The Final year (to be precise the final semster) of IITKGP has added a bunch of new experience for me; starting from the aboundance of free time to kill (or utilize !!!), a lots of Zzzz, Bhatting, porting my ebooks link collection from geocities to blogger to avoid the excessive ads and finally transforming it to a full fledged blog, the preparation for the campus placement season, the making of my new blog on campus placement, adding new hobbies like watching movies, reading novels, and jogging. But there is yet another experience that couldn't have been acquired by me if i were not a 5 year dual degree student. All of the dual degree student of my department is assigned some TA-ship (Teaching Assistanship), which includes mundane stuffs like taking tutorials of juniors, checking copies of class tests, and lab assistanship (not to be confused with the permanent member of labs, but actually some temporary job to help concern proffesor to run the lab smoothly).
In the previous years research scholars were used to be the lab assistant in the labs. But from this year dual degree students are assigned this job in some of the labs. I along with one of my spiritualy elevated (!!!) friend is assigned as a lab assistant in the DSP lab. Its once-in-a-week job. We have to do all those apparently not-so-interesting (and actually boaring) like taking attendance, checking lab records of the students, and very recently taking viva of the students.
Taking attendance is easiest part of it.
The problem comes with checking lab records. It reminds me those old days of mine when i used to write lab records. In IITKGP the progress of class and lab for a particular subject is not in any way synchronized and lab is considered as a separate entity of learning; this is where the real menace began; you are foolishly expecting a student to know something not taught in the class (or study something on his own). But majority of the students are lazy enough to reach the standard of the above hypothesis. The result is as expected, student never understanding for what purpose he is doing this experiment. He just follows all those instructions written in the lab manual. But this is not the proble that bothers me, but rather the outcome of it (i.e. the lab records which the student submit after doing his experiment) is the real problem. Checking lab record is like doing testing (Hardware or Software); its about finding faults or finding some good points in a pool of faults
. And when the student doesn't understand the experient, then he write either most trivial stuffs, or stuffs written in the lab mannual, or simple bllabering to fill the pages. Lack of proper way of presentation or altogether absense of it just make my job much more tougher. Checking random chaotic lab records of 40 students in 2hr and grading them in a pre-specified distribution is one of the most terrible job you can ever imagine.
The problem with majority of student is manyfold. First of all very few of them understand what is the experiement is all about; secondly they can't able to differentiate between theory, observation and discussions and end of in a mesh; thirdly they don't now how to present; and lastly rarely they come and bug you justifying what they have written is correct. What astonish me mostly is the laziness of the student to use google to find some information on the experiment and present it. It is not that i am far smarter then these guyz, we were of similar kind when we are in the 3rd year. It is only after lab assistantship i am able to understand how to write a lab record in the way it should be !!!
The experience with viva is interesting one. Giving viva is not at all a interesting process. But taking viva is far far worser then the former one. Asking same question again and again, and listening same type of wrong answer is not very good experience. And thing gone hysterical when they guyz giving viva can't recollect the names of the experiment he has done, and smartly give absolutely wrong answers. The viva of one student turns out to be such funny that the professor declare it to be a worthy piece of joke for department magazine (non-existing).
The experience of lab assistanship is not altogether boaring one. When there is no copy to check, then you can have some of very cool (heated discussion - no way) with the professors, on n number of topics, but we aways prefer to get ourself freed from lab on those days when there is no copy to check.