School update

Things have been going better for me at school over the last two weeks. Not coincidentally, I've practically not worked at all the last two weeks. :-( Clearly this is not balance. But, it does tell me that I can succeed at school if I limit the amount of work I do to a realistic level, or, schedule that work wisely.

I had my reasons for taking 4 courses this term, but it was probably a mistake. I can still drop courses without penalty, but I'll only get 50% of my money back. I think at this point I'm far enough in that I don't want to give up on any courses. I'm enjoying all of my courses, even Calculus, and don't want to throw away the effort.

I'll be working hard this weekend to try to get some billable time in. Work can be avoided for a while but not for long. I apologize to my customers for being unavailable lately and thank them for their patience and understanding!

I had two midterms this week. I doubt I've ever studied as hard for a test in my life as I did my first Calculus midterm. No disrespect to my former self intended, but high school tests were just too easy to bother and I didn't try once I got to university the first time. The great thing is that both midterms went much better than expected, and I can only conclude it's because I put the effort in for once.

I told my dad last night I was embarassed when I realized I could have done this 10 years ago if I'd just tried. But I didn't appreciate it, so this time the success is immeasurably sweeter.

I don't know what I got ony my Calculus test yet. I'm guessing somewhere between 70% and 90% depending on how part marks are given for getting close to the correct answer. 70% may not sound that great, but considering where my math skills were just 3 months ago, I'm very happy. The test wasn't easy, but it thankfully didn't contain insanely hard questions (IMHO). I think that's fair for the 1st midterm (out of 3).

My Linguistics midterm was really easy, again, because I actually studied... for about 6-8 hours. Without that study I still would have passed but not with A+ marks. My guess is that I got 38 or 39 out of 40. I'll be happy with 36 or higher. I was done in about 20 minutes, spent the next 15 reviewing my answers, and then handed it in. We had about 50 minutes to complete the test.

I had a two hour break before my Linguistics test. I spent it wisely -- with Shane, my 18-year-old brother-in-law who took the same course last year and has moved on to more advanced Linguistics. We reviewed everything the class had covered to date, and it really helped.

Thanks Shane!

I guess yesterday was sort of a historic day in that respect. It was the first time Shane helped me study for a test, instead of the other way around. :-)

In my first two assignments, one on combinatorials for Math 122 and one on Phonetics for Linguistics 100A, I got 86% and 95% respectively. Oh, and yesterday I got paired up what I expect will be a very keen, capable partner for my CSc 230 project! So things seem to be going well.

Oh, and I actually made use of the lecture recordings I made with my iPod+iTalk while studying for the two midterms. As far as I'm concerned the iTalk has already paid for itself. My Calculus professor noted he wouldn't get an iPod because it doesn't let you select and loop segments of a song. He uses that capability on his new iRiver to help him learn Japanese. I definitely was disappointed about not being able to time-code/bookmark sections of my lectures in iTunes. Maybe there's a better player for that purpose.

Written on October 2, 2004