05 December 2008

Dragging Myself Across the Finish Line by my Lips

I'm going to kvetch for a moment. I promise I'll write something better in the coming days. A preview? Zoe likes to eat broccoli - well, broccoli stems. Still in the ground. But presently:
I thought my first semester of Grad school was a real kick in the jimmies, getting my big-boy legs when it came to grad vs. undergrad.
I thought the Summer Semester of 10 weeks where I crammed in 2 grad classes AND designing/developing a new website was a killer, what with the Summer heat and F being an ocean away.
I now know that this semester was the biggest academic kick in the teeth I've had since 10 grade Chemistry. I'd say my Fall semester of my sophomore undergrad year, but no one who reads this likely remembers when I tried to take calculus-based physics, chemistry, and a bunch of other academic courses in the same semester.
Point is, Requirements and Verification & Validation cover a lot of the same concepts from different angles. You'd think that would make it easy. Oy God, let me tell you, I'm not going to be walking right for awhile after finishing this semester.
I just, minutes ago, uploaded my last final, by the way.
Between having 3 projects in one class where I was group leader of a group that preferred to wait until THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND (not all of them, I guess) before turning in work, and then turning work that was done wrong, and then who couldn't be contacted for revisions, and another class where I swore I understood the material but my mid term and likely now my final will make me look like a drooling moron.
It's stuff like this what keeps me humble.
Did I mention that while I was in the middle of all this academic splendor work went from nothing to HOLY SHIT NEW PROJECT EVERY WEEK? Not that I'm complaining about the work! I'm a. glad to still have my job and b. like web programming, so it's a good thing, but it adds a pile of stress when I'm exhausted at the end of the day and the last thing I want to do is read a bunch of really dry and blurry PDF scans of IEEE standards regarding V&V. And I'm the guy who'll read the back of a shampoo bottle sitting on the can, and really think about what all those ingredients must be. It's not just something to do for me, I'm genuinely curious.
This wonderful moment of catharthis I've decided to share with the globe was meant to be one of joy and elation, where I was winded from all the jumping about I'd done for victory over my semester. Instead, I'll likely go to bed tonight with nightmares about failing the class.
It's more than just the money, it's the personal academic pride. It's largely the money, though. Shit grades get me shit money in reimbursements from my employer. Good news for them in these tough economic times, bad news for my bank account.
In the end, my friends, it's done. There are no more exams to finish or papers to write, no more groups to shepherd to completion, no more weekly conference posts to make.
Until January 2009, when I face the next semester. How hard can Software Maintenance be? I mean, I do it every day, right?
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