Monday, April 30, 2007


A few words of advice for those the first time here from personal experiences of (or watching other people) goofing up. Forgive me if you already know these. Just that the subtle changes were so obvious to me.
-1. Most of the profs are okay being addressed by their first names. Terrance becomes Terry, Thomas becomes Tom, and David becomes Dave. Imagine calling a 60 year old Prof. Jagnavalkya Sengupta “Jaggu”.
2. There is no need to ask for permission when you enter a class, even when you are late. They do not ask you to hold your ears and stand facing the black board, even if you enter 10 minutes before the class ends.
3. It is okay to eat and drink in class. People actually use this time for listening to class as well as having lunch, so that they save up on time. But it is recommended not to eat Indian food in class. The smell is distracting for people not familiar to this cuisine. And every time you are thirsty, there is no need to ask the professor if you can have water. Have water, lemonade, coffee, juice, wine whisky, nobody cares.
4. It is okay to work on your laptop in class. No teacher would scream- “All students who had laptops hidden in your bag, make a line to the principal’s room”. As long as you do not make noise, nobody cares.
5. It is okay to sleep in class. No one will ask you sarcastic questions like- “And what were you doing staying awake last night?”
6. When you give some reason for not being able to complete an assignment on time, people trust you and understand your problem. Never be untruthful or take advantage of this. In fact if you cannot attend a particular class, it always makes sense to email the prof/TA beforehand.
7. Every email you send is documented, and taken as a final word from you. Never ever write anything that can be used against you and get you in trouble. As a precautionary measure, it makes a lot of sense to save important emails where some kind of confirmation/decision has been reported
8. Some professors dress formally for class, wearing a tie, while some professors come to class in denims, sports shoes, and anything you’d rather wear at home. As for you, it is okay to wear chappals, shorts, track pants, or whatever you wanna in class (as long as it doesn’t look indecent). As long as you get good grades and do you work on time, no one really cares about what you wear.
9. Stop bowing to a prof “Good morning sir” every time you meet him in the alley. Just smile and say hi. If asked-“Hi, how are you doing?”, let it suffice to reply in a one word GREAT and smile courteously.
10. Plagiarism or cheating is a serious offense here. So if you cite someone, give proper references and links. And just because the TA or the prof works on his laptop in the examination hall doesn’t mean you are allowed to turn your head this way and that way, or go to the restroom looking for paper chits. No one, I repeat, no one cheats here. Don’t you ask me the punishment for being caught cheating or plagiarizing stuff. No one would even dare to do such a thing.


Adarsh said...

Thanks a lot ... i am waiting for more info :)

Raam Pyari said...

hey sunshine..this is in refernce to a previous post you had put aking regular readers to put in a comment....
I vist your blog verrrrrry regularly [once a day, when the connection is fine chalega types na? ]
Just thought would let you know :)

Pankaj Saini said...

Well that was informative.........thanks.......the way you have descirbed, seems to be like a paradise out there for the genuine pursuers of knowledge.....

~Nayan~ said...

me too waiting for more chota-mota but important informations.... :)

Anonymous said...

there r few things i dont agree with ms sunshine...u dont drink whisky ( no liquor) ...and u dont have to pretend to be like american kid....jst be urselve ...everybody knows tat ur frm india or africa or where ever ur be like the way u want...and gimme a break body cheats??? if nobdy cheats then why schools have laws against plagiarism...??

But yes ms sunshine advice to be ingenuous is very true....n believe me there are no guidelines u need to follow....if u dont believe me -watch cultural learning movie -Borat

sunshine said...

thank you everyone. raam pyari- chalega kya, daudega. hehe. anonymous- such valuable insights? i am impressed man. but how about understanding the meaning of the post before leaving barbed comments? the university doesnt provide you with whisky, but even if you got it from home, no one cares, because according to rules, drinks in class or in libraries need to be had in covered cups (I'll show you a pic of one sometime) and not in whisky glasses. and how about leaving mild traces of your identity?

Kavi said...

That was some information ! Gave me a wonderful perspective of education over there !

The part on asking for permission brought back nostalgic memories. In contrast of course !! :)

cliche said...

Good compilation.

Stone said...

Keep them coming.....

Nishant said...

Oh, please don't watch the movie Borat.
It's gross !!

Dilini Herath said...

not that i know you but your entries are very interesting. what your saying is very true. no body cares, and they take things very lightly.. but in "our" case(Asians) we would give the "what the hell are u"-look if some one was wearing a super short skirt with dazzling hair colors, and tattoos all over. but about the cheating part.. over here in my univ. it happens quite a lot!..
looking forward for more..!
nice blog..