Here is one of the rare posts that will start with word ‘Life’. Don’t run away.
Life is full of unexpected stuff. Today, couple of my friends wanted me to accompany them on a ride to their engineering college (few kilometres from the city). I said yes right away and four of us left the city on motorbikes.
To my surprise, the college had couple of posh buildings & modern infrastructure. We roamed around the campus and it felt great. It always feels to go to engineering college – it makes you nostalgic.
So, while we were about to leave; the head clerk of the college asked us if all four of us can be the ‘external examiners’ for the college practicals (exam).
We said yes; and we were in!
I was asked to sign few documents, envelopes and forms. I signed them and then I was taken to the Electrical Machines Lab.
I could see five teams performing the practicals. The ‘internal examiner’ asked me if I’d like to interview the students on-spot. I said yes and joined the group.
Students looked relaxed, curious, surprised (I told you, I look so young! Duh!) & shocked all at the same time. They did not expect a young looking (btw, I’m young!) fella to examine them.
Now it’s been over 4 years since I graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. I haven’t been in touch with electricity (literally) since then. But I know the art of asking ‘brilliant’ questions. I got started –
Big K: Good afternoon, everyone. How are you all doing?
Group: Heh. (Smile)
Big K: Okay, what’s the title of your experiement?
Groups: Studying the characteristics of blab hah
Big K: Okay, good (good?). May I have a look at the circuit diagram? You (pointing figure at the girl on the right), can you explain the whole setup to me?
Girl: Yep. (Explains). [Big K pays attention]
Girl gets confused half-way through her explanation.
Girl: umm….the Ammeter is connected in series with the motor…
Big K: Okay, (pointing figure at guy on the extreme left) tell me, what is this “residual flux”?
Guy: [Stares at the circuit diagram for few seconds, then at the ceiling fan, then at me for few seconds]. Sir…its there… in the generator…oh …umm..
Big K: Are you sure?
Big K: What about you? (pointing at next guy). Tell me?
Guy II: (explains without a break; continues till it gets boring).
Big K: Okay. Explain the graph….what if I vary the inductance from min to max? ….Tell me why is this graph not a straight line? What does that tell you? …What if I swap the star with delta? What did you learn from the experiment? Blah blah.
[Continues to ask the similar set of questions to rest of the groups]
Smarter guy (SG) from the Group I whom I confused with my questions and made him doubt his basic knowledge of electrical engineering [thanks to the art of asking questions]–
SG: Sir, sir ……sirr…
Big K: Yes?
SG: Sir, please tell me why …
Big K: 😯 (Now how to hide the fact that Big K himself has forgotten few things ) ..umm.. that’s pretty basic! Just have a look at …
Big K: uffhhfff(relief: Managed to escape a difficult situation that could have been embarrassing).
Internal examiner (IE): (Who now thinks that I’m a Ph.D Gold medallist in electrical engineering) Sir…
Big K: Oh, don’t call me ‘sir’. I’ve not yet been knighted. Ha ha ..
IE: Ha ha.. (others) ha ha ..
IE: Thank you for sparing your time. It was nice to have you examine our students.
Big K: It’s my pleasure. 🙂 , thank you!
So, I had an unexpected, amazing experience. At the same time, I felt bad for our education system and administration.
–The Big K–