End-of-semester look-back

I may be tired tomorrow, but I don’t feel like going to bed right now.

Tomorrow is the last day of class this semester, then I have four finals: two on Monday and two on Thursday. I’ll probably be leaving for home some time Thursday evening or Friday afternoon depending on how many people are left and how I feel about staying.

This semester has been pretty good to me so far. I know I have an A in statistics, unix, theatre and marching band. The only class I’m not sure whether or not I’m on the verge of getting a B in is my second C++ class. I like the class, but a few of the assignments were completely a pain in the ass.

I like having all the tools to complete a problem before I’m given the problem, this then means that I only have to wrap my mind around the issue and find a solution. I wish I felt like that when I sit down to do an assignment for my C++ class, instead I grapple with the topics that pile up quicker than I can digest them. More than half of the time I devote to coding is instead spent trying to figure out how use the syntax and key words instead of solving the problem.

I had doubts about my theater 203 class. Right from the beginning my professor told us that we were to read four plays, write a play, and then act as a member of a group to produce and perform a play. Greg (one of my roomies) described the class as an easy A, with all the concepts presented, but without all the excess information crammed into the syllabus. *shrugs* My tests amounted to one B and the rest A’s.. so I won’t complain too much. The one test question I sincerely thought was ridiculous asked how many actors were in a play I had seen almost two weeks before the test. Was I really supposed to recall every actor?

How can there be people outside to make so much noise?

At thanksgiving my Uncle, who works at Northrup Grumman said I should get him my resume. Now that would be a great place to work, even if it’s for the summer. I’d much rather work there learning, instead of at AMC or somewhere in the food service industry. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t put on this earth to serve you. Get your own damn food.

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Frustration

After nearly every C++ lecture I sit through lately, I’m completely lost. I hardly ever understand the concepts fully and they aren’t broken down in an easily consumed fashion. The material presented isn’t straight-forward or easy to understand. She asks if there are any questions after covering a topic, but I don’t know what to ask aside from: “Could you explain that material again, but so I understand it?” Gone are the days of knowing what I’m doing, and feeling like no one can do a good job of explaining things to me.

My current assignment deals with linked lists and a bastardized version of recursion. Instead of making functions that traverse through the linked list, which is what we learned in class and is presented in the book, I’m required to write out a function that calls another function via pointer, to process the list. In essence, there’s a control function and smaller functions that are implemented within it. I understand recursion as it’s presented in the book. Initialize a pointer, do something while there’s still a pointer, and then change the pointer. Simple, easy to understand and the way I can understand it. Can we do it that way in the assignment? NO! of course not.

So instead of understanding the topic as it’ll end up later, I’m completely confused and without need, I might add. I miss the days when I understood what I was doing and felt like I had a grasp on everything. This is the latest in a long string of frustrations and inefficiencies. I completely dislike my STAT 301 class, because I sit through 50 minutes of lecture for material I understand in 10. The rest of the time I’m left to take notes and try to stay focused.

I’m complaining instead of programming, which I used to look forward to because I understood what I’m doing. I wish everything were more like music. Here are the notes to play, here’s the time signature, and here’s the key. Go from the top to the bottom and don’t skip anything. Here’s your drill, be at this exact spot at this count of the music, and so on..

I suppose I can’t expect everything to make me feel good, but can’t my major at least do that? I like programming and writing code but instead of solving problems and learning, I’m left contemplating the point of it all and banging my head against the desk, attempting to use a crutch that’s nearly impossible to intuitively grasp.

I’m led to believe the world doesn’t make sense and nothing happens for a reason.