Lecturing? Video-making? Was it really worthy? (pedagogical rant!)

You may have already known that I haven’t blogged for a month. Partly because I’ve been busy with LaTeX (you know, my new hoax to “memorize”, and thereby sync myself with my racing mates), Mathematica simulations, and also with my online edX courses. Luckily, I got a mega-bunch of holidays from college, about a week or so (for a festival called “Pongal“). I thought of utilizing it (trying to be productive) unlike the last time, which was unsatisfactory just as usual.

Actually, I was cramped in time during my vacation works, that it’s almost inexplicable…

Anyways, I’ll do my best. Somehow, as the vacation started, I got this urge to sink myself in gaming (gah, I haven’t gamed for an year). So, I was indulged in “gaming” for the first three days (Call of Duty, Medal of Honor series & Age of Mythology were my environments). I’ve to elaborate how the next half of the vacation kept me busy

Lecturing for an hour…

In my undergrad course, we have a subject called “Kinematics & Dynamics of Machines”. The first lesson covers the kinematics of mechanisms, where they’ll give the value of a parameter at some instant of time, and we’re expected to parametrize the whole mechanism, and find the remaining numbers.

Most of my classmates hated the subject, and the blame goes to a somewhat lunatic teacher who doesn’t care what he spews in the board in front. While I don’t necessarily hate him (in fact, I don’t hate anyone), I loved the subject – especially because it’s full of high school kinematics (which is essentially physics), and testing your visualizing ability. That “visualization” part struck almost everyone.

At first, I tried to keep my ideas with myself. But, as I love to educate others, I can’t refrain myself from teaching them (what would you do when people knock you out personally?). One of my classmates (a girl) asked me to lecture on the subject. I felt very disinclined, having had good experience lecturing them in the past. So, I walked away from that.

If you’re a fan of “Inception”, you’d have known this quote…

What’s the most resilient parasite? … An idea. Resilient, and highly contagious. Once an idea gets hold of your brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that’s fully formed, fully understood, that sticks.

This happened. I got this idea of “lecturing” my mates for an hour (for the first time). And, my conqueror up-top, started running the movies, like me standing in front, showing my simulations, clarifying things one by one, etc. It looked like it was fun. And, my optimist also assured me that almost everyone would attend my class, because this isn’t some random fact-list. It’s their study-list.

So, I decided to take my chance. I announced everyone to assemble there for my lecture. About 90% (meh, don’t expect too much, our total strength is just 40) of my classmates assembled in time. I started the lecture jubilantly, because “the start” went just as I predicted. My stage fear got hold of me soon. People staring at me made me nervous… for five minutes. It didn’t last very long. I got rid of it once I figured out that I’ve to stand there for the next whole hour anyway.

It didn’t go very well. I mean, I was unable to complete my lecture in time. This made me go for the next day, when I lectured again. But this time, it went great! Victory! I was very much satisfied. But unluckily, most of them were unable to attend the class.

Make videos? Are you kidding me?

Now, I got another weird suggestion, from a girl of course. She asked me to make videos on the topic. I teased her, just like I did the last time. But, this trapped me into a pitfall again.

After those 3-days “craving for gaming” was done, I went into this “movie-running-inside” thingy again. This time, the idea really squeezed me. The idea is to make videos similar to minute-physics (at least, by a fraction). I mean, like those time-lapsed drawings. And, I started thinking about the requirements, how I’m gonna get those, how I’m gonna be conservative and especially, how I’m gonna finish it off in such a short time.

Well, it took me longer than expected (summing up to about 30 hours), but nevertheless I did it.!!! I did find my plan difficult, and time-consuming because, like I said, satisfaction is one bad enemy. But, the outcome was spectacular (at least, to me). “What happened during the footage?” is something that’s worth another post. So, I’ll leave you here with my playlist.

Yeah, I admit. My “English” accent stinks. But, trust me – this is what you could expect from an average dumb Indian amateur student who’s on his way of learning English.

Anyways, I utilized my vacation, just like that…

Well, was it really worthy?

I can’t figure out why I often care so much about others. Okay, there’s some inherent “selfishness” inside. Oh, but that’s because I gotta convince myself to do something in a way um, convincing for me. Over the past six months, I’ve…

  • tried to publicize what I know (those fact-based 10-mins discussions)
  • tried to teach Physics
  • tried to advertise the power of computation
  • tried to “learn” (in the sense, understand) engineering concepts in our system
  • tried to find new methods to memorize, & thereby survive in our race
  • tried to interact with the classmates, & bring some unity (or let’s phrase, reliability on one another)
  • tried to enrich their understanding, and also
  • tried to get a companion for amplifying my work speed

“Wow!” I know… It’s a lot. I failed in all these. Yeah, but I did these things based on something called “hope”. Hope drives people mad, you see. Only because I don’t have any expectations in anyone, I can withstand all these trials.

I should thank my classmates for one thing. Every time I get something new to them, they reject it (though, not directly) as a mere boring idea. But, that’s what energizes me with much amplified “new things”. That’s what keeps me going.

Just like the Joker says,

Do I look like a guy with plans? You know what? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one. I just “do” things.

Even if the result turns out bad, I’ve to take it as good in order for me to progress…

I find each & every one of my trials “worthy” because after all, they’re just a part of the plan. Had I stopped with the first few trials thinking that they weren’t worthy, I wouldn’t have tried the others. Only because I assumed everything to be worthy, I was able to proceed. One way or another, they’ve helped me in creating new pitfalls each time…

College really is a wonderful environment!!!

… where you can experiment yourselves a heck of times with literally no limit to your mistakes & technical inaccuracies, where you also have the ultimate freedom to break the rules whenever you want!


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