Well grades are in and I couldn’t be more thrilled. 2 A+’s and four A’s which means I got a 4.0! I was a little worried about getting an A- in one class so I was really excited to learn that there was a curve and I got an A. I have been pondering one thing, why is it that you get docked to a 3.8 for an A- but there’s no bonus for an A+? Oh well, no big deal. Now I’m not under any illusions that this will be easy to keep up for the rest of my time here. I had one intro class and I had to take physics 1 (calculus based) which just isn’t that hard. My first undergraduate degree and this one were both from state schools here in Texas so all of my humanities/writing/literature/etc. transferred. Therefore, I will never have any “fluff” classes. Each semester will get increasingly demanding with little room for error.
I’m also impatiently waiting for my classes next semester to post their textbooks so I can try and find them cheaper on the Internet and start reading! I work so much better when I “front-load” my work rather than “back-load” it. What I mean by that is that I prefer to work extra hard early in the semester so I never get behind. I find that it makes the end of the semester and finals so much less stressful. I’d rather spend long hours in the library at the beginning of the semester than be cramming material at the end. In law school, a common study practice is outlining your books starting from day one. For better or for worse, I’ve brought this procedure into engineering and I think it really pays off. Before school starts or in the first few weeks, I go through all the material and do a rough outline so I know what’s coming up. Then as I actually learn the material in class, I update the outline. To be honest, by the time the end of the semester rolls around, I don’t even really look at the outlines. The learning happens when you make the outline, not in some sort of last-ditch effort to cram it all in your head. I’m ready to get going!!
Aside from grades, I’ve managed to accomplish practically nothing on my list since I’ve been done with finals. I feel a little like Chris Gammell during his week off between jobs as described in the Amp Hour, the break is just flying by and I feel like it’s getting away from me. My parents were in town for a few days, I was sick for a while, and otherwise I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and shopping. I attempted a very ambitious recipe for homemade soy milk and created a monumental disaster on my stove top when it boiled over. Whoops! A picture of the mess is above.
The only book I’ve managed to finish was Tracy Kidder’s “The Soul of a New Machine.” I was so excited to read a Pulitzer Prize winner about the human side of creating computers but I was pretty let down. It gets such glowing reviews, but I never managed to connect with the subject of the story. I’m still loving “Code” and “Computer” so I think I’ll keep going with those.
Hopefully, the next time I update I’ll have some cool projects to show off. By cool projects, I mean putting together kits that are incredibly simple. Again, I’ve got to start somewhere.