Saturday, August 28, 2010

End of Week One

"The Fence" on Tuesday
So I sit here in closer-to-perfect hindsight, and this week did not turn out as bad as I thought it was going to on Monday. I am all registered for what I think are courses that fill the requirements for my program, I am fairly moved in to my room, I am just putting up the super sweet custom picture presenting apparatus that Kirsten gave to me (pictures will follow when it gets all up...). Not that I was very worried, but Larry is turning out to be an awesome roommate. I have the bus system of this town figured out, I should not say that, I have the bus system to school figured out. Things are looking fairly good for a first week. Oh! And I am in the middle of laundry, and despite the plethora of options, I think I got that figured out too.
"The Fence" on Thursday
Highlights from Friday: The TA for my Computational Photography course held a recitation for those of us who were not that used to using MatLab. Previously I had only used it once or twice at GU, so I gladly went to the tutorial. When the TA sent out the info for where the class was going to be I thought she was joking about the name of the room... I was wrong:

Yes, we met in "The Luis von Ahn Awesome Classroom." I was expecting some thing, you know, awesome; but it was just a normal classroom (which at CMU range from sweet to depressing, depending on the age of the building you are in). James and Jamie, I don't know what you two were complaining about, MatLab is cake :-). At noon, I had my first Ethnography class, I found out that the class was joint with PITT, I also found out PITT does not start until next week. Then I found out that class was more, or less canceled. But not before I was called out for wearing my Stanford shirt.

Friday red day and Supporting James!
Later that afternoon there was a graduate peer mentoring meeting that I was interested in, so I tried to find a quiet lab to work on my newly honed MatLab skills. I walked in to a computer science "cluster," as they are called, in hopes that it was different than the ECE suite. It was a very nice area, every single vertical space was whiteboard, all of it covered in writing, some of it serious, some of it amusing. Alas, it was really noisy there too. This is just a guess, and a pre-judging, which we all know will end up being false, but I get the feeling that the majority of people at CMU are sort of full of themselves, and because of this, they think that everyone cares about what they have to say. When you get two or more of them together (which happens all of the time) they have to overpower each other. There were 4 or 5 guys in the lab that were just short of yelling for no apparent reason....

Oh well. I made some good progress on an assignment for Computational Photography, when I get a little more done, ill post some of the results. Unlike more computer science projects, someone who does not know anything about programming can appreciate the results.

I eventually made it to the Peer Mentoring meeting, for some reason expecting there to be a slight American presence. I was wrong. I can in and sat down and one of the older grad students came, singled me out, more or less for being white, and made sure I was ok. It was a little amusing. But don't worry by the end a guy named Tim, who I had met at orientation showed up. It was an interesting meeting, I didn't really get much out of it, but it was interesting none-the-less. I came home on a very crowded bus and had a very relaxing evening to myself.

Today has primarily been spent working on this Photography project, it has been going very well, and I am super happy with how I am doing, it just takes a lot of time.

You all should expect a post this weekend finaly detailing what my dear Aunt has been asking for, the house! and my room! So get ready for some pictures!
Hammerschlag Hall with the Cathedral of Learning in the background


  1. It hurts my head to think about the learning you are consuming. I find myself doing the "no idea what that is so smile and nod" thing when I'm reading just the description of what your classes involve. Knowing you and your family I will assume you are using your powers for good and not evil. Onward and sideways young man!

  2. Stan - the rest of the world would shake their heads thinking of our jobs too!!! (This being said after being at Shiloh from 7:45 to 4:45 on a Saturday when school hasn't even started yet!!!) ;-)
    Scott - the 3 Ps of Pittsburgh worked. It sounds like things are settling in and you are doing well. I am very happy for you. Gramps just got his "care package" today and admitted he was jealous you had gotten snickerdoodles!!!
    The big questions: Are you wearing pants (not shorts) to church tomorrow??? Do you need new Friday Red Day shirts? Is there a satellite branch of the James Bronder group started yet?

  3. ...and speaking of James Bronder, when will there be t-shirts available to the rest of us?

    I am interested to see the Fence changing appearance so often. Others might be interested in getting a closer look at the posts and the "depth" of the paint layers.

    Glad to hear that life is approaching normal.


  4. Matlab may be cake for you computer engineers, but not for us civils! It's nothing we've ever worked with before. I'm so glad you are doing splendidly and liking your classes so far.