Yellow Mellow Fellow

And the worst has struck now. It could be called the best too.

The kind of things I have made fun of all my life might be the things I will eventually end up doing. The kind of people I have mocked might be exactly the kind I'm going to become. All those bloody academicians, those people with scientific knowledge and all. Those goddamn scientists, PhD's.
Yeah, I might be going for a PhD after this masters thingy. People can't stop laughing when they come to know about what I am gonna do. Most of my classmates/peers won't even believe that I would end up like this.

Anything can happen, seriously. When I was young, I used to make fun of all those fellows which were "fellows" of some sort. I never understood why after they did well in academics, they became some kind of "fellow". Bla bla "fellow" and all.

And guess what, a US govt. department is now making me a "fellow". Giving me a fellowship grant and all. Didn't believe it when I saw their email. Had applied for it cuz everyone else was going for it. I was like, "Are you sure, govt. people?" But well, its their choice. They wanna waste their coupla thousand bucks in drain, their goddamn wish. US gotta lotta money anyway.

But the irony, you know? Doesn't make me too happy. What would make me more happy? Well I wish my art paid me. Even if it was like 10 bucks for a story in an average magazine, I would have been jumping all around. I am sitting with a dozen of rejections in my inbox for all the pieces I wrote since January. Nice. It's not like that thousands of bucks from science is bad, it's just that I feel I don't deserve it. I really don't.

I suck at science. Very hard. Prolly suck harder at art. But I don't wanna accept that reality. To be an artist is my only wish. And until I become that, this life is gonna be full of struggle and regret.

Funny govt. people. Funny. I really get a bang out of them.


Current Book: "The Grapes of Wrath" By John Steinback
Current Music: "Fuckin' Perfect" by Pink

On Mathematics

Her love/hatred for math has followed a function which can't be defined.
#She sat at the last bench of the classroom for 7th standard, looking at her watch now and then. The bell rung at the end of yet another hour at school, marking the beginning of the Maths class. She wiped the beads of sweat on her forehead with the sleeve of her shirt. That day, her maths teacher was going to return their graded tests they had last week.

They were supposed to do good on this one. It had only easy questions, the topper had said to her after the test. Somehow she only got 2 out of 20.

"So bad scores. Why couldn't all of you even do simple trigonometric problems?" the teacher yelled at the students and then paused, as if waiting for an answer.

A muffled murmuring was the answer.
"All right, all of you below five marks, stand up with your left palm up." The sharp edged ruler felt like hot iron every time it slapped on her palm. Eventually, her soft palms grew tougher as years passed by.

#"You're in tenth class now. Tenth standard. Your percentage, your merit card, will follow you everywhere. Your college, your job, everywhere. They will ask you, how did you do in your 10th class? And what will you say? What exactly will you say?"
She stood silent, her head hung low in fear.

"Look at me. What will you say? That you failed in Maths? That you couldn't even pass the mid-terms? What will you do in your boards? Do you want to sit at home and wash dishes with your mom? Failed in maths, such a failure..."

# "Hey, c-could you help me in this numerical?" she asked looking up at the guy who had nearly missed the entrance to IIT and landed up in the same college she had, by chance.

"Hm, sure, okay, so do that," he scribbled a few calculations on the empty page, "and this, and here, just plug these numbers and then just differentiate the equation you get. Then get x from there, got it?"

"Umm, so-um, okay I'll do them like that," she plugged the numbers, wrote the equation to be differentiated, "so the-the differentiation?" she said without looking up, pointing her pencil at the equation.

"C'mon it's easy. Can't you even differentiate? It's so simple!" he laughed at her, "What are you really doing in engineering? What are you doing here in this field?"

"I really wish I knew," she said and left.

# What is this exp, exp, exp. Why this exp (delta G/RT) is everywhere? Why? Why is e so significant? Why it's use ranges so wide that it used in probabilistic functions as well as derivative ones? Why it has so many proofs for just a unique value of 2.71....?

Why, why, why, it's so.... beautiful? She must have pondered for a week on e. Because maths was what she had to learn. It was her life now. It couldn't be escaped.

# "So, this will go there and y will have an exponential increase with x and then I will formulate this equation, which will incorporate both the factors related. This will then be a one general equation and there won't be any need of separate equations. And then I would develop a model, based on the chemical analysis, whose predicted values I would verify with the ones obtained from the derived equation," she finished writing on the blackboard.

"What did you say how you got your Z value, over there?" asked her professor.

"That, I developed the equation for that. The existing equation is too simple and doesn't cover all the possible factors, but this one," she circled on the board full of numbers she had written in the past hour, "This one, does count for every possible factor. And it will be proved by multiple regression."

"It's good, it's good. It's good to think, it's always good to think different," the professor nodded his head a few times, "But I think you should just stick with the standard equations for now. Don't waste more time and energy over this. But it's good, it's good you're thinking, it's just that you're going lil bit too complex."

For all the math geeks, the movie "The Oxford Murders" is a must.


Current Book: "The Grapes of Wrath" By John Steinback
Current Music: This

If it makes you clap,

I am tired of seeing those same kind of emails again and again. Those emails which say the same thing in minimum amount of words, over and over.

"This piece is not for us."

"Unfortunately, we can't accept this."

"We appreciate your work but it doesn't fit our publication."

It depresses me, for sure. But it doesn't hold me back, not yet. As long as I believe in myself, I am not quitting.

Even if it makes me seek external motivation to keep the inner fire kindled, I am not quitting. And to speak of external motivation, I saw Dead Poets Society today. I had heard this had a lot of promise in it. And for sure, it had.

It's a movie about an English professor and his students at a respected, disciplined high school who are part of this secret Dead Poets Society. A movie that teaches, how being different is not being odd but being unique. That why the lines you write, the beliefs you believe, the faces you make need not conform to the standards of the society.

There were moments in the flick, that made me pause the media player and clap. I clapped at the finale. I never realized that a tear had streaked down my cheek when the credits began to roll. And I didn't realize that my hands were still beating against each other.

That being different is not so bad. That being bad at something is not so bad. Because bad is just a word defined badly. It doesn't necessarily have to be bad. That I have to find my own voice. My own gait. My own pose.

And then I can walk proudly amidst the crowd. And some will accept me and my work, one day, if not all.

Current Book: "The Grapes of Wrath" By John Steinback
Current Music: "The Reason" by Hoobastank

On Being a Teaching Assistant In US

Note: "I had a lot of people asking me about all this Tanya affair. The only and last thing I would say is, please stop caring so much. When you watch some silly and useless video on youtube, like charlie bit my finger and stuff, you don't really care who posted that thing. Do you? You just watch the video, judge it, laugh or think about it and then go back to facebook. That's exactly what you should do with this blog, read it if you think its worth it, and then go back to better things in your life." -Dk

"Ok, could you get out of here now, sonuva...?" - Tanya

Allright, since we are now done with all the Authorial issues, let's begin with the post.

#Dark matter
The first time I checked the lab reports of the students, I was amazed to see the level of truth and honesty embedded in them. Everything was reported as measured with no manipulation done at all. My beliefs had begun to shook as I began to flip by the pages of a particular report.

This report had the most amazing data in it. They had actually reported that the concrete they had tested in the lab last week had negative specific gravity. NEGATIVE specific gravity for chrissake. I was about to comment on the file whether they added cement or anti-matter in it.

But anyway, in the conclusions they supported their data by openly accepting that Sp. G is not supposed to be negative, and that they have possibly done some mistake while weighing their specimens. They hinted that it maybe an instrument error as well. But I commented that it was a human error as they had screwed up in the calculations section.

America isn't that hot about math. I am not too hot about math either. And that's why I love it.

#Extra Credit
I sort of started this cult when the first time I began giving personalized extra credit to certain homeworks and reports. These extra/bonus points would creep into the files which would amaze me, and in the end would put a smile on the faces of the students who really deserved it. Little I had known that this would have larger repercussions.

As the news passed among the undergraduates, the group who got 105/100 became famous and it evoked a sense of thrill among them. If you don't have a thrill while learning or doing anything in this world, you better not do it. My UG courses were without any thrill, so I thought I would make a difference here.

I began giving bonus points to the reports which had nice pictures added along the write ups to caress my eyes. The bad repercussion was that, the next time we had the lab, everybody had their Androids out, and the work area was blinded with flashes. The professor stood wondering why the hell they were clicking everything from sand to rock.

Of course, the good repercussion was that now I only received professionally formatted reports.

#Bigger Picture
I often ran after marks/grades/points in my life (and sometimes I still do that ;), but that's rarely cuz I staunchly believe in excellence, not success) Being on the other side of the table, the bigger picture is more clear to me now. It's not really about those grades. Nobody really gonna care about them after 5 years. Its about how much you can learn out of something. I try my best to make the students learn.

Probably that's why some teachers make assignments/exams so difficult because they desperately want their students to learn. But scaring somebody is never the right way to make them get it. Encouraging someone is the right way.

If you can't excite them, motivate them, thrill them, you can't really teach them. If you can't compare the mixing of mortar to cooking of chocolate cookie doughs, you better find a better way.

Current Book: "The Grapes of Wrath" By John Steinback
Current Music: "Be Yourself" By Audioslave (Ironic? ;)

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