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Introduction to College

February 10th, 2009 4 comments

I’m alive and well, I swear! Schoolwork and other life issues have swamped me quite efficiently over these past couple of weeks; but I’m okay!

While searching for backpack recommendations on the Gentoo Off-The-Wall forums, I came to an interesting thread from a couple years ago entitled, Going to college. I’d like a How-to survive your first year.

I very much concur with just about every piece of advice in that thread; and it inspired me to expound on a lot of those tips as well as to add my own. For that purpose, I’ve decided to post them on this blog in a somewhat-regular [hopefully] fashion. On this vein, Welcome to the first-ever edition of my College Survival Guide!

Today, we’re going to discover one of the most important things about college life: College and High School are two totally and completely separate things.

Now, this may seem fairly obvious to many readers, as I can imagine they have already been through these experiences and know what I’m referring to; but there are those who still treat their studies as if it were really still not yet collegiate-level work. (Trust me; I’ve met a great many number of people like this.) For the majority of readers that believe this, it is something that doesn’t seem to be so incorrect at a glance: It’s just more school…why should it be any different?

The answer to that, of course, is quite simple: For most people, college is the first time in his or her life that one is on one’s own for so many things. Among many other reasons, it is this shift of responsibility to the student (from teachers, tutors, guardians, and others) that may be fairly overwhelming at first. More often than not, the student becomes responsible for not just the learning, but the homework, transportation, food, socialization, et al. Many of the things which had been simply given to the student or scheduled for him/her are now no longer done so. Instead, the student oversees his own education – from scheduling of one’s classes to preparing meals for oneself and – for better or worse – having far more control over one’s life.

Now, I know many (and myself am among those) who as college students still live with their parents and so much of this responsibility (for example, basic housework) is often not as drastically redistributed to the student. However, the responsibilities are still quite prevalent: especially of classwork and transportation. I still live with my parents, for example; but it is my responsibility – and mine alone – to ensure that I wake up and have a decent breakfast everyday. It is also mine to ensure that I get to class on time everyday: making sure I leave enough leeway in my scheduling to walk from my house to the bus stop as well as from the bus stop on campus to the classroom buildings (which, for my major courses, are almost on opposite sides of the campus, thank you very much whoever had THAT brilliant idea) as well as vice-versa when I return home. One can be living with their parents yes (which is probably a good idea for most beginning students, from a strictly economical perspective); but that should not imply that they are any less responsible for their own well-being.

Well, that’s about it for today. In the next issue of the College Survival Guide, we’ll discover some highly beneficial patterns in scheduling one’s classes. Join us next time for more tips and advice from the College Survival Guide!

A Semester of Fun

January 24th, 2009 1 comment

Well, now that I’m nearly finished with the general-education requirements, this semester is shaping up to be quite a fun adventure. Aside from the slight tedium of taking General Chemistry, I’m also taking two math courses (“Advanced Topics in Linear Algebra” & “Ordinary Differential Equations”) and two Japanese classes (“Intermediate Japanese-A” and “Study of Kanji”), so even though it’s going to be quite busy (18 units!), it definitely won’t seem so.

We went to a a used book store in Fullerton that was having a “going out of business” sale over this past weekend: about 70-80% off everything. While there, I picked up a good half-dozen Star Trek books that, along with Christmas and early-birthday gifts, should provide quite ample reading material for the bus rides to and from class, as well as just generally being quite good books. On my desk right now are just a handful of them:

  1. Fallacies and Pitfalls of Language: The Language Trap (S. Morris Engel)
  2. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Barack Obama)
  3. Titan (Stephen Baxter)
  4. Doctor Who: The Indestructible Man (Simon Messingham)
  5. Pegasus in Space (Anne McCaffrey)

This is not an exhaustive list, mind you, but a majority of the Star Trek and other books that I bought were only due to my having read them in the past simply on loan from the local library, and I enjoyed them so much that I simply wanted to ensure myself my own copy. I think I’m going to quite like this. 🙂

Categories: Books, Life Tags: , , , ,

New Year, New Blog

January 23rd, 2009 2 comments

Well, wwwaaayyy back in October 2007 (!), one of the reasons I citied for moving away from a self-hosted blog setup in the first place was “integration with external services.” It’s been well over one year since that time and I still have no idea what services I was referring to. However, I’ve decided to move my blog back to my own domain because of the much finer control of the content and its display. (It’s no longer “my blog on some website” but instead “my blog on my website” mainly.)

I tried yesterday to import the posts and comments from LiveJournal, via both WordPress’s LJ-XML importer and the script that Jeremy linked to. Unfortunately, the results from both of these attempts were only mildly successful. (Indeed, I call them “successes” only because the posts’ content was properly imported.) So for ease of my own workings, I’ve decided to leave those on LiveJournal until I can figure out a more appropriate method to transition them to this blog setup.

Everything should be more-or-less functioning the way I want now; but do let me know if there are any problems with the move. (And don’t forget to update your bookmarks/etc.!)

In closing, next time I decide to stop posting for a month, I kindly ask that someone poke me incessantly. Thanks. 😮

Categories: Life, Technology Tags: ,