Friday, January 21, 2005

In cold water

Climate control? Heck they don't control water temperature! There are dozens of rest rooms all over this place and free flowing water everywhere. I loathe to use them anyway, only reason is bloody cold water. There are water heaters only in the bathrooms, not in the mess, in the rest rooms on the hill, in the library and many other places. Even the geyser in the bathrooms don't give enough heated water. This morning at 8.30 am-ish, I ran braving the cold wind and ran into the bathroom only to have ice-cold water poured on me, they geysers did not kick in till I finished. It was 20 yards back to my room, through the chilly wind, goose pimples wherever there was hair, and teeth chattering like there was no tomorrow!There are atleast 10 times when I have to run my fingers under icy water in a day. It will be a surprise if I don't lose my fingers to frostbite because of this cold water, before I leave this place.

Wally speaks...

There are two things that terrify me more than anything
2) giving a presentation
1) discussions/interviews

In presentations, too many thoughts come into my mind at the same time and I just dump the first word that is fleeting at that moment, though this is mostly due to the time constraint involved. If there is no such constraint, as in a Strategy class last term, I felt it was a breeze and gave two OK presentations. The same story before each one, start nervous, slide into the mode and go easy. Always the time is over before I can get into that mode. Also a fear of offending the team mates, reducing their grades because of this.

Interviews, I fear more than anything else. Always afraid of picking the wrong word or the wrong gesture, that might throw me out of the interview. I get into a defensive mode, which makes things even more worse. Also fear of attending an endless number of interviews. Once I crack that first interview, as I landed my first job, I quickly landed a couple more, including one to this prestigious institution. It is just a viciuos cycle, till one act breaks that cycle, tough luck with that!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Climate Control

I daily walk from my room to the classroom, braving the chill air that bites into my bones. The academic year is from mid-June to mid-April, 4 months of bitter winter, 2 months of monsoon, 2 months warm and 2 months hot. We have our classes air-conditioned for 4 warm/hot months but not heated for the 6 cold months we are here. We have to brave the elements in the walk from the hostel to the class rooms. When it rains, all the corridors are wet and slippery, many rooms have water seeping under the door, Cold wind cuts through even a warm jacket and jeans and makes our teeth chatter (violently for me), even in a tight shut room, the fan mostly is not enough during the hot months. Why? Because India has hot summers, only air-conditioning is required? What about the cold months? During a trip to Gangtok/Darjeeling/Shimla/Ooty/favourite hill station, all the rooms have ACs, to keep them cool, but not enough water heaters!

All the houses in my hometown Chennai have water heaters for the 2 less than warm months and 10 odd days of rain, when the tap water is cold, but many houses do not have ACs for the rest of the year, cursing the heat and sitting under the lone fan. Paradox?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Paper Jam

There was a very Office Spacesque moment today when the printer suddenly started giving this paper jam message - 'Paper Jam under Top Cover'. When we removed the top cover, there was no paper jam! There was not even a shred of paper anywhere in the printer, even in the paper feed tray. I did a Sameer and said 'Why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam?' There were two other guys with me, who I imagined as Peter and Mike *hehe* The first printer we had was even more troublesome, it would simply stop printing after a couple of pages. Print 3 or 4 pages, reset it and repeat the cycle - print, reset, repeat, that was how we had to print for many months.