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color cycle (slow)

Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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color cycle (slow)
This is one of those semesters that's making it very easy for me to understand how students get burned out at college.

There's good reason I haven't been around- either online or off. I'm being knocked flat by homework. I'm exhausted and beyond my limits, but there's nothing I can do about it. I feel like a failure for struggling so badly in a semester when I'm only taking 14 credits.

It doesn't help that one of the 3-credit courses should probably be considered four credits, and in another one, time in lecture is simply sunk because Dr. Bayazit is a terrible lecturer. It's not just his thick accent, it's that these are lectures that seem like they are actually making you stupider. He makes mistakes constantly- and sometimes thoroughly theoretical mistakes. At least with past incompetent professors, they knew what they were doing but not how to teach it. I'm not so convinced that Dr. Bayazit knows either. I'd skip class in favor of the book- I have to do all the learning from the book anyway because the lectures are worse than worthless- but a large portion of my grade is based on in-class quizzes. The only way I keep my time from being a total write-off is by studying for other classes from documents on my PDA, or just browsing Slashdot so I don't do so later. (Yay wi-fi.) It's just that poor a lecture- I can browse Slashdot, respond to e-mail, read LiveJournal- and still answer Dr. Bayazit's questions.

Technical Writing should be a four-credit course from the workload. I've got until Tuesday to finish writing an installation manual for SuSE Linux 9.3- the topic I selected and didn't correctly budget time for. While other students are already done and turning in their three-page, four-page, maybe one-page documents, I'm on page eleven and less than half done. What with having an appointment at my asthma doctor's on Saturday, forcing me to leave campus for the weekend yet again, I'm not going to be able to finish because my home computer simply doesn't have the software; I'll have to take the late for this. (Dr. Ratinoff gives one free late; any further late assignments are zeroed. If you have to take the late, you have an extra two weeks.) Not a good thing to do this early in the semester, and hardly a bonus to my morale.

Dr. Dan Holt, even though this is the first class he's teaching, is a very good lecturer. He is a poor assignment-planner, as a paper is due the same day as Exam 1: next week. So much for studying. Good thing I keep up with reading my textbooks- except I haven't this semester because I'm too busy reading just the Computer Architecture book trying to figure out what Dr. Bayazit was trying to spit out.

Space Engineering and Operating System theory are both going at reasonable paces; I'm not even worried about only having three weeks to write a (low-powered toy) command shell for POSIX, as he's taught us how to do that. (The shell's xssh0, which officially stands for "Extremely Simple Shell, version 0" (it will be upgraded in subsequent assignments), but is also known as "Extraordinarily Shitty Shell Zero" or "Stinky Shit" or- well, you can make your own. It barely does more than run programs and change directories- output redirection is way above its level.) I've figured out how to fix the current bug in the code I'm chasing down in Space Engineering- I just have to apparently re-write the entire program to do it, which I was actually expecting anyway.

But I'm thoroughly over my load limit right now. I've been operating on five to six hours of sleep per night, with my time just spent on studying and homework. I can't take much more of this, but I don't really have other options.

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Some semesters are just like that. They're no fun. (Don't get me started on bad combinations of classes that really shouldn't have been.)

May I suggest that you choose simple topics for your tech writing assignments? It'll probably drop that work load down a bit.

Can you get your parents to bring you back to campus instead of insisting you stay at home so that you loose as little time as possible for access to your good computer?

I hope things get better for you soon.

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