The (Mis)adventures of the Internet Department (Part II)
*Part I can be found here.
After the success of its Chandra-yaan Launch, Internet Department invents Time Travel!
8 October 2021 | Chiranth S
The batch of 2025 began their 2nd glorious year at the No.1 Fountain of Legal Education (four times in a row now) with an unwelcome surprise. The numerically and emotionally drained class of 100 ‘intelligent law students’ had been divided into two sections – A and B, of roughly 50 students each. Each section would have different teachers for law subjects and the social sciences would be taught by a single teacher in a combined class, once again highlighting the step-motherly treatment meted out to the lowly BA subjects. This, in addition to being the only batch with 5 subjects per trimester, was guaranteed to add some unnecessary spice to an already chaotic trimester for the batch of 2025. It should come as no surprise that the NLS Inmate Review Board (hereafter NLSiR Board) decided to take this case up with a gusto and enthusiasm seldom visible in an online trimester.
As has become the norm at NLS, the one-sided decision was abruptly announced by the Supreme Administrative Council (SAC) with the speed and decisiveness usually reserved for one of the Supreme Leader’s Masterstrokes. During the course of its investigation, the NLSiR Board found (quite predictably) that the Batch of 2025 was more interested in debating the arbitrary and random class division on their batch group, rather than initiating an uncomfortable conversation about the 20 comrades missing from their original flock of 120. In a completely unsurprising turn of events, 10 of the most privileged social justice warriors with the quickest thumbs argued about whether or not the admin was promoting class division. All this while the majority remained indifferent and chose to silently watch the drama unfold. The few who still possessed a soul expressed the token outrage and long-winded speeches usually reserved for hastily called General Body Meetings (GBM) or infamous and practically useless email threads after a similar masterstroke by the SAC. Never mind that the minority who bear the brunt of these decisions and suffer year losses are neither consulted nor are their concerns heard. As long as everyone can comfortably binge watch their TV shows and peacefully doze off during zoom classes, who cares if 16% of the batch has to endure an extra year at NLS, with only the sweet agony of academic rigour to keep them company. At this juncture, it was pointed out to the NLSiR Board that they had gone off topic and their rant was no longer entertaining. Back to the double section dilemma.
Oddly, the consequences of this poorly planned decision took the Batch of 2025 by surprise. The NLSiR Board assumed that after the closed book vs. open book decision and other exam format zingers were sprung upon them just a week before the exams were scheduled to begin, nothing would surprise them anymore. But the simple matter of conducting online classes for two sections of 50 students proved too much for the SAC and their accomplice, the Internet Department. Or was it…..?
Keeping in mind that most colleges all over the world have divided their students into far more than two sections, the NLSiR Board smelt a rat. (Our first reaction was that one of the many snakes on campus was responsible). It seemed suspicious that a college that prides itself on its unique and extremely stress-free trimester system would find it too challenging to implement such a basic feature of higher education. On further investigation and examination of precedent, the Board stumbled upon the fact that the Internet Department had, in 2019, been the first university department in the world to go to the moon to help ISRO re-establish contact with Vikram.* If such extraordinary efforts were made just to improve internet connectivity on the campus, then surely the simple task of scheduling classes for two sections would be a cakewalk for this esteemed Department. The NLSiR Board’s suspicions would soon be proven correct and they would be vindicated. The game was afoot.
Chaos abounded during the first week of classes. The technically sound and ever reliable Edchemy platform managed, of course, by the Internet Department displayed a single link for both sections, prompting frantic WhatsApp meltdowns. Once this was resolved, there was unrealistic hope that the ‘final’ timetable would clarify things. It didn’t, and neither did the ‘revised’ timetable. One anonymous source accurately pointed out that the Batch of 2025 was among the first cases of human trials for the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment. They wouldn’t know for sure if they had class as a single section or a combined class until they clicked on the zoom link. The administration’s grand scheme slowly began to reveal itself when the combined Political Science class (taught by a single professor, of course) for Sections A and B were scheduled for different times. The SAC and the Internet Department had invented time travel !!
Our excitement and joy was cut short when a notification announced that students were only permitted to travel through time to attend classes in Section A and B at different times, simultaneously! Since students could now be in two places at once, NLS could now achieve the Supreme Leader’s dream – Complete and Total Academic Rigour. After successfully travelling to space, the Internet Department had acquired the technical skills and proficiency for its next adventure – time travel. Glossing over the chaos that ensued during the one week trial run, time travel was declared a success and another feather in the cap of this distinguished Department.
The student body of 20-something-year-olds now faced a dilemma which the Internet Department, with all its knowledge and foresight, had failed to consider. How were they supposed to time travel without some sort of device like a time machine? After multiple unanswered emails, the SAC and Internet Department begrudgingly decided to give out time turners to “assist students in their noble pursuit of high academic standards and rigour that NLS is known for”. Shame that the Internet Department was not as liberal with data packs that cost a fraction of the price, and are in perennial demand.
One subject, in particular, bore the brunt of this dual division madness. The difference in the zoom classroom experience of the two sections could not be starker. While one section listened to music before class, the professor in the other section mistakenly assumed that a lecture was, in fact, an opportunity to polish their speed reading skills. The professor dutifully went about doing so by rapidly regurgitating provisions of a certain bare Act and even spouting some ‘analysis’ directly from authoritative sources like iPleaders, no less! A particularly avid Harry Potter fan pointed out that the two professors reminded them of Alastor Moody and the (full of faff) Gilderoy Lockheart. As a result, the latter section was unable to figure out which of their rights had been violated. It bickered over whether all this division and forced time travel was sufficient to declare talaq from the Internet Department (on the grounds of cruelty!) during another WhatsApp debate.
The allotment of project topics was another stellar example of an Internet Department’s efficiency. Normally, one half of the batch submits one set of 2 or 3 projects during the first submission period, while the second half submits the remaining subjects, and vice-versa during the second submission. With the advent of 2 sections, each section was needlessly divided into two halves and allotted different project sets. To further complicate matters, one half of one section had their subjects abruptly changed one full week into the trimester. This issue is mentioned only as an afterthought because it is a recorded fact that most LawSchoolites don’t begin writing their projects until the last possible moment or whenever the batch panic level reaches a critical point, whichever comes first.
We don’t want to jump to conclusions and term this the Umbridge era. But if tomorrow you see the Supreme Leader carrying a pink umbrella, know that Quirk’s NLS Inmate Review Board called it first!