This winter break has been refreshing. I spent most of it with my partners family. We decided to do a couple events like bowling, skiing, watching movies, cooking, and hanging out with friends. Unfortunately when we went skiing it was raining outside so the snow was slushy. I also managed to crash at the bottom of the ski slope because I couldn’t slow down. I was sore quite a while after that. We decided to go see the new Avatar movie. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it, and didn’t really enjoy it very much. We spent a lot of time cooking this winter. I learned how to make a lot of dishes before moving into my apartment later this month.
Now that I have been in school for a couple of weeks. I didn’t know what I signed up for. I think that 17 credits this semester is going to be really difficult. I don’t think I’ll be able to get a job this semester due to my heavy workload. I’m deciding to stick with all of my classes so far. I’m taking Programming Languages, Computer Ethics, Machine Learning, Stats 1, Japanese 2, and a Microsoft course. I’m definitely going to be busier this semester. I’m really excited to learn in these classes.
Over the break I decided to pick up an old hobby of mine. I used to do casual cross stitch to help pass time. My partners mom does frequent patterns and decided to give me a starting kit. One of my very first projects was making these foxes hugging each other. I hope that I can find some time to work on my new Stardew Valley pattern while I’m in school. I plan on hanging this on my wall in my apartment.
November has passed so fast! I feel like this semester has flown by so quickly. I’ve registered for next semester, went on thanksgiving break, and now I’m preparing for finals in two weeks.
When I talked to my advisor last we decided to do a evaluation on my degree. It turns out that in order to graduate on time I’ll have to pick up a minor(s). At the rate that I am taking classes, I’ll end up with no more computer science courses to take by the end of next year. Fortunately there are a couple of minors that I am interested in taking. For now I decided to, not officially, but look into a data analytics minor. Next semester I will be taking Computer Ethics, Machine Learning, Programming Languages, Beginning Japanese 2, Statistics 1, and finally a Microsoft Office class. In total I am signed up for 17 credits. It’s a lot more than I was hoping, however, I’ve heard that the Microsoft Office class is easy. I hope I don’t regret this decision later.
Right before Thanksgiving break, I had quite a few tests. I had a take at home test, inclass, and a test due over break unfortunately. I didn’t really mind how I did in the moment, I was ready to be done. I’m starting to wish I tried better now that I’m getting the scores back.
Break was really refreshing! I ended up flying to New Jersey to see my grandparents. I hadn’t seen them since way before the pandemic started. Unfortunately my grandma was in the hospital for most of the stay. We were unable to have Thanksgiving dinner with her. In the Twin Cities I am really used to grid pattern streets, however, in NJ I was getting so lost every turn. I couldn’t tell North from South. I remember to appreciate how easy it is to navigate at home. I was really upset that I had to take time to do one of my exams while on break. I was able to go out and settle down at a cute library and finish. Thanksgiving break was a good time to catch up with family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while.
Now that break is over, I have to prepare for finals. I’m really happy that I don’t seem to have any final projects. Mostly exams I need to study for. I’m really upset that this week is the last classes of Japanese. The class really brings up my spirits after math right before it. However while the class is fun I also have a oral and written exam, spooky. Math, assembly, and Astronomy are just regular tests. I’m not sure if I have a final exam or project in Robotics.
October has been a long month. At the beginning all I could think of was how nice fall break was going to be. However I didn’t expect my fall break to last just under 3 weeks.
Right before fall break was mid term exams. Some of them were quite stressful, some of them were quite easy. Astronomy, Machine Learning, and Japanese all went surprisingly well. I ended up getting an A on all of them. However Discrete Math was a definite struggle. I’ve been having a hard time doing well on homework and exams. Luckily I still have time to raise my grade. My robotics course hasn’t had an exam yet.
Being at home with my family was really needed. While I still had homework over break, it was well needed. Unfortunately I ended up getting covid and being really sick. I was unable to do much work and I am still feeling the repercussions of falling behind in class. The worst part was listening to my cats outside my door wanting my attention, poor carpet. While I have some weird leftover symptoms I’m doing well!
When I arrived back to campus I had an advisor meeting about registration. It seems that at the rate I am taking classes, I’ll need to pick up a minor or major in order to graduate. It’s kind of difficult to make a choice because a it would definitely close down on what kind of career I want to look into. Drake also didn’t have many minors currently that I’m interested in. I don’t necessarily have to choose one yet but definitely soon.
Over the summer I wasn’t able to get a job. I mostly cat-sat family and friends. I also added some AIO water-cooling to my PC. I had to move everything into a new computer case. I was very determined to get it done and spent a whole day working on it. Moving into college was smooth, unfortunately, a hot summer day. We didn’t have an elevator but a dumbwaiter so it wasn’t too difficult.
I have started getting involved in new things on campus. I decided to join a research group about computer vision. He was explaining that there were a couple of opportunities through it, even attending an event and presenting our work. I’m also connecting with people last year about joining a videogame club and becoming their technical support. I’m not sure if I want to join the management and make decisions about the club. We’re planning on playing Jackbox games, Wii games, Overcooked 2, and much more.
I’m taking 15 credits this semester. The classes I’m taking are Computer Organization and Assembly, Discrete Math, Robotics, Astronomy, and Japanese. Learning assembly is really difficult. We’re using the software MIPS. It’s hard to remember that higher-level languages, like Python and Java, have a lot of background tasks happening in the background. You have to be quite literate in assembly. We just had our first exam and I feel really good about it. Discrete Math is interesting. It’s giving me a new view of things. While there are a lot of students, there are often discussions between each other on logic. Definitely one of my more difficult classes. Going into my robotics class I was expecting it to be really difficult or really easy. We’re the first iteration of the class so we’re basically guinea pigs. I’m kind of disappointed with how slowly the class is progressing. We’re almost 2 weeks until mid-terms and we haven’t seen or interacted with the robots yet. Being in computer vision research, I’ll be interacting with the same robots as in class. Astronomy is a basic lecture course. It’s easy as long as I attend class. We have our first exam next week, thankfully open notes. Japanese is difficult. Learning the written language is difficult. We just had our hiragana quiz and studying for mid-terms next week. I would say it’s my most difficult class.
April went so fast! It’s crazy that next week is finals and I’m going to be done with my first year of college. The weather has been so bipolar this last month. We also have had spooky some close tornado encounters.
April had a few events! It was my birthday last week, Drake Relays were held, and a huge spike in Covid cases. Because Drake Relays were last weekend, I decided to go home for a little bit to decompress before the last stretch of school. It was really nice to see my family and spend time with my cats. We celebrated birthdays, and then, I was welcomed back to Drake with a bunch of rising Covid cases. Within the first two days of being back, we already have over 107 cases. It’s super nerve-wracking and I’ll be upset if this is where I finally get it. I hope my professors cancel in-person finals.
I hope everyone else does well on their finals! This time of the semester is always hard on students.
March is weird. At the beginning of the month, it felt like the semester just started, then spring break happened around the 14th-18th. Now, at the end of the month, I’m preparing for final exams and starting projects and the grass is green now.
I decided to drop my anthopology course. There are a lot of negative feelings about following through with it. I feel like I’m letting people around me down. However, I’m not as overwhelmed with coursework anymore. I’ve tried many times to take heavy academic reading courses but my brain just isn’t wired that way. With all the extra time I’ve been able to work on other class projects assigned to me without pressure. I’m overall happier now.
Midterms happened right before spring break. For Calculus, I thought I had studied well for the exam but I ended up only getting a C. I’m super glad my homework and weekly quizzes are carrying my mid-term grade up. Website Development my quiz went super well. I already had a high A in the class and my mid-term exam brought it even higher! Though, my double-sided cheat sheet was a lot of help on terms. In my Object-Oriented Programming class, I also did well. I got a B on the exam and have an A for a mid-term grade. Overall, I’m proud of my grades so far. I hope I can keep them till the end of the semester.
My favorite course has to be Website Development. I’m doing the best in this course out of all of mine. I find the professor a really good teacher and will look into more of his courses. He makes class time designated time to get help from him on the projects he assigns. Memorizing everything is a bit difficult, and I think he understands us by allowing us to have cheat sheets for exams. Projects are also quite easy because if you mess up, the whole page explodes.
Now that the semester will be coming to a close, I’ve been thinking about summer plans. I plan to find a job and possibly take a public speaking course at a local college.
February has felt like it came and went quickly. It’s hard to believe that I’m almost halfway through the semester. My mid-term exams are supposed to be held next week, then the following week I should be back in Minneapolis for spring break.
Slacking on homework assignments has been a regular recently. I’ve been struggling to do all the readings for my Cultural Anthropology class. When I’m catching up on those, I end up stressing over the upcoming paper due every two weeks. I’m starting to debate whether this class was a good decision. Most of the readings are about scholars that have an incredibly broad opinion on the field of anthropology as a whole or writing about self-improvements gained from long-term exposure to a cultural minority. However, even though I am struggling in this class, my other classes are still continuing to do well.
Mid-terms are really sneaking up on me. All of my classes are currently preparing test review classes within the next few days. I’m feeling really good about the materials in Object-Oriented Programming and Website Development, however, my Calculus material does need some work. I’m not aware of a mid-term for Cultural Anthropology. What I am mostly not looking forward to is having all of my mid-terms next Thursday. It’ll be nice to get them out of the way all at once before break, but starting exams at 8 am with back-to-back exams isn’t settling.
I have been looking at on-campus jobs a lot more recently. I decided that I’m not going to apply to the library position I had previously been looking at. My options are either working at the postal service located on campus or taking a position in the IT Help Center. Both of them need resumes. I looked at mine recently and it was incredibly outdated. I ended up laughing at myself wondering how I even got my cashier job at a retail grocery store that I studied using Autodesk Inventor in high school. Some of the information may be relevant to applying to the IT position, but I don’t think they need to know I studied how to make a digital copy of a lego man.
The weather has been really weird. We got almost 5 inches of snow, then it’s suddenly 50 degrees out. You’re not fooling me!
Break has been going really well. I’ve been spending my time sleeping and playing with my cats. I’ve been working on some small projects. I have also been catching up with some friends and family. My spring semester started on the 24th.
About a year ago I bought my first mechanical keyboard. It’s a 65% keyboard that includes individual up, down, right, and left keys. I decided to make it sound better and put some money in lubing the switches and putting foam inside to remove the hollow sound. Another small project I’ve been working on is upgrading my laptop’s SSD to a bigger GB. I’ve done this many times before on other devices and used the same strategy to create my PC. My Dad has also been wanting me to fix the family laptop that I haven’t gotten around to.
Spring semester feels like it’s rolling in quickly. My school has decided to have the first two weeks online. I decided to spend the time at home rather than sitting in my dorm room for two whole weeks straight. I’ve talked to some other students and many people are rolling in rather than coming back to the dorms immediately. I’ll be going back to the dorms Feburary 4th; just in time for in-person classes. As my time at home is ending, I’m really not looking forward to dorm life again. My increasing anxiety lies in that college has a high Covid rate while not enforcing anyone to quarantine if you’re vaccinated. I’m really going to miss my cats too. They are always so cuddly when it gets cold in January. I’ll make sure to leave plenty of warm blankets on my bed.
Classes are now starting to pick up. I’m honestly stressing over how many readings I have. Any intro social sciences classes are majority readings, I don’t know what I was expecting. I have an 8:00am Calculus class that isn’t very fun to attend and I struggle to pay attention in. I then don’t get out until around 12:30pm because of back-to-back classes. The joys recently have been going to my cousin’s house to help them dogsit. Their dog is super friendly and loves going on walks with me. I often spend time studying in their dining room. I already knew that separating my living and study space is important for me but online classes make it so much more important. I have already set up my calendar for homework through Notion. I always enjoy doing this because the final result is very pretty. Unfortunately, it also tells me how much work I actually have this semester.
I know this semester is going to be more difficult for me. Hopefully getting back to in-person classes and my study spots in the library will help my productivity.
A lot has changed over this last month. The weather has become chilly and you can see your breath. My first semester at Drake has also ended. Coming home and seeing my cats excited really brought me home. Spending time with family, during winter-break, has been very relaxing and comforting.
Finals went really well. I ended up getting an A on every project. Some of those final projects definitely carried my grade. In my Computer Science class, I decided to make a slideshow of an API on the information of Ghibli movies. It included a brief description, release date, and movie banners. My Math final exam was the lowest grade out of all of them. I ended up tutoring another student to help my understanding and refresh some topics. It was an accumulative test so I had less review at the beginning of the year. History paper was simple and the easiest, just answering questions on the reading and defining definitions. Then we had to talk about comparing the history we learned in this class and our previous history classes. I have to say that my First-Year Seminar paper was my favorite. We had to write a paper on how to identify misleading or biased information online. It was my favorite because I was able to research things on my own. I found a website that took in common words used my multiple news platforms and made visual data representations. I was most worried about this class but my paper really helped my grade. The way I ended the semester was really healthy and I’m proud of the work I did.
During finals, I decided I wanted to leave the dorms early and go home. The day I chose was the perfect time for a storm to hit between Des Moines and Minneapolis. Driving back was super windy that went between snow and rain. I saw on social media that students were crowded in the basements of the dorms later on due to a tornado threat. The temperature change between Des Moines and Minneapolis was ridiculous. I was used to having cold rainy days rather than snow and almost below 0 weather. I was very cold for the first few nights.
Christmas time was really fun. I got to see my mom’s side of the family. I was unable to see one cousin because of covid. We ended up going to their house to eat dinner. We got to see them again on Christmas. We went to the movie theater to watch Sing2 and the new Spiderman movie. I’m not the biggest Marvel person but my family seemed invested.
I hope everyone stays safe while the roads get icy,
Happy November! This month has been very fulfilling. I enjoyed watching the leaves change color and fall. Did anyone else notice it’s been an exceptionally bright and colorful year? I only have a few weeks until crunch time for finals. It’s slowly occurring my work is piling up into projects.
This month I registered for spring semester classes. I am in an unfortunate situation where I cannot register for sophomore classes, as a freshman, even though I need them for my major. I also have many of my Areas of Inquiry (AOI’s) covered due to previous dual enrollment options. I’ve had a hard time picking classes to continue to have a full student credit hour standing. Instead of being upset, I’m deciding to reach out of my comfort zone into different topics. The classes I chose to take are CS067 Object-Oriented Programming, MATH050 Calculus 1, IS145 Website Design, and SCSA Intro to Cultural Anthropology.
I’m not excited for finals to roll around. I currently have only two weeks of classes until finals week 12/13-12/17. The stress over the subjects hasn’t set in yet. Maybe writing about them will make me understand how big they are. My Pre-Calculus class is holding 2 tests during the next few weeks. I understand the trigonometry unit test, but I’ll need some refreshing about the semester’s accumulative final exam. African American History is only holding a paper. This one won’t take a lot of work, it’s similar to the mid-term paper I wrote. History is my easiest class. My first-year seminar, This is What I See is having two essays that combined equal 50% of my grade. This teacher is a harsh grader. I’m not very confident of my grade in this class, I’m worried about my final papers. Intro to Computer Science is having a project that we need to code. It’s the only final I have access to currently. We need to include the Application Programming Interface (API) from the internet, implement it into a Data Structure, sort in an algorithm and visualize it. I’m excited about this project because it’ll challenge what I’ve learned over the semester.
During Thanksgiving break, I enjoyed being able to decompress after weeks of school. I watched the sci-fi movie Dune over the break. It left me hoping for more. I haven’t read books since a young age and I forgot how complex it is. I have to say that Dune spaceships are exceptionally better than Star Wars. Sorry, not sorry. The most upsetting part is they left the movie on such a big cliffhanger!
The weather has been setting me off the edge. Never trust November without a jacket! It’s rolling into December and still in the mid 50 degrees.