Wednesday, July 25, 2007

physic-ally impossible?

knowledge is power supreme;

ignorance is bliss;

half knowledge bloody sucks.

this post is the result of the pent up frustration ive been feeling lately over how little i seem to know, how superficial my knowledge of most things is, how im feeling increasingly stupid day by day as i discover more and more things i should know but dont.
right, ur wondering wat caused this outburst from nowhere, this sudden self-realisation - well, exams. not even mine. my 10th std bro whose schooldays now fall in one of three categories- pre-exam: hurriedly finishing portions, revisions, re-revisions, etc; exam: no need to elaborate, we all know that dreary routine too well to have to recollect; post-exam: marking schemes, report cards, rank lists, i-will-do-better-next-time's. repeat till the showdown next march. anyway, having skipped through the english paper (salient features of prepn include large dosages of the latest from jkr), he informs me that im supposed to sit with him as he wades through the science textbook and lend a hand whenever he's stuck in the muck. ha. as if. im not entirely sure how, but somewhere down the line, my parents, poor dears, have got it into their heads that their daughter (me, that is) is this all round genius (read: maths, physics, chem, bio, eng) and a brilliant role model for the next unlucky board exam facer in the family(my bro, that is). having aced the 12th boards, teaching measly class 10 science for a mid term exam must be a cakewalk as far as they are concerned. how sadly mistaken they are.

ray optics. oh brother(literally, as it happens). the second i see those kinda phrases- gravitation, archimedes principle, newtons laws for cryin out loud, the words motor, generator, armature,.. u get the picture - all physics-related terms u may come across from grade 9, i see in my mind's eye a lot of blurred text, half-formed pictures of candles and mirrors, and rapidly changing images of a variety of ill-fated experiments in the physics lab and endless 'discussions' in 11a and 12a under the physics teacher who longed to hear the bell more than any of us. btw i did like the physics teacher, i jus didnt like her physics teaching.

"Light travels in straight lines. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that a small source of light casts a sharp shadow of an opaque object".
elementary, my dear watson. i wish.

my brother looks at me enquiringly and i realise he's waiting for me to elaborate, and its apparent he doesnt think its all that clear. guess that makes it two of us. cheers. ''well?'', he prompts, and i respond half-heartedly with the tried and tested vague beat-around-the-bush technique. shameful, i know. and of course it doesnt work. without getting into specifics, lets say i took a break from the physics tutorial (no objections from the tutee - it should be a word if it isnt already one) and went online, and asked the first person i saw on my list, to kindly explain this simple fact. which i then humbly relayed to my bro. and no, im not gonna insult ur intelligence by explaining that here now, i know u know it.

this is just one classic example of my abysmal knowledge(?) of a vast number of things im expected to be comfortably familiar with. it just doesnt come too often to light cos everyone thinks everyone knows.

here's another - a couple of weeks back, i met up with two of my school friends, one doing and the other architecture. i dunno how, but right in the midst of the mundane hows so-n-so..omg i havent met her in ages.. she is going out with him??? type of conversation, ms.CA-to-be goes ''hey i was just wondering - how do aeroplanes fly??" and like clockwork, both their heads revolve to look at the engineer(semi. whatever) who has suddenly turned tongue-tied and reticent. engines. propellers(eh?). wings. hmm??? admittedly, its hardly the same as knowing y there are shadows, but my point is, i can barely rustle up any relevant principles or theories or watevers or even throw abt some big words (aerodynamics.. pressure difference.. upthrust.. which are keywords from responses i got when i confronted fellow bitsians with the same query)
physics and me. psst. look at the title ** nudge nudge wink wink** yes, i know. the wittcism is overwhelming.
going deeper, electronics and me. dear lord. i dread to think of the next year.

and it doesnt stop with physics, no, in addition im also this technology-retard which today is not a very good thing to be. whereas ppl around me are talking about dsp's, embedded systems, trojans, graphics cards, whatistcalleds, i'm- wtf, i dint even know wat DSP stood for until april, when there was this sudden frenzy over lop's cop's.. jumping onto the bandwagon without missing a beat, i joined my friends and off we went, chamber to chamber, and one of them instructors was talking about dsp, and i kept enthu-ly nodding my head all the while thinking he was talking about ESP :(

im the joker who, when asked how much disk space matlab takes, will sincerely reply 4kb after checking the desktop shortcut; who, a year back, was flummoxed when confronted with questions like "what kinda config u lookin at for ur comp?"; who was stupidly blinking at the monitor when told that her entire ps1 folder was hidden as a joke; who thinks her fantabulous new laptop is currently a very well-disguised blessing... u get the picture.

i dunno what the point of this blog is or if it even makes sense. im feeling a lot more at peace with myself now than when i started typing, but dont have the heart to chuck the whole thing so there u go. plus i have this strong urge to post one final blog before leavin for coll, before i switch from braodband to lan. abrupt ending, but i just realize i havent packed boggle yet. my answer to keep the grey cells busy. so long. happy journey to all of u, ill be unpacking when u guys start packing.



Vidya said...

dont b too harsh on urself! u arent tht bad!! not bad at all, jus tht ur interests lie in diff fields.. look at the no. of books uve read, or the amt of english u kno.. all tht counts, doesnt it? not EVERYONE needs 2 kno abt dsp n aotf (watever this mean, i dont kno, shud i care, i dunno!).. to each his/her own!! vll learn stuff next sem if u want to.. seriously.. i wanna study chaos theory.. ahhh...too much to study.. lets prioritize, am sure things'll b jus fine! happy journey n happy 5th(whoa! time flies!) sem.. cya!

Full Of Life said...

oh cmon! U ARE being too critical. U r not that bad. The genius in u does exist. (what abt those fab marks u get by the last minute preps?) And as far as the techno stuff goes, it just a big ocean and eveyone just knows a mouthful of it. Most of them are superficial. U r cool man! Not to forget a topper :D. Cya in campus! :D

Oink said...

uv gotta be kiddin ! if u feel that way, wat about us dregs of the bitsian world ? ( yea yea hp effect :P )
wat about that quark prize n all ? that counts ! n of course as gizmo sayz ur english is awsum ! ok u dun like physics ( dunno HOW u cant like it, neways :P ) big deal !
neways, as many put it, Welcome to the world of Engg. :D

Aswin said...

I feel its better to know that u do not know and admit it than to pretend an illusion of knowledge when u dont know and talk nonsense in that so called 'technical language" and deceive ppl into thinking that u are talking at some level that they cannot comprehend. The greatest knowledge is the knowledge of ur ignorance!

Aswin said...

I feel its better to know that u do not know and admit it than to pretend an illusion of knowledge when u dont know and talk nonsense in that so called 'technical language" and deceive ppl into thinking that u are talking at some level that they cannot comprehend. The greatest knowledge is the knowledge of ur ignorance!

Aswin said...

ah it got posted twice!

Got my foot in the mouth! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Got my foot in the mouth! said...

Can i copy paste that into my blog?? Sigh! Well someone ased me 'How much RAM does your comp have?' and guess what i are going to laugh yourself sick...I said '60GB' damnit!

Vidya said...

yea, manasa n vaishnavi dont know anything.. hey oink, v r 10 pointers arent v? :P

Oink said...

lol of course ! newton einstein reincarnates we are ob !

fiddlesticks said...

oooh thanks, all of u!! too bad i couldnt read all this till today.. anyway the "pity quest" (blech, i hope it dint seem like that) is over. a-learning we shall go this sem eh giz? ;)
oh and oink, i do like physics actually. jus, reverse psychology -dont like that im so lousy at it :D

vandith said...

arey wats so wrong in not knowing stuff.... yesterday u didnt knw n now u knw.... its doesnt matter when u learn but only wat v learn i think.... forgetfulness is OB bliss.... n i think everyting is an xperience n v learn...bcoz of this xperience u realised that u don remeber mch of wat u learnt....i don agree that u donno anything at all....u r better than atleast me for sure... n i dont think there is any reason for u to get frustrated...ur thinking is perfectly human...n i don think a blog requires a reason to post....well written n looking forward to argue sometime..... all the best...

Vidya said...

hey was jus re-readin this post 2day.. heights of joblessness i kno but this has bcome my fav passtime.. readin blogs.. n ya the other time im writin my reports! sigh!

Oink said...

@ gizmo, that aint any height of joblessness ... look at the date of this comment :P

I'm now going about posting random comments in olddd posts. Lets see who unearths them and when :D

fiddlesticks said...

me, after 32 months!

now, a more tech savvy blogger -ok, blog owner - would've known how to turn on comment alerts rather than muse 'that must be a nice feature', but hey, this whole comment-treasure-hunt game is fun.