26 May 2009

Bi-weekly Reflections 2009 - Week 18 & 19

"Bi-Weekly Reflections" is my small journal of events that have gone on throughout the last 2 weeks that I've decided to keep. New updates to this will (hopefully) be posted as soon as possible.
Since last week marked the end of standard lecture for my classes, Sunday (5/10/2009) was one of the most relaxing Mother's Days I had had in quite some time. Ashley & I had spent the day with my mom and my family in Temecula. The day began a little hectic, though, when she and I woke up late and had to rush out the door to go to the flower shop and pick up the flowers that I had bought my mom, but we managed to deliver the flowers at my house before leaving to PF Chang's. Unfortunately, literally everyone and their mother was at PF Chang's and we ended up waiting over an hour and a half for a table - then we found out they had called us (using those pager things) almost 10 minutes before but we were literally sitting right next to the receptionist podium (the pager wasn't working). We ended up having to wait a little longer for a table but we fortunately were able to finally be seated. The food was good, even though I order a drink that was much too strong and had to have it taken back and traded out with something else. After the meal, we all went to my grandparent's house and spent a little bit of time there before heading out and back home.
Monday and Tuesday (5/11-5/12) were a little laid back although busy, since I had taken off work this week to prepare for what I hope to be the last set of finals I'd ever have to take. I spent the two days finishing a take-home exam for my Networking class and spent some time getting things straight for the end of the semester. But other than that, nothing really exciting happened.
Wednesday (5/13) saw my first final, which was my Networking class. Luckily for me, some of the problems that were on the final were also on the take-home exam that I had finished the night before, so I was fortunate to have a fresh memory on several of the problems. Unfortunately, though, a couple of the problems I didn't do on the take-home exam and showed up on the final, and they were the ones that I dreaded doing because I didn't feel very confident I knew the material - go figure. Needless to say I did my best and that is the only thing I can ask for in a final exam.
I also completed the take-home final exam for my CS535 - Intro to Graphics class and submitted it in the evening on Wednesday, finding that it was not as difficult as I had originally imagined - though it did take a bit of time to run through all the calculations. I'm actually glad that I was able to have that final as a take-home. Some of the equations and calculations were fairly complicated and without being able to take my time to think about it all, I probably wouldn't have even finished the first question.
Thursday (5/14) marked the last day at CSUSM as I had my last 2 exams - Discrete Mathematics and Operating Systems. The Discrete test was pretty difficult, where I had to really pull together a lot of my logic to recreate the lessons I learned to try to attempt the problems. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to answer 2 parts of a problem because I forgot how to do structural induction problems and the second part was dependent on the first. I tried my best though. The Operating Systems exam was mostly multiple choice and true/false questions, but the questions were somewhat difficult and vague since the possibilities for the correct answer seemed not to be as straightforward as possible. Even though there was no requirement to explain your answer, I circled my choice and provided some explanations anyway, hoping that my explanations would help me get some sort of partial credit. Although I am not too worried about my Operating Systems test, I am somewhat concerned about my Discrete test. This has been the second time I've taken the class (maybe the not same level, but the same material) and so my graduation status hinges on my passing that class. Now I have to suffer the long, grueling wait for grades to be posted. Ugh...
Friday (5/15/09) was a laidback, but still somewhat busy day for me as it was the first day without school. I had taken the day off from work to start on a bunch of tasks that I've put off all semester.
Saturday and Sunday (5/16-17) were pretty enjoyable days as I spent the weekend with Ashley doing errands and things that I had been putting off all semester. I spent Sunday evening, though, with my brother as we went a rehearsal for his Catholic Confirmation ceremony. When we got out, we headed to McDonald's for some desserts at about 8:30PM. While we were waiting for our order, we felt the earthquake from LA, which later we found out that it registered as a 4.7 magnitude quake. Once again, Twitter was the first to show any indication since as soon as we felt it, I checked the Twitter public timeline and found that there were a lot of other people who were registering that they felt it too, though most of them were in LA.
Monday (5/18) was a pretty busy day for me as I spent the morning and early afternoon working from home. Since it was the first day back to work since before finals week, it was a pretty busy day catching up with things. That evening, though, was my brother's ceremony and since I was his sponsor, it was a very important event for me to be there - and there I was. We went through the ceremony, and even though there were only a few problems, it went fairly well and was quite enjoyable.
Tuesday (5/19) was the first day back at the office for me, but also the first day of my working full-time again. Although nothing too spectacular happened that day, I was able to work with a classmate that I had helped get his first computer programming job and so far he seems to be doing quite well.
Wednesday (5/20) was not very exciting and actually ended up being a fairly normal day, but Thursday (5/21) was a bit different, especially since grades were finally due from the professors by 5pm. I actually tried checking earlier in the day, but nothing was posted yet about the grades. However, at about 8:15 that night, I checked again and found that my grades had been posted, and they revealed that I had passed my semester and consequently, graduated! Even though it was a time that I should have been extremely ecstatic about, it was muted happiness since I was exhausted from the days work and the soreness of my body from going to the gym on Wednesday. Now all I have to do is wait for the actual paper degree to come into the mail to "seal the deal."
Friday (5/22) wasn't too exciting of a day except that it was the beginning of the 3-day weekend Memorial Day weekend. In celebration of my completion of school, Ashley and I went to see the new Terminator movie, which I must say was not as great as I was hoping it to be, and to this day Terminator 2 remains one of my most favorite movies.
Saturday (5/23) was a pretty laid back day, and was spent shopping and running errands around town, which wasn't too exciting but still enjoyable since I was with Ashley. I began getting some ideas on things that I would have to buy when I move out into an apartment, mainly things like cooking utensils and pots and pans and even furniture. Although I'm not committed to buy anything at just this moment, I've begun looking so that I can get an idea of just how much I'll probably end up spending on it all.

Articles and Links
  • Lets face it - I'm graduating in dark times. The economy is hobbling along: limbs falling off along with thousands of jobs. I've been pretty fortunate, and I am very thankful for that good fortune. There has been a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice, yet there has still been gain. But what I don't understand is how some people continue to have a bleak outlook on the graduates of 2009, which hopefully will include me should my final exams prove me capable of receiving a degree. But, on the flip side of things, despite the scathing remarks that cartoonists have about this year's graduates, I can't help but think that they are making all these scathing remarks just so they too can keep their job in this economy.
  • "Cigarettes may be more damaging to women" [article]
  • "P.F. Chang's simple recipe for success" [article]
  • "GPS satellites could break down by 2010" [article]
    "Air Force says that GPS situation is 'under control', urges you to 'chill out'" [article]
  • "NYT: reponsible card holders may pay more" [article]
  • "Glass water bowl, sun start house fire" [article]
  • It has always been my view that a person's sexual orientation is their own business and nobody should be allowed to meddle in it (despite the fact that some are overly public about it), but articles like this tear me in two: what do you do when you are in a private Christian school and two of the students are claimed to be lesbians despite no real defining evidence? Truthfully, it is the school's right to expel them since they are acting contrary to the beliefs asserted in the school, however this presents an ideological problem: we are taught to love and accept all people without limitations or restraints, and for those who have gone astray, help them find their way back. So when you expel them, are you not contradicting your own beliefs? It is a loaded problem, and is just another thing to add to the ever growing list of problems we face when dealing with homosexuality in the United States.
  • Straight out of the "Duh" files: "Scoop: Neighbor: Jon and Kate in it for the money", although I don't think that their neighbor is such a reliable source since they likely don't really know the whole financial and relationship situation of the family. [article]
  • From the "Gawd, I love it when I'm right" files: "MacOS X users vulnerable to major Java flaw" - even though this flaw really applies to all platforms, I hope this is a rude awakening to those Mac elitists out there that they are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. [article]
  • "In Recession, Women Splurge as if Addicted" [article]
  • "Jet crashes near Calif. Air Force Base" [article]
  • "Australia lists Tasmanian devils as endangered" [article]
  • Straight out of the WTF files: "Letourneau hosts 'Hot for Teacher' night" [article]
  • "Skinny jeans give thigh nerve a painful pinch" [article]
  • "'The Sims' return with more personality quirks" [article]

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