That’s Arun. Jovial, cool, slightly crazy and a nice guy who is as curious as a 5 year old all the time about the things happening around him.
That’s Santosh. Don’t get him started on being sarcastic. He’ll just have too much fun. A pure geek since his college days, there are very few people around whom he is not acquainted with.
Last but not the least, yours truly.
Arun, Santosh and I planned to do a beginner level Python workshop at the BMSIT Engineering college as a part of the Python Express initiative. Karthik, who was the organizer, was only too happy to welcome us. The three of us decided to use Anand’s Python Practice Book as a guide. We were planning to cover until Object Oriented Programming. However, there was no point in rushing through.
The idea was to get the kids comfortable with Python. Both Arun and Santosh realized this very well. During the introductory session, which was handled by Arun, he quickly gauged that most of the students were not even comfortable using the interpreter. He took his time, teaching them about variables, strings and conditional statements, by giving them enough exercises to work on as well as using his incredible humour and charm to keep the crowd engaged.
Only Santosh and I knew it was his first ever session. No one could have guessed. He was in the zone and a couple of kids came and personally thanked him for making the introduction so welcoming that they were motivated to sit through the entire session. One of them even skipped lunch to stay back!
Way to go Arun!
He finished his session by 12:20PM when we broke for lunch. The lunch was exceptionally good and we had a full stomach by the end of it. We got back and it was about time for Santosh to start his session.
The poor guy had a really sore throat. We tried to arrange speakers, but they were even less audible than one’s voice. In a room with ~100 young, energetic, curious youth, you had to shout at the top of your voice to have your voice heard. That is exactly what Santosh did.
He lost himself among the crowd and did not care about his voice. He had a keen sense of understanding the audience well and dynamically changing his presentation style to suit them.
We had a box of chocolates around. Every time someone finishes a problem first, they are awarded a delicious chocolate! We really needed to buy a bigger box.
Gauging the exhaustion on the face of many, we decided to wrap up our workshop around 4 by finishing off a quick peep into file handling.
I must say it felt good to have been back at a college. When I was roaming around the lab, I noticed most of them earnestly taking down notes in a notebook out of the fear that they would be missing some point. To one of the guys, I asked,
“Hey, will you really be referring back to these notes again?”
He: “Absolutely! Not all of it, but many points in it”.
“Alright”, I said and went around.
While I was passing this young man a second time, he called me and said,
“To be honest, no. I don’t think I will be referring to this at all”
“Thanks for not lying to me”, I said with a smile.
It was good to meet Karthik, who was the one coordinating the entire thing. It was interesting to know he was a Linux Kernel lover who was cracking his head on getting deep into it. Dharshan, his friend, one with a very soothing personality, was a great help in getting us around the venue as well as with the setup.
I did not get to know many of their names, but I remember Aranya, a college student who is an “investment consultant”. Yeah, no kidding. I have his card right here. Also Utkash, who was really keen on getting to understand the intricacies of the Internet. Then there was Kunal, who was from the EEE stream, but interested in programming. A very enthusiastic lad.
All in all, it was a day well spent. Malaysia was extremely fun (long story) and after hanging around the front gate for a while, our cab came at around 5 and we were on our way.
I should do this more often.