Pre-reads, more pre-reads and some more pre-reads. Sleep cycle went for a toss, class preparedness took a whole new meaning and grades were out even before we could have dinner on the same day. Faster than the grades could be out, students were out of classrooms and of the course. The dreaded “I have reasonable evidence to believe that you haven’t done your pre-reads” became the most dreaded catch phrase of our lives over a period of one and half months.
People doing pre-reads while watching cricket matches, in buses on the way to watch movies (even Enthiran) and while having breakfast were a common sight. Even our jokes for a month and half became centred on LIP!! A bunch of fifty odd survivors were eating, drinking and sleeping “LIP” and doing what they must do – Survive.
A course which generated so much of hype with stories doing rounds of how a senior had to catch a flight to be just in time for a class as he didn’t want to be out of the course. With almost all the batch toppers opting for the course, it was bloodbath when it came to grades. Yes, that would be me bleeding. Egos were bruised and philosophies moulded but no one gave up.
You must be wondering. Was it worth the hype, the pain and the sleepless nights and empty stomachs? You bet, it was; worth living for, worth dying for and worth going to hell for. Touted as one of the most enigmatic courses at Great Lakes and being taught by the equally enigmatic Dr. Venkat. R. Krishnan, it was also reckoned to be one of the most useful and practical. Leadership, Influence and Power (or LIP as we call it) surpassed all our expectations and left us wanting more.
Everything about it was different – loads of pre-reads consisting of two text book and numerous empirical articles, a class with 100% attendance from each student who had enrolled, a class involving everything from movies, to speeches to drama to case studies to numerous surveys, to live leadership project, to heated discussions – it was different in every conceivable way.
There were 16 classes and each was unique in its own way, right from the livid discussions to the OHP presentations (yes, you read it right – Over head projector).Each class was loaded with anticipation, partly due to the compulsory pre-reads which was tested in every class in different ways. The discussions were inflammable at times but never became ugly as the ice cool temperament of Dr. Venkat came to the fore. He will corner you with his questions so much so that only thing you can do is retort. He will most often sidestep from the centre stage and let others counter your opinion and will merely be a witness to the clash of ideologies and philosophies.
Usually every course has a definite goal. According to Dr. Venkat, the sole aim of his course was to leave us with numerous unanswered questions. I must say that he did indeed succeed.
Want to know more about the course? I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you! 🙂
– A joint venture by Shiva Krishnan and Priyambad.