|Current Happenings 2002|
|Home Page > Current Happenings > Dec 13, 2002|
Semester in Review
This has been a long semester. The hardest part ended yesterday night, when I took my last final exam. I still have a little bit of grading work to do for my job as TA for a USC class, and for that one-unit class I taught at Biola this semester.
Taking classes. (See the list of my Fall 2002 Classes) So, how did my semester go? Well, this is actually a bad time to ask. It's after I took my finals and turned in my final projects and homework, but before I know my grades. I guess some people have a feeling of accomplishment for a semester well-done at the end. But for me, it's more like: Ugh, I'm glad that's over, I should have done better in my classes. So perhaps I'll be in a better mood when I get my grades and see that I didn't fail all my classes after all.
I did learn a lot this semester, and I'm glad for that. I had some interesting homework for my Cryptography class. I'm proud of the Java Servlets project I did that implements a shopping cart using MySQL. I also wrote two pretty good Perl programs for my Database class.
Being TA at USC. I was also a TA (Teacher's Assistant) for the first time at USC this semester. I like it. It was tedious at times, but I enjoyed getting to know some of the undergraduate students, and it was nice to be able to teach a few hours a week (I taught the lab classes).
Teaching at Biola. I taught a 1-unit section of Marketing Technologies class for the business department at Biola again. That went well. I enjoy teaching that class. It's fairly easy to do, since I've done it so many times before, and it's content that I enjoyed teaching.
Travel. I haven't traveled anywhere this summer except to the San Diego and Escondido area a couple times. Once for Scott Ward's wedding, the other times to see Ted Haenggi.
Christmas Plans. My whole immediate family is getting together for the first time in four years this year. Joel and I plan to go be with my parents in Tucson, then we'll go back to L.A. to meet everyone else, and then all come back to Tucson again together.
Projects I Want to Do. Speaking of Christmas, it's about time for me to post my annual wish list. Not because I really want someone to buy me those things, but just as a permanent record of what types of things I want. This type of thing won't be that interesting until about 5 or 10 years from now, when I look back at what I wanted back in 2002. Actually, there is a list of things in the back of my mind that I want to do with my web site:
- Christmas List, as I just mentioned
- I'm also thinking of changing the way I do this Current Happenings page. I have been thinking recently of the idea of a "threshold of usability", how things have to be really easy for people to use before people will bother to use it. Well, this web page is somewhat easy for me to update, but not quite easy enough that I update it every week. I think I should make some kind of blog system (What's a "blog"? See blogger.com)
I recently updated my system for keeping my journal to make it easy for me to add little "scribbles" of updates from any web browser of non-important factoids that I want to write down. I need to do the same type of thing for this page.
By the way: I do know about web usability, and how this specific page -- just a big block of boring text -- violates a lot of those rules. That's part of the reason I want a new system. Besides, half the fun of having a web page for me making the "system" of my web page, rather than the actual content.
- Then of course there's the scads of digital images that I'm way behind on. At this point, I'll never post all that I have. But it would be nice to spend some time picking out a few pictures and adding a few page.
- I also have to do something about the amazing number of hits I've been getting. I recently topped the bandwidth limit of my hosting company and had to pay a little extra. I don't think it was something extraordinary for this past month, it's just been slowly growing. I have a lot of people finding me through search engines, and I really need a better way to look through my web logs to see where they're coming from, and what they're finding on my site.
So, now that my semester is coming to a close, hopefully I'll have some more time to do some of these projects. For now, I'll close by mentioning one more thing that's new this semester. I've figured out that almost everyone I know now uses HTML-based email systems, so I've been trying to add a little color and my real signature to email messages I send (it makes my emails more usable (but not the backups thereof, oh well)). The Biola on-campus email system is an exception to this -- it's not HTML enabled, but you can still do text formatting and pictures. So, in my recent emails, I have been signing them kind of like I'll do now.
Created and maintained by Matthew Weathers. Last updated Apr 20, 2006.