This post was originally from the blog site Binary Girls that my friends Abbey, Sarah, and I started. I’m saving it here for archival reasons.
So the first week of the spring semester is over. I feel good about this semester, which is great since my last one was so emotional and tiring. But I want to talk about the cool things about it so far!
First, I’m taking four classes, which is 13 hours. Three of them are programming classes. It’s really great that I have so many gen. ed’s out of the way so that I can mostly focus on computer science. It’s a weird mix though, between x86 assembly language, Java, and operating systems, it’s definitely three totally different directions of programming. But at the same time, it should be super fun!
Second, I already have bits of knowledge of all three, but it will be great to supplement my knowledge with new things. I already know so much about operating systems, but I’ll get to learn more and develop code that actually works with processes and threads and all that good stuff. I also took Java before, but it was around the days of Java 2. Now that Java 7 is out, I’m out of date. I had one class and already learned new things! I also took an assembly language class but need to take it again. That was a MIPS-based class, and this one is an x86-based one, so it’s the same ideas, but probably even more useful since I pretty much work with x86 types of computers anyway.
Third, I’m teaching a third section of my labs this semester. It’s more work, but then again I get paid more. The great thing is it’s an extra class, but I really don’t have to do extra preparation since it’s the same material for all three labs. I do have to grade more, so that will be a bit more work, but I am starting to like working with the students and sharing my love for computer science and programming, which I’ve been told by a few people that it really comes out in the way I teach. Anyway, I’ve also been told we get a new computer lab to teach in (I don’t have to kick out other students in the open lab) and that should be really nice as well.
Finally, my transfer credits have really messed up my schedules. I have no gen eds, so I have to pretty much follow a strict layout of how I take classes to meet prerequisites. Also several classes didn’t transfer in credit for one reason or another, so while I came in with nearly 90 hours to my name already, I had to retake a lot of things. This is the first semester where I’m taking new classes that I’ve never taken before, and they are 400-level classes. It feels wonderful to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, to finally feel like graduation will be in the near future and not in 2032 (like I jokingly tell people I will graduate in). I still am taking calc 2 (which I should have been done with by now) and assembly language (my last 200-level class), but it’s still nice because it’s so much programming and so much new material!
My semester will have its own challenges (teaching more, lots of programming, and everything about calc 2), but after this first week I almost feel more refreshed. I have great teachers that are nice, fun, and easy to understand, the class material seems doable (at least, the computer science ones do), and I get to learn great new things in computer science. I’m definitely ready to face this semester.
What was one of your favorite semesters in college? What made it so great?