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405: damn it

My priority number is 405. Why me? You have no clue what I am talking about? Read the next para. Others who got the drift, can skip it and move on to the para which follows the next.

Although IIT Madras is an engineering college, there’s this Humanities Science (HS) department here which offers a lot of absolutely non-engineering courses. As with all IIT’s all courses have some credits (its okay even if you don’t get the funda of credits) and for us its compulsory to obtain some minimum number of credits to get our engineering degrees. The bottom-line is: every one has to do some HS courses. The only relief is that there are a lot of options to choose from. Till two years back, the students used to choose whatever HS course they wanted from the options available and generally got them.

Things were running fine till few Profs realized that hardly any students opted for some particular courses. And these were probably the Profs who were supposed to teach those courses. Now this fact (which kept on happening year after year) psyched them so much, that the otherwise not so creative species called Professors, out of nowhere came up with this annoying idea of a magic number. They called it priority number (PN) !

This is what the new idea is, in a nutshell. Every student now gets a sheet of paper which has names of all the HS courses written on it in a tabular fashion, with boxes along the course-names, where in one can fill the order of preference. Besides, that same sheet of paper also has this randomly generated PN, which can (if you are ‘the’ luckiest) be ‘1’ or some large number (the maximum value being equal to the strength of students in the batch). The funda is that once all the filled sheets have been collected back by the department, the department will start allocating the choices based on the PN. The one who has PN=1 will be considered first and what that means is that (s)he’ll obviously gets whatever course (s)he opted for. More so, an upper limit has been put to the number of students in a class. So, by the time the chance for those with a PN like 405 comes, almost all the options are closed save some stupid courses which no one wanted to take.

What a smart way of curbing the free will of students! Why me? I am not horrified for no reasons. Just read the names of some of the courses that I am sure will be the only ones left, by the time my option sheet will be processed.

Indian Classics & Cultural Values: Look, some one is already fainting.
Contemporary German Philosophy: I ‘Kant’ ask for anything worse 🙁
Literature & Values: Who values this course anyways??
German studies I: Why do they want to make a Hitler out of me?
European Union Studies: How will that benefit Europe? Or anyone for that matter?
American studies-I: I have already seen F.R.I.E.N.D.S !! What more?
Aspects of western philosophy: (The good the bad and the) ugly…

Unlucky me! Even with some exceptional luck, the maximum that I can hope is ‘Indian Fiction in English’, ‘Drama’, ‘Basic Mathematics’, ‘Indian Economic Development’ or ‘Applied Economics’. These are at least doable but to get even these is such a nice try!!

And wanna know all the good ones that I just cannot even dream of? Oh boy there are many. And I can’t get one of them. I am doomed. ‘Environmental and Resource Eco’, ‘Industrial Trade & Finance’, ‘Financial Eco’, ‘Technology and Development’ and ‘Development Problems and Alternatives’ (my no. 1 choice).

Why me? 🙁

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