Thursday, June 22, 2006


My grades have probably been posted for longer than I realized, but I finally figured out where to look yesterday. I did, in fact, get straight A's in my first semester at school.

This is the only time in my life that I have EVER had a 4.0 grade point average. I don't necessarily expect it to last, but I'll savor the moment.

It looks like the curve was pretty generous in some spots of my Data Mining class. I got 19 out of 40 on my midterm exam, but the median grade was something like 19.01, so I didn't get killed on that as badly as I had expected. On the other hand, the professor sent out an email saying that this was an unusually weak class, and the curve reflected that by giving a lot of low grades. So I guess by one way of reckoning, that makes my A worth more.

My homework grades were consistently above average, but not tremendously so. It was my final class project and paper topic presentation that gave me the huge boost I needed. I had to give three public addresses in one weekend of two classes. Thanks to my public speaking experience, both of them killed. I mean, the class laughed at my jokes and asked questions that indicated they were interested in the subject. What more can anyone ask for?

Software Validation and Verification was an odd class. There was a simply enormous volume of technical papers that we were supposed to read in the month between each class. I tried, but the subject was fairly dull and it was very tough to slog through a few of them in any given month. Then, in the month before my last class, I realized something amazing: there WASN'T GOING TO BE A FINAL. In other words, reading the papers was mostly useless. There was a 20 minute "quiz" that was like a midterm; there was one homework assignment; and there was the paper topic. And I had managed to round up an excellent team of four students to work on a project that was basically my idea. There was lots of communication and meetings, and everybody seemed to share fairly equally in the work.

The professor was kind of new, so I suggested to him that it might have been constructive to give a few take-home quiz questions on selected paper topics. It would have meant more work for me, but without that kind of feedback, I definitely didn't feel like I was getting what I was supposed to out of the reading.

No, I wasn't that annoying kid in class who says the teacher forgot to assign enough homework. I'm a grownup now, dammit. I paid $X0,000 so that I could learn things.

I think I said before that I'll be posting my final papers on my web site soon, in case anyone is interested. I recently upgraded my very old hosting account from 50 megs to a gig, for very little extra money. So now I can actually put stuff on my site freely without worrying about quotas. I'll do that someday soon.

1 comment:

  1. The pastor was a young man in his twenties. He was casually (but hiply) dressed and his arms were covered with tattoos. He had a good crowd voice and generally came across with the air of an accomplished motivational speaker.

    So, he was basically George Jefferson with a Jumbotron? ;) Sweet!