The red ribbon! #ThankYouTFI

‘Wow! Is this the place we’re going to be living for the next one month?’ — As we entered the foothills of the mountain, I was fascinated to see the name board of the University which was mentioned on the welcome email.

With the limited Hindi that I know (actually, very limited Hindi), I reached out to check with the driver ‘bhaiyaa’ (a new Hindi word that I learned on my way)

“Wo pahaad ke piche” (It’s behind the mountains) — he replied back.

I remembered someone quoting long back – to pursue your passion you should be ready to cross the mountains. They must be true! There I was – crossing the mountain all the way to the place where I will receive my first training for a professional job.

As we reached the top of the mountain, I saw breathe taking view of the other side – filled with so much of green. That was the real beauty! I didn’t know by that time, that this will be a view that we get to witness for the next 5 weeks, every day.

I’ve always heard from my seniors that the training you receive before your first job is always crucial. As a fresh graduate, I was so curious and was well prepared mentally to take down a lot of notes and to pay attention to all the content that’s being offered in these 5-weeks of training. Starting my career as a teacher with a non-profit social sector organization is nothing but a gifted opportunity to me.

As I kept on thinking, the cab slowly reached the downhill after some ‘Z’ turns and then to a straight road which took us to the destination.

The security received us and requested to do an entry on the register as we enter inside. I got down from the cab, went to the entry point and wrote down my name for the first time with the new fresh identity that I had ‘2016 Fellow – TFI’.

The cab journey continued for a while, even after we crossed the security gates for some time. The campus was so big and I realized there is more scope for us to get lost.

As I was glancing over this place, the car stopped at some point – the driver ‘bhaiya’ told me that this was the destination. I got down from the cab – to see a big fountain in the entrance of the campus, was also able to see many of my fellow ‘Fellows’ taking their luggage and slowly walking towards the first building that’s visible.

I took out my luggage as well, which I’ve been packing for the past 2-3 weeks carefully (so I don’t miss anything out and struggle in a new place) – they were so heavy! But still, I was able to manage carrying it.

I was delighted to see so many diverse people – across states from north to south/east to west of the country walking the ‘path’ along with me. It was quite interesting to overwhelming to see that we have so much of youth – who believe that change in education space is possible, inevitable and who chose to change by offering their time and commitment. I’ve never met such passionate, curious and confident people like them. Naturally, there was so much positivity on the air!

I felt a little bit of cold breeze and some droplets of shower over me as I walked closer to the fountain. It was a refreshing feeling both internally and externally! I was also able to notice – there were so many colourful charts and pictures on the trees, walls and everywhere in the space.

While I was witnessing all these things and continued with my slow walk carrying the heavy luggage on my hands – suddenly I saw a person running all the way towards me shouting ‘Hellooo!’.

I was surprised but at the same felt relieved seeing someone with empty hands coming all the way, maybe to offer some help in carrying the luggage. As they come closer I saw the ‘Staff’ tag on their ID cards!

But then, they came and requested for something very different.

‘Show me your hand!”

‘Okay. But, why?’

Show me your hand. Listen to didi!’

‘Okay. Here you go.’ — I dropped my luggage and showed my hand.

She took a piece of red-colored ribbon and tied it on my wrist and shouted in an excited voice.

“Welcome to Teach For India Summer Institute. Now you’re a part of red team. Red represents courage. We will be starting with an exciting game in another 10 minutes. Please go find other red team members and join with them.”

“What? The Institute had already begun!” — I was puzzled at the same time was super excited. There cannot be any other better challenge to begin with by playing a game that too with completely new people.

I enjoyed the activity. I got to interact and know people. I learned why they all joined TFI.

And more importantly, I realized something very interesting – education or training is not just about learning, it is about instilling energy, enthusiasm, courage and curiosity among the learners! Building a community is not just about people, it is about them creating a culture of thriving, growing and becoming stronger with a greater purpose!


All this happened on my first day with Teach For India as a Fellow at 2016 Summer Institute! Can’t believe its 4 years already – looking back, every day I had new learning with new people, doing new things on this journey.

#ThankYouTFI for everything. Adios, for now.

That ONE Mile! #JourneyOf1001Miles

Link to the previous blog: #JourneyOf1001Miles – Not another travel blog!

There were two options presented to me on that fine Monday morning – one was to sit back, and wait for someone to come and help me cross that one mile.  The other was to stand up and take that one mile journey on my own, which I have never ever done in my life before as an eight year old kid!

A little background story to this – from my experience of born and brought up in a village ecosystem – the experience was unique for me.   There are definitely perks in a rural lifestyle – say, living closer to the nature, the sheer joy in a peaceful and low-paced way of life, autonomy and the strong sense of community.  Looking from the lens of a kid, there’s more space to play and move around in a village, and you have more number of friends who are also in some way related to you as a relative!

But at the same time, when it comes to access and availability of resources, there’s a huge gap. Like in my case, to buy a small stationery item or to get a simple ‘pakoda’ snack, one has to travel a mile’s distance!  That one mile too – is composed of a short one feet path way (most commonly known as ‘the otraiyadi pathai’ in Tamil) and a small road to connect to the town.  I was often annoyed as a child, to travel that distance either by walk or by carried by someone through a bicycle – these ‘journeys’ in my then opinion, was too much of work.

Back then, I studied in the Govt. Primary School in the village, and more often it was fun going to school with friends across the street.  End of the background story!

During one of the festive seasons, which is celebrated well in town, I decided to visit my aunt’s place to spend some time over the weekend and enjoy the festivities.  I also had two of my cousins who studied in a local Private school in the town, I used to play Cricket and roam around the town with them.

Usually, whenever I visit the town during the weekend I always get back to my village on Sunday evening, so there’s adequate time for me to get prepared and go to school on the next day.  But, during that weekend, I decided to stay back, with the hope that I may find someone from my local village in the morning that I can cling on to.  There was also a bit of risk, because if I don’t find someone in the morning, I might not be able to go to school next day at all – as I haven’t ever travelled the one mile on my own, never before!

We decide something as a risk – because there’s equal probability to what we expected might not also happen.  And the same thing happened to me! I couldn’t find anyone to join with and I was in a fix – with the two options – one was to sit back, and wait for someone to come and help me cross that one mile.  The other was to stand up and take that one mile journey on my own, which I have never ever done in my life before!

The most exciting thing about doing ‘new’ things is that we won’t have any experience to look back to and analyze.  But as an eight year old, I’ve heard a bunch of stories that children unaccompanied going missing, being misused.  That actually, made me to reconsider my decision multiple times, but there’s a high stake – I might miss out a lesson from my 3rd Standard textbook if I don’t attend the school (that’s true – we think of our high stakes based on what level we’re in!).

But, as the clock was ticking – I made up my mind. I chose to travel that ONE MILE, on my own – which I have never done before! My aunt also permitted me – I was a tall boy 😛

I recollected the path way, confirmed the same with my aunt and cousins.  Then I started my journey – it was both a mix of walk and run, powered by some in flow of adrenaline, with cold wind rushing towards me as I moved from walking on the town roads to the path in between the farming lands and lily ponds.

There’s a beauty on walking between the farming lands – one has to keep watching the steps, and keep a strong sense of balance!  But, on that day, I tried my best to travel as fast as possible – especially in the areas where I was completely alone and there was no human visibility. 

The journey was never ending – I couldn’t even imagine reaching the full distance.  I kept on walking steps-after-steps-after-steps.  Thankfully, I didn’t have a watch with me, so my focus was only on the travel, not on the time. 

I was also consistently looking on the path way to see if there are any known men riding a bicycle so I can go along.  To my dismay, there was no one – let alone the bicycle, no one was even walking.

I started singing a few of my favourite songs as a child, be it ‘Oruvan oruvan muthalali’ or ‘Singam ondru purapattadhe’ to accelerate and keep up the momentum of my walk!

I was able to understand so many things doing this ‘one mile journey’ alone.  The time goes very slow, and distance you travel is frame by frame if you’re conscious.  In my mind, I was also scolding myself – I should’ve chosen to leave early on the previous day and not put me in this unnecessary tense situation!

When I was completely exhausted – finally this happened – I was able to see a view of my street! Yes, my destination is on sight now.  Due to my action-packed ride, my shirt was half-wet.

I slowly walked to home, changed and went to school.  Looking at me super tired, my school friends started inquiring about the matter and I narrated them the same.  It was quite surprising for everyone that I walked the entire way all alone, and nobody believed! Well, not to complain, even I won’t believe it; if someone told me such thing can happen – before I made it happen for me!

Traveling the ‘first mile’ was really hard, but it proved a lot of freedom for me – now I have the experience of traveling to the town from my village which means that I can get ‘pakoda’ whenever I want by traveling a mile, of course!

—————————————————————

In retrospect, I can draw a lot parallels to my ‘first mile’ journey to the many of the journeys I took as a student and as a professional, a decade later. 

Yes, to start any journey that you want to – you need these two things ‘courage’ and ‘belief’.

Courage to travel that one mile, which you’ve never done before – courage to take that step which you might find challenging (till you complete it!).

Belief on yourself (the traveller); belief on the people around you; belief on the ecosystem and the environment around you.

Wait, so if you’re asking me – are only courage and belief sufficient to plan any travel?

Definitely, no! In my opinion, every traveler should also know some hacks – like packing your bag.  It’s a skill that I learned in a hard way!

Watch out for the next blog post on travel and let’s do some packing!

Reach out to the author at – [email protected] or tweet at – @aravindhan_in for feedback or suggestions!

#JourneyOf1001Miles – Not another travel blog!

“The journey of 1000 miles, begins with a single step” – This is a very popular quote that a lot us must’ve heard (often told by someone during our stagnant times, to help us get started on something!)

But the truth is, the journey, though it begins with a single step, it is followed by several single steps after single steps, yeah, those single steps keep on going!

Alright, let me get this straight – it’s been a while since I wanted to write a travel blog sharing my experiences, about the places I got an opportunity to see, the amazing people I got a chance to meet with and the process of travel itself, in a few of the cases it’s bit complicated!

But, I often found that the biggest hindrance towards writing a travel blog is ‘travel’ itself – you read it right! It’s often travel-after-travel (like those single steps in the quote I referred in the beginning), so it was a bit hard to find time amidst the preparation for the upcoming things and to look back all those experiences and to write them down!

There’s a common tendency among all of us who are into travel, including me – we always share our ‘highlights of the trip’.  In fact, Social Media is all about sharing such highlights.  But in real life, travel and exploration is not just about the highlights, it is about hundreds and thousands of those small moments of anticipation, excitement, surprises, failure, loads of planning, curiosity, the feeling of belonging as well as lost (not ‘feeling lost’ but literally ’lost’), the feeling of togetherness, community that makes it complete!

Based on who we are as a person, we may consider ‘travel’ as an over rated or expensive thing or an under rated or unnecessary thing – that’s all up to us! We may choose to ignore but we can’t deny the kind of impact that ‘travel and exploration’ creates on us as a person.

Last week, I felt a little sad about seeing the travel industry going down due to the on-going outbreak of COVID-19 around the globe – and I felt sad about missing a trip to Hyderabad and cancelling all my travel plans for the upcoming two weeks!

But, I’ve figured out a good thing out of this situation – now, there’s time.  (It’s no more that travel-after-travel feeling!) And I wanted to go back to my long term aspiration of writing about the ‘journey’!

Wait, so do we have to name the blog? – That’s when I thought of the ‘quote’ I referred all the way on the first paragraph – ‘The journey of 1000 miles, begins with a single step’.

1000 miles is actually a bit less, actually I did a little bit of Math – from India, traveling back and forth once to Australia is around ~ 9000 miles, to the North American continent is around ~16000 miles! But, to keep the rhyming of the quote right, I’ve titled this blog post as the ‘#JourneyOf1001Miles’.

So, if you’re thinking out of the ‘1001 miles’ there’s a back story to the 1000 miles, but what about that ‘one’ mile? That ‘one MILE’ is the most important and determining MILE that I’ve ever crossed in my life!

More about that ONE MILE in the next blog post, watch out. 😉 Will kick-start the travel diaries, from one of the rural villages of Tamil Nadu, India!

Note: In case if you’re reading this post, and getting a feeling that there are too many exclamatory marks (!), it’s not that I didn’t proof read the punctuation before publishing, but they’re added in a way naturally to show the author’s excitement! 😀 Welcome on board!

Reach out to the author at – [email protected] or tweet at – @aravindhan_in for feedback or suggestions!

The piece of chalk!

“You’re handwriting is too small on the black board.  It will be difficult for other students to copy it down.  Better, you don’t continue writing.”

The teacher grabbed the white piece of chalk from his hands, and asked him to sit down on his place.  Feeling rejected once again, he came down to his seating position and started skimming through his own note book.

He can evidently see a minimum of 3 ‘Good!’s signed by his teacher in every 4 pages of his note book.  His hand writing is definitely one of the best in the class room.  Every teacher used to collect his note book for reference by the end of the academic year!

But still, here he is again, not getting a good hand writing on the black board.  He felt very sad. 🙁 During one of the breaks he went to his friend, and posted him a question, “How do you get such a fabulous handwriting on board?”.

His friendly simply replied back, “Good hand writing on black board comes through practice. I’m doing this since 3rd std and now, at 6th std, this is a very easy job for me.”

Well, you can’t go back on time! He thought he could’ve also practiced writing on board since 3rd standard, in stead of just focusing on cursive hand writing on his note books and getting the maximum number of ‘Good!’s from the teacher 😛

But yes, it’s always not late to start something that’s interesting to you.

He found out his own way, to start practicing hand writing on board.  Staying an hour after school, practicing writing on the board (and then rubbing it off, so that the board looks fresh in the morning).

With this practice a couple of weeks, he realized writing on the board is a totally different game from writing on the note book.  The practice also got reflected on own his hand writing on note book.  He started writing a little bigger in a non-cursive tone on his note books, and the teacher really wondered why is he changing cursive hand writing when things were going good.

Through his continuous practice, he gained confidence over his ‘black board hand writing’ and he’s now able to thoroughly balance the board-notebook hand writing differences as well.

He was eagerly waiting for his chance to write on board again during the class.  It will only happen, only if his friend is not available due to holiday or some other commitments while the teacher is giving notes.  But as his friend was very sincere, he needs to wait for a long time to get an opportunity.

On a fine morning, he went late to school.  The teacher asked him the reason for his late and allowed him inside the class with a warning.  When he went inside, he was totally shocked to see his ‘board hand writing practice’ post school was not rubbed off in the morning, and it was still there.

His friend beside, said to him in a milder voice, “Your hand writing is really good! How did you got into this level?”

He looked at him, but didn’t said anything. He was afraid of his teacher  To his surprise, through out the morning classes, the teacher never told a even a single word about his hand writing board rather not questioned him about what he’s doing after school.

And then in the afternoon during the notes taking time, the teacher called him and handed over the chalk piece to him.  Then, he got a 16 page notes on Social which the teacher asked him to copy on the board.

Feeling a bit surprised, he started writing.  Once the board got full, he needs to check with everyone and rub a few portion of the board and continue writing.  The notes went on and on.

He started feeling a little pain on his fingers, because of the larger size of the chalk, and he still continued writing despite all the difficulties.

After a couple of hours, rubbing and re-writing on the board for around 7 times, he was finally able to complete all the notes. He went back to his teacher to convey the same.  With all the sweat and a bit of pain on his little fingers he told, “Notes completed, miss!”

The teacher gazed at him, and then looked at the entire class and announced.  “Very good job by Aravind.  He will be taking care of writing on the board, from now on.”

He felt really wow.  All his post school practice finally helped him to get to a place where he wanted to be.  He felt thankful to his teacher for not creating an issue with practicing on board after the school, but still giving him this opportunity.

He was very happy to own the piece of chalk in the class room. 🙂

11 years later as a teacher, when he was writing on the board, he heard some murmuring noise from behind.  One of his fourth grade kid was saying some thing like, “Sir’s hand writing is so good on board.” to the kid sitting next to him.

He immediately turned back immediately and said in a firm teacher voice, “Guys. Mouth zipped.  Focus on writing! I will be clearing the board soon.”

He then started to check checking every body’s note book, and slowly went down to the kid who murmured.   He sat next to that kid, and said in a slow yet confident voice, “Good hand writing comes through practice.” The kid nodded back.

He also took some time to read the note book of the kid.  It had everything.  The date, the topic ‘Morning meeting’ and the question posted on board for the kids to answer, “What are the values you need to achieve your passion?”

He heard his mind voice instantly with out even thinking for a moment “Perseverance and practice.

To know more about our class room and our initiatives please visit here. Help us to support our children to do more such wonderful things, kindly donate what you can: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/donate4inventors

The unusual choices! #ClassRoomTales

A super-excited morning in school,

All the kids lined up for participating in an inter-school science project exhibition and it was wonderful to see some amazing working models.Kids did a brilliant job!  All the participating kids bid a bye to everyone in the school, and started their journey to the destination school by walk.

And surprisingly,

I saw Barath Mathiew (one of my student) rushing to the school, with his shirt fully wet, carrying a thermocol model on his hand.   The model was about human digestive system.

“Sorry sir! I was waiting for Kishore (the kid from other class).  He is also participating in the competition.  He finally didn’t turn up today.  Did everyone left for the competition?”

“Barathmathiew, you’re super late today! Did I ask you to wait for Kishore and come along with him?! Everyone already left for the competition, exactly 15 minutes back.”

“Oh okay sir 🙂 But, this is my model.”

Now, I had two options,

(i) Take the model, keep it on the class room.  Ask him to present it during one of the school assembly. And make sure that he didn’t feel bad because he didn’t get this chance to go for inter-school competition. The usual choice.

(ii) Follow up the location of where the competition is actually happening.  Figure out the ways, to take him (and his project too) to the competition.The unusual choice.

I decided the latter.

“Barath, are you comfortable sitting on a cycle and coming with me?  I will take you to the competition.”

“Sir! I can sit comfortably.  But, it’s difficult for me to carry this thermocol model.”

“Oops.  Not an issue.  Pass it to me! I will hold this and run the bicycle as well.”

Pausing a bit, I noticed a teacher ran and came towards us with something on her hand.

“Sir! Please take this bird’s nest model and if possible give it our kids at the competition.”

Wondering whom I’m really going to give this, I told, “Definitely miss.  Please give it to Barathmathiew sitting behind.”

Half way through the journey, my co-fellow called me up and said, “It’s difficult to get an opportunity for one more participant from our school.  There are limited chances for every school.  Better don’t bring Barathmathiew’s model.  He mostly won’t get an opportunity to present.”

Now, I had another set of choices:

(i) Make a U-Turn, return back to school.  The usual choice.

(ii) Continue the journey, and at least pass on the nest.  The unusual choice.

This time I left the decision to him,

He told, “Sir! Let’s continue the journey.  I will get an opportunity to see the other projects and I will make a better attempt next time by coming early.  Not an issue, if I don’t present.”

 He chose the latter.

 Fast forward to the afternoon.

 My co-fellow called me up and said very happily, “Barathmathiew has won the third prize in the competition.”

 “Wow. But how?”

 “He got an opportunity to present and he did explained the project fantastically.  He knows the digestive system extremely well.”

 Rewind to a planning evening, two weeks back.

 “Should I really choose this Grade VII video for teaching digestive system? This is extremely detailed.  I never think this will be helpful to my students in Grade IV.”

I was exhausted to see the limited number of choices available on YouTube to plan for the digestive system for my kids.

Then, I had two options:

(i) Plan for something else for the ‘engage’ part of the lesson, crop this video idea.  The usual choice.

(ii) Getting convinced with ‘Anyways they will be learning it in future!”and going ahead with Grade VII video.  The unusual choice.

I chose the latter.

The series of unusual choices also, sometimes result in a desire outcome. 

To know more about our class room and our initiatives please visit here. Help us to support our children to do more such wonderful things, kindly donate what you can: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/donate4inventors

Big Big. Bang Bang! #ClassroomTales

Young minds always have brilliant questions.

“Sir, who invented the earth?”

“Why  all the other planets in the solar system are revolving around Sun, sir? Why can’t Sun revolve around us?”

“My mom told me that God created all of us.  Then, who created the God, sir?”

During the beginning of Term III in my first year of teacher life, I was often amazed to see the young inventors of my class room asking such curious questions.  I used to get excited and try explaining the concept of Universe scientifically.  But, whenever I try answering them instantly from my knowledge, the kids came up with the follow up questions, which are are quite tough (honestly! :P).

So one day, I decided to do an exclusive morning meeting* on the birth of Universe – and and introduced the kids to the Big Bang Theory!

[*morning meeting – the first 20 minutes of every day, during when we facilitate activities inculcating values and exposure for the children and energize them for the whole day of learning]

The kids watched a video and listened to the story of how the Universe evolved by continuous expansion and how the scientific matter played an essential role in creating each and everything in the space.  When I actually expected kids will get all their answers to the questions on their mind by knowing the Big Bang theory, it finally ended up creating even more curiosity among them.  I also told them that is one among the many theories proposed about the origin of Universe, and they can explore even more about this.

When I closed out the morning meeting about the origin of universe, one of kid posed a question,

“Sir, so you’re telling that there are many galaxies, stars and planets do exist. How did the humans chose that they want to live only on the planet Earth?

To such an amazing question I replied, We, the humans never chose Earth.  It is the Earth who chose us and who provide us this living habitat. We are all evolved from the mother Earth.  And that’s why, it’s the duty of every individual to protect our Earth.”

After this particular incident, I noticed the kids developed a natural interest towards space science and they started reading more about space through the books available in library. It was so fascinating to see the children extending their knowledge beyond the basics of solar system about which they have a lesson in Grade IV.

The enthusiasm of the kids reflected a lot on our class room culture. We changed our class room call-in-response* to  “Big Big.” : “Bang Bang”.  And we also started following a new seating position called “universe position” and switched from the conventional smart position.

[*call-in-response (or the attention grabber) – something we use in our class room to bring the attention of the kids back to the teacher from an activity]

It was quite fabulous for me as a teacher, to see how the curiosity of the children to know new things in the world drove the class room culture and also helped in the learning of the students.  Whenever we learn a new thing about space science, the kids naturally get excited in my class room!

Through this experience with my kids, I learned an incredible lesson:

Teaching is not complete when we transfer the skills and knowledge; it’s accomplished only when we kindle the curiosity of the students and their thirst to learn more.

Later towards the end of the year in March, we had a drawing competition about scientific innovations. One of the kid, Prathyangara Devi crafted this thoughtful drawing about the importance of invention.

Before invention: Earth at the middle. Sun & all the other planets revolve around.

After invention: Sun at the middle.  Earth & all the other planets revolve around.

 

Are you thinking about heliocentric, geocentric theories & Galileo?

Yes exactly, the kid portrayed the same thing about which she will be elaborated in detail 7 years later in Grade XI Physics. 🙂

To know more about our class room and our initiatives please visit here. Help us to support our children to do more such wonderful things, kindly donate what you can: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/donate4inventors

Welcome 2017 :)

A ‘new’ year! 🙂

A new 365 days or a new 8760 hours or new 535600 minutes or new 31536000 seconds.

All of us have been blessed something totally ‘new’ today.  An opportunity to start fresh, an opportunity to take chances, an opportunity to open new doors for us and for others.

While it’s impossible to change what happened in the ‘previous’ second or a day or a month or a year, what is yet to happen ‘new’, is under completely on us.

Let us do something ‘new’ every day, to keep our ‘new’ dreams alive in this ‘new’ year.

Wishing all of us a happy ‘new’ year on this fresh morning.  Let’s welcome 2017 to transform our lives!

The Rainy Summer

Hot rays of sun reflected on the land.
Suffered lives searching beaches to sit on sand.
No attempt to spell any magic with the wand.
Yup, it is Summer. Start the band!

Drops of water arrive all the way.
Rescuing people from the misery bay.
What do the humans really pay?
To enjoy such a rainy day!

Lightning and thunder storms all aloud.
In summers, they’re mostly not allowed.
Power is still on, the EB should be proud!

Climate differs from weather told my English book.
But, weather here differs from what we read in Social book. :/
Knowledge differs from experience, not always hook!
I can suggest many delicious dishes to cook.
It’s raining in summer, go out and look!

The cool breeze brings a lot of joy.
Even the hot sun, won’t ever forget to enjoy!
The rainy retreat; Get some delight.

Quote by Albert Einstein

The value of college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think..jpg

The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think. ~ Albert Einstein

Designed with Canva 🙂

The last minutes: End of Student life!

“10 minutes more” shouted my exam hall supervisor.

I looked at my watch in disgust.  12:50 PM.  I still have to write an 8 mark question 😛 The last question in the last theory examination of my last semester as an Engineering student (in other words The Grand Finale! B|).

I looked at the people around me.  Few of them left the hall smiling, submitting their papers.  A lot of them are intensely writing, including me.  I sensed the same exam hall which we’re writing exam today, is the same place where it all began, way back in Sep 2012 for inauguration.

Suddenly, a whole lot of emotions struck me.  Happiness.  Sadness. Sense of accomplishment.  Incompleteness.  Everything! Is this student journey really going to end?

A flash of memories came into my mind as well.  The moment I received my admit order after Engineering Counselling.  The day I first entered into my college.  The tough initial days, classes, canteen, interesting (and boring) lectures, assessment tests, model exams, semester exams, laboratories, records, deadlines, assignments, viva questions, no due forms, results, Anna University server, rejinpaul, placements, on campus, off campus, pool campus.  Yeah, there is a whole big vocabulary for Engineering students.

And more than all this things, what really mattered was the amazing people I met here! Friends (Classmates, Batchmates, Busmates, IEEEmates, includes everyone) with real love (I mean ‘anbu’).  Had a lot of fun and learning over these 4 years.  My Inspiration seniors, who helped to shape my student life to a new level.  Without them, I’m not really I am today.  My wonderful juniors, who are ready to take up far more steps.  My awesome teachers, who taught me this tough Anna University syllabus.  Big thanks to them!

“5  more minutes” the voice brought me to the present. And the 8 mark question is still pending.  I had written only 33 pages so far.  ‘You will not pass unless you write at least 35 pages in the answer sheet’, my Anna University experiences also warned me.

The learning and experiences gained over all this time is so huge.  Things were not so smooth all over, there was challenges, there was hard moments, there was also rare moments when I came college late, lost my ID card and wrote special assignments. I’m pretty happy that my Engineering had all of them.  Each and everything was truly WORTH experiencing!

36. I marked the number of pages on my final answer sheet. I’m not able to touch the 42 page mark even after I wrote 44 semester exams 🙁 😛

Before Engineering, I heard lot of people saying different of opinions about Engineering.  But, after experiencing it is totally different of what you hear and what you experience. There are opportunities, there are possibilities, there are a lot of exposure waiting for Engineering students. If I look back to my first year and final year, I can feel the transformation.   I learned to volunteer, I learned to communicate, I learned to organize events,  I learned team work, I learned to crack interviews, I learned to try new things, I learned to blog (you’re reading one right!) A lottt of learning! Thanks to my college for providing me a great freedom to explore the different possibilities. 🙂

“Time’s up”. My supervisor is so strict to collect answer on sheets on time.  I finally submitted my answer sheet in the half stage of the 8 marks.  You need 3 and half hours to write such a lengthy papers 😛

Leave all these stuffs.  It’s all officially over now!

I closed my eyes with gratitude, and conveyed a simple message to God, “Thanks a ton, for everything”.