Saturday, 28 April 2012

engineering a past-time


for the past couple of weeks, on my way back from the chemistry department at university, i have been conducting a small observational experiment. well, experiment here is a poor choice of words, but i had a hypothesis and some interesting results, so let's call it that for the time being. in any case, let me not spoil the fun by stating said hypothesis, but jump straight into some methodology:

the engineering department is located along the way home, and the brand new engineering students' common room is constructed such that it is rectangular has a long side that spans about half a football field. the tables and chairs are aligned in a couple of rows along the wall that is made of glass (or some other translucent material - architects and engineers feel free to educate me), and as i walk along the wall it is easy to peer into the room and observe what the students are doing. most, if not all will be on their computers and it's interesting to see what they do:

bear in mind the context of this, that most of the students are first or second year students (apparently the third years hang out where the cool kids do, elsewhere), of a mixed background - mostly males, but ethnicity-wise, it's quite diverse, and most importantly, this observation was done a couple of weeks before their semester finals!

though some of the students were indeed studying, who can blame them when i saw the following as most activities done:

1) lurking (this would include 9-gagging, channing (no link for obvious reasons) and the various forms of imageboards and forums. approx 72 students.
2) facebook-ing. approx 42 students.
3) 'lightweight' games, like flash games and emulated games. i reckon i would separate this from the 'real' games because if you're studying and needed a break, this would be more justifiable. plus you won't end up looking at your watch and go 'wtf it's been 3 hours now?'. approx 40 students.
4) watching movies or series. approx 35 sudents.
5) youtube. approx 22 students.
6) 'real' games. these would include some of the 'cool'er games out right now. off the top of my head i remember world of warcraft, star wars, a couple of mmos i don't recognise, starcraft 2, and best of all, a group of 5 guys hitting up a lan game of defense of the ancients. just so you know, they were chinese. just saying. approx 15 students.

obviously, this is just a cross-section of what they were doing. they may have been taking a break, they may have been finished with exams. who knows; no judgement. just saying.

and for the amount of students doing work? i'll let you guess!