I’ve been writing at Learning to be Terse for four months now. It started with something about Sam Harris’ talk at TED 2010. That was on April 22. Since then, there have been some 120 posts, and some 5800 hits. I don’t know if these are too many or too few, but it doesn’t really matter. I write here because I want to, and because I have nothing better to do.
The blog as a url has existed for a lot longer, though. My oldest posts go back to July 2008. I re-read them yesterday, and thought about if, and how, my style of writing has changed in the last two years. I thought I should let you read the only two posts I wrote in July 2008, before I gave up on the blogging idea.
The first one is about Sachin Tendulkar endorsing a Reynolds pen (or was it Cello?). It is a rant, to be sure. The thought of Stephen Hawking endorsing a swimsuit is funny, though.
The second one was about IITM refusing to treat its students like adults. I’ve written about this elsewhere, as well, but this here was the first time. It was triggered by some declaration that students were required to make, but which also required a parent’s signature. Here it is:
Of Undertakings and Declarations
I’m sure most people reading this have already got the yearly ‘parent/guardian undertaking’ in their mailbox. I have a few things to say about this.
First off, I don’t think this is an assurance from the students that they will abstain from ragging their juniors so much as it is a tool to bury, minus any legal hassles, students who do get caught in the act of said ragging.
Secondly, I must say that I don’t quite get the point of getting undertakings from the parents of the students. What are the parents expected to do to stop their wards from ragging juniors? Use mind-control? How useless can an undertaking get? What will parents be asked to do next? Give assurances that their children will follow traffic rules? Oh! wait; IITM is already doing that – the ‘no-motor-vehicles’ rule. The inanity!
Come to think of it, what on earth does IITM have to do with parents of its students? Why, for example does IITM require branch-change or dual-degree-transfer forms to be signed by parents of the applicants? How does IITM have any responsibility towards the parents of its students? How are the parents of IITians responsible to IITM?
If IITM isn’t doing this because it is responsible to the parents, how incapacitated does IITM think its students are? Are the ‘best’ students of the country not good enough to decide what branch they should be in? or have the ethics of a chameleon? (although i would probably forgive IITM for the last one)
The best that can be said of this practice is that it is archaic. How I hope we moved out of the nineteenth century…
So, what do you think?