Why so SeriousSSSS?
"You've done?" R's tone was both childish and sarcastic.
Smiling with a puzzle, I nodded my head in agreement. As he continued to get back into the snarl, I saw confusion in the faces of H, C, & Mi, while Mo and N showed frustration from the tricky paper. 10 minutes later, as the rest of the grad students walked out of the exam hall, everyone had the same question - "Completed the paper so early, in spite of being 20 minutes late?" Fortunately everyone assumed the same answer, "You didn't prepare for the exam"
2 days later, as I topped the exam with 97%, every grad student of the class had a "What the?" look on their face. My professor had other feelings. He privately called me the same evening, and tested my skills on the paper just to confirm that I didn't cheat. :D
While, this turned out to be the match for the forest fire, among the department staff and students, I was pretty disappointed for losing 1.5 points for wrongly summing two constants to one of their constants (C1 + C2 is not equal to C2, unless C1 is zero. This wasn't the case) If I had rechecked the paper in the final 10 minutes of the exam, I would have got more.
The reason I remembered this strand of department popular memory now, is because, all my life, I had always been like this. Never had been a time, that I actually rechecked the paper for minor errors, which if I had done, might have given me that extra edge over the few toppers in school. As I received my answer sheets, I had been disappointed several times from my past. I had been even pleaded by my mom, coerced by my friends, promised by my brother, and a lot more, just to make me recheck answers after an exam. The things I did to stick to these peoples promises was mostly sketching on the question paper, watching upset students panic at the last moments, glazing on the blackboard for any left over impressions, or even day dreaming.
While, this habit slowly creased into my professional life (except those instances of SOPs, important essays, etc), and revealed demons in research reports, I learned to adapt to the various mistakes. There was a time, when I truly turned into my advisor in terms of writing e-mails and reports. But somehow, the skill of proof reading never enticed me.
After spending 40 odd hours (of 2.5 days) in the lab, working on a new paper with new insights into results and concepts, I finished the paper like an hour ago. Then, something strange happened. I self emailed the copy, went to the other lab, took a print out of all the sheets (including the 6 page references), came back to my desk, and did 'proof reading' of the entire paper (it's 5 am now). Only at the end I realized, "Huh??? What did I just do?"
Guess, my biological clock has shifted gears into my 11th hour crisis clock. For a guy, who got second or even third ranks for being lazy, in rechecking answer sheets, and cared a damn about the extra effort, proof reading of a paper, which I can submit anytime next week, seems to be pretty "Serious". Guess am all in, for this game of hunting my career....
(PS - Watched Dark Knight for the second time during my break dinner period. While, the theatrical experience seemed to throw questions on judging the movies integrity as one of the greatest movies ever made, today's screen show, turned out to delineate the movies impact. The movies, got a dark and cool ultimatum than you can ever imagine of. I need fresh grey matter to replenish my pot now. Time to leave home for some rejuvenating sleep.. Friday and 5 movies to select from this weekend's release.)
Sometimes truth isn't good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded. - The Dark Knight.....
Why so serioussss? Let's put a smilEY in this post...