Realm Of Randomness

December 17, 2007

On graduation

Filed under: Milestone,Personal — Randomizer @ 1:58 am

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The final chapter of my Master’s pursuit has finally ended, and I cease being a ‘grad student’ for all practical purposes henceforth. A story that began not in August ’05 with my first class, but August ’04 when I wrote the GRE exam – no wait, it began way before that, when I first started studying for that damned exam – was it March ’04 ?

Oh, those stupid words – abet, abate, abash, abase, ….  aaaarrrgh! Getting through the first page alone was such a pain… and what was the point of it all, I wonder? Not once did I come across those words in research papers, or text books, nor did I ever use them when writing my thesis – and to think that these words could affect your scores by so much! After all that slogging, 1370 was what I managed – with all my points lost in the verbal section. That section doesn’t prove anything to the university – if anything, it showed your ability to memorize, an ability that of all places, is least needed at graduate school where the emphasis is on understanding and research, not memorizing. Still, thousands of budding students around the world cram their Barron’s GRE wordlists and dream of a better life…. in the land of the brave, the home of the free.

Much of a desi’s excitement on achieving his first admission, or receiving his visa – lies in this mere fact, that he’s leaving and heading west – much less that he’s going to study! But study, they do, eventually – and in what is becoming a standard immigration story – they rise from poor desi grads converting that bottle of ketchup to 2$ x 40 = 80 Rupees, to well-to-do grads buying their first lower end car, the inevitable Honda/Toyota when they get their first jobs.

Grad school to us desis is like our first bicycle ride without the training wheels. We are pushed along initially by our loyal companions, and when they see that we’ve gained balance, they let us go – and before we know it, we are on our own.

Well, the ride was great… and like a virtual diary, this blog and its readers have shared my thoughts through the whole deal. I wonder how many more stages of life this blog will continue to document – I am hoping that this medium lives on for a long, long time.

Finally, the training wheels are off – all the GRE words, all the application forms, all the revisions of the SOP, all the applications for assistantships on campus, all the courses, all the long nights, all the tension surrounding my thesis – the first chapter to my new life in the US has ended.

I have graduated.

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