Episodes like this make me believe that I truly made the right decision

In the three adventurous semesters I have spent at Symbiosis Centre for Media & Communication, Pune, I have had many memories with my friends and faculty that I treasure. One memory that stands out for me is a particular assignment we were asked to do.

This happened in Semester II during our course in Economics taught by Professor Chinmay Deo. Professor Deo asked us to submit one assignment for 30 marks at the end of our course. The assignment required us to form groups of three and make a video explaining the social, economic and media aspects of any issue that we chose. I had never been given an assignment with such creative freedom and such a wide scope.

Our team spanned the scope of every issue that we felt we could bring to life through a video. Finally after many days of research and arguing, we all decided to do our assignment on the massive farce which is the United States’ War on Drugs and it’s affects in Latin America. Though all three of us had some basic knowledge about the issue, we were not ready for the amount of dirt we were about to uncover in the process of this assignment.

It was truly a difficult topic to work with and we were often quite sullen while discussing the issue and making the script of our video. Due to the large amount of audio-visual content available on this issue, I ended up watching and finding one of my current favourite shows, The Wire, and an amazing documentary called The House I Live In. Both have really inspired me. Needless to say, during the process of this assignment, Richard Nixon became a running gag for the three of us. But the best part of this assignment, for me, was definitely making the video itself. We also recorded the voice over for the video and had an amazing time.

Professor Deo is very liberal and relatable and we were quite encouraged knowing that he would understand and enjoy our dry and dark humour. I have never had as much fun making any assignment than I did during that one. Even though the stakes were high, I never felt stressed or compelled while making the video.

Assignments like these are the true definition of ‘learning while doing’ and a wonderful example of why students learn better with freedom. I hope that more such assignments find their way to us to inspire us the way this one did. Even today when someone mentions our favourite Nixon, we give each other knowing looks across the classroom.

Article by: Michelle Patrick (Batch of 2019)

Photograph by: Michelle Patrick (Batch of 2019)