College Kid.

Quiet Please.

As I have mentioned before I am taking a Physics class this summer. It is my last non-Engineering course that I am scheduled to take. There are 10 of in the class.

One of the trends that I’ve noticed since starting school nearly 1 1/2 years ago is that the younger generation just doesn’t know how to shut up. Cell phones beep, Blackberry keys click and the classroom is never without an undercurrent of whispering and barely audible chatter in the back of the room. I’ve noticed that the “chatter” is occasionally in a different language and that varies among the student population in the room. I give those folks the benefit of the doubt and hope that there is some sort of translating going on.

I never thought that I would sit in a college classroom and have the professor have to tell the students repeatedly that they need to stop talking. Maybe it’s because I’m older and grew up in a different era but this noise in the classroom today is much like the chatter we often encounter in the movie theatre. Quite frankly it makes me insane.

I haven’t come to the point where I’ve stood up and yelled “Would you all just SHUT UP?”, primarily because I think that would be rude for all to endure as well as embarrassing for the professor that doesn’t have a handle on the room, but I did have a thought zing through my head in class tonight that I shared on my Twitter (during our precisely seven minute break):

Would it be rude to shut classmates up via duct tape across the mouth?


There are times when you just make the right choice based on instinct. Yesterday afternoon I contacted the Department of Transportation regarding the internship I had interviewed for. They were to have made a decision by the end of the previous week and I hadn’t heard anything. They said they wouldn’t have a decision until the end of next week. Since I had put my previous job offer with the telephone company on hold for a week, I decided that I couldn’t push them off another week. I had to make a decision.

On one hand, the telephone company position pays more. I love the people that I work with. Because of my temporary status, my hours have to be restricted a little bit which offers a very attractive schedule for the summer.

On the other hand, the internship would give me insight as to what I’m in for should I continue to pursue this career. I would learn a lot about how the DOT works and gain valuable information for my upcoming classes. However, the decision making process was frustrating me and adding credence to my perception about government agencies in general: making decisions in government is like swimming through molasses.

After pondering the issue I made a decision. I couldn’t push the telephone company off any longer.

I start at the telephone company on Monday and I couldn’t be happier.

This morning I received a call from the man that interviewed at the state.

It turns out I made the right decision.

Job Ready.

Dressed Up For a Job Interview today.

So today I had a job interview. It was actually an interview to be a student assistant/engineering intern for the summer with the Department of Transportation. I had given up hope that the opportunity would come along, but apparently I was a little premature in that line of thought.

I feel like the interview went well. I was surprisingly relaxed during the discussion which lasted much longer than I had originally anticipated. I think that’s a good sign. I’m more excited than ever about the new career path that lies ahead. I am ready for the next big challenge. I’ll find out at the end of this or beginning of next week if I made the grade.

And yes, my tie was straight when I went into the interview.

All News Is Good News.

Well today has been an interesting day in the life of this old college student. I just received my grades for the semester. While it was my worst semester as far as my grades go, I can say that I passed all of my classes including that blasted math class that I didn’t think I would pass. I’m glad I stuck it out for now I don’t have to take it again. Ever.

My GPA still gets me onto one of those lists that they like to print in the newspaper, so I am pleased. Since I’m going to be an engineer, I am happy to say that I aced my engineering courses. I consider that to be the most important.

Not only have I received my grades today but I also received a call from that internship program I thought wasn’t going to happen. I have an interview on Tuesday morning!

There’s hope for me yet.

The next challenge begins on Tuesday night when I start my summer course in the second half of Physics. I found focusing on one course during the last summer semester worked out really well for me and I intend to repeat the experience.

Random Thoughts Under The Sheets.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to lie in bed and play around on the computer at the same time. It’s quarter ’til 8 and Earl has been at work for an hour already. My morning classes have been canceled; apparently we’ve learned all the we are going to learn in those classes this semester. So I lie in bed surfing the internet. 

Is it unusual that I’ve been sleeping in the nude since I was 13 years old? I can’t imaging getting all suited up in garb just to go to bed. When I was a kid my mom would wake me up for school and there I’d be, bare ass hanging out from the covers. Even when I go camping and it’s 35 degrees and I’m in a sleeping bag; I’m still naked with a hat on.

My dreams from last night were a combination of school activity, camping and UFOs. It’s fun when your mind mixes unrelated topics together and presents a movie in your head that makes perfect sense when you’re watching it. I know the source of all the elements of the dream so I’m not surprised that my brain was trying to work it all out last night. It was entertaining and made for an interesting entry in my dream journal. I write in my dream journal almost daily. I’m finding that it’s rare to remember about 90% of your dreams like I do. 

When I was outside getting the mail yesterday afternoon a huge sonic boom shook every house and scared the hell out of Tom (he puffed up and went running on to the porch and scratched at the door to get in). I was standing in the driveway at the time. I could feel the boom as well as hear it and it popped my ears. NEADS (North East AirDefense Sector) is saying that the sonic boom was possible as there was a lot of air traffic but they are not confirming anything. The message boards for the local television station are telling all sorts of stories: everything from natural gas explosions to a technology test at the decommissioned (wink, wink) air force base going awry. One person explained that sonic booms are no longer possible because the Concordes no longer fly. What a dipshit.

I was tempted to drink a bunch of beer last night and try the remaining questions on my math take home test while I was drunk. I didn’t do that though. I drank iced-tea instead. It didn’t make any of the questions easier. I have two questions left. The test was designed for the 50 minute class period. As of 11:30 last night I had spent roughly four hours on the exam. I can’t wait for the excitement of the two day final next week. That’ll take me a month.

I suppose I should get up and start my day. It’s just that these blankets are so comfy.


I’d write a witty, stirring blog entry tonight, but I’m on hour six of my 50-minute take home exam for math. It’s going swimmingly.

At least I have only two questions left.

A Good Start.

Today I took my first final exam of the semester. It’s actually the first part of my Surveying exam, with the second part scheduled for the same time on Thursday. My college eliminated finals week for the year as they thought grouping all of the finals into a “finals week” placed unneeded stress on students. Personally I find this approach to education to be ridiculous but as a student I can only go with the flow.

I’ve been doing well in my Surveying course so I wasn’t too worried about this final. We were told that today’s portion would be entirely multiple choice. I’ve been keeping up with the reading and homework and have received excellent grades and comments on my work so I felt confident with my understanding of the material. An hour before going into the exam I did one last crash of studying by reviewing the previous two multiple choice exams that we had taken.

Imagine my relief when I discovered that the first 20 out of 30 questions on the exam were one of those multiple choice exams!

The remaining ten questions were on material covered since the last exam. Several questions were similar to this one particular question on the final:

24. Is it possible for Joe to get this question correct?
a. maybe
b. voluptuous1
c. D*200 the included angle
d. squeaky chair

I feel really good about my performance on this exam.

1 ‘voluptuous’ was a choice on quite a few of the exam questions, including those questions geared toward design curves.

Home Stretch.

This is my final week of classes for the semester and words can’t express how thrilled I am by that fact. I have one remaining homework assignment due on Thursday and that is a take home exam for Professor Frightful and his cast of voices in the blackboard. My engineering classes are apparently ahead of schedule – we are taking the final for Surveying a week early and the corresponding lab has been canceled this week; my statics (physics for engineers) classes have been canceled for the rest of the week as well.

I’m enjoying this relative downtime this morning by washing the car and enjoying a pastry at our local Panera. The crowd here is relatively sparse which is something that I truly enjoy, aside from the fact that I have no one to comment on as I sit here and write this blog entry. Well, actually there’s a few woofsters in the food prep area that are worthy of a “woof” growled in their direction but I’ll refrain from doing that so as to not startle the women that are sitting between the counter and me. (Sorry, I was distracted from my intended topic for a moment).

I’m happy that this semester is winding down but I’m really looking forward to the fall semester. The classes will be more interesting and I shouldn’t have any math courses for the rest of my time at this school. Shouldn’t being the operative word of course. Let’s see how I do on this take home exam due on Thursday. It might just save me.

Winding Down.

As of today I have exactly two weeks left in this semester. I’m having a little trouble staying focused on the task at hand. It’s kind of hard to describe but on one hand I feel like this semester never really got off the ground while on the other hand I feel like I’ve been trapped in the semester seemingly forever. Quite frankly I’ll be happy when it’s over. I’m sure the presence of an 8 a.m. class has thrown me off kilter a little bit.

One of the things I find a little disheartening has to do with Professor Frightful. The college eliminated “finals week” this year. Rumour has it that it was discontinued because it put too much stress on the students. To make up for the lack of finals week, many professors are giving the same final, just spreading it over two days. Professor Frightful keeps talking about giving us an exam BEFORE the two-day final exam, but he can’t decide if he wants to make it a totally in class exam, a totally take-home exam or an aromatic blend of the two. From pre-game conversations I’ve had with my classmates before the teacher arrived to the classroom, it seems that NO ONE is doing well in the course. The highest score on the last exam was 52 out of a possible 90 points. I came in second with a 51 out of 90. He offered us the chance to do corrections at home; my corrections raised my grade up to a 72. I had the answers correct throughout the exam, but he didn’t like the work shown supporting my answer. I found this surprising because I copied the steps for each problem letter for letter from the book, just changing numbers as I went along. Apparently I missed the chapter on how to complete the problem in an alternate universe.

Aside from the tango with mathematics, the semester has gone relatively well. In physics, things going up still come down; in statics trusses are still supported in a myriad of ways and in surveying it’s not good to build a road where the curve throws a vehicle off of a cliff.

I think I’m ready for my next semester. My earliest class will be at 10 a.m.