Winter 07 Week 3

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Of all weeks, weeks four and ten are by far the hardest. I would say that week four has the most unknowns, so it is probably the harder of the two. With that, typing this after taking a midterm in my vector calculus class, I present to you week three.

Homework that was due in my engineering class was much easier than the week before. Friday we all got the previous homework back and of the two others I asked, noone got a grade larger than 60%. Ouch. I hope (and feel this will be the case) that this trend does not continue. The homework in question was on unit conversions, a topic that even experienced engineers majorly fuck up sometimes. I do not even want to relate how messed up the questions were… let’s just say that there is a reason there are books with tables of constants in different bases. And also that there is a VERY GOOD REASON to use SI UNITS. Go meters!

Anyways, chemistry snuck up on me. It became clear that I had to actually remember not just some but ALL of first quarter organic chemistry to succeed in second quarter. Ouch. What really irks me is now that I am in the chemical engineering track, this class is considered an advanced elective, and I don’t even like organic chemistry. Blah.

And yes, my math exam went OK. This is a much easier class than intro to differential equations, IMHO. Whatever, that is for next week’s installment.

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Winter 2007 Week Two

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Homework caught up with me this week. Engineering homework just killed me. I turned in over twenty pages of pencil work on Friday, which took me all last week to complete. Math homework is hard, and due the same morning, but nowhere near as hard as the engineering homework. I have a feeling this quarter is going to be difficult. Moreso than last quarter for sure.

No real interesting lectures. Just alot of work.

It has been a real joy bike commuting this week. I am being facetious. Leaving before the sun rises in 1 C temperatures is not fun. Getting to the bus stop with numb fingers and face sucks. Other than that, nobody tried to run me off the road this week. Oh, I did break a spoke Friday. But that was bound to happen, damn cheap spokes on this bike.

Winter 2007 Week One

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First weeks are more like field trips than work, I have come to find. You go to this place far from home (in many ways), time is structured for you, people hand you papers describing what you see, and you go home. That is the end of your expectations.

I started the week out as a Chemical Physics major. My classes had been planned out to be morning lectures (starting at 8 AM) five days a week, and for the most part being done with everything by noon. Except Wednesday, but more on that later. Monday was my math class, Vector Calculus with Dr. John Hall (who looked alot like Frank Zappa before he trimmed his goatee), followed by my Physics class, Intro to Modern Physics with Dr. Arthur Wolfe. John’s lecture was random at times but stimulating, as it should be at 8 AM. But Arthur’s class left me flat. I don’t know, you are teaching, you should be a bit more engaged. Anyways, I decided to on Tuesday just go see what the Chemical Engineering department could do for me.

This is something I had been thinking about doing for a while. Dan had actually talked me into doing it, just to keep my employment options up. “Engineer and Scientist” sounds better than “Scientist”.

Tuesday, after my Organic Chemistry lecture (an hour and a half, ungh) and some email checking, I decided to walk into Chemical Engineering advising. I was wired, too much coffee, but I was at the top of my game. I sat down and just started in “I am a Chemical Physics junior on a full ride scholarship. Sell me on your department.” That’s when the craziness starts. The adviser (nice lady, forgot to get a card though) tells me that the classes I was taking now were not going to help me graduate in three years. If I did not sign up for the department now and change my schedule, I would be on the four year plan.

Hmmm, says I. This thought lasted a few seconds. Being a Junior with four years to go is the suck.

So I signed up. She approved me to waitlist a class (CHEME 100, a computational methods class), had me sign a change of major form, and sent me on my way. Wait, when was that class? After waitlisting it, I checked. The class had started ten minutes ago! I was on the OPPOSITE END OF THE CAMPUS! Literally a mile away. Good thing I had my bike that day. I darted across in three minutes (all downhill), and of course all the seats were taken. Very embarrassing to walk in late to a tiny room with thirty other students and stand.

The rest of the week was downhill. Wednesday, my long day, was uneventful. Except that Liz forgot when the last Hillcrest bus left UCSD at 9pm… she thought I was dead on the side of the road somewhere.

Intro to the Week Journal

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A lot happens to me at school, usually really fast. Some of it I am going to remember, some is going to fade into haze as fast as it happens. I want to retain at least some of what happens at school (obviously), so I have made a resolution to at the very least journal about what happens each week. I hope to keep it brief, so I can journal about this stuff at school in my free time.

So, here goes! Thanks again for reading.