Prelude: Alright. Enough of it. I have been putting this off for an insane amount of time now. And each time I sign in to my blog, I see the “New Post” button beckoning me with almost palpable expectation, and I can almost sense its dejection as I sigh and log out saying “Some other time, baby… not today.” What with the end terms and a few other commitments I simply have not been able to find time to write for myself. But I mean to change that now that my two-month long summer vacation has started. My last summer vacation, I remind myself each day actually. But anyway, this is not meant to be about my summer vacation. This is about what I go through when I am not on vacation. Moving on to my post.
So just the other day after coming back from a grueling, literally back breaking exam, regretting more the amount of hours wasted in staying awake than the inability to perform up to my expectation yet again, I made the perfect environment to doze off for a few hours before starting to study again. Put my phone on silent mode and drew the curtains closed. And just as I was about to drift off to my happy land, I heard a loud bang on my door. I ignored it the first time, hoping whoever it was on the door would just leave me alone and go away, but then the shouting started. Somebody very hysterical was calling out my name to add to the persistent banging. And so I got up, extremely pissed, and opened the door to see M with a laptop cradled in her arms, and an expression that made my heart go out to her. Her laptop got “stuck”, she started. All of a sudden that too, and now it won’t accept her username and password. And before I could take a look at it, she started wailing about how all her project related stuff was in it, and how it would be a disaster if she wasn’t able to recover it. I rubbed my eyes and sat on my bed with the laptop in front of me, asking her to sit down. But she was too tensed to even do that. What if she lost everything? What would happen to her project? Did I have any idea how long it had taken her to compile everything in one place so that it made some sense? And as I tried to type in the username I realized the system wouldn’t accept it. I did what was the most natural thing to do. Turned it off by brute force, using the power switch, and turned it on again. And voila, it started working. And once again, the MCA in the hostel saved the day. Yawn.
After she went back thanking me profusely for saving her project and her career (talk about dramatics) I started thinking about mine. Career, I mean. Being an MCA student in a girls’ hostel meant being the technician who everybody could come to for troubleshooting the silliest things. I only wish it were bigger problems I could solve, though. Like maybe a virus nobody could do anything about, or a system which wouldn’t even boot. It would be then that I would have to scratch my head and say “Better take it to the computer centre, kya?”
I still remember that day in my first semester when I was approached by two girls from Cultural Studies who wanted me to edit and compile a few video clips for them and burn them all into one disc. Don’t roll your eyes, but until then I hadn’t ever burnt a disc (had never needed to, really!) and neither had I used the VCD Cutter (again, hadn’t needed to!). But the fact that I could work it out without asking anybody and that too while appearing to be an expert in it in front of those two girls made me pat my back over and over again. And then came the bit where people assumed that being an MCA meant I am good with laptops, which in turn meant I am good in typing, which in turn meant I could type out pages and pages of a senior’s dissertation. Which I did, by the way. But I attribute my being able to type fast to being more of a struggling writer and less of an MCA. How I wish it were because I spent hours typing code, though. Maybe that would have helped in some sort of an ego boost at least. The whole business of “turning off and turning on” laptops, burning discs, tweaking internet settings for a faster connection, and doling out random common sense advise to solve silly problems is so not what I relate my course to.
You know what the worst part was? When juniors came to me in the third semester, and I found myself hoping they wouldn’t ask me something too difficult cause then I would have to admit my ignorance in front of them. And introduce them to the age-old MCA tradition instead: “It’s so much more than just copying and pasting, you know. It’s an art”. Worse still, I myself had not been able to master that art. And results showed in my falling grades, which were partly due to my failing to submit assignments on time, or ever. I couldn’t possibly come up with “My conscience wouldn’t let me copy, Sir” in front of the Prof, now, could I?
But well, before I go into a full swing rant (or have I already?) I might as well stop and ponder over the lighter side of things yet again. I remember when I had first told a Jiju of mine that I am getting into MCA, he’d told me, “Sham your way through it, Missy. It’s all a sham anyway”. And I am doing more than that, really. I am also singing, dancing and at times acting my way through MCA. And enjoying every bit of that more than I care to admit. But more on that in the next post. Which, I hope isn’t too far away this time.