My first class in US

12 10 2009

I’ve registered myself for a certification program at the local University and last Thursday, I attended my first academic class in US. It was with much anticipation and a hint of hesitation that I entered the classroom. The first thing I noticed was the presence of sleek monitors in front of the occupied seats. I also spotted a few laptops here and there. As I was just wondering why other seats have no such arrangements, it dawned on me that the screens were merely propped down for the unoccupied ones. I took a seat beside a lady and gazed at the propped down monitor before my desk with a perplexed expression and I was convinced that bringing that thing face to face with me would involve complex manipulation of the stand that was holding it. As I looked around for help, I saw a person in action.  A smile appeared on my face as I realized that all I needed to do was just to hold and lift it upwards. J Meanwhile, I took in the keyboard and CPU under the desk. I was fascinated by the whole set up of the class. 

Next I observed the instructor in the front talking to a few students and preparing for the lecture – setting up his machine etc. I recognized him from the thumbnail pic on the program brochure and I was very impressed by his appearance and his cheerful demeanor. I feel it’s important to get a good feel about the instructor in order to gain most from him.

And then the class slowly filled up and the instructor started his lecture. I was more than a bit amused by the way he had to struggle with the microphone and hands-free transmitter as he couldn’t quite get to clip it on him to render quality output. I couldn’t help remembering my MBA days in India where I witnessed a similar scene countless times. At that time I thought that it’s because of a defective equipment and/or lack of sophistication in India. But to witness the same here in US made me realize that it’s a universal problem, which can be attributed to the poor design of the device, and has nothing to do with sophistication whatsoever. 

Now, coming to the actual lecture, I found the style very similar to the way my most favorite professor at business school back in India used to teach. (He had taught in Singapore and London before). The most striking thing about the session was of course, the degree of students’ involvement. It’s highly participative and I daresay that in this first class more time was spent on discussions and student inputs than on the instructor’s discourse. It was a very rejuvenating experience for me. 

I was immensely intimidated by the profile of the student body. There were people with vast experience and knowledge in the field, some with over 10 years of work experience. It seemed like I was the only one with zero exposure to the practicalities of the field. I must confess that I was a bit overwhelmed by the nature of the project work expected and the amount of reading that has to be done. 

All weekend I was brooding over this, searching for information resources, going through online articles, buying books, requesting holds on some items in the local libraries, working on the assignment and mostly trying to brace myself for the challenge ahead. 

I guess I feel better today than before the weekend.



5 responses

13 10 2009

Oh cool.. I miss school.. all the best.. I wish you finish your course with flying colors 🙂

15 10 2009

Wow…good to know about ur class…all the best….

16 10 2009

Thank you!

22 10 2009

I so wanted to go to a class over there, but couldnt… nice class.. good luck.. somehow my system wasnt updating your blog stats :((.. so got a lot of backlog.

22 10 2009

Oh! Thanks!
Yeah, i’ve noticed that too. It wasn’t updated on any other blogs too.. weird!

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