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Sometimes You Get the Elevator

Math continues to go well.  ECE 101, on the other hand, continues to be… up and down.

Last week, for instance, I enjoyed doing the homework quite a bit, and felt like I had what we were talking about in lecture pretty well surrounded.  Not to the point of smugness, but there was a certain sense of satisfaction involved.  The doom cloud from a few weeks ago had more or less dispersed.

That lasted until today, when I sat down to get busy on this week’s and discovered that it makes no sense at all.

Now, intellectually, I know why this is happening, and it isn’t because I’ve suddenly forgotten how to evaluate an RC circuit after doing a dozen of them last week.  It’s because I stupidly didn’t do my interferon shot on Friday evening; I put it off until midday Saturday.  That means I spent last night riding the side effects train, and today my brain is just too tired to concentrate.  Normally I get that out of the way on Saturday and then can get useful work done on Sunday, at least in the afternoon.  This weekend, not so much.  I’m not physically weary, but I can’t focus well enough to work on anything as demanding as my ECE homework.

So, lesson learned.  Do shot on Friday or don’t do it at all.  In the meantime, if I put in some diligence tomorrow or Tuesday and go to recitation on Wednesday, all should be well.  I hope.  One of the other side effects of shot day +1 is that I find it hard to be entirely convinced that all will be well – but at least I know that is a side effect, and that it should clear up if I wait it out and get enough sleep tonight.

In other news, the "wish list" functionality of the online course registration tool became available for spring 2011 yesterday.  I won’t actually be able to register for classes until Nov. 10, but I can start browsing and noting things down now – so I did, yesterday morning.  What I learned doesn’t really fill me with joy either, and that’s not the interferon talking.  I’ll be just as displeased with the results tomorrow, because, among other things, I learned that there is no way to take the classes I’m supposed to be taking in that semester and arrange things so that I have even one weekday off.  Which means commuting all five days, every week, in the semester that starts in the dead of winter.  And one of the classes I need is only offered starting at 5 PM, which is well after dark in January – I mean, what?

I considered switching to the less theoretical Electrical Engineering Technology program, which has different math and physics requirements (since the offending courses here are Calculus I and Physics I), only to discover that the introductory courses in that program are only offered in the fall semester – which means essentially just writing this year off and starting over in fall 2011.  It seems to me like that’s not really optimal either.  Mechanical Engineering is similarly fall-biased – and just to add insult to injury, the only fall-2011 EE class that isn’t a problem scheduling-wise is ECE 177, Introduction to Programming for Engineers.  The one I don’t really want any part of in the first place, but which is required for everyone in the program.

I would seriously consider jumping ship back to a non-technical major if there looked like being any future in any of them after college, but right now there simply doesn’t.  While I’ve determined to my satisfaction that I can absorb advanced math and technical subjects, I’m also rapidly approaching certitude that I don’t particularly enjoy them, and that’s making the whole prospect of the next three and a half years – and what comes after them – look really rather dreary.

Then again, on shot day +1, everything looks really rather dreary, so perhaps this is just another aspect of the thing that I need to wait out.

Over in CMJ 103, annoyingly, I drew the shortest possible straw for delivery of persuasive speech #3: I have to go first of everybody, 11 o’clock this very Wednesday, which means the person going last of all has more than a week longer to prepare.  That doesn’t strike me as overwhelmingly fair, but at least the draw was random, so if I’m being picked on, it’s just by fate.

And to end on a positive note, I got my exam in that class back on Friday, the one where I punted on the short answer question.  My instructor’s note next to that question pretty much sums it all up: "I laughed! But you did great so it’s okay you blanked."

If the season ended right now (as the fatuous sports reporting schtick puts it), I’d be in a pretty good position academically – but the season isn’t ending right now, and I have to try to stay focused.  I don’t remember high school being so psychologically uneven, but then I suppose I don’t really remember high school at all, academically speaking.

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