Overview of My First Semester

A view of Tower Hall, a historic landmark, at ...

Image via Wikipedia

2010 was a big year – Big in terms of occupying my mind and ruining my ability to spend time on anything other than school and trying to save friendships from certain disaster. Fortunately I ended the semester and found myself wondering about what the big deal was, specifically why I lost so much sleep over such insignificant drama, bullshit and unnecessary paper writing. Who knew that I could find the monotony of busy work so utterly disappointing? Suffice to say that my move to San Jose State University has been culture shock of a kind that was unexpected – I had my hopes up too high.

This semester I took four classes:

KIN 15 – Intro to Basketball – Dick Montgomery

Overall this was a great class, I met interesting – while self-centered – people who took pride in what they do and how they do it. Some of the moves and tactics I saw in this class lead to a marked improvement in my own understanding of the game of Basketball, as well as an improved awareness of the complications of any team based sport.

Math 179 – Intro to Graph Theory – Edward Schmeichel

Technically and emotionally intense, this class kicked my ass and dragged me over the coals in ways that I have not experienced since Mr. Mosh’s exams were placed on my desk some time ago. My instructor knew the material better than I could have ever hoped and it was a promising change to have someone with so much knowledge, and positive intent, take on the role of instructor again. I will likely be sharing some of the more interesting proofs with you in the coming weeks, but I will get to that in due time.

8 assignments, one exam

CS 147 – Computer Architecture – Robert Chun

Following my experiences with developing Assembly applications in Ms. Nguyen’s class at De Anza a year ago, this class was the next level down. Computer architecture with Dr. Chun was a lot more work than I expected it to be. I wouldn’t call it fun, but there were some very interesting sections of the course that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I learned more about efficiency, on the hardware and logic level, than I had ever known. The largest problem with the course was the complete inability for someone to gauge their understanding because the Homework was turned in the day before the exams.

3 Assignments, 3 exams

CS 100W – Technical Writing Workshop – Debra Caires

Tomorrow I will be ranting about this course, but suffice to say that when I mentioned monotony and busy work I was primarily referring to this class. Although it was titled Technical Writing Workshop we technically didn’t write anything. Our work was primarily related to understanding how to change voices when writing for different audiences, a tip of the toe in the icy waters of project management and to spend a hand full of weeks in the designer role when we developed our class project. Thankfully this maelstrom has come to an end. Expect the rant tomorrow.

> 30 Assignments, 2 exams