September 07, 2007
First class on Wednesday, Circuit Analysis, I found out what type of graphing calculator the intructor wanted us to have. Since I have never used a graphing calculatore before, this should be interesting. However, this morning I am taking a class on how to use the calculator - pretty sad!
May 15, 2007
Grade Is In
Yesterday I checked on the grade I got for the class I took this spring (they only give grades on-line). I figured I had done fairly well; a B- or a B, maybe even a B+. My homework scores were always a 10 or 10+ (max), I finished all the labs, and I was present at every class and every lab (I think only 1 other person did the same). I had a couple of quizzes that I did really well at, but a couple that I got in the lower 80's. Same with the tests. I don't know what my score was for the final exam as he does not give those back, but I figured in the mid 80's.
The way the instructor figures final grades is complicated; homework counts for so much of the grade (10% maybe?), quizes another portion, completing each lab another, lab reports a comprise a portion, tests a portion, and exams the last portion. Points can be deducted for missing one or more classes and points can be added for getting a "+" on any of the above.
The total scores needed for grades were:
- 93% or better for an A
- 90-92.9% for an A-
- 87-89.9% for a B+
- 83-86.9% for a B
- 80-82.9% for a B-
However, this is the only instructor that I have had that grades on a curve - which throws everything off. I don't know how his curve is calculated , but he did say that if he did it the same for each class, our class would be the spoilers for just about every other EL115 class he has taught.
Anyway, when I checked my grade yesterday and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I got an "A" for the class. Cant' beat that with a stick!
March 02, 2007
My instructor for this class (and probably several of the future classes), has been busy the last couple of weeks assisting teams (or one team - I am unsure which) for the upcoming FIRST competition.
February 23, 2007
On January 21st, I received a bill from the college for an "orientation" class that had been held on the 18th. The bill was made out on the 17th, no one ever told me about an orientation class when I signed up for my first class, so obviously I didn't go.
After recieving the bill, I dd an investigation and found on their website that it was mandatory for new students to attend this 4 hour workshop (it also included how to schedule time for homework and such - things I had already learned when getting my Bachelor's degree). So, I finally paid it. The funny part of that was that payment was due by the 19th or there would be added charges ($50 I think and no grades would be available until it was paid) - go look again at when I recieved the bill. Fine, I fgured I owed it, so I sent them a check at the beginning of February (hey, if I was to be late, might as well make it a decent amount of time).
When I got home yesterday, within the pile of mail was an envelope from the college stating "refund information enclosed". Upon opening it, I found a letter and my uncashed check. The letter said in part,
"The semester you owed [the money] for was supposed to have been paid by a third party. Both your account and the company's account is at a zero balance."
I have no idea who the third party is that paid the bill. I am dumfounded that I have a secret benefactor.
Actually I am thinking more along the lines of I probably paid it thru my taxes - the ultimate irony!
January 31, 2007
Glimmers of Hope
After working on lab 2 in class last night, there may be hope for this numbskull after all. After laying wire for 5 simple circuits, the penlight of understanding is gleaming in the distance. I will have to re-build the 5 circuits at least a couple of times this weekend, but by then the penlight should become a flashlight (hopefully to a fullblown halogen 500000000 watt stadium light by the time this is over.
Two areas of good news; the homework I turned in last week was all correct (and I believe this week's homework is correct as well - the advantage of two early arrivers comparing answers), and the truth tables with predictions for the circuits I built last night were spot-on.
Mr. Knows Everything has chosen to remain at the same table with me during labs, so I am learning (foot by dragging foot - my fault, not his) from him. He is delighted to have someone dependant upon his knowledge and I am delighted to have someone with the knowledge to share.
Now I just have to write up the gazillion page report on the lab, draw the schematics for the 5 circuits and include the truth tables with predictions and actual results.
Lab three is being skipped (although I will probably try to muddle my way thru it for practice) and the next lab will use resistors and a 7 segment display.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Weekend Pudit for his offer of help. If I had walked out of lab as clueless as I had walked in (or anywhere close), I definitely would have taken him up on that. It is great to know that there is someone willing to explain things from a different perspective. There are still plenty of labs to go, so I could still need to yell for help, but so far Mr. Knows Everything has come thru as I had hoped (and by the way, MKIA is a nice enough guy so don't thinking that I have to put up with a jerk).
There might be hope for me after all.
January 28, 2007
Homework for Week 2
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (well, telling the dogs to go lay down - several times, and convincing the cats that they didn't need to be on my books or papers), I completed my homework.
I went thru the practice problems and self-tests before going back to the homework. Today, I just need to write it down neatly. I broke it up on purpose; that way I make sure I can get the same answer two days in a row. I am starting to grasp the fact that A + AB = A and a few other things that aren't quite the same as normal algebra. I am still slow to recognize when I can use the new rules, (geeze, how long did I stare at part of a problem that said C + CD before I realized that it equaled C - just because the letters were different?), but I am getting there.
As you can tell, I am not naturally brilliant - I have to beat my head against a wall for a while before things start to sink in. When I was taking classes for my Bachelor's degree, I would spend 6-8 hours a week on homework (for 1 class) while some of my classmates spent a lot less time on it (and did just as well).
Ah well, it keeps me off the streets at night anyway.
January 27, 2007
Class 2 is over and I know no more than I did before class 1. During lab we made a counter that will be useful for the rest of the labs; I made one but with so much help I might as well have bought it. I never did understand any part of the schematic.
Now that we are into week 2 homework, I find that I am somewhat stymied by boolean algebra. Not all of it of course, but just enough of it that I have to do all practice problems and any problems I can find where I can look up the answers (this book does have a lot of those anyway). I spent a good chunk of yesterday on homework and will spend most of the weekend on it (not to mention the lunches at work I have used up). The first practice problem I did yesterday, I got right; the second one wrong (okay, technically it wasn't srong, I just never "finished" the problem). So it looks like I will have to go over each problem several times.
Oh, and I still have to do Lab 2 - which I still don't understand. I hope there is an "aha" moment at some time in the near future or else I have just spent a whole lot of money to flunk a class.
Maybe I should have picked something like knitting - although I think I would have a tough time figuring out how that would further my career!
January 11, 2007
What Is She Thinking?
As if I didn't post very often in the first place, I now have an excuse not to write more often; I am going back to school. Yup, you read that right, a Bachelor's Degree isn't enough to get me any further than I am at. No on will consider me for a more elevated Quality position, nor can I get into any of the other positions that the company I now work for, or any other company offers.
Yesterday I picked up the text book for my first class - a prerequisite, Digital Electronics. For now, I am just going for an Electronic Technology Certificate - which will take me as long to get as a 2 year degree (actually longer). When I got my Bachelor's in Business Management, I was able to take concentrated 8 week courses so there were 6 semesters in a year. If I had to miss a semester, it was no big deal, I still got in 5 classes for the year.
However, it seems that I can only find regular 16 week courses - 3 semesters per year. I already know that I won't be attending the summer semester (2 weeks are planned for being out of town), so that means I'll get in 2 classes this year. I only have to take 5 classes (plus Digital Electronics), but I can only take 1 at a time due to prerequisite requirements. so that it will take me over two years to get this certificate. There is also the possibility that I will have to take another math class or two but we'll see.
So, next Tuesday when I leave work, I will be going to the Technical Institute for class from 5:30 until 8, then I have lab from 8 until 9:40 (don't ask me why such a weird ending time). Bedtime for that day will be very late compared to usual. I have enough time between work and class that I can buzz back towards home if I have pet-sitting. Otherwise, I will just work until it is time to go leave for class.
So, you think this blog is boring now - just wait my pretties, you ain't seen nothing yet!