Monday 26 April 2004

Somebody's Smiling Down on Me

Exam marks are starting to trickle their way down the grapevine. And things look good - very good. COBOL, for example, ended up being far better than I expected. Architecture and Advanced Architecture both turned out pleasantly well. The exam for Systems Analysis and Design was fair, and I suspect I did equally well on it. The remaining marks will come out in due course, but I'm comfortable about them as well. :-)

Starting May 3, I become the Multi-Agency Systems Administrator for the South Shore Regional Library, a job which most of you already know I have, and which I've basically de facto had since 1997. I get to play with Linux servers, Java servlets and PHP galore, all while making sure the librarians remember how to center a piece of text in a Word document.

This eschaton of sorts is a bit of a downer. It will be nice to be home, but I'm leaving most of my friends scattered through creation. On the upside, I can now plan a trip almost anywhere in eastern North America, Alberta, British Columbia and Texas, and have a waypoint along the journey where I can stop and be guaranteed a warm bed, delicious food, and old-fashioned friendship. ROAD TRIP!!!!!

Finally, a gentle reminder to the ladies that I'm still single. Don't let me slip past your fingers, lucky ladies! You don't know what you're missing. :-D

Saturday 17 April 2004

In The Words Of...

My third exam, in Advanced Computer Archtiecture, is now over. As is the standard reaction, people ask how you did, and I respond. Lately, I've found I have a penchant for citing my opinions on these questions by mangling quotes by famous people or from famous literatry sources. Tonight, I turn to the words of former American counter-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke.

Your five years of computer science courses failed you. The lessons in Advanced Computer Archtiecture have failed you. And I have failed you. I tried hard... but that doesn't matter, because I have failed. And for that failure, I would ask... for your understanding and your forgiveness

Seriously, it probably wasn't that bad, but I really needed to do great. It's all in Crazy Ivan's hands now. We'll just have to wait and see. :-/

Thursday 15 April 2004

In the Eye of the Beholder

Be aware: the following blog entry may involve a pot calling a kettle black. You have been forewarned. :-)

It really bothers me pisses me off bothers me that some people don't appreciate the special gifts that they possess, because they think it's not real, or it's not good enough, or who cares that I'm ______ anyway?

There are multitudes of gifts surrounding me. They span a wide variety of categories - a wonderful smile, an aptitude with computers, the ability to make a musical instrument tell a story as opposed to making notes, a silly sense of humour, haunting eyes, frightening intelligence, wicked fashion sense, great listening skills, a shoulder for friends to cry on, the most comforting hugs, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Notice to the vain: No, the entire list is not about you, though it is not unlikely that a characteristic I think you (yes, YOU) possess is on the list. :-)

As I alluded to, I'm the last person to admit that there's anything special or redeeming about me. I'm a bad person, and you should hate me. That having been said, all the rest of you, you're all awesome in your own way. I wish you (and me too) would start noticing it.

In Real World News, the Library Peoples are coming up to Wolfvegas tomorrow, and we'll be discussing possible summer employment plans for me. Also, teh Jerry seems interested in offering me Employment of Great Mystery and Providence. My next exam is Advanced Architecture, Saturday evening.

I will, of course, keep you updated, faithful reader(s).

Wednesday 14 April 2004

I Shall Not Fail

Two down, four to go. Exam Two: Architecture. My performance: best described by this paraphrase of the great Psalm 23, A Psalm of David. I now dub it, A Psalm of Darrell (Crooks, that is).

The Crooks is my shepherd; I shall not fail.

He maketh me to sit down in gray exam rooms: he leadeth me beside the rows of tables. He restoreth my grade: he leadeth me in the paths of knowledge for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Academic Probation, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy non-maskable interrupts and thy set-associatives caches, they comfort me. Thou preparest a superscalar processor before me in the presence of dependancies: thou annointest my head with core memory; my stack runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of Architecture no more.

Tuesday 13 April 2004

Hate... Everything

By everything, of course, I really mean exams. But boy, do I hate them. :-|

This semester, I will write six glorious exams. One, COBOL, is already completed. Status: sufficient. I've already discovered a mistake I made, and the exam was too long for the allotted time, but I am satisfied with how I did.

Round Two: Computer Architecture. Tomorrow night (tonight), 7PM. Be there, or fail to graduate again, and come back for another kick at the can. Not only do I need to know everything about how computers were ever designed or built, but I also need to know my Greek numerical prefixes (give me a femto!), and lots of stuff about binary and hex numbers. So. Much. Hate. Confidence Level: sufficient.

Round Three: Advanced Computer Architecture. All about RAID and networks. Like regular Architecture except with fourth-year apathy and presentations, and new acronyms. Confidence Level: wing and a prayer, buddy. Wing and a prayer.

Round Four: Systems Analysis and Design. Software Engineering with a shorter project and smaller groups. Confidence Level: I'm writing the exam drunk.

Round Five: Logic II. A symbolic logic course. Harder than I expected it to be. Will definitely require me to track down class members for detailed review of some concepts. Hopefulness level: pretty good with sufficient review.

Round Six: Communication. The course that makes God cry. I still have a term paper to write for this course, but the exam should prove relatively trivial and obvious. Hopefulness level: great, if I ever get the term paper done.

Anyway, off to cry and sleep and study and cry some more. Send me comments and live

Friday 9 April 2004

Putting One's Self Out

Musicians, thespians, athletes — I honestly don't know how you do it.

I don't know how you put yourself out on a stage, a field, an ice surface, a gym floor, a studio, and give of yourselves, and let others depend on you. You work tirelessly in advance to give your best. You're ready, You're pysched. You know a Good Thing is about to happen.


And then everything falls apart, and you did it. It's your fault. You're the reason why this Good and Beautiful Thing has become merely something average, if you're lucky — something sufficient, something good enough, or maybe not.

I wonder, why bother?

The only answer I can come up with is this. The look on a person's face when you do it right – when you tell the story, when you win the game – that makes it worth it. I guess I'm just not seeing it yet.

Classes are now over. It's a strange feeling to be done. It doesn't seem like it's been five years, like I'm ready to go out to do something real. I still don't even know where I'm going, what I'm doing, and who I'm doing it with.

Send me your karma, send me your ideas, send me your money, send me your comments.

Monday 5 April 2004

All Hail the Lords of Overdraft

My March rent payment is complete. I owe my deepest gratitude to TD Canada Trust for increasing my overdraft protection to make this dream a reality.

TD Canada Trust - throwing you an extra cinderblock to weigh you down when you're already drowning in student debt. :-D