Articles

Ten Stages of your final year academic project

Have you ever heard your friend in the final academic year telling you I am now doing a new project. I am stuck and I dont know what to do or where to begin...?
If you have, read on. If you havent, imagine you have heard such things and read on.

Getting stuck is a good beginning of a project. Take it from me. Here is a snapshot of what students generally do in their final year:
 

1. No one knows what project they are going to do or what it would be about. But there are some bright students who say Actually I am doing project to capture the lightining in this tiny capsule. If I can do that, I would have captured an enormous amount of energy enough to supply electricity for our university for the rest of its life. You know, it is actually both scientific and humanitarian project. You wont believe, it is actually an extension of the project which Benjamin Franklin did in the 18th century. My instructor is such a brilliant guy that he has asked for grants from US government and from CERN and NASA. He has written many books explaining why sound always comes after light in a lightining. These people just enjoy making you feel like second-to-earthworm. However there are others who say Are yaar, I am at my wits end to even think about on which subject I can do my project. Actually I thought to prove the relationship between electricity & magnetism, but that Faraday had already done it. These people will give you a feeling that 'they never gotta make the project happen this year'.
2 Suddenly every one knows what they are going to do. There would still be a few who pretend they dont know. They would pretend to panic and earn sympathy from friends.
3 By this time every one will be involved in developing their project. But all of them will say Oh I dont know where to get the materials from. It is so obscure, bizarre, vague, nebulous and looks like there is no end. Sure enough, temporarily there will be no end to their laments. Very frequently they say My project is very tough. My instructor wants me to do such things which dont exist in the whole universe.
4 By this time every one knows what other person is doing. They will be busy in libraries. At home the parents cannot ask them do chores. They will have a ready-made response: Oh I am sorry mom, I have to draw a chart for creating the three dimensional isometry of a four dimensional object with time as a constant to reflect the quasipseudostabilised state of a racemic-tartaric molecular junction reacting with hot H2O and gamma rays under conditions of normal temperature and pressure. Mom would certainly be impressed, er... unless she is a chemistry professor, for which you give a top-to-earth excuse like I am going to do group-study with my friends at the top of the Twin Towers (since students are becoming more and more westernized, they no longer say "Amma, naan motta maadiyil poi padikkiren") and disappear before she utters the next word.
5 By now at least once you would have cursed your instructor for asking you to do unearthly things. And at least once regretted that you had him/her as instructor.
6 You would have completed your project but not told any body. There will be a few who still panic. And a few who say Actually I finished my project last summer itself. I was just waiting for all of you to finish so we can pass out at same time. After all we are such thick friends, aint we?. If you are lucky enough you may find some saying I think I wont be able to make it this year. All odds are against me.
7 Every one would have completed the project and every one else would know about that.
8 The demos would go successfully for ALL of them, but the success itself will be in various degrees. Some will come out with flying colors, some in swimming colors and some in black & white.
9 All the friends will party along with the instructors and tell them You are the most wonderful instructor I have ever had. I would not have made it if it were not for you.
10 The friends will part. The instructors will be seldom contacted again. Some of them will remember those beautiful moments by writing such useless things on the net and have the nerve to post it on the web.