Monday, February 23, 2009

Development Log

Last week. Do work for paying jobs. Get schedule out of whack by travelling to northern Virginia. Grumble about being busy. Don't get started on writing program until nine days before it is due.

Saturday. Head into office around 11am. Read program assignment. Fortunately this assignment, like all assignments, was written by the professor from the class I had in the fall (not the professor of the class I have now). Additionally, all lecture notes were also written by the professor whose class I had in the fall (not the professor of the class I have now)*. Wrote code to parse the command line options and started to work on the code to process the input. Have minimal recollection of material being covered in class. Probably because class goes pretty fast. Start writing code following the directions in the assignment, following the model code from the lecture notes. Spend time reading through lecture notes instead of coding. Try reading the textbook to see if it can shed any light on the matter.

Sunday. Head into office around noon. Continue reading lecture notes. Continue to make code conform to the masterful examples in the lecture notes. Mysterious seg faults appear. Put printf statements every few lines to find where it happens. Know that it happens when I'm about to traverse my doubly-linked list but can't figure out why. Unfulfilled by unsuccessfully and uncomprehendingly adapting code, head to the mall and go to Sephora and buy a loose powder brush made of goat fur. Buy nothing at Banana Republic because everything either has too much embelishment and/or doesn't fit. Buy the new iWork.

Monday morning. Go to lab at 8am to consult with TA. One other student is there shamelessly asking other people to fix his computer. Ask TA a few questions. Very, very, very reluctant to ask TA to proofread my code to figure out where the seg fault is; do not mention seg fault. Consult with TA about what data structures I should use when adapting masterful code from the lecture notes. Fuss at it a bit. Go teach class.

Monday afternoon. Deal with the last of the aftermath of the calculus exam (except for the cheating incident). Class average turned out to be a high B, which was OK, but disappointing considering how easy the test was. Consider giving the calculus students a talk about Britney Spears and how her life stopped going to hell and her career started to pick up when her dad stepped in and made her stop making stupid decisions and stop hanging out with people who told her what she wanted to hear instead of what she needed to hear. Decided against it, as they wouldn't get it. Continue make my code look more and more like the code on the web. Seg fault is persistent. Code is nearly identical to code from web. Still doesn't work. Download and compile code from web. It works (of course), as it is the work of a master. Write blog entry.

*Class with 30 students and with two TAs to do the grading. Uses lecture notes written by someone else a long time ago. (Lecture notes are so old as to compare performance between SPARCStation and DEC Alpha). Uses assignments written by someone else. Due dates on assignments are leftover from the last time he taught the class. Class consists of projecting the lecture notes on the screen and talking about them. Professor shows that he cares about teaching by having students do a learning styles inventory on the first day of class. I am a more "reflective" learner than "active" learner and a more "intuitive" learner than a "sensing" learner and fairly equally balanced between "visual" and "verbal" and between "sequential" and "global." This information allows me to be empowered and to take control of my learning and to develop strategies to compensate for my shortcomings when the class is not taught in a way that I learn from easily.