Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I am my own slave-driver.

We're down to the final push for this semester. Final exams are three weeks away, yet I still have three more "midterm" exams to write. Marks are trickling in and are, for the most part, encouraging. However, the first Java midterm left us all shell-shocked and bleeding from the ears and nose; the class average was 47%. Although I got 55%, that's hardly a mark to be proud of and it might prevent me from making the Dean's List this semester, even though all my other marks are high enough (so far.) I can't believe I'm holding myself to that standard, but, well, here we are. (The prof says he'll bell-curve those mid-term results. That will bring me up a bit.)

I'm tired and crabby. Schoolwork occupies 80% of my waking hours, and a good portion of my sleeping ones, too... I wake throughout the night with snippets of code in my head, working through complex coding problems in my dreams and waking with solutions in the morning. While I admire my subconscious minds' tenacity in problem solving, perhaps I would feel more rested in the morning if I could switch off for a few hours.

While I am still really enjoying the program and the fabulous new skills I am developing, I just wish it wasn't so all-consuming. Those three weeks off between semesters that I have coming up suddenly seem not nearly long enough.

The third semester will be interesting; one less course on my load but correspondingly more homework as the levels become more difficult. As well, there will be preparation for the co-op term, which starts in January and goes until my final semester in September. The co-op term will probably be more restful, except I am an over-achiever and have decided to take night classes while working. The fun class will be more garment sewing lessons; I want to get into ballroom dance costuming and need considerably more skills than I have right now.

The "grit my teeth and do it" class is... French. God help me. I freaking HATE French and hate how it's rammed down my throat and hung over my head, but in order to get my foot in the door at any primo Fed job, I need to improve my oral French skills. (And as clever husband pointed out, I never actually have to speak it on the job... just prove I can by obtaining my profile.)

le sigh. There is no-one in the world who can be as hard on me as I can.


lookinout said...

By hating French, don't you make it harder? It makes me sad to hear you say how much you hate it. It may help if you know what makes something 'work' for you. DH can figure his way along and communicate in difficult situations, like Italian and French with the elderly immigrant lady, but I learn by getting a good grammar background and then applying it to what I hear around me. I'm not good at picking up a language in the street. If the occasional extra explanation would be of any help, get in touch. Gillian

Susan said...


Thanks for your comment. Yes, I suppose it does make it harder, but I've hated it ever since I was forced to take it in high school 20 years ago.

Let me clarify... I don't really hate the language itself; I hate the REASON why I have to take it... that in order to get a good (government) job in my field, I am forced to learn a language that a small but politically powerful minority of the country uses. It might be far more useful for me to learn, say, Urdu or Mandarin; but if I want to go back to the Feds, it *must* be French.

I have 3 years of high-school French and two of university level and I still can't speak it worth a damn.

Thanks for your offer of help, but my lack lies in oral issues. Apparently I actually need to go to class to fix that.

knitjo said...

Susan, don't fret about the French, if my husband can get a 3 in French, you can probably get a 7(I think 5 is the highest level). My husband is so bad at grammar, but he perseveres and will twist every sentence, but never stops trying...It should be easier than Java!