Posts Tagged ‘ USA ’

About Something – Part 2

Time flies by really fast when you need to check your schedule to breathe. That’s pretty much how my first semester here felt like. Education system is really different here. Well for one, teachers do give a damn if you’re learning something or not. And exams! Don’t get me started on exams. I gave more exams than I had expected to give in my entire degree duration.

Almost everything you do during your course duration is graded – homework, tests, quizzes, projects, mid-term exams and in case of some professors even the attendance and class participation!! Oh yeah, I had 5% grade resting on how many questions I ask during class lectures and professor’s office hours for Comp Arch class. One good thing about graded homework and regular tests is that they always kept you on your toes. The work never piled up too much (cause you couldn’t let them) – get too far behind and you can never recover. At first when I had to pick like three classes for the whole semester, each with a mere two and half hours a week, I was worried about how I am going to pass my time. This worry soon took a completely different turn when I had to do several individual projects within weeks, with scales larger than the final year major project we used to do at IOE in groups of 4-5 people for allotted time of six months.

One of the best experience I had during the last semester was taking the exams. Needless to say like everything else, the exams were totally different then what I am used to. However, there was something very nostalgic about it. The fact that you were supposed to write your answers in the space provided under the question in the question paper and preferably with a pencil so that you don’t run out of space when you need to scrape out a wrong answer, took me back to the days at primary school :) Another wonderful thing about these exams were that this was the first time in years I didn’t have to struggle with the question – “How much do I write for this one?!!” The questions were beautiful!! Yes, they really were. Questions were designed to test your understanding rather than your memory. I remember taking the very first Advanced OS test – there were just two questions and 25 minutes. The questions could be answered under 5 minutes in 2-3 sentences max for each. But to get to the answers you needed to use everything that was taught in the lectures, and the two question made you think and work in rough paper for 20 minutes before you could write a word.

Now all that brings me to the projects and homework – my Achilles heel. Coming from IOE – a proud “copy-paste” engineer, all this fuss about plagiarism was a new thing for me. Apparently, they take this thing very seriously here, and it was made quite clear during the orientation where it was a common point of focus for almost every speaker. Moreover, being a TA here, I was well drilled about handling plagiarism right from the start. So copying from friends was a big “NO-NO”. Got it! Now, the problem is – I didn’t know any other way of doing my homeworks and project assignments. So, initially I struggled a lot with my assignments. But you live and you learn to adapt – and soon I managed to do better with my assignments as I learned to blur the plagiarism line :)

Having done with my first semester I feel I’ve learned a lot about the education system here and how to work your way in it. However, old habits die hard. And one such faithful habit that stuck with me through the years is Procrastination. I don’t think I need to explain this one a lot – this one line by one of my friends says it all – “Engineers from IOE work like rocket – we don’t start until there’s a fire burning up our ass”

About Something – Part 1

It’s been a while since I put something up here. Well except for the few things that I eventually deleted.

Well, this is my first ‘undeleted’ post after I left Nepal. And for sometime now I wanted to write something about my new world – my life in the USA. It’s different here. Everything is different. People are different. The weather is different. Everything.

One reason I wanted to write about USA is that whenever I meet someone online from back home they have to ask one question – “How is America?” And honestly I don’t know what to say. Someone suggested me that I should just send them a map from the net and tell them “Well, this is America” “And that little green box down in the bottom – that’s Texas. That’s where I’m living.” I don’t know how America is. I lived in Kathmandu for 24 years and if you ask me how if Nepal – all I can describe is Kathmandu. And I’ve only been here for a month. Forget USA, forget Texas, forget Dallas (that’s the city inside Texas where I live), forget all that – right now, I’m not even sure what all the electric switches in my apartment are suppose to turn on.

Now let me tell you a little something about Texas. First of all, whenever I tell someone that I’m in Texas, they tell me about my other friends who are scattered somewhere in the Texas and ask me that I must be seeing them often. Well, about that – Texas is around 5 times bigger than Nepal – not Kathmandu – I’m saying Nepal. So, going to meet a real close friend of mine who’s also in Texas in a place called Lubbock means I’d have to travel more than 600 km; that’s like traveling between Kathmandu and Pokhara – 3 times.

6 Questions… They Bought It… I Got It

It had been years since I first saw one of my friends sweat over a US visa interview – today, it was my turn to face the music. I wasn’t nervous. Maybe a little restless though -  I wanted to get it over with as quickly as I can. After waiting 30 mins in sun and another hour in the shade inside, they put me in the firing line…

Visa Guy: You’re Abhishek Paudel Chhetri?

Me: Yes sir.

Visa Guy: How are you doing?

Me: Fine sir.

Visa Guy: So, you’ve got full scholarship? (with smile)

Me: Yes sir. (copying his smile)

Visa Guy: University of Texas, Dallas?

Me: Yes sir.

Visa Guy: Which subject?

Me: Computer Engineering. (wondering if it’s Computer Science)

Visa Guy: Excited?

Me: Yes sir.

Visa Guy: (Smiling) Come today at 1.

Me: (Smiling even more) Thank you sir.

… As easy as taking a candy form a kid :) (not that I’ve ever tried it though)