I’ve noticed Tuesday nights tend to be the most time I question what I’m doing here at RPI. Sure, I’m feeling that way this Tuesday; but this Tuesday isn’t unique. I’ve been noticing this since last year around this time. Tuesday tends to be a pretty busy day for me here at RPI between class, filming the Senate Meeting, RPI TV meetings at night, homework due Wednesday, etc etc. There is a lot going on and plenty of work to be done.
Some Tuesday nights I hit this low for motivation, and the homework due on Wednesday is a big triggering factor for this. I do my homework, its a good way to boost my grade, reinforce learning, etc etc… but I don’t enjoy doing it very much. Last semester, in the Spring, things weren’t this bad. I had homework, and taking Differential Equations made the homework plenty difficult, but I didn’t dread doing it as much as I dread the two computer related assignments due on Wednesdays. I don’t mind math because I’m learning new techniques and approaches to problems but I can’t say the same about some of the computer classes here.
I’ve really gotten put off by the lack of enthusiasm and excitement involved. Everything follows a very cut and dry cookie cutter program, you will take this course, learn material x, get degree y. The professors do their best to add a little excitement, but the buck stops there. The course itself is designed in such a way to present information in the exact same way information was presented in the previous course, building on the foundations you’ve mastered etc etc. You all know the deal I’m sure. My problem comes in that I like to believe I’m moderately competent on a computer. I haven’t been writing code for more than a decade, but I like to think I can piece together a realistic solution to any realistic problem thrown my way. Yes, I can learn functions that may reduce work, improve runtime, be more elegant; but what matters to me is that the problem is solved.
I question why I’m here not just because of the work and learning I’m doing. I have no doubt that knowing what a Mealy versus a Moore machine might be helpful knowledge; but I find the whole learning v. everything else balance unpleasant. I would have no trouble balancing things if there was a chance, but its as if things are designed for you to not succeed. Ok that sentence may not be broad enough. Things are not designed for me to succeed. There, I’ve limited it in scope to myself. Slightly confused? Thats ok.
I rarely voice my opinion. I am terrible at debate, and lately I’ve found my public speaking skills are lacking. I dislike it when people assume I need tutorials how to give a presentation or lead a group just because I am bad at it. I am very bad at a lot of things that I fulfill the requirements to be good at. Back to my main area of focus, I find trouble arises when there are changes I’m very strongly interested in making, but I just can’t push them out to implementation because of my social failures. Its pretty safe to say RPI has its share of leaders, at least in the groups I’m involved in. Having too many leaders really makes it hard for people who have a leadership style like mine. I avoid conflict like the bubonic plague, I focus very strongly on making everyone satisfied (especially at personal expense), and I have no problem shutting up and listening. I find that if there are 800 people all trying to lead and steer discussion it makes for quite a wild ride. Off topic, I can compare MassMutual to RPI TV. Their was a saying that there were more Project managers than there were people actually working on the projects.. hrm.. Back on topic. I will never speak my mind if someone else is speaking theirs. I might think they are dumber than a brick, but they have just as much right as I do to express their dumbness. You know when several people start talking at the same time? I’m the guy who always wins the “whos going to stop talking and start listening first” race.
I consider my opinions valuable. It is no ones fault but my own for not expressing them, But it is my fault for getting stuck on them, something I definately need to improve on. Right now I tend to spend extra time focusing on whats wrong with the ideas disagreeing with what I’m thinking, and not so much time thinking about how to best use the agreed upon ideas. This goes against my optimistic outlook on life, I must change this asap.
Swinging back to Tuesdays. Walking out of the restroom I thought to myself “What am I doing here at RPI?” Well I don’t know to be honest, at least on Tuesdays I don’t know. Chances are I’ve upset people important to me, chances are I’ll be waking up at 6:30am to start homework, chances are I have not tapped on any changes for RPI TV, don’t get me started on any multitude of problems that might occur when I actually arrive back in my dorm room. I know, It doesn’t seem as bad as it does to you, and that I have much going for me and such, but I have trouble linking whats going for me to being at RPI specifically. Transferring schools is way to much work and I will not do that unless very dire circumstances arise. I’m not even sure transferring would solve that problem. Ideally I’d like to find an environment very circa freshman/sophomore year in high school. Yes, those times were terrible, but overall things went well. I can’t say I was on anybody’s hate list.. I probably wasn’t on anybody’s list at all, but classes were such that learning and doing homework consisted of actual learning, not trying to devise the fastest way to complete this assignment and get a good grade. The Tiger Times were rapidly changing, growing, etc, things were moving in the right direction.
Are things moving in the right direction here?
I’ll leave you with a quote from someone. I apologize for forgetting their name “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just stand there”.
Do think about it.