It was a warm day of August, 2014. I entered the cafeteriawhich everyone was calling as SSC. I went to the photocopy shop to take a print of the preference form which was to be submitted in my admission process. Taking seat on a free table, I began to decide what I should put as preference. Yes, I was deciding my future career in a cafeteria. The dilemma of our education system was never so clear to me till this day. All of a sudden my cousin appeared, who was a third year student of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and asked how he can help.
I forwarded the preference form to him, he took a look and asked what I have decided. I laughed and he joined me too as we both were making fun of our education system which never made us realize what we wanted to become. Then I asked him what if I select electrical department? (As my merit came in all departments). He answered, “Sure, if you want to study like FSc again then you are welcome to take electrical as major”. I instantly took electrical off my list. Similar case happened with Civil, CS and Mechatronics. Then I asked, “hey what about mechanical?” He uttered spontaneously, “Osaid, if you want to ‘CHILL’ in your 4 years of university, go for Mechanical”. That was my first introduction to the ‘Chill’ Mechanical engineering department of UET. Without any second thought, I opted for mechanical engineering knowing nothing about it except that it could have something to do with cars.
Then the day came when I finally got to see this mysteriously “chill” department on my first day of university. As I reached the VC house, I saw in front of me a massive building comprising of two departments, mechanical and mechatronics. I immediately differentiated between the two buildings without seeing any name board. And that was due to two hints;
- The right side of the building was newly painted and the left side had a rough old look
- And most importantly, I saw girls on the right side
Without doubt, I entered into the left building.
In my first semester I got to learn two “Mantras” for picking up good grades in mechanical department. One, learn more about the professor’s attitude and psyche rather than the subject. And two, if you want average grades then never ever begin to study from the start of the semester. The last night preparation will be enough to cross the barrier of 3 GPA. (The second mantra is very risky and the author of this article takes no responsibility if you try it without the help of a “Theta” friend of yours).
A funny thing I found in this department is that there is a vast diversity in professors if you consider punctuality. Some will not even care if you are coming in last five minutes or even at the end of the lecture and will mark your attendance. What a cool department! On the other hand, some professors will make your life miserable even if you are only 1 minute late.
During my 3 years of experience in mechanical department, one of the things that ruined our pleasures is that damned water cooler. Placed under the filthy staircase, it leaves such a bad impression that you prefer to stay thirsty. On top of it, the water tastes so bitter as if its supply comes from the Dead Sea!
The lab facilities available at the department consist of some “state of the art” facilities which by the way students are rarely allowed to touch. Some of the equipment is so precious and old that mechanical department should ponder to declare them under cultural heritage protection. And of course, who doesn’t love giving lab viva in such a cool department. There is afamous joke regarding lab viva in mechanical department which my father (who studied in Batch 84’ of UET)used to tell me. During viva, a student was asked by the chairman of Mechanical department, “On how much RPM this engine rotates?” The student answered, “a lot!” Same question was asked for another engine and the student again replied “a lot!” When questioned, “How much difference is in the RPM of these engines?” the student again replied “A lot!”The chairman furiously said, “With such knowledge who will give you a job?” The student immediately answered, “The Mechanical engineering department of UET sir! “.
Finally, this article can never be felt completed without the analysis of inverse relation of mechanical engineering and girls (or should I say beautiful girls). Creatures like girls rarely happen to exist here. Primarily, the cause could be the immense amount of field work or the fact that “Tarsaylondays” from all over the Pakistan happen to study in this department. It is quite a relief that girls studying here never felt endangered or occupied, which may be due to us considering them as our “brothers”.
Putting humor aside, the current administration of the department is really putting a lot of effort to change the environment and the repute. Both the classes and labs are becoming technologically advance and the teachers are working hard on making students engineers not technicians.
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