All that hype, all that restlessness, all that ecstasy for one event—SCION. The moment is finally upon us people. Meticulous planning and exhaustive nights have finally been translated into something worth seeing. SEECS, the citadel of nerds, gave way to an unstoppable avalanche of speed circuiting which, being mechanical engineer, I never expected could be so sensational and so thronged with fun.
As I entered SEECS for the first time after a gap of like 3 years-and I have been in NUST for last 3 years- little did I know that I will bump across a participating team from EME and they would be so joyous to know that I am as clueless about SEECS as they are.
We looked like brothers from another mother as we stumbled our way to the Digital lab. As I got acquainted with the lab’s atmosphere, within a minute or so I had identified all the participating teams without the help of any organizer as it did not take any Antaryami to feel the nervous vibes they were giving off.
Organizers were quick enough to get all the teams seated and advised them to check all the assigned equipment but clearly some teams took this advice for granted and ultimately bore the brunt of it as a couple of teams had issues with their ICs and resultantly lost few crucial minutes in the end stages of the competition.
After making sure that all the teams were ready, the competition started round about 5:35 PM and so did the exciting chatter between team mates.
“Shaabash Malik!”, screamed one of the participants sarcastically,
as his teammate apparently did some considerable damage to their chances in the event right in the first half hour. Some of the conversations actually had me chuckling as I strolled through the lab. This must have been the most comfortable stroll I have had in the last month or so as this time around I wasn’t subjected to yet another excruciating exam, rather this time around I actually felt that royal “ehsaas e bartari” which our examiners feel so often as they see us struggling with our exams.
The air in the lab was a perfect amalgam of confidence and fidgetiness. And did I forget mentioning the fancy or rather strange names of our participating teams? Loopers, Hedron, Zero and Jedi Knights. Yes and the Team Jedi Knights failed to explain the logic behind this name as well so no need for you to test your brain cells in finding the not so apparent logic (which I doubt ever existed…just kidding easy ho jao).
Halfway into the competition and I decided to get out of my arm chair and interview our oh so cool circuit designers and I was rather amused that all the teams were going neck to neck except one team from EME which had claimed that it had completed 70% of the task but once I told them they were leading in this competition by a fair distance, it didn’t take them a more than 5 seconds to retract from their earlier claim with a sheepish look on their faces.
The clock was ticking by and with each passing second we were heading towards a nerve rattling finish. To my astonishment not even a single team could complete the task in the allotted time of two and a half hours. Every team had an exciting tale to tell as they came out of the lab. Sympathy was all that I had for the team which claimed that it had completed the task by half time but then decided to make their circuit cleaner by using multiplexer and this is where the axe of bad luck fell upon them as they ran out of time while pursuing clean circuit design which in turn would have helped them garner more points. (Didn’t they know that greed is a curse? lol)
Long story short, speed circuiting was much more fun than what I had expected it to be especially the initial nervousness, the middle portion of absolute confidence and the incredulous looks on the faces of the participants near the ending part of the competition were priceless. I don’t think SciON could have been off to a better start and this event has really taken my expectations about the next two days to a whole new level. This is Bilal signing off. Will be with you tomorrow with Xtreme Programming.
Muhammad Bilal Anjum
*Antaryami means mind reader for all you far out hippie dudes out there