Thursday, November 18, 2004

5 ways to hijack a class

6 months is a pretty long time. It’s time enough for one to learn how a classroom works, and I sure have learned a lot about classrooms. This post is intended to help out students - err... participants - to get the maximum out of the over-abused ‘Class participation a.k.a CP’ element that makes about 10-15% of the grades of most of the courses. For the uninitiated: IIMs – and, I suspect, several other B-schools – apportion marks for making ‘quality contributions’ to the flow the class. The intention is to make the sessions interactive. That’s one reason why we are all consciously referred to as participants and not students.

Proviso: All disclaimers apply. Since the author loves living with unfettered impunity, people who choose to follow these strategies are on their own, although the author wishes them the best in life!

Simple choices to make effective CP attempts:

Platinum choice 1: We all love dogs. I sure did love ‘em every bit. When I was in school (20th century), we weren’t allowed to take dogs to classrooms – and that made me feel bad and separated. My dog didn’t live to see this day, but I urge everyone to take pets – especially dogs; cats'd be ok too - to classrooms. There is every chance that you’d be close to your loved ones, and the noises your dog make would definitely be lost in the barking around. In fact, if you are clever to have noticed, humans are better at barking, especially in classrooms. Some research somewhere said that dog as a species is going to become history, thanks to humans who stole their USP – barking that is. With your pet closeby, classrooms would be a comfortable place to ramble on.

Platinum choice 2: This is the easiest! Since seat locations are fixed, find the guy in the other class who sits in the same position as you – like 3rd in the left last row. Both of you should then coordinate and pose similar – haircut, French beard, jerkins etc. Beg, threaten or frighten him to make him study and participate in the class. Better if you could make him do every thing so that you can enjoy life watching others battling for airtime. In all probabilities, you might get half the credit your ‘clone’ gets. This works best if you are towards the last rows in class – considering the age and eye-sight problems of most professors.

Platinum choice 3: Read a lot about the world - particularly about globalization - before and after joining a B-school. Coz if you know more about the ‘global’ phenomenon, you’ll have a 50 m head start in a 51 m race. For example, knowing that the strategy for making a product successful is ‘reduce costs, improve quality, and improve customer satisfaction’ [which is a global strategy] would help you earn points without competition in almost all of the marketing classes. No one can ever doubt the working of this strategy. It simply works every time. Some intelligent professors would try to catch you, in which case you could pretend sleeping. That’s tantamount to portraying that you toiled the whole night.

Platinum choice 4: Try to concentrate on studies and on lateral thinking. If you read Finance well, you could use that to earn the maximum points in a marketing class. Throw some complex sounding cost analysis for a product, along with esoteric financial argot in an arrogant, nerd-like tone. You being in an IIM, there’s very little chance that the professor would suspect your integrity and intelligence. Give a break of atleast one session before using the same strategy again.

Platinum choice 5: Gain work experience before joining a B-school, or speak to people who have work-ex. Freshers always have a nitpicking question of what one could gain out of working for one or two years. I insist you guys to listen to B-schoolers with work-ex. Every dime of what’s taught in B-schools has been experienced first hand by most of the participants with work experience. Speak about a good, organic work culture, work ex guys have inevitably seen them. The same guys have also seen a bad, bureaucratic work culture. Work ex guys are all ‘been there, done that’ types. Really! The work experience prospective B-schoolers gain in two years would easily exceed the experience gained by our grandparents who would’ve worked for 40 years putting in 12 hours a day.

Finally, all the best!


At Thursday, November 18, 2004 5:18:00 PM, Blogger Chandoo said...

Awesome read.
keep up the good work.

At Thursday, November 18, 2004 5:32:00 PM, Blogger Jam said...

Hey Govar,

I absolutely love your post today. However, it would've been miles better if you'd actually removed that last line and actually taken a "jibe" at some of the cartoons that we have in Section A :-)


At Thursday, November 18, 2004 8:31:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

LOL Jammy, It wud havee been fun to remove the line, but then, all of us havee sometimes been in the CP mode - atleast once in a while. In that sense, we are all culprits. :)

At Thursday, November 18, 2004 11:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well practice makes a man perfect.......and it is for this perfection we strive. this comment is one such attempt, an attempt to diversify in the world of CP, into an altogether new realm. a place where concepts of CP remain intact yet a new place provides u with new challenges and prospects of newer experiences.......

if u r stil wondering where is my comment, u are still unaware of what real life CP looks like

Sumanta Khan
Batch of 2006
IIM Indore

At Friday, November 19, 2004 12:20:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

LOL Sumanta! That was one wonderful depiction of speaking abt everyting, and still meaning nothing! Awesome! :)

At Friday, November 19, 2004 3:00:00 AM, Blogger Lumbergh-in-training said...

my cp: zzzzzzzzz (slip, huh, blink blink) zzzzzzz

At Sunday, November 21, 2004 7:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting blog...dude, u hit the nail on the head in matters of CP, specially global CP. cheers!!!
Ramesh, IIMK - 04-06.


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