Friday, 10 October 2014

Presentations and the Soul-Sucking


Some unfortunate soul standing in the middle of a room sheepishly trying to smile and pretending to be confident while a faculty member stares right back at him, determined and with a vendetta to cross-question the shit out of whatever he has to offer – this seems like a fairly accurate definition of any presentation in a college.

The intensity of scrutiny of every word of his slides depends primarily on the honorary title a particular presentation receives. And also directly on the faculty and how much he has suffered in his life up until the particular moment leading to the presentation. A nightmare 5 minutes before the slideshow may bring out the Satan in him and ruin your day, possibly even your life.

There are all kinds of presentation as hinted previously. There are seminars, training viva, project defenses and also the fuck-it-I-won’t-teach-this-topic-YOU-will-make-a-presentation-on-this-topic and depends on the lecturers mood. The latter happens quite often I’ve heard although I never had the opportunity of being on the center-stage myself.

I had a seminar today. It went well I guess. I had a training viva last month which went well, for the examiners as in they had a field day cross-questioning and then laughing their asses off when I couldn’t answer. Even the lab assistant joined in and shared a laugh. I am happy they bonded at my expense. I had a training viva last year as well. The faculty last year happened to take one of my lectures as well. He took out the attendance register and I drew blank. After that is was a downhill experience.

These presentations are mock setup to satisfy some faculties urge to suppress the students or humiliate them. No offence. It’s just another day at the job. The only thing that makes a presentation worth the pain in the ass that it is, is the fact that some of the faces staring back at you are familiar, are your friend’s. You get a feeling they have your backs, that they won’t question you back. Some assholes do though. And I pray they get a special place in hell.

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