This semester [2-2] I had to give two presentations! As if that was not enough trouble, the courses were (Principles of) Management [POM] and (Theory of) Relativity [ThoR] !! The former was with a group and the latter was an individual affair.. Each one had its Trials and Tribulations… But at the end of each, I feel equally foolish. None of them were worth the efforts…
The POM (a course whose reason for existence most of us fail to understand) presentation was specially torturous to our group. We had 8 members in our group, but to no avail. Nobody, other than Bubbly, was bothered about it until we were neck deep. With just 3 days left for the last day to submit the Report/Soft copy, our frantic searches began. We finally landed on an interesting topic, A Case Study on AMUL… We started work only on the night before the submission day… But the interest and excitement, [along with deadline.. :P] got us through with amazing speed. All of us, were through with our parts of the job before going to bed. The next morning, I along with 9 put together everything, almost ready to be submitted. But fate had other plans for us… The topic we worked on was rejected! Reason:There’s already a group working on it!!
Back to square one… we began the search again. After much effort we found a couple of topics and approached her for approval. Though the topics weren’t damn interesting.. they were something we would’ve liked to work on. But all we get is another rejection and a Magazine that had a ready-made case study! We were supposed to speak on operations management[o.m] in a cosmetic multinational! [2 days, to work on some *#&$# cosmetic firm! Worasht!! Imagine writing a Report on a Presentation on a Report in a Journal… and that too on a Cosmetic Company!!] The last nail on the coffin was hit. We felt hopeless and work didn’t start again till the night before the D-Day.. Not interested in working on that cosmetic thingy.. we decided to work on o.m in some other firm, and HLL seemed a neat choice.
After slogging through the whole of the next morning, we somehow managed to get the report ready and finally at 2 pm, me and 9 went in search of a printer! None was found until 5:30 in the evening!! Somehow we submitted it finally… Phew!
But that’s not the end of the story. There was a lot more in store for us. The presentation date. We were given a date, on which to give the presentation, but couldn’t give it on that day, for too many people were called and there was too little time… Hats off to our Ma’am for such wonderful managerial skills. We had to beg her to allow us to present it on a date convenient to all of us.[She insisted that we do it on a particular date, when we already had other appointments!?!!] Finally, she agreed. Phew!
On the D-day, 8 people, 40 mins… it was fun! There wasn’t enough time left for my turn and so I hurried through my part, the conclusion…. But,the best part of it all was that, even a half-hearted, just-for-the-sake-of-it effort could impress her!! The presentation passsed off as a “very good presentation”! [Not “yaxcellent!”, though]
Then the Relativity one! I had to speak on Kerr Black Holes. I hadn’t heard of them until one day Dr. A.K. Biswas gave me the topic, and asked me to speak on it, after he finishes teaching Schwarzchild Black Holes. It was all fine, until there was just a week left for the Compre’s to start and he didn’t start teaching about Black Holes!! This Monday he asked me when I was going to give my talk. Hoping that he would teach at least a small part of it during the last week, I chose Friday. [Even at the cost of ruining my comprees..] But, he didn’t even tell us what Black holes were, leave alone discussing the Schild Black Hole. I was trying my bit to work my way through it but 3 days were too few to read all about static Black Holes and then move on to Rotating ones! I had a tough time.. but tried my best to make head and tail of it. Finally today, I thought I understood a decent part of it and was ready to present it before the class.
After an unsteady and slow start, I managed to put across a few points about Black Holes in general and the Kerr Geometry. But then, I wasn’t very comfortable with the other parts of what I had to present, and this clearly reflected in my talk. It was growing dumber and dumber… So, Sir stopped and asked me if I was going to present the Penrose Diagram, and I said no. Thankfully he understood my situation and asked me what I wanted to present and asked me to finish it off with a few of the simpler things. I jabbered something and was done with it. Phew!
But what was the result of all this drama? Were the results in proportion to the efforts put in? Were the presentations really worth the effort?
If the intention of these presentations was to increase the Knowledge base of the class, I think we achieved nothing. If we were supposed to enlighten the class, then we failed in a big big way. But if the intention was to increase our own knowledge base, I would say we succeeded in a very small way… There definitely are much more efficient ways to increase our own knowledge base. So is there any other purpose for such talks??
A final few things… [I know you are wondering why I wrote this post. Such a long one. I don’t know….]
- It would’ve been better had the topic change been in ThoR and not in POM. I should have spoken on Black Holes in general and Schwarzchild Black Holes. Not Kerr Black Holes.
- The two people who guided us/me in the Presentations had contrasting opinion on the Internet! Our Ma’am considered the Internet to be a Devil [or some such thing] She doesn’t like the fact that people get info for their presentations from the net. [Why? we haven’t figured out yet] Journals are god-like for her!! Unlike her, our Dr.Biswas is quite respectful of this wonderful tool.. the Internet.
- None of these presentations were comparable [in terms of energy,excitement and fun we had!] to our last sem’s presentation, “Copyleft”. Is it because Copyleft wasn’t a course related topic?? :P
- Giving a Technical presentation is tough. Its even worse if you are speaking on topic that you are studying just for the sake of the presentation.
- The presentations were rated as good, even if I know they were no where close to what a Real Presentation should be like.
POM — bcos Ma’am thought we used the journal she gave us!!
ThoR — to encourage us to put in greater efforts.
- I’m not very good at giving presentations…
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future.
— Ancient Indian Proverb.
It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe.
— Thomas Carlyle