Sunday, July 18, 2010

a semester later...

Aim of Experiment :
To honestly represent SP'10, NJIT.

Materials and Methods :
1. A backpack with laptop, mp3 player, camera, charger for each. Notice the absence of study material, laptop suffises.
2. Coffee mug. Red, Blue, Steel, Empty. Anything will do. The eternal sign of a serious student. Though I wonder, isn't it an indication that one feels sleepy in class, suggesting the lecture is sleep inducing...oh well, who am i to judge?
3. Windcheater/Umbrella/Anything to cover your head- It snows. It rains. Its hot.
4. Cash. If mugging phobia grips you, get a flex card. And the public safety number.
5. ID. Gateway to anywhere except the classroom. And we all know, fun lies anywhere except the classroom.
6. A Smile- might just get you an on campus job. No guarantee.

Class starts usually in the evening, for some rare unlucky ones, in the afternoon. Anyway, you get enough time to sleep. That is, if you are the good student. If you are like the rest of us, the later class starts, the more time you have. For Youtube, for New York, for GSA, for Clubs. And a lot of other things. Resulting in a steep decrease in the hours of sleep. Ahh...hence, the coffee. Get it?

The most populated site in NJIT has to be the library. Apart from the Food Court, of course. And before you get into your head that we are a hungry, geeky lot, let it be known the most visited site got it, facebook. Well, to do justice to ourselves, we do study. When nobody is online, that is.. And it is so much fun, in those small rooms. You get friends, you form a group, you get laptop, you study.You do not discuss the latest movie, you do not talk about your newest gadget, you study. Trust me.

Whoever decided on the location and design of the Campus Centre "actually" knew students. Inside Out. Imagine going from library to class. Heart heavy, head bowed, face long, life downtrodden. From reading papers to reading notes...huh! think you have just seen your friends. No, you have seen three of them. Relaxing in armchairs, protected from the latest nuisance that the weather has decided to be, gorging on Taco Bell/Hersheys/Starbucks, whichever takes your fancy...Salads too, if you are the healthy type. Life just perks up, doesnt it? What more does a student need? Except Friends and Food? Welcome to the Campus Centre. A small break, just when you need it. The "small" break might just become long enough for you to miss class. But thats obviously besides the point.

I am not going to details about what happens inside class. You all know it. and those who dont... lucky you.

The Gym. The only place where you perspire happily. Where you can move in whichever way you want to, and not be laughed upon. Where you work out with such enthusiasm and dedication, which if given to your research, PhD would have been well over by now. Personally speaking, what with the whole school laden with either food or food vending machines, this has to be the most important place of all.

And then night falls. A day in life at NJIT comes to an end.

Observation and Result:
There were, and will be a lot of "firsts" in USA in general, and NJIT in particular. The first day, in the Campus Centre, being welcomed to this strange, unknown world at Orientation, to the first time you speak aloud in class, wondering about others' reactions, the first time you see Times Square, the first time your throat dries up before a presentation, the first time you see a snowfall, the first time you walk through it, the first time you buy a calling card to speak at home, the first time you eat out of the cart, the first time you hear the sweet chimes of the bell, the first time you realise you have unknowingly made a friend, the first time you apply for jobs, the first time you sit for an exam....

All through these firsts, you realise your own powers of adaptation. Suddenly, you fall in love with all the problems, the eating at ungodly hours in Subway, the fact that you can eat in class, the festivals and functions, the realisation that other than you own self, you have no one else as your guardian. You have finally become an adult. Like all around you.

What was that? GPA? What GPA? Refer to the absence of study material !

To survive here, all you need is the ability to go on. Constantly. Not a fake accent.


Kuntala said...

A very thorough list :). And regarding the accent, I often wonder how can people pick up the American accent within months of coming here. I am still speaking Bengali-medium-accented-English after almost four years :(....

sumana said...

The strangest thing about the accent though is that, when Indians speak to Indians, their English has a distinct regional touch, but how they manage the accent is a mystery..

Joy Forever said...

I hate that fake accent, believe me. Call it a case of "the grapes are sour" if you will, but I simply do not believe that the American accent is more "correct" than my own and I need to change myself so dramatically to be understood.

A nice write-up. The fact that I can eat in class is still kind of indigestible to me - of course, some of our classes are in computer labs, where eating and drinking is prohibited. By the way, have you seen this on campus? :)

sumana said... i hadnt..what is that supposed to mean?

about the fake accent, what do you mean "sour grapes"? our english is way better than these Americans. Anyday. If they dont understand me, I refuse to speak to them until they upgrade their vocabulary.