Subra Times – 3rd Edition

We had the last class of Investment Analysis (IA) taken by Prof. Subra (PS) today. When asked about the exam, this is what he had to say:
“There will be 10 problems. Extensive partial credit will be given. So be sure to show your workings. In case you do not have workings to show, write lyrics of some good song. As long as the lyrics are accurate, you will be given good marks” 🙂

Here is what he had to say to some students on hearing that they couldn’t manage to get subjects of their choice after the first round of bidding: “Arey yaar …. 15 lakh diya tumne aur tumhare choice ka subject bhi nahi mila?” (You couldn’t get subjects of your choice even after giving 15 lacs?).

*********************** End of 3rd edition ********************

Some sections have classes starting at 8:30AM and many people are unable to have breakfast before that. So Sarovar, the people who look after the dining/catering facilities, upon request from the student community, decided to keep breakfast open till 11AM on weekdays. During the MO session on “tie” and innovation about which I had written sometime back, Prof Tina Dacin gave the section with whom she had the 8:30AM class 30 minutes time to assemble in their study groups and discuss and come up with innovative ideas about what better to make of a tie. After about 10 minutes, she goes straight downstairs near the dining hall and sees many students happily munching their breakfast !!!

They say that the first word a child speaks is “mother”. What do you think would be the first word your child will speak if it grows up at ISB? Here is a datapoint …. the first word S’s child spoke was “Hi”!!! She keeps saying that rather cutely. She has also learnt to speak “Bye”. and is yet to pick up words like “mom”, “dad” etc..

The day ahead looks tightly packed. Head of Global Human Resources (HR), Novartis International and other Novartis people are coming to ISB today and will be addressing the students at 1:15PM. There is a music competition late in the evening between the sections and final rehearsal sessions are scheduled before that. Term-end exams are there next week and I am yet to give some thought to what to do about that.

Farewell to Profs – Term 4

We had a farewell party for all the profs who taught us this term today. Here are a few snaps from the same ……

Prof. Mudit Kapoor (Taught GSB for the first time in ISB and was probably one of the best profs of this term along with Prof. Tina Dacin. A very humble and friendly person)

Prof. Tina Dacin (probably the best prof we got this term; taught us the Management of Organizations “MO” course. Very humorous).

The two MO profs – Prof. S. Ramnarayan & Prof. Tina Dacin

He is our man – probably the most loved prof this term. His Hindi is awesome. Yes !!! You guessed right. He is Prof. A. Subrahmanyam popularly known as Prof. Subra.

Last but not the least, here is one of the cakes that was cut. This is also the one I had a bite from.

Subra Times – 2nd Edition

Prof Subra (PS) is teaching in class when suddenly someone’s mobile phone rings. Here is PS’s reaction: “Arey … gaane bajaao yaar … aur mazaa aayega … yeh kya puraane ringtone bajaate rehte ho … kuch nayaa download karo naa …. kajraare kajraare mere kaare kaare naina” (roughly translated into English: play some songs dude … it will be more fun … why do you have these old ringtones …. download something new … like the song kajraare kajraare ….)

************ End of 2nd edition of Subra Times ***********************

I had to attend today’s MO lecture with another section (Section C) because of some other ELP (project) related commitments during the time our lecture was scheduled to happen today. Every section here has these CP kings and queens who are renowned for their class participation. Had heard a lot about some people in section C. Got to experience them first hand today. But I still think nobody can beat our section in the time spent in discussions in class, be it in useful ones or not.

There is this course called SAIT (Strategic Analysis of Information Technology) this term where the prof has a very minimal role to play. Most of the lecture time goes in seeing fellow classmates doing presentations on topics allotted to them. As soon as a presentation ends, some 70 hands shoot up in the air to ask questions. You might think – “wow …. how interested people are in what is going on”. Well … this might be true to some extent with some people … but the majority are just asking questions because there is a TA sitting there who puts a tick mark against their name if they just speak something in class without giving a shit as to whether it is relevant to the discussion happening and whether at all there is any value addition to the class. These tick marks count to a big chunk of the total marks allocated to the course. Its pathetic to see some people do such silly things just for the sake of some additional marks. There are of course some who are really impressive when they speak and almost always add something new to the discussion or ask some very relevant questions. One such person is Y. The two questions he asked in last lecture of GSB were really good and were not the ones that would come to anyone’s mind on just listening to the topic in discussion.

Prof. Tina Dacin, who is teaching us MO this term is very humorous. Here is an incident that happened in the class with Section C today …..

Prof: What do you think might be some reasons people might be uncomfortable with having power?
N(student): With power comes responsibility ….
Prof: Oh … so you have seen “Spiderman 2” !!

(In Spiderman 2, Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker, the spiderman – “With great power comes great responsibility”)

The Bidding Game & The Great ISB Spam

The bidding for Term 5 electives has begun and needs to be completed by noon tomorrow. We have a total of about 4000 points and we are free to allot as much as we want to each of the courses subject to the facts that we do need some points out of the 4000 for the rest of the terms, and we need to hold a minimum number of bidding points as balance to be used in the other terms. There are many other rules as well. We will soon come to know what electives we have been allotted.

Spam mails at ISB sent by students are very common during the day before any exam. A separate spam thread has started today where people are letting their imagination run wild on the topic of bidding. A few days back, just a day before the MO mid-term exams, people let their creative juices flow and what resulted from the spam mails was an awesome poem-like thing. You can read most parts of it at Raghini’s or Vaibhav’s blogs.

Need to decide what to bid on and how much to bid for each of the chosen courses and also need to work on an assignment for tomorrow. So thats it for this time …. ta…. ta…

Innovativeness & a tie

“The Tie” was the topic of a 30 minute exercise that Prof. Tina Dacin asked us to do in groups in the class on “Innovation” today. The objective was to take a tie and come up with as many ways as possible to improve it. Here are a few ideas that the students came up with:

  • Chameleon Tie: Will change its color according to the shirt with which it is worn.
  • Gadget Tie: To keep gadgets like cellphones
  • RFID Tie: Your tie will help in identifying you using RFID technology
  • Cheat Tie: To keep small chits of paper that can be refered to … you know what I am refering to of course
  • Communication Tie: Will have an inbuilt cellphone
  • Healthy Tie: So many versions of it … one version could monitor heartbeats and send regular feedback to your doctor, one had some magnetic material inside it that could improve blood circulation, another one could massage your neck whenever you felt tired
  • Stretch Tie: Can increase/decrease its length by stretching/contracting so that it can fit people of different heights.
  • Ultra Stretch Tie: Could be stretched into a sleeping bag
  • Deo Tie: Detects when you start stinking and automatically fills the air around you with a nice odor.
  • Musical Tie: Has inbuilt earphones and music player
  • Exec Tie: Has inbuilt mic and laser pointer to help you make presentations.
  • Cool Tie: Has a coolant circulating around the neck area to keep you cool.
  • Band Tie: Can be used as sweat band around your wrist, head band, belt ….

There were many more ideas. Some more notable ones were: Ties that come imprinted on the shirt… this idea was shot down as it would kill the tie manufacturer and help the shirt manufacturer. Tie with a vibrator …. the prof immediately stopped the person who suggested this and said she doesn’t want to hear any more about this idea 😉 . She told she had conducted this exercise in Italy and students there had come up with a tie that could hold contraceptives. She then started humorously comparing thoughts of students in Italy to those of students in India. The student, when finally given an opportunity to speak, clarified that what he meant was a tie with a vibrator at the lower end that could shape your abs – Ab Rocker Tie !! There was also a suggestion about a Thong Tie – a tie that could be stretched into a thong and worn.

The discussion went on to how some guy in Edison’s invention factory had come up with an innovative way of screwing the bulb into the holder to hold it in place. Then the prof talked about an innovative way of cost cutting in toilets in a Netherland airport. It seems they etched the outline of a fly inside men’s urinals and that resulted in less spillage and less cleaning to be done. It was found out that people started aiming at the fly and that helped control the spillage !!!

I think its high time I shifted to some other topic or ended this post.

Here is one last thing for today … in our GSB class today, there was a presentation about some UN index that relates to human suffering and somewhere I think in the talk there was a mention about satisfaction levels. So here is a question from P when the presentation ends….

P: “How do apply this to sadhus and fakirs who are already self-actualized?”
Presenter: “What the ##$#%# ? ”

Good use of Maslow’s hiererachy of needs ????

Worst weekend of Term 4

This is probably the worst weekend of Term 4. There is so much work to be done and so many assignments to be completed. Yet a few of us didn’t feel like doing anything related to acads yesterday and went to Prasads, the movie theatre in the city. Reached there only to find out that all shows were running housefull and there was no chance of getting tickets for “Salaam Namaste”. We decided to wait there. The move paid off and we managed to get a few tele-booking tickets of the hindi movie “Chocolate” that had not been claimed till then. Movie was total timepass and in my opinion, probably not worth wasting one’s bucks on.

BCG chairman was on campus. I couldn’t attend his session but heard that he was in awe after seeing the facilities at ISB and said that he had not seen such an infrastructure in any other academic institution in the world he had been to.

Dr. C. Rangarajan, former governor of Reserve Bank of India is taking a course on “Macroeconomics and Policy Instruments”. Classes usually happen during the weekends. Who better to learn the subject from than the person who has been there, done it all. Unfortunately I am not taking the course because of so many other things in which I am tied up. Heard my batchmates saying that every single line of what he spoke in the class today was worth noting down and worth reflecting upon later.

Section B had an awesome party on Friday. People were supposed to wear ethnic dresses. More details on Raghini and Ramki’s blogs. They even had a “hukkah” making the rounds (in case you are not familiar with a hukkah, please google it out). Kudos to Section B class rep “D”. We call him dada. He is one hell of an enthusiastic guy and keeps himself involved in almost all sports and extra-curricular activities that happen on campus. Dada – you are just too good.

Faffing one’s heart out

An opportunity to do that was provided by the MO mid term paper today. There were 15 subjective questions to be answered in 75 minutes. There were questions like “decision making …. xyz … abc .. blah .. blah .. blah …. do you agree or not?” I felt like writing “I agree, but not completely”. Then there was a question which went something like “why decision makers in organizations might be allowed to make mistakes while people undergoing management education …… or undergoing training to become managers are penalized for mistakes” and I felt like writing “because there are no TAs (teaching assistants) in organizations but there are TAs in educational institutions like ISB”. Its really sad the way the first half of the course was taught to us. The only respite is that Prof. Tina Dacin who is teaching the second half of the course is doing an excellent job. Its amazing to note how the course suddenly doesn’t seem all that boring now.

This is bound to be another busy weekend with so many assignments and so many talks and events happening. Mr John Clarkeson, Chairman, The Boston Consulting Group, Worldwide along with BCG India delegation would be visiting ISB today and will be addressing us in the evening. There is an inter-section talent hunt being organized by the music club on Sunday. There is a competition being organized by the Marketing Club on Sunday.

Nothing much to add for the time being …. better get some sleep before the 2:30PM SAIT lecture. I am still searching for some takeaways from the SAIT course.

Pottery workshop

The Arts & Creativity Club organized a four day pottery workshop where students/spouses/staff/children could work on the potters wheel, guided by an expert, and see their imagination take shape. The workshop ended today. Each individual’s creations will be air dried, fired and returned back so that they can then be painted and kept as memoirs.

We have new profs for the last 5 classes of MO and GSB. Prof Tina Dacin is very lively and scores much above the earlier prof in teaching MO. She is able to involve students even when taking very dull topics and is very sharp too. She even noticed the sheet of paper that was being circulated around by students asking for comments on the first female prof of the core terms. The new prof for GSB is good but somehow I liked the earlier one, Prof. Mudit Kapoor a lot more. The new prof Dr. A.K. Shiva Kumar has prescribed so many articles for reading that we would reach our retirement age by the time we come to the end of it all. For both GSB and SAIT, students have to do presentations daily while the profs get to watch and have all the fun. The latest gossip making rounds is that its the profs who are doing the free riding this term.

We have the MO mid term this Friday. Except for IA, all other subjects are faffy. The best story writer is going to get the maximum marks provided keywords in his/her story match those in the copy given to the TAs who will correct the paper.

Prof Subra continues to rock with his multilingual comments. More on him in the posts to come.

Bringing this post to an end with a few snaps from the pottery workshop. This is not me but CFO standing with his creations. His shirt reads “Overeducated .. Underemployed“….. which essentially means that we need to give him more work w.r.t to our assignments 🙂 ….. just kidding …. this dude is so quick with everything that he finishes things off even before the bulb starts glowing in my top storey.

Google Earth view of ISB Campus

Here is a Google Earth view of a part of the ISB campus. This satellite image is a bit old and some buildings are missing. This was sent to us by our Assistant Director, Co-curricular activities, who happens to be an alum.

In the center is the main acad block. The structure to the left of it in the NW direction is my student village.

Onam Celebrations on Campus

Onam was celebrated yesterday on campus and today we had cultural programmes organized in continuation of the celebrations. To see a brief write-up on onam, please click here. The programmes were awesome. There was a short skit depicting the origins of onam. The “Kaikottikali” dance was beautifully coreographed.

The cultural programmes were followed by a screening of the critically acclaimed malayalam movie “Manichitrathazhu” with English subtitles (for people like me who do not know the language).

Here are a few snaps …….

Pookalam (flower arrangement) – prepared by students