Monday, October 20, 2008

Tales of a Bad Student

Right now I am skipping CS lab.

Technically, lab is optional, but I try to go to lab if I haven't yet finished the assignment for the week by the time that lab rolls around. This means that if I finish the week's assignment over the weekend, I don't bother going to lab on Monday -- since there isn't really a point in that case. But otherwise I go. At least for part of the time.

But my lab is not done. My quicksort sorts, but it doesn't yet print out all the output of the intermediate steps.

Also I am a bad student because I wrote the entire quicksort before even bothering to try compiling it. We're being trained to write things piece by piece and test them as we go. The first time I compiled it, it didn't work, but I immediately saw what I did wrong (index off by one in the recursive call), and fixed it, and now it sorts. Now I will try to retrofit it to produce the desired output to prove to the gradescript that it actually quicksorts.

Next up: merge sort.

I feel like I'm making excuses when I say that I can make more progress (and do it more quickly) on my office computer. I'm not being distracted by the other students. My new monitor allows me to have almost 70 lines of code on the screen all at once. I didn't have to walk all the way across campus in my new red shoes. (Everyone likes my new shoes.)

Reminds me of when I was an undergraduate and during the cold, dark New Hampshire winters I would convince myself that I could learn more by reading the textbook for 65 minutes than by going to class.