Friday 5 October 2012

One of a Kind Judgement Day

For 8 months I was preparing for this particular day, the one of a kind Judgement Day for me. The ultimate day which I was waiting for since the second week of June 2010. This one of kind judgement day was my Diploma Jury. At National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India where I did my Post Graduate Diploma in Photography Design, a diploma jury is basically a viva voce where the students present their final semester work, their diploma project in front of  4 jury panel members. Since there are no exams, the diploma jury is equivalent to a final exam in a normal academic standard.

I started my diploma project in March 2012, finished my shooting by end of July 2012. The whole month of August and the initial week of September was spent on writing my diploma document, which was a real pain in the ass. The deadline given for submission was 31 August, but luckily it was extended till 10 September 2012. By 31 August, I was still not close to completing the document. Thank goodness! the deadline was extended! The remaining 10 days, I had to work my ass off to complete whatever work was left and I did managed to do so. I gave my document for printing and binding and after doing all those things, me and my classmate still missed out one thing. There was a copyright statement page which we have to add in our document. So we went back to the printer and add the missing page. Finally the document was ready for submission. In the copyright statement act I filled up the necessary details, I don't know what the hell was going in my mind that day, it was the 10th of September, and I wrote '10.11.2012'. The other night I was watching a video about 9/11 tragedy and I think the '11' part got stuck in my mind. What a disaster!! Since there was no more time to replace that page or get a correcting fluid, I made a single line stroke on the written date and re-wrote 10 September 2012. After that I filled up my document submission form, and there too I still goofed up the date and wrote '10. 08.2012'. I know its September, but somehow the digit 9 just doesn't seem to strike my head. I guess such things happen only when tension builds up and I have never really spent so much time in the library like this. While writing my document I had to force myself to sit in the library as it keeps me in the mood. Most students who write their diploma document usually spend lots of time in the library.

Submitting the document was just one part of the project, the big day was yet to come. My jury date was allotted on 25 September, 2012 and again I have to prepare for that. But since it was like two weeks away, I had some time to relax. After spending one week doing nothing, I was still not in the mood to make my presentation. So I kinda waited for the last minute. And oh yeah, the only other preparation I made so far was framing my photographs. So on 23 Sept, Sunday night, I finally started making my my presentation. The next day on 24th Sept, I packed my bag and head towards the campus to check if I could issue the Board Room key, where I was suppose to give my presentation. To my disappointment, I was told that it would be free only by 5 pm. So while waiting for that, I opened my laptop and continued to make the presentation. I sat for like an hour and later I went to check out Board Room - 3. Another disappointment strikes again, Board Room - 3 only have soft board and there was no place to hang my frames and I had 8 frames to be hung. So again I have to rush to the Academics office to inquire if I can switch to another Board Room. Since other juries were happening simultaneously, the other board rooms were also booked. But somehow I managed to grab Board Room-2, which provides better space for hanging my photo frames.

After settling my presentation room, I opened my laptop and then another disappointment...since I had kept it on hibernate, it over heated and the HDD crashed! An old laptop, i knew it was gonna fail me someday, but why on this crucial day? !! I was lost for words, and found it funny to a certain point. But luckily I have a backup of all my important files, so that saved me at least. But I was already halfway through making the presentation, and that was gone. So I borrowed my classmate's laptop and started from scratch. Surprisingly, I did not really freak, I was still quite calm. And that evening, it took around two hours to hang the frames, so around 8 pm Board Room- 2 was all set. Then I went to hostel where I put up in a junior's room, had dinner and by the time I started working on the presentation it was already 10:30 pm. My jury on the next day was at 10:00 am. I finished the presentation at around 3:00 am, and finally went to sleep.

The next morning I got up at 7:00 am, so finally 25 september, Judgement Day is arriving. I quickly dressed up had breakfast and revised my presentation.I found out a couple of mistakes in my slides and by the time I finished my edits, it was 9:00 am. One hour left. My classmate, Mayur came to help me out in setting up the projector and other necessary stuffs for the presentation. The past two days before the jury,Mayur and Honey my other classmates helped me out in all possible ways for my jury preparation and I am truly thankful to them.  The facade of  the Board Room-2 was glass, and Honey sat opposite to the board room for around 2:30 hours givin' me support.

The Jury
At 10:00 am all the jury members, except the external had arrived and we had to wait for the external for around 20 minutes. I did not exactly look at the time but I think the presentation started at 10:30 am. The day before I saw one girl throwing up in the bathroom just before giving her jury presentation. But that wasn't the case with me. For some strange reason I was very calm and composed, and not nervous at all in spite of all the bad luck which happened the day before. If it was the other semester juries, I could have been really nervous. But somehow calmness got hold of me that morning, it was a moment I have been eagerly waiting for. Time was all mine to talk about my work, the process of the work which I had been doing the last 6 months. Whatever questions fired by the jury members, I was able to answer them properly. It was more like a constructive conversation, and there was no right or wrong question or answer, whatever was said either by me or the jury members were valid. I never really thought I would be able to enjoy juries or any other presentation. But this time,  I was just so eager to speak out and completely forgot the feeling of 'nervousness'.

After the presentation ended, I was asked to stand outside for around 5 -10 minutes. When I was called back in, the Chairman of the jury asked me what the outcome of the jury would be...then I replied, " I think you are going to ask me to replace a few pages from my document", and I was right! The reason why I had to re-print and replace a few pages were because the jury members were not satisfied with some of the layout arrangements in my document. I had two columns in my layout and some of the lines in the columns were not at the same alignment. Unless one is very particular about typography and graphic design, most people wouldn't even have seen that mistake. But apart from that everything else was good. I was given the green signal to convocate in December. They all wished wished me  luck, handshake given twice by each and they left the room. That was such a big relief! But my trouble is not yet over. After cleaning up the board room, I started editing those pages which I have to replace. Around 8:30 pm I went to the printer and got my pages replaced. Everything was all set.

Though I was given two days to complete my document, I have to submit the next day instantly as I had to catch a train for New Delhi at 6:30 pm on 26 Sept. Although the only thing I had to do was get a signature and submit, I had to wait all day and by 40:30 pm that day I was finally took care of everything. I bid farewell to a couple of friends and by 5:00 pm, I headed towards the train station. Those 3 days were among the most craziest days of my life and nerve wrecking too.

I'll just stop here as I highlighted most of the things, though there are still many more things which happened in those days. Whatever happened, it was worth all the trouble I went through. The Jury rest my case and it was a well settled judgement.

The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps... Proverbs 16:9 (The Holy Bible)