Back to ‘real’ world!

Written on 4:06 PM by Tushar

It has been almost a month that I am back from the center of the virtual universe and things look very promising.

Don’t think I’ve mentioned here before that I am working for VMware as a part time intern this semester. Though Hopkins was ready to approve working part time for an off campus employer (on a CPT) there were a lot of complications involved. I am a part time student this semester at Hopkins as I need only 2 courses to graduate. At Hopkins if you have less than 3 courses in a semester you are a part time student (This is a Hopkins specific term and every international student on F1 status is legally always a full time student.) and you pay per course fees instead of the full semester tuition.. When I applied for a part time CPT, I had to register for an extra course and Hopkins was going to charge me $3600 for the same! Since this was ridiculous I talked to the dean and ended up getting $1800 waived off as ‘Dean’s tuition support’ :) and VMware had already agreed to pay the rest.

As almost every desi in the CS dept is graduating in Dec and has fewer courses this semester, first few weeks into the semester were pure fun! Fooseball, late night pool, movies, parties…things like these didn’t use to happen at Hopkins! I actually achieved some of my long cherished dreams such as watching Friday night English movies arranged by HOP(Ocean’s 13, Mr. Brooks) or Saturday evening movies (Chak de India!) arranged by Tarang :P

People have become so innovative that now we have a Google calendar shared among all desis called ‘Crisis buster calendar’. It contains an entry for every event on the campus where there is a slightest chance of getting free food! This scheme is working great so far :) In addition to that there were events like WSE fall picnic, Fall fest too.

The entire desi junta also went to a night tour of Washington DC arranged for FREE (If you want to know how much power this word can have join a grad school!) It was the first occasion that we were all together for a picnic. The trip was arranged for the international students and we had a gala time singing Hindi, English, Tamil songs in the bus :) We visited Washington Monument, Lincoln memorial, Vietnam war memorial and Capitol hill. Boy, it was fun!

Then there was the fresher’s night. I will quote a mail on JHU yahoo group regarding the event. “This was one of the best fresher's night ever. You guys surpassed all expectations with your enthusiasm and by the quality of the performances. The Bhangra, the dance, the solo performances, the 'quack-quack' skit (was it a hen or was it a duck) were all amazing. Three cheers to the DJ, the sound guys, organizers and the food committee!

Now there is a reason to look forward to the Diwali party.

As the semester is taking speed I have realized that I have started missing India a lot. Maybe it is because I will be flying to my sweet home in Dec. Also all the weirdos who started the graduate school last Fall with me have become good friends. I will definitely miss these golden days…Man! I have started becoming nostalgic already!

Free counter and web stats