Thursday, February 05, 2004

Career Counsellor
Had been recently to a school in Pune called J.N.Petit , as a speaker on Careers In Computers. Was a bit wary as my public speaking record is nothing much to write home about, even reading a Dale Carnegie book hasnt helped. I tend to get nervous and my voice seems to become quite serious and brusque, all the Yang forces of my body combine to take out the Yin. This time I thought of making a conscious effort to bring some melody into my voice, but not overdo it so that the kids dont feel i am reciting some verse rather than giving them all the mundane fundas of a software career. While on the dais I also remmbered Gussie-Fink Nottle of Wodehousian fame, when he was a speaker in Snodbury(I think so) Grammar school, and the royal mess he made out of it, thankfully I wasnt in a state of inebriation.
I was most pleased to see the hall only partially occupied, apparently only the 9th and 10th class were supposed to attend. Much better than an audience of pre-teens, those are the real brats and are more dangerous and boisterous than the front row wallah's in a B-grade cinema hall.
Moreover as cricketers these days are glad to see those wardens in their fluoroscent attires near the ropes, so was I seeing the teachers in their drab grey and brown suits/saris sitting in front of the children. The talk went off decently, the reaction of the audience ranging from goggled eye attentivenesss to yawning faces looking at the clock or to the ground outside. No pricky questions were asked, there was one about salaries, and one about relevance of E&TC Engg, and a few more here or there. Tried to make the talk interesting by telling about the application of computers in diverse fields, told them about the Pathfinder, Genome Mapping, Railway Reservations, and the Samsung Cricket Match Zone. Overall a straightjacket speech, nothing captivating for the audience, even if I were in their place there could hardly be much interest but only some curiosity about this concept.
In our times there wasnt any such Career related stuff in school, not to say we werent ambitious, but now I guess kids need to get a head start, also lot of distractions.