Sunday, August 23, 2009

meetings and the really ridiculous art of mastering them

some say smoking pot is seeing god. or metallica.or jessica alba in a g-string. or sachin tendulkar. how about a successful meeting? more specifically, a successful presentation(in a meeting, of course). here is the inside from a meeting, where the cast is a couple of graduate students, an old and really smart professor, and some visiting scholars.
time: the ungodly hours of friday evenings.
projector hums. pen drives hum and hum and hum and yes, windows finally finds the damn thing.

professor comes in, with a rush, says hi. sits. says something and wants the presentation to start.

student 1: very serious. keen. incisive report. remarkably clear to the grad students. visiting scholars are mildly surprised. professor pats the student for his report. done.

student 2: serious. bad references. wait, trouble. the rule is, the scholars go for the kill first. but this is not that bad, the professor asks a couple of questions. student answers uncovincingly. professor sighs. student exhales. its done!

student 3: first slide. offset name. title typo. layout is bad for reading. size of the font is small. the template is not the standard one that is used.the name shouts all these mistakes out loud, and claims responsiblity, and the student is ready to shoot himself on seeing this. the prey is ready. second slide. i would like to explain the objecti...
stop...says the professor.

have you ever felt your heart stop? when you almost got hit by the thug on the road?when the cops just flagged you to stop when you coolly drove down the one way street, just before pongal? when you first saw the girl's awesome whatever? when india needed two runs of the last ball to win a match again pakistan for the world cup?when you were young and got lost in a crowd? when you proposed and waited for the girl's answer? none of it rivals this. the professor just said way of being professors, they are very meticulous at butchering-when they are ready with the cleavers, not even an ounce of flesh of your carcass is going to hell when they are done. slowly, but steadily, everyone is the room is aware of the tension. of the fact that you are dead. and much worse than that. but, just a trivial question from the professor. you can heat an entire building with the steam the student blows off now. and continues. but, the presentation proceeds to take an ugly turn, and it heads directly into the dungeons and every hair on the student's body is at right angles to his skin. the final slide-

professor is saying: "quote some reasonable references that makes sense, and not rubbish".
student is listening:"go to buckeye donuts, they have the best ones in town"
professor : "i am not really satisfied with this"
student:"hugs and kisses to everyone in america, i am done"
and then, free air awaits, along with more work, and more presentations!!


  1. @gautham

    nice one!! may be if u have read an article in bbc on powepoints, then u wud surely know that this is always going to happpen!! may be u do the same with ur professor, is it?? do some rubbish and cause them to yawn!! nice trick man! hahaha

  2. i have to admit, my prof's a bit picky.. :) so there are no good presentations, all suck equally in his eyes...