'The Joys of alcohol' is the tentative title that my group members have come up with, for a presentation in a communication process class. ( I am only concerned because there is chunk of marks alloted for this in our term final. This is the kind of thing ones does for twelfth class General studies paper. While my classmates are only 3 years past this kind of thing, imagine my weariness. It has been ten years since I have had to do such pointless exercises. I am not questioning the use of standing in front of a bunch of unwilling listeners and trying to get over your stage fear. But I've done it enough. The majority of the class can talk/communicate failry well in a public speaking/corporate presentation scenario. It is the slow ones that have still not managed to learn the skill and they are the lowest denominator and for whom this class is designed. But we know who sets the speed in the army right? It is not the cavalry. It is the infantry.)
Forget the rise in onion price, the sad state of gender inequality, the naxal issue in the central and eastern states, oh no, we are doing a presentation on the questionable joys of alcohol. And I'm swamped with the intended editing/writing/readin and studying that I have to do, that I do not have the time to research any topic worth presenting to the class. The fact that practically no one wants to spend ATP in their grey cells to even consider a new subject that might be interesting could also be a reason.
Meanwhile, I have a maid who comes home and insists on conducting long conversations with me in Marathi and Hindi, while I nod diligently with differeing levels of incomprehension. She insists on bathing even vegetable dishes in fat, that everytime I see the food I imagine a blocked cardiac vessel in my future. Back to her chattering, each day she talks about what is bothering her the most. Sometimes it is her husband's cardiac troubles (Duh! Its the oil you are so liberal with. Didn't anyone tell you that cholesterol comes from that? I tried telling her to practise stinginess with oil at her place like we instruct her to cook here. She says the food tastes good only with lots of oil!), sometimes about how the kids in her area once past the age of fifteen, sixteen become loafers, imitating the youth in the neighbourhood, and stop going to school and roam aorund drinking, smoking - both weed and tobacco, sniffing - whitener, turpentine, etc etc. At times it is about how her two co-sisters (women who had married brothers) talk about the other behind their backs to out maid and how it annoys her. There is a lot of gesturing and acting to get her meaning across, with me mumbling the few phrases I know in Hindi. So yes, I have become a quasi therapist listening to her woes. If only there was some money in it for me! 'sigh'.
One week Later : Since the group decided they did not want to look like they were promoting the drinking of alcohol, the topic was changed to "Alcohol - Not just a Drink", but it was preceisely the drinking the presentation mostly talked about. :D
Of all the lame presentations that were done for the comm. process class, I am glad to report that ours wasn't the worst. Topics ranged from mundane ones like Financial Planning (which was very informative I should add, even if most students snoozed durign this one, because of the pedantic style it was presented in ), Cyber crime, Tata Steel Company (I mean what were they thinking? Take the ppt. straight out of the company's website? It was like a propaganda/cavassing talk to potential investors. Not that anyone bought it), Homosexuality and stigma( This wasnt actually bad, content wise. Except for a lot of twittering from the immature male section of the class, where the homophobes are the maximum, percentage-wise, and whom the presentaion was aimed at, in the first place and obviously didn't get through), addiction ( This was focussed on letting go of tobacco, because three members from that group are smokers. Did the research for the presentation actually help them? Or was the sincere asking of all addicts to seek help, a way of ridding themselves of guilt about their addiction? No one knows) The best was a presentation on Black holes and time travel. That was actually fun as it left the realm of boring facts and explored the imaginary in a fun way with videos and animation. Or maybe I'm just a geek.
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