Saturday, August 27, 2005

What a day! Remaining

Well, well, it aint over till its over. After the class, I went back to the lab to touch up the sessional marks excel worksheets to fix a few errors. Sabrina had given me an autograph book for an autograph, so I wrote a few words in it after getting back from the class, on priority. Then, I went to see Dean ECE about Monday's seminar, which now stands cancelled. We discussed what was to be done and all the while my cell phone (on meeting profile) was beeping with Mr. Khawar from Microsoft Pakistan looking for me on campus. I begged my leave after finalizing the arrangements discussion, and went to meet Mr. Khawar and took him to see the lecture theatre. We discussed where the banners would be placed. I got a message from a peon to talk to Dean ECE urgently. I called him up and he told me that he was very upset by the way Mr. Vaqar of Microsoft was taking things and he wanted me to send him a two liner and cancel Monday's event. Still seeing some hope, I took Mr. Khawar around the classrooms corridor, Research Lab, Parallel Processing Lab, AI and Robotics Lab and then to the staff center where we were supposed to have refreshments with Dr. Kentaro on Monday. In the end, I told him about what the Dean had said and we decided that Mr. Vaqar should talk to Dean ECE. Later I got a call from Vaqar and I suggested that he talk to Dean ECE. Unfortunately, however, nothing seems to have worked out and the seminar is now cancelled. It was unfortunate, as I had spent a lot of energy and time coordinating this thing, and this thing had affected our plans for SCONEST, as well as .NET Day. I feel sad that nothing materialized in the end.
So, after seeing Mr. Khawar back, I sat down to finalize the sessional marks on the printed proforma, edging the sessional marks up for almost everyone. I hope I did justice to everyone. I dispatched the sheets quickly because the Chairman was under pressure to display the sessional marks urgently for at least one week.
All this while, there was a group of students from Electronics Engineering that was stuck on NS-2 simulations because their advisor who was supposed to help them get ZRP running on NS-2 had left the country and they found me somehow. Unfortunately, I have no schedule, my schedule is dictated by the arrival distribution of students, phone calls, vendors, and employees. While they installed NS-2, all of the above and more was going on.
Then, there were a couple of groups from third year working on their software engineering projects on ASP.NET who needed some help. I felt committed to help them because I was the one who encouraged them to do it and gave them ideas about how to organize code etc. One of them had a missing pair of quotation marks in a query, and the machine was so slow and I was kind of stressed by all the activity and confusion arising from the canceled seminar.
The other group had all items in a selection list set to selected, we changed that and discovered that one of the list's contents that they were trying to convert to integer was a string that could not be converted to integer. While I was trying to help them, a final year student, Imran, came with his trouble. I gave him a few hints, my visiting card, and had him on his way. Then, the electronics engineering student came back complaining and seeking a different appointment. I explained to them that I had no schedule at all, and if I would give them an appointment, I might not be able to meet it again. So, I advised them to just drop by on Monday and try to catch me some time. He said that they just wanted me to run a simulation and generate a nam trace. That's a piece of cake. I told him that if they had NS-2 running, I could do it for them in a minute, but it would take me 15 minutes before I was free.
Meanwhile, the lab staff had requested a farewell lunch with me and had already set the tables with the food ready, and were trying to get my out of the students mouths. I told the ladies the solution and went with them, and discovered that they were for some reason, all stuck on a phone. We soon went to the prepared area, where a bouquet and a gift was presented to me. We took a video and snaps of it with my camera and then we sat down to eat the already cold food. Well, I'm not complaining. With the kind of work day that I have mentioned above, it is rare that I even get to eat lunch at all. On Thursday, all me and Farhan had after our breakfasts was a broast at 7 pm. So, after eating, we opened the gift, and it was a lovely painting of Ayat al Kursi. I love it, and we took it back to my office. Already, there were final year students waiting outside for me. They were to take me to the classroom. I went with them, they tried to catch Sir Shahab, but he was busy preparing for his evening class and excused himself. So, it was me, the final year section B students, a really long knife and a delicious coffee cake that I loved at first bite. While I was escorted by the students to the venue, there were people with cameras at the other end of the corridor capturing videos of us approaching amidst applause. After the cake was cut, one student fed me a piece of it and then I encouraged them all to eat it quickly. A bouquet was presented to me and photos and videos were being taken continuously. We then went out to the lawn to have group photos and videos taken of us. We had a splendid time. Then they asked me for a few departing words of advice. I just advised them to practice professional ethics once in practical life and went back to my office.
I met Adnan who was waiting for me to arrive before he left for Sir Syed University for the INETA seminar on Project Ideas. He did not take what I wanted to give him and Fahad didnt want to go there instead of me, so he went on his way deciding that we should meet on Monday or Tuesday.
After that, I collected my stuff, thinking of all that remained to be done, and headed back home. Still, several occurrences I have left out, such as the returning of the books at the library.

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