Thursday, December 30, 2010
JUST BEFORE THE STORM - PART 1: First in the batch...!!! - by E/81/214
“You have come from the second best school of the country to the best engineering faculty…”, the lean figure paused to clear his throat, “… and you have no excuse (for not knowing how to write Thevenin’s Theorem without a single mistake). Go to the library, refer a good text book and show me the correctly stated Theorem in the NEXT lab class!”
This event took place in late 1982. I was a second year student in his first Electronic lab class trying to measure a cell using a multi-meter and was unfortunate to be randomly selected by "Gunda" for his ill-famous questioning routine.
My “guestimate” of six volts for the cell we were going to measure using a multi-meter was pretty wrong.
That’s when the real questioning started.
I knew the theory of the Wheatstone’s Bridge and the operation of the Ni-Cd battery correctly but not the exact wording of the ill-famous “Any two terminal active network …”. Even if I had answered that question correctly, I knew that the quiz-master could continue until, eventually, I fail.
After all, I was just a second year student who was facing his day of judgement in front of the professor in electronic engineering by a mere coincidence.
Becoming the first person of my batch to have been thrown out of the electronics lab gave me a great satisfaction. That’s because I had just passed the first hurdle of becoming a celebrity; someone graduating with 16 subjects, some one coming back to the faculty in the Jeep in the “tourist season”, someone making the numbers of 600+ who sit the second year exams each year. Wow!
This was an important day in my university life neither because I learnt that the best school of the country is Mahinda Collage, Galle but not Ananda Collage, Colombo, as I have been incorrectly assuming, nor because I learnt the exact words of Thevenin’s Theorem by-heart. But more importantly, it started to become clearer to me that my selection of Peradeniya over Moratuwa had been a mistake, at least as far as academic work is concerned. But fortunately, studies were my least concern when I opted for Peradeniya in 1981!
READ PART 2