Monday, September 1, 2008

Avinash goes away!

Hi all,

Last week was the last week of my dear friend Dr Scheme, we went for lunch together at a wicked restaurant called Coco des iles at Roche-Brunes, and we had a wicked time, their interior decoration and artifacts they used to serve food is very original.They served rice in a coco-fesse which was cut in half, others had 'satini rekin' in a coconut shell.

They when i got back to uni i had the privilege to attend Dr Scheme's last lecture titled: Convergence of Technology whereby he talked about WEB 2.0, Apple iPhone, Semantic Web and...
See Below!

I found it very interesting and learnt quite some stuff. We had a good time and someone even asked me a question (as Avinash introduced me later in his lecture) concerning E-Commerce Payment Processing. Then we went at Avi's place for a beer and Christina made some delicious little snack and they kids were singing and reciting poems and i had a good time.

Friday was officially his last day and it did make me kind of sad when i saw him packing his stuff. Anyways he felt he needed to explore new horizons and i wish him all the best.

Friday also meant my first programming lab with some first year students, while getting them to test some programs, i was shocked to find out that some were struggling with questions to find area and volumes of geometric shapes. They probably relied too much on the list of formulae for sad!!!

By the way, i sorted out my aquarium and look at what it now looks like!! Its so cool!

On Saturday, i while helping out some student, i got carried away while explaining Quadratic Equations, then i braked!!!! else i would have turned this programming lecture into a Maths class! I still believe that there is a teacher's contribution into making a student love or hate a subject!

So what do you think?

Last week we also heard about the 'Decoller Pas coller' campaign against pasting of posters and billboarding, what silly is that they got student to do that during college hours, i believe that they would be better off at school. They could have done that during the week-end. Let's hope and pray that this commendable initiative also last until the elections next year and that the authorities do not turn a blind eye when the political parties start putting posters on bus-stands and round abouts.

We are also hearing discussion about the reluctance of some teachers to work till 15 00, we'll this will delay their private tuitions! How will they manage???? Money they earn by selling their knowledge surely outweighs their professional conviction in doing their job in their respective schools!

So disgusting - To them, may be that education is no longer a service, but more of a business!

At times the parents are to blame as tuitions are fashionable and sometimes the students are at fault as they do not study hard enough at school and pay to learn the same things at college - that's if the teachers work at college (I was lucky, as I had marvelous teachers, and i am thankful to all of them). Especially Mr Kalachand and my tuitions teachers Mr Ram SATHAN and Mr Pourannen Sungeelee, i owe much of what i am to them!

A Teacher's job is not to teach, but to inspire. Isn't it Mr Meetoo!!!

So what is your opinion!


anusha said...

well said
a teacher's job is to inspire student
i want to excel in programming bt never studid cmptr in college
i fnd it really hard
studnts wo did cmptr cn srt out prob quickly while i tk hours to do it
what's teh way to success

Chaya said...

Dr. Scheme left already :(
Unfortunately I did not get the chance to have classes with him and thus did not get to know him.

Ur aquarium is really very very beautiful!

Explaining Quadratic Equation-Is it that you are referring to us? Didn't notice you getting carried away :P



G@V!N said...

Hi Anusha,
I am glad that you want to excel in programming, that's nice to hear.
Do not be discouraged by the fact that you did not study CS at College. Thats not a problem...even i did not do it and it will just take you some more practice and you will notice that in you second year, you will be on the same footage as many of those who did CS previously.

As I said, even i did not do it in college and it is perfectly normal that they tackle it slightly more quickly. The only piece of advice would be not to give up. The way to success is to get the concepts right and loads of practice. It worked out for me and i am sure it will for you as well.

Take Chaya for instance, i am pretty sure she did not study CS and yet, i am sure he will have loads to tell you about Programming Passion!!!LOL

Yes Chaya, he is already gone. WEll it is sad that you did not work with him, his classes are so cool!

The aquarium is nice and it took some quite some investment as well!!!

As regards the Quadratic Equations, that is definitely referring to you people. So whats is the -b/(2*a) for???

Chaya said...

Hi all,

*Mega Lolz*
Pa p kpav retenir mo bane laughs le temps mo lire ou reply :D :P

@ Anusha:
If u r having classes with Mr Gavin, i'm sure u'll find it easy later on. Take me for instance, never did computing (programming) at school, and 1st semester programming was really very abstract and i even failed the 1st test, but then wen Mr Gavin took our class, there has been a very good improvement in my results, rite Mr Gavin??
I believe that while learning 1st semester concepts, we didn't actually know where these concepts will lead us to, that's y we found it difficult and thus failed! However, when those little concepts were being applied in second semester, it was really fun to learn programming :)

"i want to excel in programming "--> this shows ur enthusiasm to learn the subject and i'm sure u'll do pretty well, simply work through the labsheets sincerely and pa baisse les bras!

U'll often hear Mr Gavin saying this during lectures: "Get the concepts clear once, dn't worry about coding, it's secondary" enfin, something like that (mo pa tro rapel bane exacte wording la) and it's damn true Anusha--it's concepts that matters!
See last year we used C++ to code, and this year, i'm findin coding with Python great, because i still remember concepts of last year.

About passion for programming, I can only say that if u can have a 4hrs class of programming without getting bored, sans gagne faim ek soif, sa mem nu apel passion for programming, rite Monsieur?

Wen will u beat this record? ;)

Quadratic Equations : -b/(2*a) refers to the x-cordinate of the symmetry of the quadratic curve with equation x = -b/(2*a)

Rite? Lolz

And yeah, pa change mo gender brite brite,

"Take Chaya for instance, i am pretty sure she did not study CS and yet, i am sure he will have loads to tell you about Programming Passion!!!LOL"

Kidding :D :P ;)



G@V!N said...

Whoops Sorry Chaya!!!!
You are right!
It should have been 'SHE' erreur de frappe!

So you found out Anusha, you do not really need CS at HSC, just hard work and practice.

The 4 hrs record will be beaten one day! I still remember that particular saturday, we managed to revise the whole of the semester 1 stuff in half a day! Ca il faut le faire!

X=-b/(2*a) is the line of symmetry of the parabola. Good Job Chaya!

Chaya said...


So u see, i follow ur classes well! lol

Can't forget that 4 hrs class la! But it sure did help lots...Koz there are things that I was "discovering" like the string operations.

Wen u plan to break that record, dn't forget to tell me!

@ Anusha: With ur enthusiasm, perseverance and dedication to programming, u'll surely succeed.

Ever wondered about the relative speed with which CSE:Moodle opens with the different browsers:

Google Chrome: Fastest
Internet Explorer: Faster
Mozilla Firefox: Slowest

Pa riye mo bane adjectifs la, these are the words i can use to describe. lolz



anusha said...

thanks a lot
hard work always pays and am trying my level best to excel in programming
and i hope i can do it
the same way you did it
i want to love the subject and not just learn it and am really inspired reading your articles

Chaya said...

Well Monsieur,

it was not on a saturday, but instead a friday ( 2 hours earlier + our 2 hours normal lecture) 9.00-13.00 :P

According to your post "Programming Marathon" dated Saturday, 3rd May 2008, it should have been 2nd May 2008...Lolz

@ Anusha: With determination, dedication and PASSION (comme on le dit deja) for programming, you'll surely succeed.

Make the most of Mr. Gavin's class.

All the best!



G@V!N said...

See Chaya!
I am getting forgetful!
P rentre dans l'age!!
All the best Anusha for programming!
Hard work always pays off!

Chaya said...

See oune ressi accept ou p rente dan l'age!
Btw i've already replied to your question on Priscus Former's blog on Ganesh Chaturthi :)

Yupri said...

these days many teachers are maki buisness bez ca ... enfin nu dans moris . bizin change the mind set ...

this stuff on python parait nice .. in anyway i know nothing about programmin .. mais it seem cool .. i attended one is lecture - database 3rd yr basically li parait facile


Anonymous said...

Hi guys.. One thing i want to state at UOM, well, i dunno abt other lecturers, but my 1st year prog lecturers dnt actually teach the studs abt hw to solve the probs etc.I remembered i started to prog in form3,and it was really a hard time,but there was my uncle who taught me all the skills abt prob solving techniques etc.nw i can say that i love programing and use these in my,i dnt initialise my gf as a variable and mum as a constant,but it really helped me solve many probs methodically, and what's so irony is that in level2,the prog teacher is like spoonfeeding not against spoonfeeding(coz i love it) but i believe that lecturers should focus on the prob solving technique first,teach the student the mindset of how to break a big prob into smaller ones n solve em with variables then focus on the coding stuffs.Coz there are so much failures in it.
Also ya,there is a saying which goes: After the parents,we have the guru(teacher),teachers contribute a lot in the education of a child,n these shud be the priority of the gov,instead of punishin the teachers up till 15 00.(LOL I GUESS NOW AFTER SCHOOL DETENTION FOR STUDS HAVE DROPED DOWN)
Being a teacher isn't that easy,believe me,and MOST of the time,its not the teacher that wants to make business out of their knowledge,but its parents n studs itself.I was working as teacher for my HSC hols, and ya many parents wanted me to teach their children,well,i did help people out voluntarily coz in teaching there are lots to learn,but one thing is sure,I wnt ever let my children take tuitions.n also one way to eliminate these tuition fashion i believe is making these teachers prepare their own notes,depending on the establishments and print them,and distribute to the studs.I remember i once went to the High School in Germany,where the system of education was like us,free education n transport system,blah blah blah,but it was mixed and the way the course was conducted was like way different frm mru.the teachers had many challenges of course,but the ados are taught how to read instead of forced to read. It was one of my 1st challenge wen i changed from college to uni,or college to teacher.its like i now realise that nobody will give me the notes,and that i have to read things,undrstnd it and transfer it to the students.N god knows how i did that!Hopefully it was prevoc studs,so i invented games,looked for interesting learning processes for them to understnd things.but one thing is for sure is that in college children r not trained for uni,for me it was like putting me in a show where i have to dance a greek music.Hopefully i adapted n moved on!I believe that the Union or studs frm 2nd yr shud b like explain hw thgs wrk at uom.

Anonymous said...

well the problem is just that i d my class with another teacher
truly i woluld love to have class wth gavin
he realluy inspires student and thats what i like about him
i have friends in my class who have classes with him and they do really well
am trying everything to become good in programming
as u said sir for the orientation session "we should love programming" and i also want to love it
il faut avoir l'amour pour ec sujet pour reussir and with your help i will surely succeed

Chaya said...


"A Teacher's Job Is To Inspire"

Seems you are inspiring a whole lot of students on Campus!

Hail Mr. Gavin!!!

Three Cheers To Mr. Gavin!!!
Hip Hip Hip!!! Hurray!!!
Hip Hip Hip!!! Hurray!!!
Hip Hip Hip!!! Hurray!!!




anusha said...

hi chaya
i think you are really right about mr gavin
though i don't have class with him but i would love to attend all his classes
am really inspired
if ever we need to give an award to the best lecturer it would definitely be "mr gavin" of course
its one of the lecturer at uom whom i have seen gt so much patience n love for his job
he is there to motivate us and will never let us down
"keep it up mr gavin"
you are the best

G@V!N said...

This post is getting loads of comments,

Thank you for your post.
I do agree with you when you say that there are parents who are to blame at times. They tend to leave their kid's education to TV, Internet, Video Games and teachers. Teacher mainly deal with inspiration and instruction....thats if you are lucky.

As regards getting YR 2 students to talk to freshers, i did that this year and i think it worked pretty fine. The freshers are more likely to feel at ease with students roughly their age than with us.

I have stopped spoon-feeding, as i realised that in the end then only thing they learn is the shape of the spoon.

@ yupri
Yes Programming is fun!

Today i was playing with lists and sequences in Python to do some swapping without returning values to the function.

I had once said in a previous post that programming is an art, and you cannot teach art. You can only teach skills, and hope they make sense of it.

I do loads of effort not to get carried away in my lecture, so that i do not look like a kid in a toy shop, and appear excited.

Do not worry, we are all doing our best to lecture. I am sure that though we have different styles in our lectures, you will gain a lot by attending lectures, and some of them were my lecturers and i found them inspiring.
The students are not good because i work with them, they are just hard-working. Do not forget, with hard work, the sky is the limit.

I am happy to inspire, thats my job, isn't it.

anusha said...

i strongly believe that we should put an end to spoon feeding at secondary level itself.what's the use to spoon feed students ,they should learn to use their brains from an early stage.
for many its difficult to adapt when they are not given notes and when they are asked to work on their own but i think that's the right way
the only thing one to do is to guide students how they should work out things and help them when they are facing difficulties
The approach you have adopted is really good
I admire that
Thats the concept
"god has given every1 a brain so we need to use it" and not to expect miracles to happen

G@V!N said...

I am not the best lecturer!
This is for sure. Saying this is not really nice, given that you have not worked with all of them.

I just do my job as well as i can. I have myself been inspired by others (imagine how lucky i am), just think about how good they are!


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Gavin!

Because of you, a whole generation of UoM students will have heard of me only as Dr Scheme instead of Avinash :-)

I'm 100% with you about "A Teacher's Job Is To Inspire." I'll even add to that "A Teacher Should Be A Role Model." I believe students need to be guided by people with utmost integrity and passion for their work or else they will tend to deviate and waste time on trivialities. Great teachers sweat as much as their students :-)

One definition of a university is "a place where intelligent people meet to exchange views." This is something that people tend to forget. Being at university is not about being spoon fed. It's about reading stuff (even on Wikipedia which I personally love...) before coming to class and having an intelligent conversation with the lecturer.

To be 100% frank, I didn't see that a lot during my stay. In fact, I sometimes felt students were too passive in class (compared to, say, European students...) Mauritian students do not realise how good they can POTENTIALLY be...

If there is one thing that needs to be changed in our primary and secondary education system, it's the focus. For long, the focus has been on passing exams (hence the past papers practice and rote learning.) The focus should really change on developing the individual student to achieve greatness.

Seems obvious except that we still don't really agree on what "achieving greatness" means...

Anonymous said...

What a great post Mr meetoo...Its good sometimes to know our weakness etc...But to tell u frankly,when i got to uni,people was like,"never ever go against a lecturer,else u'll be doomed".well that's the mentality that governs many of us.Hopefully in Classes like Cyberlaw,CSO,Multemedia etc,that wasn't the case,the lecturers put us at ease and we felt really friendly,even if sometimes wat we say is totally crap! One thing i am proud to say tho,all the lecturers r rocking in their ways ;) Mr Gavin is very friendly,other's are very intelligent(or appear so) etc...btw,watz the nickname for Mr Gavin?lol...Anyone has one? :S

G@V!N said...

Well i do agree, with you when you say we must aid them if they want to achieve their full potential!

Lecturers are meant to be friendly with students. This reminds me of something Associate Professor Bhurtun once said: You can be friendly with the students, but not necessarily be their friends.

Soemtime people mistake friendliness for friendship, and vice-versa! I am friendly most of the time.

Btw avish: Mr Gavin is very friendly,other's are very intelligent(or appear so)

Do you imply that I am friendly and not very intelligent??? :) There is 'un dangeureux sous-entendu' in your post!!! LOL

LOL! Anyways!


Chaya said...

@ Anusha: Mr. Gavin doesn't work! He gets paid for having fun :P
Rite Mr. Gavin?? (pa moi ki dir sa)

@ Mr. Gavin: You inspire people while having fun!!! And it's very rare to see so much dedication towards giving students the essence and notion of programming.
Hats off to you!

@ Dr. Scheme: I do know you as Mr. Avinash Meetoo, though never got the chance to have a class with you nor talk to you. Wish you all the very best for the future.

@ Avi: I propose Dr. C++ as Mr. Gavin's nickname...he loves this language so much...right Monsieur??



Anonymous said...

awww,my sorry...well,by saying so doesn't imply that you are not intelligent!!! are intelligent too...I like your way of thinking...Proof: like you helped me with the company stuffs...:) I really didn't mean it that way!!!

anusha said...

you are right
i read on mr gavin's blog,can you imagine being paid to have fun?
he have fun with programming lol
this shows how much he loves his job and someone really passionate who wants to experiment new things
am i right
i really want to become like him
"have fun with python"

G@V!N said...

Arrete Flatter, mo pres pou eclater!

Chaya said...

Pa apel flatter sa, apel dire la verite!
Unfortunately, couldn't do feedback about you online! hehe

anusha said...

pa p flaT
li dire p flat li

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
I totally agree with Chaya, li pa p flater Mons, dis is da truth..

@ anusha:
dnt worry, am sure u'll find programming interesting in da coming weeks, learn da concepts (very important).. and if u dnt understand somthing dnt hesitate to ask for clarifications in class... nespa Mons?? :)