November 11, 2004

DCOM

My first exam is on the 17th, and the subject is DCOM [Digital Communication Systems]. I have no way to describe how this subject sucks, so lets just replay a conversation I had with my college's DCOM teach one day while waiting for a bus.

The characters here are my teacher and me. Trying to maintain some anonymity. This is as accurate as my memory is.

“Did [insert bus number here] pass by recently?”

Me [didn't notice her at first]: “Huh?”

“Did [insert bus number here] pass by recently?”

Me: “Uh, I don't know. wasn't looking.”

“Ok. Did you complete the assignment?”

Me [I was thinking ‘Oh shit, haven't even started it’]: “No... A few questions are remaining.”

[Then this took me completely by surprise. All almost in a single breath. The best teacher rant I've ever heard.] “I don't even know why the board has given a subject such as DCOM to you guys. It is a very specialized and advanced subject. I didn't even have the subject when I was doing my engineering. And I did my Masters in computers. So it is very difficult for me to teach this subject also.”

Me [WTF? How do I respond to that...]: “Ya ma'am, I agree. The subject is difficult to understand. Especially the mathematical parts... And my maths is especially weak being a Diploma student. Most of us don't even understand what all those derivations are...”

[Don't remember this line exactly] “But maths is the base of electronics. Studying electronics is more about all learning all the derivations and stuff than the circuits.”

Me [boldly going on]: “But ma'am, we are computer students. Most of us are not that interested in electronics. Especially the few diploma students. We don't even know what Fourier Transform is!”

“You didn't study Fourier Transform! You can't learn this subject without it! All the proofs and derivations I gave you guys in class are based on it.” [She tried to explain it to me for a few minutes then....]

Me [this is the first time that I've given a suggestion to a teacher]: “We can try to learn that stuff... But it probably is too difficult for us. If I could give a suggestion, you should spend more time explaining the concepts in class instead of the maths. We will copy that from the text books anyway.”

[Bureaucracy at it's best. I had no answer to this.] “But I have to teach that stuff! [Insert name of Head of Department here] wants daily reports from me about what I teach.”

Thankfully, my bus came at that point and I left.

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