Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Third Leg: The Civil Dept

The third leg in my life at IITR is an unstable yet crucial one. The Department of Civil Engineering became my parent department following my branch change last year. After the initial hiccups, I've managed to settle down. But now without ruffling a few feathers, it seems.

The problem is, of course, marks. It seems the 7-8 pointers were of the opinion that they would make it difficult for everyone else to study and push their pointers up, instead of actually concentrating on academics. It's an old formula that seldom works. Even if the branch-changers had not come, I doubt the outcome would have been any different. But still, their plan did fail and the entire blame was heaped upon the branch changers.

So, I found myself popular with the fellow nine pointers, unpopular with the 7-8 pointers and friendly or just neutral with anyone below 7. There are exceptions of course. But it is also a fact that the 7-8 pointers hold the political power in the class and in order to get my work done, I need them. I'm not interested in wielding power myself (it's too much work, really) but when I need it I have to find it. For example, being the co-compere for Bhawan's Day (a job for which I received praise but which I did not really enjoy) was almost completely on account of my class connections, though LitSec had a minuscule contribution too.

But in the future, I will be needing the class even more: during internships, during placements and during electives. I was able to use my class to the fullest for IMA-01, although that did insulate me from others. Clearly, when it comes to getting the job done, I need the civil department. And they need me - unlike some, I have carefully ensured that my reputations might be anything but not that of a selfish, arrogant person (which I actually believe I am). That gives the class a reason to stay in touch with me - and that's all I want.

The challenge will be to balance our mutual need with the animosity I face because of my high grades. It seems very childish to me but then that's the way they are. I would divide the class into three groups - good friends, friends and the rest and work with the first two groups differently. The classification would have to be fluid, of course. But that can be managed. The Third Leg is very important but can falter at any point of time. As of now, it would be best to maintain the current policy and watch out for challenges, while ensuring that I get my work done without compromising my Independence. Now, that's going to take some hard work.

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