Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Now remember, when you're stepping on acorns, you're stepping on baby trees. But it's the tree's fault for leaving it's babies out to be stepped on."

Hahahahahaha. Paul and I went to Anne and Harry's house tonight so that we could borrow a drill from Harry. There were a ton of big, crunchy acorns on the path to their house, and as I walked out to the car, I took great pleasure in stepping on them and making lots of noise. Harry laughed and watched, and then told me about the baby trees. We also spent a lot of time watching really funny/cool/obscene videos on YouTube, such as a baby monkey riding a pig, an artificial reality game with Skittles and zombie-killing, and Paul's roommate's new ringtone.
By the way, Paul's roommate, Bryant, is really funny. I love going over to their apartment. We shoot Nerf guns, we bake (and I forget to put the eggs in the brownies occasionally), we watch South Park, and we laugh about some of the most ridiculous yet absolutely hilarious stuff ever. I love the fact that I get up in Paul's loft and snipe him and Bryant while they're moving about below me. Even the guys in the other room aren't safe. I aimed out the door and shot the cabinets in the kitchen, and one of the guys, Ben, walked out of his room and Paul let loose on him with the automatic.
You see, I think this is why I like hanging out with guys more than girls. There's generally less drama and backstabbing, more silliness and random fun stuff, and I just feel more comfortable overall. I feel weird around girls a lot of the time. I don't hate hanging out with girls (I really do like "the right kind" of girls.) but I just tend to feel a bit more comfortable and less anxious around guys.
Today's just been a wonderful day. I've felt really happy about everything. Sure, it was a busy day and it was really hot, but I really enjoyed it.
I love Stephen's class. I was really tired before then and I didn't really feel up to going, but I decided to anyway because I'd feel horrible skipping his class. As soon as he walked in and started talking, I cheered up. It was a great class, too. He mentioned something about how it was "dry" material, but I loved it. It was all about the history of object oriented programming and some of the underlying concepts. Sure, I knew most of it already, but it was still a great lecture.
Last week, we were working on a project for that class that stumped a lot of people. We had to make a "hobby manager" using JSPs that would allow the user to add and delete hobbies at a whim. I got stuck a little at first, but had some sort of epiphany and realized exactly what I needed to do. Stephen came over to me when I was working in the Unix lab (scaring me to death in the process by sneaking up on me--sometimes I swear he does it on purpose to get a laugh) and asked me how I was doing on the project, telling me that a lot of people were getting really stuck. I told him that I'd gotten a bit stuck, but I was working my way through it. He said that was great and the best way to learn it. It wasn't much, but it made me feel so happy and good about myself.
My confidence was kind of low after 230, but now I'm much happier. 230 was absolutely brutal, but the suffering paid off. I think 230 is sort of like fraternity hazing. Everyone suffers immensely, then everyone feels more like part of the "in-group" of computer science majors. Just an interesting thought.
By the way, I got a 94 on what my professor called the "hardest" test of the semester. Wooooooo :P

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Computer science at its finest.

This past week has taught me a lot. For example, I've learned that Computer Science is possibly the most social, group-oriented major there is. Seriously, people think we're holed up at our terminals in the lab. Well, yes, but we're sliding our chairs over to neighboring terminals and asking for help. We're getting together in groups and talking about our projects and how we should go about constructing them. All of this is encouraged. In my 330 class, the group coding project is 40% of our grade. And I love it. I love working together and being able to talk with my classmates about what's going on with our work. In just the past two weeks, I've talked to more people in my two computer science classes than I probably have in all of my other classes combined since freshman year. It's so crazy, and fun.
I finally decided to go to a PERL meeting, too. At first I kind of balked at it. My philosophy is kind of that I don't want to be known as a female computer scientist. I just want to be another person facing the same challenges and sharing the same successes as I work toward my degree. If I get to go to grad school, I don't want a bonus mark on my application because I'll be a female in the program and that looks nice on the department's part I guess. I don't want to be a female computer scientist; I just want to be a computer scientist, and a damn good one at that. But nevertheless, I went to the meeting. It was fun, too! I met some girls in my classes and we had a good time playing get-to-know you games and eating potato chips.
I've got to go work on some more coding, but I just thought I'd take a break and make a post. Man, I love my major.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This Summer.

Blahhhh. I feel horrible because I had to go to the eye doctor which means I had to get my eyes dilated. I hate going to the eye doctor. I hate eye drops. I hate stinging stuff in my eyes. Ick. I'd much rather any other physical exam over the eye doctor.
It's been a wonderful summer. It's been really busy, but it's been really good.
Larry found me a job at a feed store, which was, eh, interesting. I have upper body strength now. Every Monday I had to load (and possibly unload) the delivery truck. After I would come dangerously close to passing out, falling to my death (ahh, I'm being dramatic, I would've only been seriously injured...), and being crushed and or suffocated by the sheer weight of bags and heat of the summer and overworking, I got to sit in the store. There are two cats who live at the store named Miss Piggy and Chickadee. They were both evil cats. They would climb on the shelves and throw things in the floor, and they would rip open boxes and break things. There used to be a fish bowl on the counter where a lady collected money for an animal shelter. The cats managed to knock it on the floor and break it. Good going, I'm sure your homeless buddies will thank you. One time there was a customer at the desk and the cats fought their way off the top of their huge scratching post and into the trash can, pulling the phone and a ton of other important stuff off of the desk and in the trash with them. They scratched and bit me, tried to eat my food, walked all over the keyboard, and were just overall very bad cats. I liked them though. It's hard for me not to like animals... Today was my last day of work. I'm actually kinda going to miss it. I liked the feed store.
I got a new computer this summer. It's another Toshiba Satellite. It looks a lot better than my old one, and runs a lot better (but you've gotta give the old one credit for being eight years old and still going strong) :) Yeah, so the Mac died in a flood. Good riddance. I've got my two Toshibas and Paul and I are going to work on getting all my stuff off the Mac so I can possibly sell it off to someone who is A) willing to put forth some effort to replace some waterlogged parts for a cheap Mac or B) extremely stupid. I don't straight-up hate Macs like some people, but I'm sticking with Windows for now and I might dual-boot some flavor of Linux on here (my new laptop) in the future, just to play with it.
I moved Ralph (my green spotted puffer fish, not sure I've talked about them much before) to a marine tank this summer. He was really sad and I could tell he was ready to move into saltwater. He lives with an ocellaris clownfish named Alex now. They're good buddies, but we had a week or so where Ralph kept eating Alex's pectoral fins... It was bad, but now the fins are growing back and the fish are happy :) Nikki, my plecostomus, is getting really big. I've also got four corydoras (Katie, Eddie, Julie, and Joey), plus four zebra danios (Wendy, Cody, Ashley, and Lenny). I've spent many hours watching the fish this summer. They make me so happy :)
Ehhh, what else happened this summer?
Paul's sister got married, and that was fun.
I went to Paul's a lot, actually. It was great. And Paul and I went to Busch Gardens because my mom won free tickets from the radio :)
I remembered how to make ice cream with two bags, milk, ice, and salt, and I've been obnoxiously flaunting my talent ever since. WHUSHHK WHUSHHHHK! What are you breaking in there? Is everything okay? I'm makin' ICE CREAM! WHUSHHHKKKKKKK! WHUSHHHK! Ughhhhh.
I dunno, it's just been a good summer.
I can't wait for school to start though.
I'm taking two computer science classes, a psychology class, a linguistics class, and statistics. I think they'll all be pretty interesting. I just felt like writing and now I don't feel like writing, so there you go :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The End. For Now.

I have so much to write. I'm out of school for the summer. I might take statistics this summer but I don't know for sure.
I got pretty good grades this semester, and I learned so much! I really did love this semester. It was so stressful and full of lots of doubts, but I made it through.
230, the data structures class, is known as the class that almost everyone fails. And I was kind of scared that I would. I couldn't get my first project to compile, which means I got a zero on it. I cried so much that night. I generally accept my failures and get on with my life, but the thought of failing the class hurt pretty deeply. (It hurt even worse when I realized a few days later that three lines of code would've made it compile.) I was determined to get a good grade in the class though, so I drove on. By the middle of the semester, about 20 people had dropped the class between the two sections of a total of about 40 students. It was a really scary class, but it was absolutely amazing. Every day I went in there, I could just feel myself smiling and thinking, "Ah, so THAT'S how it works!" and being so fascinated by it all. And I came out with a pretty good grade too :) I can't wait for what's coming next.
Linear Algebra wasn't my favorite class ever, but I actually understood what was going on and some of it was really fun. I even had a few lectures in there that I really enjoyed--I wanted to stay and keep learning it. The grade I got in there wasn't the best, but what can I do about it? I still have this fear of math. It's so beautiful, but I have these moments where I start to panic. It's a legitimate, full-on panic too. I can do math without getting nervous when I'm by myself, but the second Dr. K comes by and tries to check my work, I'm in a cold sweat and breathing rapidly. I guess I'm subconsciously thinking about high school?
Digital Storytelling was pretty fun. We did a lot of blogging, which partially explains my lack of posting here. We made our own web sites too, and I got to write a lot about computer science, like a tutorial for making the Lucky Seven game that I posted here last summer. I also wrote an article that was pretty much about artificial intelligence (based on my response to another article that we had to read), and the professor really liked it. He posted it on his blog and now it shows up on Google if you search my name. It's kind of funny thinking that maybe one day I'll get to research awesome things and publish papers and if people search my name, stuff like that will come up. I mean, who hasn't searched their own name out of curiosity and boredom? I never really came up before (maybe once or twice), but now I do. It's a very strange feeling. I loved the class. It was an experimental class and the work load was ridiculous at times, but I'm so glad I took it. It was great.
I took a phonology class too. It was harder than any other linguistics class I've taken so far, but it was really interesting. A lot of people had trouble with it. It didn't help that we never got grades back. The professor's wife passed away sometime in the semester (She was also a linguistics professor at the university), which was very unfortunate and it didn't really help that we also had about two weeks off along with that tragedy for the "snowpocalypse." On April Fools' Day, our professor brought in fresh doughnuts and hot coffee for everyone. I remember walking in, doing a double-take, and nervously taking my seat. Everyone else did the exact same thing. No one would touch it. We all thought it was some kind of practical joke, but apparently there's a tradition in his wife's church that a certain number of days after death, the mourning period ends and everyone should celebrate. It was a fun celebration :) I also got to research and write a paper on speech synthesis. At first I was really annoyed just because I had to write a paper (I actually do like writing, I was just burned out at that point and frustrated with everything.), but I realized that I'd chosen an amazing topic after I started doing my research. It was such cool stuff.
I took a weird linguistics class too. It was called Linguistics & Text. It was all about discourse and analyzing texts, uh, linguistically. Or something like that. I honestly wish I hadn't taken it because then I could've taken my linguistics seminar class instead. I did have a lot of fun though. I loved doing the theater exercises. They actually made me feel really comfortable just putting myself out there and they were great for stress relief during a really horrible week. Great timing, Parker, thanks :) Our final exam was theater exercises and a Middle Eastern meal. It was awesome. My group did a skit of a chapter on how censorship can actually increase discourse on the censored topic. I liked the chapter and thought it was really interesting. I actually found a real-world example of attempted censorship actually making me notice something that I'd NEVER NOTICED before in my life. Did you know that the Virginia seal has a boob on it? Hahahaha. Amazing. But we acted out a sex ed class. One guy was the teacher and he wrote "NO SEX EVER. PUT A RING ON IT." on the board. I got to play the "good Christian girl" who thought sex was a bad thing to hear about. It was hilarious. You could just hear the sarcasm dripping from my tongue. I think I made a good Christian girl though ;) Hahahahahahahaha. Really amazing.
I loved this semester.
I'm taking classes on computing theory, object-oriented programming, psycholinguistics, and general psychology next semester. I was thinking I'd take it easy and try to get all A's to boost my GPA. It's decent now but I'd like it to be higher for the purposes of applying to grad school.
By the way, my special major in Linguistics was rejected. I don't know what to do, really. I was actually relieved when I found out it was rejected. Hey, I could take stats, focus more on my computer science classes, and still take some awesome linguistics and psychology classes. I don't need a double major, really. I'm still doing what I love, regardless. I thought I couldn't resubmit my proposal because of the number of credits I have, but then Dr. Parker told me that I can. It'd be kinda nice to come out with two degrees (even though I'm going to request to have the golden hood thing--for a B.S. in Computer Science, versus the white for B.A. degrees--when I graduate), but having one major would allow me to do more with computer science. I'd like to do research and stuff, and that's going to take extra time that I probably don't have. I don't know what I want to do, but I guess I've got all summer to think about it some more.
I've still got to talk about visiting Paul for the past few days...and my fiiiiissssshhhhhhheeesssssss. My bad fishes. But I'm tired.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Phishers need spell check too.

First of all, I'd love to start blogging again. Maybe I will once the summer's here. I've only got a few exams left and I'm out of here for a bit :)
I was procrastinating a bit on my phonology paper, and I decided to work on deleting some old e-mails. I found a bunch of phishing e-mails in my spam folder, and I decided to ridicule the blatantly stupid messages for all to see. Because that's what phishers deserve.

Here's the first one (with my comments in parentheses):

Your account have been compromised (The first thing that came to mind when I read this? "All your base are belong to us." Nice...). To validate your account click HERE<(URL removed, but I promise was a fail. No knowledge of HTML, obviously.)>

Note that your email is not public (Okay?), so it is possible that a bad person was trying to login your mail box ("Bad person." Yeah, that made me laugh. And if my e-mail isn't public, how did they find it?). This would be a privacy violation if we let them do this (Sure, okay, makes sense...), but we didn't (Uh, thanks? Hahahahaha.).

To validate your account click HER<(Double linkage fail.)>E and login (But it would be a privacy violation if you steal my info and try to "login [my] mail box." Ugh, you bad person...)

Olasupo Kolawole (Seriously?)
Ass Director of IT Security and ISO (Ass Director. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, yes.)

And the second:
Immediate Attention To Staff/Student (Blah...) Please be advised that there will be scheduled maintenance on the Internet and Intranet Web servers as well as the EMail Servers on Saturday, January 16, 2010 (OMG MY BIRTHDAY. Maybe for as a surprise the university e-mail will work better now?) beginning at 9:00 p.m. until approximately 12:00 midnight. All web and mail services will be interrupted during this time period, For you not to have problem signing into your account (But if all services are interrupted, this won't help, right? Or do you mean after? ;) ), you are adviced to send us your email account details (Yeah, because I definitely won't have trouble signing on once you've got my info).
After upgrading a password reset link will be sent to your email for new password (I'll be getting a new password alright, but I won't be the one setting it.).Reset your password immediately you receive your password reset link (Awww, don't butcher your language. It has feelings too.).

Details Needed For Maintenance:

User Name (Okay...)
Password (No thanks.)
Do you use outlook express: Y/N (Haha, obviously... That's the awful e-mail client they've got us on for university mail.)
Have you ever given your password to any body: Y/N (No. I'm not an idiot.)

Failure to do this will leads (FAIL.) to immediate suspenction (Love that.) of your email account and later deactivated (I thought I was just gonna have problems signing into my account...?).

This is a scheduled maintenance period that will be occuring each
month, due to the amount of junk email our staff/student are
receiving (Like your phishing mail?). If you have any questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk
by clicking your reply button. (Yeah, why don't you guys EVER sound legit?)

In case you didn't get the message from this post (and previous phishing-ridicule posts), these guys are bad. They're just trying to take your account. I love to ridicule them on here, but really you should just delete the e-mails and move on.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pre-Semester Nerves

Spring 2010 is looming in the not-so-distant future. I'm really excited, but I'm kind of nervous about a couple of my classes.
Linear Algebra is going to be miserable. According to some student testimonials that I've read, the only professor teaching the class next semester is both brilliant and completely asinine. I read that the professor would try to embarrass students for asking questions and that a majority of the class has to retake it. I'm sorry, but I'm no longer willing to tolerate verbal abuse from my professors like I did in high school. I'm not letting my Computer Science major slip away from me again.
I'm in two linguistics classes. One of them, Linguistics and Text, is supposed to be a very easy class. I have Dr. Parker again, and Paul's sister, Anne, who is also a Linguistics major, is in the class with me. She says that it'll be really easy, so I'm not worried. Anne said, however, that my other linguistics class, Intro to Phonology, is probably going to be a bit difficult. I really can't afford not to take it this semester, even though I found phonology somewhat difficult even in Intro to Linguistics and know it probably will be hard on me.
I'm taking two computer science classes next semester as well. One of them is a 100-level class called Digital Storytelling. Paul is trying to get into the class with me, and it's supposed to include blogging and playing video games. I assume it's going to be ridiculously easy, and it counts for one of my gen ed credits. I really didn't want to take a writing class for that particular requirement just because I knew it would add a lot of unnecessary stress to the semester.
The other computer science class I'm taking is a Data Structures class, Computer Science 230. It's taught in C++, which I've wanted to learn for a while. I think it'll be fun, but I'm worried about it. I've heard people describe it as the "make-or-break" class. If you don't like it or you don't do's not a good sign. I guess that my only option is to go forth boldly and give it a good shot. Hey, that's all you can do sometimes.
I don't know why I always worry about my classes. It seems I repeat this same blog post before each semester, only with different classes. I consider myself on the same level with my peers, and whatever I don't have of skill I like to think I make up for with passion. Sometimes it's just that I think about coding something and it seems so overwhelming that I'll never be able to tackle it. I try to tell myself to stop being so silly and just think about it some more, but sometimes I can't help but feel like I'm lacking something.
I was thinking about GALL today. I never wrote about the one meeting where we went around one of the dorms practicing our ninja prowling. It was so much fun. We were all crawling about awkwardly, giggling and peeking around corners at each other. One girl knocked me flat out because I extended an arm in front of her leg, which she pulled forward and carried my support away with it. We all laughed about that too. We haven't done many things with GALL this year. Pretty much there are four members now: Mike, Mike's girlfriend, Chris, and me. I worry about the fate of GALL after Mike graduates. The responsibility of leading the club is probably going to fall on me, and I don't know whether the club will survive until my graduation based on its current membership and activity level. We also don't have any funding, so that makes it a lot harder to do impressive stuff without having to buy materials ourselves. It's very sad :(

Monday, December 28, 2009

Chatting with the Jabberwacky

In my quest to learn a bit more about artificial intelligence over break, I've discovered something really fun to play with. If you go to Jabberwacky, then you'll be able to chat with a rather "intelligent" bot. Give it a try, it's a lot of fun! Here's my favorite part of our first conversation:

Me: I'm studying computer science and cognitive science.

Computer: How funny, a half grapefruit studying computer science.

M: Am I a half grapefruit?

C: Half grapefruit?

M: You're the one who brought it up.

C: No you brought it up.

(after a bit of arguing)

M: Computers are dumb. They're only as smart as the person who programs them.

C: How stupid are the people that programmed you?

So, it's probably my best friend after that remark. Hey, I thought it was clever and cute :) And we did make up after our argument.