The Nine Faces of Dave
2002-12-08 01:37:59 (UTC)

fuck you university

So it's getting close to the end of the semester here, and
the professors, who evidently didn't get sufficient kicks
during the semester, have decided to fuck with me a little
bit more.

For starters, my art project is due on Thursday and needs
to be ready for a critique by the time Tuesday gets here.
This is going to make my life a bit difficult, but lucky
for me all I have left to do is some sound recording and
writing a randomization script. Still, it really gets to
me that through all this, I've had to show up and sit in
class while I could be doing other things.

In German, the date of our last exam was moved up, and now
we have the test Monday instead of Wednesday. Way to give
us time to study, Frau. The whole thing was done so as to
have some "section party" on the last day, which I opposed
because I hate those things and I wanted extra time to get
my studying and homework done. If there is a good side to
this, it's that I can probably get away with not showing
up to class on Wednesday, and so can take a nice leisurely
shower after my guitar lesson. I still have to go to the
recitation on Tuesday, which I think really bites.

And finally, CS delivers the coup de grace, by deciding to
seriously fuck with our heads on the last project. For
some time, we'd been working from last year's spec, under
the assumption that any differences would be minimal. We
got a nice little surprise on Thursday when we found out
that the grad TAs hadn't written an autograder for the
project, and also hadn't written up a decent spec. So the
prof told us that we'd have some flexibility in doing the
project, in terms of user interface and the like, and that
we needed to include good documentation on how to run the
program, submitting the whole thing on a floppy disk or
whatever. Fair enough, I'm happy to not have a machine
grading my project, gives it that human touch.

Then we find out that there is a spec and an autograder,
which just happens to look exactly like last year's. I
could live with that, except that last year's spec refers
to sections in the textbook from that year, and we have a
completely different and less useful book. What's worse,
the sections it refers to contain specific information
about how to format our output so that it will work with
the autograder. So even if we go with the spec, we're
pretty much flying blind in terms of output.

I thought the professor was an ass, but I realize now that
the TAs are much worse. At any rate, I don't know who to
believe or what to do, and the project is due this coming
Thursday. I'd say we're pretty well fucked, especially if
we go ahead and do it one way then find out that we should
do it a different way.

It almost seems like the TAs decided to fuck us over just
because they didn't want to take the time to grade our
work by hand, the way it should be done. My dad tells me
that many grad TAs are like that, and treat the students
like shit so as to have some feeling of power. Guess I'd
better get used to it.

On one hand, the freedom from the autograder eases the
ever-present fear of losing serious points because of one
little mistake or unanswered question. But, it means the
whole thing is do-it-yourself, instead of just programming
something to work with an interface. Ok, I can do that, I
like DIY. The advantage of the autograder is that we only
have to implement what they tell us to implement, and so
we don't have to worry about how to get input and things
like that. Either way I can live with, but only if I know
which way we're supposed to do things.

So fuck you place of schooling, and fuck you hard CS.

On a happier note, things have improved socially. I think
I may have actually found a girl who likes me, or at least
well enough that we went to a movie together last night.
And I've managed to avoid having to deal with the very few
people I've met who I really don't like. I may be quite
dissatisfied with the academic situation, but things are
quite good socially. And I guess in the end, that makes a
lot more difference in how happy I'll be.

This is Dave, signing off.