th standard examinations. … Now, I do have a lot to say against exams and ranks; e.g., see my informal writing on my Web site (and also the earlier entries on this blogs)… Yet, this decision left me, say, wondering.
BTW, why don’t I see a single article from Ramchandra Guha (of Bangalore) or Prof. Dipankar Gupta (of JNU) on this topic—whether the 10th board examinations are to be outright canclled or not? Or, from Gurcharan Das (yet another Harvard fellow to Kapil, apart from PC). Or, others…
My thoughts, once these two (or others) share theirs…
4. I have joined, part-time, with a Pune-based firm, a software producer in the Civil Engg. Design field, as a Consultant in software development. The domain is CAE. … Ashutosh Parasnis of PTC, Most all at Geometric Software (and sister companies like 3D PLM), MSC Sofy, and all others like them ought to find this particular development offensive. (Or, very offensive.)
I am happy about it. … And, about my work. (It does take a lot of my energy though…)
The time of transition is a time of feeling whether one is missing something… Others (many of them actually idiots) may call it a time of opportunity, a time of excitement, a time to be prudish, and so on… But if you are like me, you not only get excited and try to make best of your opportunities but you also tend to grow apprehensive—about the direction in which all the development goes… With my first corporate training program in the CAE field already delivered, and now with this opportunity, these sure are times of transition for me… I have waited long for things like these to materialize.
These opportunities have come after going without a job for 6–7 years, after running my own Web site for 3-4 years, and after running my blog at the Harvard-based iMechanica.org for roughly two years. Clearly, lack of information (including that found on the Internet) couldn’t have been the cause why I didn’t get such opportunities before… Clearly, the reasons had to do with politics—including international politics.
And that’s why I am worried as to what game of international politics I am being subjected to… Why should I get encouraged, by the world (the bold-letters is not an accident), to do in-depth research in Civil, but not in Mechanical…
Hey, Ashutosh (Parasnis, of PTC, working under a lot of BA types in USA), do you have answers? I want to ask the same question to yet another Harvard graduate running Geometric Software–do you have any idea why I was going without job for all these years even when you kept paying Brahmins and Reserved Category alike for all these years? Was the word “competence” ever a part of your processes?
5. That brings me to one more item of news that I consider as nothing but positive and encouraging for me… Mr. Narendra Jadhav has finally given up the much coveted position of being the V/C of University of Pune. Yes, he is gone! Finally!! But not before awarding himself (if the printed rumour is evidence to go by), 10/10 points for his grandiosly poor performance on this particular job.
(Sometimes, Naryaa, one doesn’t even have the energy left to LOL! But one wishes to!! Honestly!!!)
Let me get back to the business of living my (difficult to live (on several counts)) life though!
Pandit (i.e. Mr. Pandit Vidyasagar), since you were mentioned this morning in ToI, for selection in some committee etc., let me make this public. (And I have already let you know of my feelings—no matter what consequences.)
I think you will make for a very poor V/C. Of, University of Pune—as poor as Mr. Narendra Jadhav was. (One has read about how the Mahamahopadhyay ran the University…) (Cost? I could give up my PhD degree, though, I already know, this isn’t going to be the case even if I do oppose incompetent Pandit’s nomination/application.) He may add “feathers” to his (possibly existing) cap by being committee member here and there… But he should not be made the V/C… As a student (still) of University of Pune, this is what I wanted to say—and let the (rest of) the world take notice.
6. I also attended a funny interview on being a teacher of Mechanical Engineering in University of Pune… The interviewers did not bother introducing them (I was the first person to be interviewed), and when I enquired about them, they over-emphasized the title “Dr.” in front of their names… I mean, “Dr.” Jain of Padmashree DY Patil College of Engineering in Pune, and also, one “Dr.” Ghanegaokar… That particular stress on having got a PhD was the funniest thing in that interview… If the title was supposed to generate respect in me, exactly the opposite happened.. LOL! (Mr. Jain, Mr. Ghanegaokar, I do hope that you do read this.) … As happens in such interviews, neither of them never ever came to considering (or questioning) my ability to teach technical mechanical engineering subjects. Yet, they both were insistent on mentioning that there were some “technical” difficulties in hiring me as a teacher of Mechanical Engineering in University of Pune.
Mr. Jain, and Mr. Ghanegaokar, I pity your interviewing skills. And, in response to your emphasizing your doctorate degrees, I must say, I also pity your creativity in the engineering field… Here, I am not exceeding my limits… I am willing to exchange our respective PhD theses, just for personal reading. I am sure you, too, will come to form the same judgment, no matter in how implicit and unacknowledged terms. And, even without inviting comparisons of that sort, one could always raise the point: Why be so bureaucratic in education, Mr. Jain? Mr. Ghanegaokar? Don’t you think you pull the standards of education down when you engage in that kind of a mindless conformance to the mindless bureaucracy which informs today’s University of Pune? You evidently conform to its mindless norms—with more than a shade of authoritativeness coming forth off you. That is, even while interviewing someone like me. Isn’t it hight time someone pulled you up for that? And nothing in this is personal… The same applies to anyone else like you—anyone else who serves only to extend the mindlessness of the University of Pune.
The fact of the matter is, there are intellectual pygmies staffing the various private engineering colleges (not to mention also the government colleges, but to a somewhat lesser extent), and they all form a closed system, and feel threatened by open talent and merit. That’s what has become of today’s engineering education under University of Pune.
Yeah! Go ahead!! Delay my PhD even further you [expletives not written not even the very first version so that the issue of their deletion does not arise, but a note must be made that they would apply most fittingly here].
7. With that said, if I still get a teacher’s (i.e. an engineering professor’s) post this season, consider it an “Allah Ki Marzi,” “Will of God,” “Devaachi Ichhaa” etc. Wouldn’t that be right, Barak—the first one?
And, why, come to think of it, since it’s July the 4th today, … why is it that Americans don’t call Barak Obama by his first name, or affectionately call him, say, BHO (like “JFK” or “Abbey” or whatever) but instead prefer to mention him by his last name: “Obama”? What gives?
Anyway, I was not thrilled when he was running for Presidency, and I don’t find him very interesting today either. It’s between him and Americans—what to call him. … One just wonders the moral distance between the American presidents of the late-20th/early 21st centuries and the Founding Fathers, that’s all…
8. All this flurry of activity of mine is OK—it gets me money, in the field I have fought years to get in—namely, CAE… But, for the time being the researcher within me is yearning to get out and get going… I don’t find any time at all for my FAQ-related research… There are so many ideas I have in there…
Oh, well… Some other time.
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PS: I have already replaced my initial “brain-storm” version for this post with a better written one, and may be I will streamline this present version too, once again in a couple of days’ time… Also, I need to upload some thoughts that I had written each time I finished teaching FEM—both at COEP and as a corporate trainer…. More on this all, later. Hopefully, soon enough…