On choosing classes

I’ve been a student for many years and from my observations, I get the feeling that there’s a clear chicken-and-egg problem that occurs in higher education. Do courses precede professors, or do professors precede classes?

Allow me to elaborate. Does the existence of a professor of a certain field necessitate that his or her’s topic of interest warrants a course? Or do courses actually exist out of necessity and professors are there to facilitate their implementation?

It’s obvious from this post’s existence that I’m trying to say that oftentimes it’s the former. My experience thus far in Software Architectures makes me regret not choosing something more mundane and less fancy sounding.

I can’t tell if there’s actually a lack of content or if my software architecture course is just poorly structured. Every lecture seems to be an exercise in saying the same thing in multiple ways for 100 minutes. Most of it seems to be elaborating on the petty differences between jargon.

The only reason why I continue to watch the lectures is out of fear that there might be a brief flash of insight in what is really the constant drone of stating the obvious. Something about course just seems slightly off. It’s like when you’re frustratingly close to your goal, but something small, like you wore the wrong color today, prevents you from achieving it.

I’ve never taken Adderall before but from the funny stories I’ve heard, it seems like for those without ADHD, the drug gives you extreme tunnel vision so you can focus on a specific task, such as learning the entire semester on the night before the final. Sometimes this backfires and you watch cat videos non-stop for 15 hours. Well, perhaps the guys who came up with the course content took some and ended up spending way too much time on thinking about a tangent to software architecture.

I’ll report back after the midterm. Hopefully I see the light.

Snappychat weekend.

As I enter the 4th week of dog ownership, I am now entering the point of no return! Not that I was ever going to exercise the option to return Arabella. She brings some welcome order to my life, but not only that, honestly, a newfound sense of responsibility. Her underbite is cute too.

We’ve still got a lot to work on in terms of her fear and anxiety, but we’re chugging right along. There’s nothing that a little patience and commitment can’t solve.

Except for when it comes to softball. 18 runs in an inning to win the game was only about smashing the ball as fucking hard as we could.


As an aside, I went to my first vegan restaurant. Plant Food and Wine. It was unexpectedly good.

Field report

More like garage report.

I tried going to school and sitting through a lecture, it was a bad idea. More people got mugged or shot around school. It’s safer in the garage.

Getting ready to meet my new best friend on Saturday. My mail-order bride dog is coming from Taiwan. 😀

I came across this on the internet.

With greatness comes humility, with mediocrity comes pride.

This distance education thing

Okay, technically, I’m not enrolled in the distance education program at school, but I’ve still got access to all the video recordings! I used to think that distance education was bullshit and that interactivity is essential to learning. I’m calling bullshit on myself. Well, just partially. If I were doing research this semester then there’s a good reason to be at school. Clearly these things are contextual.

I’ve been to grad school enough times to learn a thing or two. Distilled, I’ve learned that I just want to learn some stuff and then get on with my life. USC has taught me that my life is precious and that I should maximize my life expectancy by not hanging around school so much. A mugging happened on the same block a half hour after we left to look at the golden retriever puppy.

So I did some shower analysis and came up with this.

Over the past few semesters, I’ve identified that the cost of switching into school-mode and chill-out mode is insanely high. I waste so much time walking to and from classes or falling asleep in the 2nd hour of my 3 hour lecture (lol USC). Sometimes I go over to Ivan’s and then fall asleep on the floor. A gigantic portion of my day is just not productive, simply because poor scheduling divides my waking hours into too many disjoint partitions. Armed with this afterthought, I’ve opted to just stay at home and 9-5 this this semester. I wake up in the morning and just work. And it’s been good.

Thus far, I’m up to date with my lectures, eat all my meals, caught up with my friends, chit-chatted with my neighbors, and get my exercise in. All evidence is suggesting that the best way to do school is to not be at school.

I’ll report back on this topic in a week.

 

Stuck in amber

I’ve had a lot of coffee too late into the night so I may as well not sleep. The unusual wakefulness at such a quiet hour has given me more “head-space”. It seems like the world is slightly emptier and I can here my silent reflection.

I keep thinking about those moments stuck in amber. Right now I’m thinking about last winter. It’s about mid February. I’ve got one month of my lease left at 1212 S Michigan Ave; I’m in the twilight hours of my life in Chicago. I should’ve left the city by now. I didn’t want to be there, yet I was too scared to leave. I just kept thinking that if I were to leave now, I’d miss something. There’s really nothing left in Illinois for me at that point. My relationship had just fizzled out in a very unsatisfying way. Partially by my own doing I suppose, but I’m thinking that my capricious choice of moving back to Los Angeles was not in fact a significant contributor to the breakup. Reasons don’t matter anymore. Looking back, I don’t think I felt as much sad as I felt tired and spent.

Anyway, back to my moment stuck in amber. Living at Tif’s place for a month with that idiot cat was such a mellow experience. Time sort of just melted away as we jacuzzi-ed the days away in the freezing cold.

Even hanging out at Steven’s place, as he tried in vain to make me pass some jUnit test cases to prep for an interview is hilarious in retrospect. I still hate eclipse by the way.

Getting Kenny to stop sleeping and do some squats with me was frustrating then, but is somehow funny now too. That and trying to get Antony to do some pull-ups.

Discovering that Yelee has a gigantic collection of mint, unwatched Blu-rays was great too.

So yes, I was right, if I had left Chicago any earlier, I would’ve missed these moments in amber.

The Northwest

The hype is super real and experience therapeutic. Early on I broke free of a funk that was stuck unto me like cobwebs in an attic. And now I’m enjoying what really is an emerald city, with all the comforts of a progressive society with so little of the baggage the drags down America’s so-called greats. Seattle is concentrated, and that’s a great thing.

Ready Player One

School’s out and in between now and work, I’ve started reading again. So I hopped ON the plane at LAX and started doing my thing. First on the list was Ready Player One a coming of age novel by Earnest Cline.

It was alright. I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I were 10 years younger though. If I’m not mistaken, I think I came of age quite a few years ago, so some of the wit and humor made me roll my eyes, but if I stopped and made believe, I was young and awkward again! Well the last part still holds, but I can see my youth slipping away from me at the ripe old age of 25. Honestly, I can feel it! My knees ache after my runs now!

The book really cashes in on the whole nerds-are-cool thing and we’re beautiful in all shapes and sizes thing. All good. Super, super PC.

This is definitely a kids book. It’s full of facing your insecurities, puberty, girls, boys, love, breakups, identity crises. All normal things that we’ve all done once or twice. In the book, everyone prefers to play WoW all day because of weird global circumstances. Without giving too much away, our main characters are hyper nerds who obsess over the incarnate of Steve Jobs mixed with John Carmack with a healthy dose of high-functioning autism (when convenient). Then they do a dance which is something like that Adam Sandler movie, Pixels. Along the way they discover what it means to be nice people and that there are bad people in the world that must be punished.

I’ll add this to my niece and nephews’ booklist, I think they’ll love it.