Environmental Engineering… It is one of the most boring courses that I have ever taken till now. This course was about waste management and related process descriptions. The prof. was doing his utmost to keep up the spirits of the class (he was in fact tolerating our wtf-attitude) and everyone felt themselves to be on an alien planet where nothing seemed to make sense… even if one tried hard to follow whatever he taught, it was futile (especially attending his classes after a heavy power packed mega mess lunch). Of course, there is at least one such course in everyone’s life where life is sad.
Usually people play games on their mobile, send sms to their friends, or do something like that. I usually bunked most of his classes, so resented coming to this one (I merely wanted to check if he took attendance or not). One thing which I can never ever stand, is to be idle and waste time away (not to be confused with doing something useful, but rather to do something to entertain yourself). So Ashish kept a bet with me for TEN bucks (wow!!!). It was plain and simple… interrupt the class and engage yourself on a one to one talk with the prof. for over 5 minutes on the timer without breaking the conversation. Well, it seemed easy at first, but then I really couldn’t come up with anything to talk about. I couldn’t stand up and start talking about movies and heavy metal with him. Neither could I follow what he was teaching or even properly read his writing on the board describing some diagram of what looked like a landfill site.
So this was my strategy: let me first ask doubts about the diagram on the blackboard, then repeatedly beat around the bush on the same topic. And so my hand shot up in the air… timer 0:00 (min: sec).
Me: Sir, can you explain the diagram over there ?
Him: Hmm ?
Me: Sir, that diagram…
Him: This is a landfill site. We have been discussing the various ways of disposing wastes on a mass scale. So what is your doubt?
( Eh? My doubt ? Hmm… that didn’t mean anything… and the whole class was staring at me as if I am showing off my ability to concentrate in class and increase the breadth of my knowledge by asking such irrelevant doubts and waking up all the sleeping dudes. Ok, bad start… but don’t lose your continuity. Timer: 0:15)
Me: Oh… what are the other ways of depositing waste? This should be the most effective way possible.
Him: No… there are other methods which are effective. (Wow, this was a point of contention that he definitely seemed to want to counter and explain… so now I had the upper hand). There are processes like…. blah, blah… and so they can be used as an alternative. So that should clear your doubt. Anyways, let me continue the features of land fill…
(OH Damn!!! wait a sec… I thought this was supposed to continue as a conversation and not anonymously be decided by him as a monologue. Timer was just 1:45. And junta again stared at me like I was trying conspicuously to be a nuisance. And Ashish gave a small smirk which just put peer pressure on me. All right then... it was now or never. I didn’t mind getting my face in the mud as long as the target was the achieved. The ends justify the means. And there wasn’t any topic left to discuss… nothing common between me and this course except for this class and the tests… Oh ya!! The tests…)
Me: Sir, isn’t the next test this coming Monday ?
Him: No… the slot for our subject is on Tuesday at 8 in the morning.
(Of course everyone in the world knew that … In fact I knew the whole schedule for the approaching test by heart. But this was not the time for intelligent conversation… the ends justify the means… come on… way to go…)
Me: Oh… what are the topics covered in the approaching test?
Him: Well… It should be covering whatever I have taught you after the previous test.
(Great answer… Sigh! I desperately wanted him to be a bit elaborate on everything, but he seemed to be answering all my questions to the point on purpose)
Me: So does it include the topics covered in today’s class too?
Him: Well, yes.
Me: And yesterday’s class?
(Good thing that I only muttered this dumb question and not many people were able to hear what I said, including the prof… fortunately)
Me: I mean, will you be including the topics in the next class too?
Him: Yes, please read all that is covered until the day of the test.
Me: Sir, btw, if we have to read whatever you have taught just after our previous test, wont that be a break in the continuity? I mean, since the topics covered come in a sequence, wont we have to get back to the topics covered in the previous test?
(Wow… what a logically appealing point!! If I was a prof and someone told me something like that, I would gladly oblige him. Now, I was putting everyone into trouble by forcing all to read whatever was there for the first test, and this even increased the probability of me getting beaten up by my classmates. There was a sudden outbreak of protests and grunts surrounding me. I was just counting on the prof’s generosity of rubbishing my claim and get the situation back to normal)
Him: Well, if it does come to that, then you must have all the principles of environmental energy imbibed in you… blah, blah…
(Hmm…what a relief… But I did expect this sort of dialogue to come from the prof. Nice… I just had to continue this sort of bullshit… the prof didn’t seem to get offended or see anything fishy about my questions.)
Me: Fine. But what sort of questions would you be asking in the test?
(Hmm… this was the last straw. The old man lost all interest in finishing the description of the diagram on the board and turned his attention on me instead. I was intimidated at first, but then he didn’t seem angry. His face expression just said that he wanted to get done with me and my great list of questions. Nice… I was just hoping that this won’t turn out to be a fiasco)
Him: (Breaking into a smile) Well, you should be knowing it from the experience of your first test. There will be some questions testing your analytical skills and some testing your understanding of the processes. Why should you be bothered about what comes in the exam as long as you have understood everything?
(Hmm… a very logical point. But logic is not I wanted… I wanted the magic of irrational persistence. Timer: 4:11… victory was soon to be mine. Even Ashish was impressed because he didn’t imagine that I would make it this far… or rather impressed by how I made it this far. Oh yeah baby… time to finish it off with a punch dialogue)
Me: Oh… ok. But I was just wondering what kind of question would come for the test.
(… If you can call that a punch dialogue)
(But now the whole class started laughing at why I was making a fool out of myself by engaging relentlessly at such a rhetorical conversation. The prof was grinning at my pathetic question while still trying to answer my question)
Him: See… just read for the test. It is going to be a very simple one as long as you have read everything. All the things which… blah. blah…
(And then he went on putting philosophy about how easy any test is when you are prepared with all the knowledge that you have been expected to understand and comprehend. Well, this was more than I could ask for. I wasn’t even paying attention to the prof as much as to the timer. At the end of it, I managed a 6:21. That’s nearly one and a half minutes across the border of victory. All the class junta got pained because of my six minutes of prolonged bugging)
In the end, it was the pride and honor of doing something daring and entertaining that filled my senses completely. Now, don’t copy me and do bullshit like that in class. If you do wanna improvise on my technique, try it on RKK you M*********************** (put as many stars as you like to conceal the wordJ)