Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A damn shame

I don't normally crib much on my blog and it is unfortunate that my first post of this calendar year should be a criticism of practices, specifically university practices and even more specifically, departmental practices.

The best thing about America is freedom. Freedom to do whatever you want to without caring much about what the people around you think. Freedom to tell your prof that you want to visit your girlfriend instead of lying about being sick and visiting her anyway. Freedom to tell your boss that you can't make it at the time he proposed because you've committed yourself to some other task however trivial it may be. Freedom to wear a daring dress and not get ogled at. Freedom to wear a cap similar to Jughead's and not get weird looks.

I have experienced this freedom to the fullest for over one and a half years now and it just about made up for being so far from home. For the first time when I least expected it, I found opposition and surprisingly it was from my own department. All for a course I was interested in doing. To cut a long story short.. I wanted to do a 3 credit course well suited to my field of research offered by the Electrical and Computer Engineering(ECE) department. This course was open to all graduate students. Seeing no problem I proceeded to register for the course but when I confirmed with my department I was told that I could take the course but would not get any credits for it. I was stupefied. Why the hell would I want to take a semester long course without receiving any credit for it? I was still not mad though. I just assumed there must be a logical reason for their opposition.

It was only later that the true reasons behind this opposition were brought to my attention and it makes me see RED. It appears that at the end of every year the Dean of the University gets a detailed statistical analysis of registration trends. Funds are allocated to a department based on the number of students registering for courses within that department. This makes sense alright but not at the cost of not letting a student do what he/she wants to do, especially if the course is interdisciplinary. The fact that I was refused credits because my department wants me to be in the "Computer Science" section of the pie-chart presented to the Dean and not in the "ECE" section is irritating to say the least.

I AM NOT A NUMBER NOR DO I WANT TO BE ONE. I am human and I don't care if I exist on their pie charts or not. All I know is- I haven't been able to do what I want to. Clearly departmental politics in some form or the other are omnipresent.

11 comments:

THE DEVIL said...

well, sad.. but true! did you make a halla-gulla out there. America being a free country... i guess you even have the freedom to shout or report to the dean!!

Anonymous said...

naa padichittene!!!!!!!!!

Ms. V said...

You so did this on purpose, didn't you? Blog, I mean.

Divya said...

U said u wldnt wite 1 until summer??

Leon said...

[Karthik] I could have.. But I didn't want to waste my time. So I bit the bullet.

[Anon] podi

[Vids] Yes, I did. I was touched and wrote about the first thing that came to my head. :-)

[Div] You know how I am.. I changed my mind.. :p

vibha said...

oh so sad. so r u taking the course even without credits?

Camphor said...

'Heaven too, I am sure, if full of flaws. There is no sin there.' ~ Wilde.

:D Don't worry,y ou'll get over the disillusionment... someday...

silverine said...

This is shocking!!! I am sure there is redressal for this in the rules as US is a just place. Guess the dean doesnt want his pie chart sliced. You must take this up with the authorities.

Incognito said...

You mean to say there is no other way? Can you not have a personal talk with your department. I'm quite shocked.

Anonymous said...

What class is it?

Leon said...

[Vibha] Nope... don't have that kind of time on my hands :p

[Camphor] Oh.. I have.. I have..

[Silverine] and [Incognito] Yeah.. it just seems too much work..

[Anon] Security Engineering