Tonight is likely my last night writing to you from this room in BARH, and likely my last time writing to you this school year at RPI. I finished my last final this morning, so tomorrow I’ll finish loading the car up and drive home once again. I’m going to take some time to reflect back on the past semester, and whole year here at RPI. I should have taken some time to review the falls semester, but the Christmas blogging season is always very busy for me.
Academically I’ve learned some material. I can’t say I’ve learned too many things I’ll be applying in real life situations, maybe some logic reduction stuff from COCO, or PID control from LITEC. Perl has probably taught me the most useful material here. Prof. Lalli is probably the best professor I’ve had here at RPI. If you’re looking for a course where you’re actually going to learn thing that you can use, like tomorrow, take something he teaches (which is currently just Perl). Courses like CANOS, DSA, Database Systems all taught me some theory stuff that I kind of already had a clue excited. No, I might not have been able to implement it programmatically, but that was only because I hadn’t had the need. Chemistry and Physics 1/2 were pretty much useless courses, and I got the impression they were designed to be that way.
On the topic of extra-cirriculars, let me start with projects. The studentdev server I helped launch in the fall was probably the most sucessful of the projects to date. I don’t have the exact numbers, but hundreds of RPI community members have signed up to use the server.. there are a handful of active developers each day I estimate. Some strides were made on the shuttle tracking project, but I’m not very satisfied with it still. I’ll spend some time this summer re-writing everything again. RPI TV has videos up on the website which is pretty awsome, though I don’t recall hearing any feedback about this. The bandwidth logs show people watch them, but I hear nothing. Concerto, which was Digital Signage back in the fall, has been one of the largest small projects I’ve worked on to date. I can’t say something like “fruits of my labor” or anything like that, because I’m not satified we’ve produced any fruit yet. Maybe in a year I’ll be more comfortable, but we need to get the time-tested stone starting to roll, and there is really no way to speed that up.
The clubs themselves have seen change as well. RPI TV held well-needed elections for new officiers in the fall. I’m not pleased with the elections (mainly the process), as you can read in my yet to be completed Three Part Series. The group has lost a lot of members, and my gut tells me interest is fading as well. I think a unified vision is necessary to improve, but that unified vision needs to be drafted by the members. The plural on members there is critical. We also fail to do a good job welcoming people into the group, but thats the easier problem to solve. The Senate Web Tech Group / Concerto team has probably doubled its membership, gaining probably 3-5 members this year. Its certainly a good thing that people are interested, but its always put me at an uncomfortable place when people start doing things that I used to be privy to. I guess its a sign of the changing times, and I have not been ready for change anytime soon.
Socially at RPI I cannot say much has changed at all. I have managed to eat in the Commons dining hall all year, generally 2-3 meals there a day. I continue to spend most of my non-class time in my room. There was a spurt of time where I felt I had found a better setting to work, but that changed quickly when my setting became everyones. I’ve done a few things I’m still not completely comfortable with, and while I continue to evaluate those decisions, I know I must continue moving on. I might have “hung out with ‘friends” here at RPI for the first time this year, clearly that practice didn’t happen last year… I put friends in quotes because I still feel a term like coworker is more appropriate, at least from my work-centric view.
I’m having trouble coming up with a defined set of accomplishments that have happened this year, lending me to believe its a transitioning time. Nothing is really packaged up and done, but there isn’t the excitement of a brand new project either. I would put this is the Storming stage probably, which does correspond to the 2nd out of 4 year principle. I need to spend some time re-evaluating where I am and where I want/need to be next year. Its a difficult thing, I’ve always had these very defined and clear goals… graduate high school, get into college, become an eagle scout… but I’m having problems coming up with such clear goals now. Its like hrm, I could go to grad school, I could join the workforce, I could try to invent something cool. The choices are challenging, and pretty mutually exclusive. One of my problems is lacking a realistic role model. In past I’ve always been pretty apt to watch someone a year or two ahead of me complete a task so I could at least have an idea how to go about it. It doesn’t seem like anyone here is really focused on anything similar to me, nevermind someone who is open to sharing the process.
I just have to write this before.. idk what.. before I say Brian, you shoulda gotten it out there even though nobody figured it out. Text A really frustrates me. I dislike it being constantly shown off and rubbed in my face. Yes, I guess its my penalty for reading it because its technically not automatically showing itself but still. I’ve always been hostile to similar things, all for the same reason. Its challenging for me to explain, but there are forces at work on me that are very difficult to explain. I can’t just X, it doesn’t work like that. I’ve spend several years refining my process and every wham, time to wave it in your face again. I will conduct a more detailed analysis of Text A later. It will be humorous for me.
On that note I part only but for a while. Expect me when I get home, sometime tomorrow.