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Student in India engineering school commits suicide over grade.
Times Of India ^ | May 4, 2006

Posted on 05/04/2006 12:58:16 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball

KANPUR: A 23-year-old Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) student, Shailesh Sharma, on Wednesday committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel[dorm] room. A resident of Pande Mohal, Nariya in Varanasi, the deceased was a final year student of dualdegree programme at the chemical engineering department.

IIT-K officials claimed that the student might have taken the extreme step under depression after coming to know that he had failed in two courses —advanced thermodynamics and advanced fluid-mechanics. The exams had got over only on Wednesday after which Shailesh had seen the F grading in the two subjects.

According to Shailesh’s batchmates, he had failed in advanced thermodynamics for third time in a row and had shared his failure and acute distress with his classmates. "On Tuesday, he came to know about his failure and was quite depressed. Today he committed suicide after having lunch with us," said a student, who was with Shailesh minutes before he ended his life.

"Though we can’t draw any conclusion, it is true that he had done badly in two courses. This might be the reason behind the incident," said dean of students affairs (DOSA) Prawaal Sinha. Sinha said that the body had been sent for postmortem and parents of the deceased had been informed about the incident.

The incident invited strong reaction from the students who claimed that authorities could have saved Shailesh’s life by changing his course options. Hundreds of students assembled at Hall One where Shailesh used to live and demanded that the grading be made public. They also took to task Professor RB Chhabra of advanced thermo-dynamics who was present there. "We want to know whether Shailesh was intentionally being harassed by the authorities," said an enraged student.

On November 30, a similar case was witnessed when mechanical engineering second-year student Dharaskar Swapnil Chandrakant had committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the administrative block. The IIT-K authorities had then attributed stress as factor behind the incident. Shailesh is the fifth IIT-K student to have committed suicide.

Civil engineering student M Chowdhary had hanged himself in 1981 and third-year mechanical engineering student Yadapalli Venkat and another student Vimal Jha had taken the extreme step in 1987 and 1999 respectively.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: darwinaward; india; suicide
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball; Raj13008
Scary. We put a lot of emphasis on school performance for our children. I wonder if it's too much. We always give the speech "You're not competing against your fellow students, you're competing against the entire world..." Then we list what bright children in other countries are doing to excel in school. Our children are wonderful, but probably average in school (but they get straight A's, I simply mean that they have to work to earn those A's.) So explaining to them why it's important to do the very best they can is an ongoing thing.

So I think I'll need to watch for signs I push too hard. My eldest is taking advanced course for his grade, but we will never expect or push for him to skip a level. We recognize that emotional maturity is every bit as important as scholastic capability. He's going to stay with his friends and do Cub Scouts and play Yu-gi-oh like all his friends. I just pray that we can balance our efforts with his needs as a child.

This tragic loss is a lesson for parents and students alike.

51 posted on 05/04/2006 2:16:49 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: MedicalMess
I should probably thank my parents for depriving me so heartlessly of that toy. I carried the sting of that humiliation around with me for years right up to the day I walked into my local firearms shop and saw a man laying out about 50 different rifles and shotguns on the counter.

He was telling the clerk that he was getting a divorce and had to sell everything fast. I scanned the counter and there it was; an Springfield Armory National Match M1A.

I picked it up and asked the guy "What's he offering you for this?"

"Four hundred dollars" was the rather morose reply.

I said: "I'll give you $500.00 for it right now."

He looked at me and said "Sold."

That was about 15 years ago and I still have that piece. It's the most accurate rifle in my collection. I can hit things with that at distances I won't even try with my bolt actions.

Now the shopkeeper wasn't all that happy with me, but I've been doing business with him since I was twelve. He grumbled a bit, but eventually he got over it.

BTW I've still got my Crossman 760. My son and I shoot it in the backyard when we're not messing around with his paintball or Airsoft guns.

Great pellet guns those Crossmans. I've had mine since I was 13. It did have to go back to the factory once, but they repaired it without the least hassle.

Take care,

L

52 posted on 05/04/2006 2:19:31 AM PDT by Lurker (Anyone who doesn't demand an immediate end to illegal immigration is aiding the flesh trade.)
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To: drlevy88

"Similar things have happened at MIT, for what it's worth."
________________

Yep, and at a few other U.S. schools, too.

There was also that wacko at San Diego State who gunned down three of his profs because his engineering thesis wasn't coming together.


53 posted on 05/04/2006 2:35:14 AM PDT by DemforBush
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To: MedicalMess

Life may not be fair, but to laugh and make jokes about an individual who takes life's responsibilities seriously is beyond the pale. If this were a story about a football player, a Hollywood celebrity or a rock star, collectively whose contributions to mankind are negative or at most zero, there would be few jokes like this.


54 posted on 05/04/2006 2:37:45 AM PDT by monocle
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To: Lurker
You would not believe this but my dad took my Crossman away from me for 6 months because he killed a rabbit with it. We saw the bunny about 230 feet from the back porch in the snow behind the garden fence. So my dad figures he is going to scare the rabbit by flipping the snow up in front of the rabbit with BB shot. We had a 4x scope. He takes a few shots at 6 pumps power and flips the snow up in front of the rabbit. The rabbit takes a few hops then turns around and comes back. So my dad say, "Watch this, I'm going to put this next shot right in front of the rabbits nose." He pumps the rifle up to 12 pumps, takes the shot, the rabbit shoots straight into the air 6 feet and does three back flips to the ground.

Now my mom is watching this through binoculars and she freaks. "Bert you killed it. You murdered it. It was a thing of beauty a few seconds ago and you murdered it." Mom goes running crying to the bedroom. I look at my dad and I say, "Dad I think you might have killed it." He looks at me and he says, "There's no way that rabbit is dead. It's a BB gun. Maybe it's just knocked out". So he walks out the 230 feet to the rabbit which is lying in the snow. There is no blood. So he doesn't want the neighbors to see this thing. He stuffs the rabbit in his coat and brings it back to the house and lays it in the snow hoping it's going to wake up.

The rabbit doesn't wake up so he skins it. There is a hole in one side and out the other side of the rabbit. He opens the rabbit up and the blood spills out of the chest cavity. There is a hole dead center right through the heart. He takes the Crossman 760 and locks it in the closet and tells me I'm not playing with that rifle again till I grow up.

I said, "Why you punishing me? your the one illegally killing rabbits in our backyard!"
55 posted on 05/04/2006 2:42:31 AM PDT by MedicalMess
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To: monocle
"If this were a story about a football player, a Hollywood celebrity or a rock star, collectively whose contributions to mankind are negative or at most zero, there would be few jokes like this."


Well... Suicides are always game for bad jokes. Hey look at the things that were said about the Space Shuttle crew when they blew up 2 minutes into liftoff. Now those jokes were sick. We are doing unbalanced individuals a favor. If they know that we are going to laugh at them when they kill themselves maybe they won't do it. Adding insult to injury so to speak. It's you people that are sympathetic that are fueling suicides. Poor Johnny SOINSO... he was such a nice boy sob sob sob...

Hey I'm saving lives here!
56 posted on 05/04/2006 2:51:05 AM PDT by MedicalMess
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
"Did it ever occur to you that I might BE the man himself ?"

Hi, Laz.

57 posted on 05/04/2006 2:52:51 AM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Sharma, the surname is that of a high-caste Hindu and so is Chhabra. So your argument does not hold. There could have been a case of personal misgivings yes, but in 2 subjects?

Don't enforce the world's stereotype of a stupid American by commenting on things that you don't know enough about. There are plenty of well-read and knowledgeable Freepers here who wouldn't want to be clubbed in the same ignorant "class" as you.


58 posted on 05/04/2006 2:53:34 AM PDT by MimirsWell (Kick the sino-butts.)
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To: Lurker

"I expect a lot of my son, but I'm certainly not going to ride him so hard he feels the need to take his own life if he can't pass some classes."

Of course. I agree. But I think the case we're discussing is a fairly extreme example of the culture of hard work Asians expect from their kids. Overall, I'd say we could do with a bit more of that culture over here.


59 posted on 05/04/2006 2:57:40 AM PDT by fragrant abuse
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To: MedicalMess

Laughing at peoples' problems is saving lives? I'll laugh like hell if one of your love ones dies.


60 posted on 05/04/2006 2:58:39 AM PDT by monocle
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To: monocle

"Laughing at peoples' problems is saving lives? I'll laugh like hell if one of your love ones dies."

So how long have you been a dweller of tragedies? It was a voluntary act of pure stupidity. And, we're suppose to feel sorry for this idiot? It's because people blubber with all those sympathetic emotions that cause people to feel suicide is acceptable... don't you get it? Attempted suicide is usually a cry for help. This dude was just not fit to pass his genes onto the next generation.


61 posted on 05/04/2006 3:09:05 AM PDT by MedicalMess
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
IIT-K officials claimed that the student might have taken the extreme step under depression after coming to know that he had failed in two courses —advanced thermodynamics and advanced fluid-mechanics.

Transport II I can understand, but Thermo II? Fail that twice, and it's time to change majors.

62 posted on 05/04/2006 3:19:09 AM PDT by Hoodat ( Silly Dems, AYBABTU.)
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To: MedicalMess

its probably him in errr...disguise..yeah thats it.


63 posted on 05/04/2006 3:31:52 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: MedicalMess

I have not in any of my posts attempted to justify the student's action, but I have attempted to understand his actions and I have questioned those who choose to laugh at his actions. Understanding may provide insight in preventing future incidents more than your laughter.


64 posted on 05/04/2006 3:31:58 AM PDT by monocle
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To: monocle
"I have not in any of my posts attempted to justify the student's action, but I have attempted to understand his actions and I have questioned those who choose to laugh at his actions. Understanding may provide insight in preventing future incidents more than your laughter."


You can't prevent future incidents by being so tragic! People freak out and kill themselves all the time. You can't micromanage peoples lives. Don't waste your time trying to understand. Just know that people like me aren't going to cry over their graves. In an absolute free society anyone could take their life anytime without anyone throwing them in jail or sending them to a shrink if they survive.

I think this suicide is funny. It is pure stupidity on display by the suicidee.
65 posted on 05/04/2006 3:43:27 AM PDT by MedicalMess
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To: Hoodat

You can't change Majors at IIT. Or any college in India. Gettinga course is tought enough as it is.


66 posted on 05/04/2006 3:44:24 AM PDT by saalebhosdike (Bhains ki taang...)
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To: Lurker

"It is possible that a higher caste professor might not cotton to a lower caste student for some reason."

Could be.

Could also be this guy had other issues which he didn't deal with very successfully. People commit suicide in other countries as well.


67 posted on 05/04/2006 3:47:15 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
We want to know whether Shailesh was intentionally being harassed by the authorities," said an enraged student.

I am from one of the IITs, and the above statement can have merit. Have known a student to flunk 4 years because a senior professor he has a disagreement with would not pass him. People fail courses in IIT. And Thermo and Flu Mech are deadly subjects. If one fails too many times (or does not get the required no. of course credits an year, he/she is asked to drop out). And no degree till all 'required' courses have been cleared. I can understand the frustration and depression that he's gone through. IIT would have seemed like a prison to him. The IITs don't really have the medical councelling services that might be required to deal with such cases. Poor kid. RIP.
68 posted on 05/04/2006 3:53:34 AM PDT by saalebhosdike (Bhains ki taang...)
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To: Caipirabob

My guess is that this kid's parents really reamed him.

Speaking as someone in medical school, I was around a lot of pre-meds in my undergrad years. Many of them had parents who not only placed unreasonable expectations upon them, but who punished them when they failed to achieve these unrealistic expectations.

I know a guy whose parents see him as a failure and will not even stay in the same hotel room as him because he is going to the University of California at Davis Med School instead of getting into UCSF or Stanford.

Asian parents are notorious for doing this to their kids, and many of them explode along the way. I'd say about 3/4 of the Asians in my undergrad were pre-med, and quite a few of them just couldn't cope with the stress.

There are a lot of kids who need more supportive parents in our society and plenty who could use a little extra shove and some stern talking to every now and then. But in my estimation, for many of these kids, this is something entirely different.


69 posted on 05/04/2006 3:55:52 AM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: monocle
I have attempted to understand his actions and I have questioned those who choose to laugh at his actions.

Laughter is the correct response. Too much "understanding" can result in other deaths.

Self-pitying weenies end their lives with the hope that ("finally") everyone will feel sorry for them. If people react by playing the blame game and feeling "so sad and betrayed", it only encourages another Pity Partier to do the same thing.

On the other hand, would he commit suicide if he knew that everyone would laugh at him? Probably not.

70 posted on 05/04/2006 4:18:44 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Wal-Mart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: Berlin_Freeper
Heat rises, and fluids seek the lowest point of gravity.
How can you fail THAT???

*Chuckle.* Maybe the "pressure" was too much...

71 posted on 05/04/2006 4:22:37 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Wal-Mart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

I guess he couldn't take (or calculate) the pressure.


72 posted on 05/04/2006 4:24:33 AM PDT by demoRat watcher (Keeper of the Anthropocentrism Ping List)
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To: TaxRelief

You beat me.


73 posted on 05/04/2006 4:28:37 AM PDT by demoRat watcher (Keeper of the Anthropocentrism Ping List)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
Once you have failed a course like Advanced Thermodynamics THREE times, you are unfit to coexist with the rest of humanity !

Not at all!

SOMEONE has to write grant proposals for Cost-Saving Hydrogen Energy systems, Free energy furnaces made from an old washing machine that uses hydrodynamic shear, carburetors that the Oil Cartels suppress because they produce 200 MPG, IPO's based on absurd power sources and ancient Tesla drawings, and all the other wonderful things that show up like a case of herpes every time energy prices rise!

74 posted on 05/04/2006 4:29:18 AM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: fragrant abuse
I think the case we're discussing is a fairly extreme example of the culture of hard work Asians expect from their kids

Or maybe he couldn't face the reality that he wasn't smart enough to be an engineer.

75 posted on 05/04/2006 4:33:14 AM PDT by demoRat watcher (Keeper of the Anthropocentrism Ping List)
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To: MedicalMess
You can't prevent future incidents by being so tragic!

And I'm certain your laughter will be heard by some individual in India contemplating suicide. Anyone contemplating suicide is so preoccupied with their perceived problems that they are immune to almost any appeal.

I am no bleeding heart and I firmly believe that most peoples' problems are of their owm making. Furthermore, most people blame their problems on others, but leaders and managers must recognize this human shortcoming and tailor their organizations to avoid the negative impact such incidents have on their organizations.

76 posted on 05/04/2006 4:38:48 AM PDT by monocle
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To: TaxRelief
If this student committed suicide because in his mind his lost self-esteem, as appears possible, do you really think laughing at him at the time of his anguish would deter him, I truly hope you are not a student advisor. I am anything but the touchy feely type of individual, but I attempt to assess completely the situation before embarking upon a course of action whether it be laughter, anger or whatever. Laughter may be called for when an other is contemplating a stupid stunt but wholly inappropriate with one who is suffering emotional anguish, whether or not such anguish is justified.

I wonder those trying to justify laughter i this case are trying to justify their boorish behavior. I can laugh as hard as any individual when someone succeeds in seeking the Darwin award, but this is not one of those cases.

77 posted on 05/04/2006 4:58:02 AM PDT by monocle
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To: Berlin_Freeper

You're right...These are not the most difficult courses on earth..They are not abstract. They are pure mathematics. Wonder what his problem really was?


78 posted on 05/04/2006 5:16:12 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: monocle

Laughing at HIM at the time of his anguish would not be helpful, however, laughing at someone else who committed suicide WOULD help.


79 posted on 05/04/2006 5:18:07 AM PDT by TaxRelief (Wal-Mart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: DemforBush

"There was also that wacko at San Diego State who gunned down three of his profs because his engineering thesis wasn't coming together."

Chinese guy at Berkeley did the same thing, unless we have the same story mixed up.


80 posted on 05/04/2006 5:27:06 AM PDT by Flightdeck (Longhorns+January=Rose Bowl Repeat)
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To: Gorzaloon

"...IPO's based on absurd power sources and ancient Tesla drawings,"

Tesla was sweet. And he DID invent the AC motor (not Marconi).


81 posted on 05/04/2006 5:28:08 AM PDT by Flightdeck (Longhorns+January=Rose Bowl Repeat)
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball

Quick! Somebody hack into the school's computer and give them all bad grades!


82 posted on 05/04/2006 5:40:54 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: HarmlessLovableFuzzball
"—advanced thermodynamics and advanced fluid-mechanics."

Ah, yes -- two of those courses that convince advanced chemistry students that, by comparison, all "liberal arts" courses are trivially easy time-wasters to occupy the mentally deficient... '-}

83 posted on 05/04/2006 5:43:26 AM PDT by TXnMA (Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! Repeat San Jacinto!)
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To: fragrant abuse
Indian kids feel tremendous pressure from parents and peers to achieve at school

Why wouldn't they? Over there it has something to do with getting a good job. Over here schooling just provides some perverse form of entertainment while you watch the jobs outsourced to India.

84 posted on 05/04/2006 5:46:28 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: MedicalMess
Today it's FALs, AKs, SKSs and Mini 14s.

Yeah! These sure do make shorter work of those matchbox cars!

85 posted on 05/04/2006 5:49:02 AM PDT by GingisK
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To: MedicalMess
It wasn't the THEORY that killed him... it was trying to work the equations that was his demise.

Now, that I can identify with! [sic]

Those were two of the physical chemistry courses that pushed my math abilities so hard that the corresponding courses in the Math department were almost effortless by comparison...

86 posted on 05/04/2006 5:57:14 AM PDT by TXnMA (Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad! Repeat San Jacinto!)
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To: MimirsWell
Sharma, the surname is that of a high-caste Hindu and so is Chhabra. So your argument does not hold. There could have been a case of personal misgivings yes, but in 2 subjects? Don't enforce the world's stereotype of a stupid American by commenting on things that you don't know enough about. There are plenty of well-read and knowledgeable Freepers here who wouldn't want to be clubbed in the same ignorant "class" as you.

Are you talking to me ? And what does what you say have anything to do with post 11 to which you are responding ?

87 posted on 05/04/2006 7:59:10 AM PDT by HarmlessLovableFuzzball
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To: Raj13008; DTogo
He should have celebrated the likelihood of not becoming an engineer! ~ DTogo

I'm sorry...but is this supposed to be funny ? ~ Raj13008

I can't speak for him, but to me it's sad irony.

I am an engineer.

88 posted on 05/04/2006 8:05:06 AM PDT by null and void (Hillary! would have been a big astronaut. Say that slowly)
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To: GingisK

Yep, that's right. And family values over there are strong too. Asians still remember some of the stuff a lot of Americans have forgotten.


89 posted on 05/04/2006 8:34:48 AM PDT by fragrant abuse
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To: Lurker

Rubbish, rubbish.

If a guy failed in a course 3 times, he would have gone through the gamut of professors who teach those courses.

Furthermore, this is India, where affirmative qaction has run amuch, and there are fixed Quotas for so called "Lower caste" students to be admitted to institutes like the IIT, where everyone else enters strictly on merit (admission rate of less than 0.1%!

If youre competing with the best minds in the country, and you yourself have come in on this "quota" or that "quota", well, you got in, thanks to government legislation, and not because you had what it takes.

But you cant pass your courses on quotas too, now can you??


90 posted on 05/04/2006 9:42:57 AM PDT by ketelone
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To: saalebhosdike

You can indeed change majors at IIT... however, you have to be SMARTER than others, so you can upgrade the course youre in. IITs have seats for guys from lower ranked courses in second year to compensate for "wastage". I.e. students who failed to make the grade. you cant switch downwards though.


91 posted on 05/04/2006 9:47:25 AM PDT by ketelone
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To: beyond the sea
Why do Jewish mothers make great parole officers?
A: They never let anyone finish a sentence.

Have you been talking to my son? : )

92 posted on 05/04/2006 9:55:15 AM PDT by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: drlevy88

In the five years I was at college (yes - five, and I didn't hang myself!) - each year we had a suicide - with grades being a large (all?) part of the reason. It was a top-notch engineering school (and small). The kids coming had all done great in High School. I remember one kid in my dorm was all upset the first time he got a "B"!

The one way to look at it was "C" for Credit and "D" for Diploma to keep yourself from getting too depressed!


93 posted on 05/04/2006 10:05:00 AM PDT by geopyg ("I would rather have a clean gov't than one where -quote- 1st Amend. rights are respected." J.McCain)
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To: All

When I was completing my engineering courses, there was a case of one of my classmates committing suicide...But he did not commit suicide on the college campus.. He went home during the holidays and hanged himself...There was speculation that he was HIV+ . You never know what happened and why??Only the person in the situation and 'Go#' knows it....Let's cut him some slack and those who wan to laugh go right ahread....He is dead anyway...


94 posted on 05/04/2006 12:51:21 PM PDT by MunnaP
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To: radiohead

yes


95 posted on 05/04/2006 5:34:48 PM PDT by beyond the sea ("If you see strange men lurking about in groups of three - especially in North Carolina, RUN!)
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To: Raj13008

A young girl we know took her life last week over her marks.She left a letter.


96 posted on 05/04/2006 5:36:50 PM PDT by fatima (And the beat goes on.)
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To: Lurker

"Of course this is India where 'classism' is rampant. It's hard to tell from the article but apparently some other students think this young man may have been treated unfairly somehow. It is possible that a higher caste professor might not cotton to a lower caste student for some reason"

The only problem is that the student is upper caste. And the professor might be lower caste... and is failing his caste nemesis constantly.


97 posted on 05/05/2006 4:19:00 PM PDT by sagar
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To: Gengis Khan
Yes, IITians are hardcore but not rude or arrogant as we are stereotyped to be.

Its highly unfortunate that many of my own countrymen as well as foreigners automatically presume that we are an arrogant bunch.

98 posted on 05/05/2006 6:04:06 PM PDT by design engineer
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To: Raj13008
As an ex-IITian, I can vouch that we didnt have any class/caste stereotypes.

It was more like all the geeks formed a group, all the cool guys another, then the unbearable over-achievers, professor's-a$s kissers, etc .

99 posted on 05/05/2006 6:14:45 PM PDT by design engineer
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To: ketelone
But you cant pass your courses on quotas too, now can you??

Apparently you can in the US.

100 posted on 05/06/2006 5:57:44 PM PDT by GingisK
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