Justin's Life... November 17-28, 1997

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November 17, 1997 - Monday


It's just 11:58AM, but I'm already having a totally shitty day: It's my C computer programming class. It started off so easy this semester that I could have written the stuff in my sleep. Then came the first midterm, "What? That wasn't on the homework." I still managed to get an 83%, so with the 100's and 90's I'd been getting on the weekly assignments, I didn't think too much about it. Then the homework started getting exponentially harder; that assignment with the algebra was only the beginning. The problems, for some unknown reason, would be "Write a C program that processes an input list of 12 numbers representing the number of inches of rainfall in Springfield for each month of one year. Create a bar graph..." one week, then the next week it would be, "The infinite series for arcsin(x), valid for |x|<1, is given by:

Incredibly Complex Mathematical Problem

Write a C program to evaluate arcsin(x) using the first 10 terms of the series shown..." What? Still, I managed to do fairly well. Indeed that arcsin assignment got an 80% and I had absolutely no idea how to do the math. But today I found out my grade for the second midterm. 56%. 56%!!! How could I get almost entirely A's on the homework and an F on the second midterm? Adding to this crap was my inability to complete today's assignment. I tried and tried and tried, finishing with an empty incomplete feeling. I mean, with a paper, it's not entirely right or wrong. One sentence may be awkward, but the paper still "works" and has some validity. When a computer program does work, it has no validity whatsoever and hours of work just seem wasted.

What's even worse is that no one attends this class. Today people came in, left their homework, and ran right back out the door. Seven people are here and he enrollment is more like thirty. How can that many people "get it" yet I can't. I mean, I haven't gone to lecture in a while (yeah, I know), but when I have gone, he hasn't said anything which wasn't said more coherently in the book. I just can't figure out where all these other people are getting their information. If the assignments and the midterm paralleled the book a little more, I'd be fine. Anyway, all I know for certain is the I'm unshaven, look like crap, and am definitely going to the lecture this afternoon.


November 18, 1997 - Tuesday


Well, yesterday didn't quite finish as bad as it started. I went to the lecture and, surprise, surprise, the professor didn't say anything that wasn't in the book, so I'm still amazed at how I did so poorly on the midterm. For what it's worth, I think most of my problem comes from accessing data in files. If any of you guys out there in cyberland are adept at C programming and wouldn't mind telling me what was wrong in my execution of the last assignment, I'd most appreciate it.

And since I'm taking a more direct one-on-one approach here, I'm wondering what you guys think about A> a chat room for JKP and B> the supplementary pages in the paragraph above. Would you participate in a chat room here? I mean, I tried one a few weeks back and it didn't get too much of a response. I think that could have been because of it's non use of Java. If I redo it, it'll be Java-based and much more user friendly (after it loads... 'cause we all know how Java halts a machine when it's starting ). As for the pages above, they're pretty technical, so I created sub-pages for them. Would you have put them directly in here or due to their overly dry nature, was the sub-page choice the best? Let me know...


November 19, 1997 - Wednesday


As karma often does, yesterday more than made up for the day before. It all started when I opened e-mail. Among the many junk mails promising multi-level marketing wonders and young girls nude was one with the subject "Congratulations!" I would have deleted it with the other like subject'ed messages, but I noticed it was from a company with whom I'd talked to earlier in regards to web site enhancement. When I opened the letter itself, I was more than a little shocked to read, "Congratulations! Your site has been randomly selected in our $1000 bonus drawing..." It was an up and up company, I knew it wasn't a joke or some scam. I actually won a thousand bucks! I was more than a little excited, so I told Larry then tried calling my mom. She was no where to be found, so I called Amanda. She couldn't believe it, but I told her that it was true, that I had no doubt about it's legitimacy. Finally, I got ahold of my mom and told her as well. Talk about a great e-mail.

Of course, I couldn't just celebrate all day, so I went on to class and then on to my advisement appointment at 1:30PM. Through an interoffice mix-up, I scheduled my appointment last week, but it was written in their book as this Tuesday. Going into advisement more than half way through the advisement period, I was pretty sure the classes I wanted would be filled. Indeed, COMM 340, the one I really wanted as it had the same professor as my COMM 395 class this semester, was pretty much rumored to be full.

When I got into the office, my advisor said I looked distraught and I said that well, I'd come last week, and she said she knew. She then looked over my schedule and said that she didn't think I'd have a problem getting into the classes... except 340. So we began entering my schedule into the computer for D-Class Restriction clearance when the head advisor came in and said they were moving 340 to 205. I knew that meant "COMM 340 will be taught in the much larger Room 205", as 205 is the same place that COMM 395 takes place. I got my COMM 340 D-clearance and was all set and ready to go

Last night even ended on a pleasant note; Larry, Jason, and I had dinner with Jeff. I can't quite recall what I've written here about the whole Jeff episode, but at the end of last month, after the Halloween party which he didn't attend, I sent him a letter saying that inertia could keep us going the way we were or we could agree we both messed up in some way and move back to a more positive space. He wrote back to choose the latter. And so, last night, we had dinner at his place. For what it's worth, I could still tell that he likes me, even though it was much more at bay.

And so, overall, yesterday was pretty darn koool.


November 20, 1997 - Thursday


Today was the big day... the day I was "on" The Price Is Right. Actually, Amanda and I did get a lot more air time than I was expecting. I called Mom this morning to ask her if she watched, expecting her to say that she did, but didn't see me. Instead, she said that she saw me several times. Anyway, it was koool, but not too koool. -- Hope I didn't use up too much of my fifteen minutes of fame


November 28, 1997 - Friday


Well, yesterday was my first Thanksgiving ever away from home... and to be totally honest, it was one of the least "noteworthy." It was family with Larry, Katie, and I... but it wasn't any more momentous than any other dinner. I cooked stuffing, Larry baked a turkey breast, and there were mashed potatoes... but that was it. It didn't have that Thanksgiving feel. No one said the blessing and I didn't speak up to say anything about it until way afterwards.

Thinking about it today, I wished Jeff would have been here. Instead, he and other not-going-homers went with a law school friend to adopt the friend's family for the holiday. It's odd, but I consider Jeff part of my extended family. It was that reason that I wrote him that letter about getting back to speaking again. I care about him and by him being here, I think it would have enhanced both my and his Thanksgiving experience. But that didn't happen... and instead, the holiday had no special significance. It was just another meal with a slightly more elaborate preparation.

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© 1997 Justin Clouse


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