Posts tagged ‘college’

February 4, 2009

Columbia University?

This morning, I was contacted by Columbia University about applying there. I hadn’t considered it before now. Do I actually have a chance? I wish. The school seems pretty appealing to me and I have been thinking about NYC a lot lately. I really like that they have a school specifically for non-traditional students: the School of General Studies, which allows the option of attending full or part-time. But even if I was accepted, it is extremely expensive.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about going to a school out of state. Something Ivy League is unlikely to happen, but I want to get out of here and get a fresh start on things. My plan was to stay here in Baltimore until I finish school. But I really don’t know if I can take it here much longer. I don’t hate it here but I am restless and bored. I feel like I have done most of what I was meant to do here and it’s about time to move on to the next part of my life.

December 19, 2008

Fall 2008 grades: I am jumping up and down!

I have been obsessively checking the school website to see what my grades for this semester are. I just checked and I got As in both of my classes! I can’t believe this! I knew I would ace my Information Security class. But I thought I was going to get a C in my C++ class. I thought I would be super lucky if I got a B in it. But I got an A! I cannot believe this. The class was a lot of work, the teacher made everything very challenging and really pushed us. And it was a 4 credit class.

In the C++ class, I got 100% on every single LAB project/homework assignment all semester long. But I got a C on the midterm, which was a lot of points. And then there was my final project, The Memory Game, which I never got the grade for because it was turned in the last week of class. That was a lot of points – almost as much as all the lab/homework assignments combined. And I know that I didn’t do too well on the final exam, especially since I was sick (thanks to my severe allergy to poinsettias) and the exam was four hours long. And this teacher does not curve and said he never has. So that means I actually earned the A that I received.

I am so pleasantly surprised! I’m ecstatic, proud, triumphant. I am celebrating this weekend. (I just hope that he didn’t make a mistake and then my grade will be changed later, haha).

November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! I had a small and simple, but good meal with my mother. She’s been having some medical issues lately, so she wasn’t able to make her famous dinner. So I tried to help out as much as I could. She baked the bread and cooked the turkey, while I took care of the rest of it, like the side dishes.

Some of the things I am thankful for:

  • My Friends and Family: You know who you are. You help keep me sane. Or at least make me feel like I’m not completely crazy.
    I’m glad that I’ve gotten a chance to be on good terms with my mother and that we’ve gotten to know each other better. For years, we were on really bad terms but we’ve become much more understanding of each other compared to the past. And we get along so much better.
    And Mandi, I’m glad we were able to reconnect this past year. I know you’re moving to Vegas soon, but at least we’ve been able to bond again before you leave. I don’t know what I’m going to do when you leave, haha. But I’m happy for you.
  • My Job: I somehow ended up working for a good company. I had been a temp there for a while and in January, they hired me. I wasn’t originally meant to end up being employed there. I was just there to do some clerical work. I don’t even have a degree, which almost everyone there does (except for some of the call center employees). But my boss was open minded enough to give me a chance because I showed that I knew a lot of stuff already and was also a fast learner in the things I didn’t know yet. I get some great benefits and they treat us well for the most part. I get to work around some cool people. Most of the people I work around have this nice combination of hip but professional. And I’m lucky enough to have a boss who is very understanding about my mom’s health issues and he doesn’t give me a hard time about missing work due to helping my mom. It’s also in a cool location in Brewers Hill.
  • My education: I’ve been fortunate enough to go back to school this past year and not only have a chance at a better future once I get my degree, but I’m learning things in which I’m actually interested. I’m lucky enough to have some great teachers and to have met some interesting other students. And most of my friends, family, and co-workers are very supportive of me.
  • Music: With so much going on in my life right now, I don’t get to record or perform nearly as much as I used to in the past and definitely not as much as I wish I could. But I’m glad that there are people who haven’t forgotten about me during this time. And that I’ve still gotten some opportunities to do projects and collaborations with other great musicians.

I was planning on going to work tomorrow. It’s not required, but it would be a floating holiday so I’d be able to use that as paid time off later. But I have so much to get done, I don’t even know if I’ll go.

Some of the things I’ll be doing over the Thanksgiving weekend:

  • Finishing up lots of schoolwork. With the end of the semester approaching, there is a lot of work due. Most of what I have to complete are projects due in my C++ programming class. One of the programs due next week is a memory game. It’s similar to this: Sure, it’s not a very complex game, but writing the code for it is harder than some might think.
  • Attending this show on Saturday:

I hope everyone is doing well and is having a great Thanksgiving!


November 6, 2008

My thoughts on the 2008 election

I am proud to be an American. I am proud of this country. I think we made the right choice for President.

Election day Tuesday and the day after were days you could feel such excitement in the air. I went to the polls before work since I had school after work and thought that would be the only chance I had to do it. I couldn’t find a close parking spot. I waited in line for a while. It was crowded. And you know what, THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE! I was glad! It felt great to not be the only young person there. It felt awesome the vibe that I felt from others. You would think with so many people in a small area that problems would arise, but people were respectful. It was an exciting time. I remember when I first voted in the 2000 elections (that was the first election I could vote), I barely waited. There was hardly anyone there. The person there who was closest to me in age was about 35 years older than me. In 2004, it was definitely more crowded than the previous presidential election, but this year I think there were even more people there. And again, more young people were there. People younger than me were there.

One thing I keep hearing is that no matter who or how you were voting, people were respectful at the polling places. I’m really glad to hear that. I really wouldn’t know firsthand because my voting area is overwhelmingly Democrat. (And those who aren’t Democrat are Green, independent, Libertarian, etc. I think there are more of the independent and "third" party voters than Republicans in my area). For a couple mile radius around where I live, you see Obama signs everywhere. I have not seen one McCain sign. In front of the elementary school where I voted, there were nothing but Obama Biden signs and Vote No on Question 2 signs. (FYI, I voted yes on Question 2 and most of Maryland also voted yes, allowing slots in the state). I didn’t see as many people standing out front with literature or stickers as before. Then again, I think I went earlier than previous years. When I walked in, I only saw one man. We talked briefly and he handed me some literature. I realized he was Maryland Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty. He also gave me an Obama/Biden sticker. I did see two more ladies who were together standing in front as I was leaving but that’s it.

When I arrived to work, there was excitement in the air. Almost everyone had either voted or they went after work. "I voted" stickers were seen on a bunch of employees. I walked around smiling all day. i felt this connection to the people I work with, even those I barely know.

When I went to school, several students either arrived late or were absent. My teacher, who is otherwise not lenient, said he expected this and he ended class short so that those who didn’t vote yet would have a chance. I thought that was cool.

When I went home, I immediately went online and turned on the television. I had to know what was happening. Obama was ahead. Obama was way ahead. I had hope that Obama would win, but I was afraid of voter fraud and all that. And I thought we wouldn’t know for days. I thought that whoever won would only do so by a few electoral votes. But not only did Obama win, he won by a lot. The media knew he won before they called it. They announced it at 11:01 PM EST, which was 8:01 PST and the polls on the west coast were closed. They didn’t want to announce it while polls there were still open.

I was so excited! I couldn’t believe we already had an answer. I wanted to run around yelling in joy. In 2000, when the Ravens won the Superbowl, the people of Baltimore went outside and ran in the streets, partying and celebrating the victory. I wanted to do the same thing on Tuesday night for Obama.

Every few seconds, I would refresh my screen on the homepage of MySpace. The status messages were pouring in with people being so happy about Obama winning. There were only a very few who posted status updates that were upset that he won. Most were glad (in my friends list anyway). I loved seeing people’s enthusiasm. Even the people who were upset, it was good to see them even caring enough to post about it.

I even liked McCain’s concession speech. You know, I think McCain would have been a better President than Bush if McCain had won the nomination and then the presidency back in 2000. I’m not saying I know for sure whether or not he would have been a great president, but I think he would have been better than Bush.

Wednesday morning at work, you could feel how the company was in a great mood. Most people did not reveal who they were voting for. A lot of people would talk about voting but not say anything about what their views were. They wanted to stay professional. Well, that pretty much went out the window when everyone was like "I’m so glad Obama won!" 

So I’m happy about who won the Presidency. I’m happy about how some of the local Maryland issues turned out. I am bummed about how several states voted to disallow gay marriages. I thought Prop 8 in California would have been voted No (no means you’re not in support of banning it), but most people voted Yes. It makes some feel that if California couldn’t get the proposition defeated, what state really has a chance in the future? But I have hope that someday gays will be able to get married or at least civil unions with the same rights throughout the United States and that we will look back at the time when it wasn’t legal as one of our crazy, close-minded mistakes.

September 17, 2008

Fall Semester 2008

Here is what I’m studying this semester:


July 3, 2008

Summer Session I ’08 is Finished

Tonight was my last class for DCOM 101 – Introduction to Data Communications. It was a fast, yet intense course since I took it for eight hours a week (two evening classes, 6 – 9:55 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays) for five weeks.

We were lucky to have an awesome teacher. I think that if someone else was teaching it to me, I probably would not have understood most of it, let alone gotten an A in the course (Actually, I got better than a 100 because of the extra credit I did).  He jokingly picked on me tonight because the first day he walked in the room, I raised my hand to ask a question and I interrupted myself. I said something like “Do we have to…. wait am I the only girl in this class? Oh wait, I see one other female. Hi!”…take the quiz online?” He’s like “Get used to it if you’re staying in this field”. (I am more than used to it. I’m a rock musician). So tonight, he was like “I’m going to miss you guys so much. You are such a good class. I’m gonna be sad. Are you guys sad? Everyone, ask Teresa for some tissues. You know she has some”. Hahaha. I’m going to have him again for at least one other course I take. So I told him to be careful what he wished for when he said he hoped to see some of us again. Computer networking involves a lot of math. Subnetting involves binary and applying that knowledge. Sure, in the real world you can just use a subnet calculator and a binary calculator to figure it out. But we had to show all the work to show we actually knew how to do it ourselves. At first when we were creating subnet masks, host IDs, ranges, and broadcast addresses, I was like !)(*@#$(*&@(%. But now I can do it without thinking much. =) Well, Class C addresses.

Moral of the above paragraph is that there are careers besides accounting that will require math. The math I used to apply to my programming course last semester and my networking class this semester wasn’t that difficult for me. I don’t think it was very advanced or anything. But there were a lot of students who could not move forward in the courses sucessfully because they did not understand the basic math that they were supposed to learn in high school, so they couldn’t apply that knowledge. I remember in high school, during various math classes, students would say “When will I ever need this crap? What job will require this?” And the teachers’ responses would be “You won’t actually use it but you are at least expanding your mind and the skills you use to memorize these problems will help you memorize things later in life”. This is all true, but to most teenagers they just think “Laaaame”. Teachers could actually answer it with this: “Like computers? Want to work in programming or networking? Well, you’re going to need it there”.

I am tempted to take a class during Summer Session II but I need to just take at least a little bit of time off, even if it’s not much. But I kind of feel like I’m in the zone and on a roll, so maybe I should keep it going and I will thank myself in five weeks. But in the end, I am saying Nay to that because I know that I have lots of other things I need to catch up on right now like working on some music, cleaning up the house, etc. And if I don’t take time off, it’s going to suck in the Fall when I go back.

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June 18, 2008

Zeroes and Ones

I just completed homework dealing with Binary Code. I had to take decimals and translate them into binary code and vice versa.

I’m now looking at everything in Os and 1s. Haha. Did you know that I’m 11010 years old?

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June 11, 2008

Ethernet Cable

You see this? It’s an ethernet cable.

I learned how to make both a patch cable and a crossover cable this evening in class. I physically did it and tested them to make sure they worked. I got to use the tools and everything. I didn’t know I was going to be doing all that in my Data Communications 101 class. Haha. Interesting. But still, I don’t think computer networking is something I’d want to make my career. I’m just taking the class as a requirement for my Information Technology degree (and I’ll have to take another DCOM course later). It’s good to know the basics and a little beyond that. But it’s just not something I could see wanting to get certified in, know the ins and outs of, and do constantly on a daily basis for years. It’s cool that others like it. I don’t hate it. But I just can’t see getting all excited about it everyday at work. Most of the other people in my class are specifically Networking majors, not Information Technology software majors. So they are all about this.

Anyway, I have another skill learned tonight, even if it’s a small one.

May 21, 2008

Spring ’08 semester is over

I finished up my spring 2008 semester at school. Last week was finals week.

This semester was more of a challenge than last. But I am not complaining. I took Introduction to Computer Programming Using OO and Logic and Comprehensive Databases. The former was a class I went to every Monday night and the latter was an online class. I was learning two concepts that were new to me at the same time. At first, this was a little difficult because I was trying to learn two different worlds at once. But once I got the hang of it, it was a lot better. I actually liked what I was learning, so that made it easier to want to study it until I got it. The main challenge for me was that when I got home from work, I was tired and the last thing I wanted to do was more thinking and I did not want to sit in front of a computer anymore. Plus, I have been learning new tasks at work as well. So it was a brain overload in the beginning.

I aced my final exams and final grades. I received an A in every class I took this year. Of course, I only took 6 credits per semester, but I do have a full-time day job. I do wish I could take more classes per semester so that I could finish sooner but that just isn’t going to happen. I’d rather take a longer time to graduate and actually understand what I’m learning and do well rather than just skate along.
And I’m guessing that when I take more advanced programming and database classes, it’s going to be even harder and I will have to study even more. And all As might not happen again (though I will still aim for that, even if it doesn’t happen).

My teachers were great. My programming teacher has had many years of experience as a respected computer programmer. He has been doing that for over 30 years and was a part of some crucial software that came up in the 70s and 80s. He’s been a project manager for some big companies and has done some major things. You can tell that he’s passionate about his field and that he actually wants to help us understand. I was curious in the beginning of the semester as to why he’d go through the time and effort of getting a teaching degree when he already had an established career and I presume he was making more than enough money. I think he just loves what he does a lot and wants to share his knowledge and experience. He had a different personality than most teachers and a dry sense of humor. I don’t think a lot of the students in the class really got him, but I did.
About half of the class dropped out. I don’t think it was because of the teacher, though.

My online teacher put a lot of effort into making the online class seem more like an actual classroom. I’ve heard that some online teachers aren’t so great and not very helpful, but she was a good teacher. She even put together some videos to show us things and she would email me personally when I posted questions on the bulletin board about a career as a Data Analyst. (Basically, it’s hard to find information about being a Data Analyst because that position goes by any different titles. I’m still a little confused but she did help clear things up).

I had originally planned on taking the summer off and going back in the fall, like most students. But I think I am actually going back in the first week of June. There’s some stuff in the works that’s supposed to happen in the Fall, so I want to either only take one class or just take off altogether that semester.

March 31, 2008

Spring “break”

Welp, spring break is over with and I’m glad. I was so beat last week. You see, I had three times the amount of homework to do and pretty much had to work overtime at my job. I’m not trying to whine about it because I’ll have some extra money on my next paycheck. But I’m just saying that it was not an actual break.

Tonight is the show at Fletcher’s! I hope I won’t miss too much of the show since I’ll be coming from school.