I did my undergrad from a university in Kolkata. I made some great friends, was lucky to be mentored by a bright young professor, and spent some wonderful time dreaming about algorithms, girls and my future as a researcher in theoretical computer science. It has been more than two years since graduation, and with the benefit of hindsight, I have to confess everything was not all right in my alma mater.
We put too much premium on success in competitive exams. One becomes a superstar if she manages to crack IIT. As an ordinary mortal, I was not able to attain this extraordinary feat. But I somehow got into a university of reasonable repute that guarantees a job in the software profession. There students (including myself) used to bunk classes on a regular basis; most of the classes were not worth attending anyway. Copying was rampant in class tests, occasionally even in semester exams. I was guilty in this count as usual. Majority of the professors were bad teachers, majority of the students did not consider studying to be one of the top priorities.
Ours is a peculiar society that judges people by their ranks in competitive exams. I sometime wonder about the extent to which professional success and exam scores are correlated. Yet I have seen people boasting of their academic backgrounds quite often. A person should be evaluated on the basis of her professional achievement after she gets out of college, not by the name of the college she managed to get into. The education system can do with some reform.
I am neither proud nor ashamed of my college days. I simply cherish the sweet memories.
Religion is here to stay
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