October 23, 2003

Class Reunion!

I got an email the other day from the Faculty of Mathematics Alumni Officer, requesting my presence at "the first ever Math class of 2003 reunion". I guess this would be the first reunion of a class that graduated four months ago.

...meet with old friends and find out what they are doing. Bring photos and memorabilia from your days at UW.

I can imagine that most of these catching-up conversations would be former students asking each other for job leads. And what kind of memorabilia? Study notes?

They are also offering a $10 lunch at the Math building Right Angle Café and guided campus tours.

Nice try Waterloo, but it will take more than that for me to shell out money to you. Here's a suggestion: wait at least a year before hosting donation campaigns class reunions.

23:05 | School

June 8, 2003

Convocate This

I had a dream last night that Waterloo took away my degree because they discovered I was half a credit short. I then had to quit my job and move back home to complete a math course.

Was this dream due to feelings of regret for missing my upcoming (June 11-14) convocation ceremony, or for not caring that I'll be missing it? A part of me wants to be there, donning cap and gown, shaking the hands of UW administration, smiling in that artificial way I do so well. But the rest of me realizes I would be sitting in a gymnasium among hundreds of strange students (since I graduated late) waiting hours for my name (which is conveniently located in the middle of the alphabet) to be called so I can go up and collect a piece of paper (which they will be mailing to me anyway).

I can't help thinking that the people I've met out here had such different experiences of university life than I. My roommate was in a fraternity and wears his MIT graduation ring. A few people here went back to Princeton this weekend for some sort of reunion. Me? I found out in a dream that my convocation is this week.

I wonder if by not attending, I've doomed myself to every June waking up in a cold sweat from nightmares of having to retake math courses.

00:00 | School

March 4, 2003

Glad To Be A Grad

As if the double-cohort wasn't reason enough to be glad to be done school, students are now suing the University of Waterloo.

Check out the website of our Man-on-the-Scene Matt Goyer for complete lawsuit and rodent infestation coverage.

00:00 | School

January 28, 2003


Matt Goyer: "Of course I don't have a million dollars and when I do I'll probably be so bitter about my undergrad education that instead I'll donate the money to [insert name of a UW competitor here]."

Trust me Matt, unless you have $997,000 in the bank already, it won't take you that long.

00:00 | School

January 16, 2003

Hotel California

I'm back in Waterloo, visiting Ang. She's all healed up now and weaned off the codeine and Ibuprofen (she still hasn't kicked that nasty Tylenol habit though). Ryan's family was nice enough to drop me off on their way to Niagara Falls to visit family, after entertaining me, an unannounced guest, for nearly a week. Yes, I have that much charm.

I had to meet Ang at the UW campus, and hung around there for a few hours until her classes were done. I holed myself up in the library and read. It's funny that even though I've graduated, I still hang around campus. It's like that line from the Eagles' Hotel California:

You can [graduate] any time you like
But you can never leave!

I'm afraid if I don't get a job soon, I won't want to leave. Maybe I'll make a fort out of the couch cushions from the Math building's comfy lounge and live there until I die from some horrible disease I caught there.

On second thought...

00:00 | School

January 9, 2003


I went back to campus today for a seminar for job-hungry graduating students. It didn't tell me much more than I already knew. You know you're sitting in on a boring lecture when the speaker opens the talk with a Cathy comic. Of course no one laughed.

I left after 45 minutes.

00:00 | School

January 6, 2003

First Day Of Classes...

But not for me, although I do have to make a trip to campus to return a book to Career Services. The book is a guide to job hunting for CS grads, but has very little CS-specific material. It's just a general job-hunting guide with a few computer-related buzzwords thrown in.

Signing out this book reminded me that in my 5 years at university, I've never signed a book out of the library. Not a single one. Math and CS courses require little research (usually the course textbook more than suffices), and my electives have been, well, electives. I didn't want to take an arts course whose workload would overshadow my required courses. The jaws of arts students hit the floor when I tell them this fact. How could you go through university without taking out books? I'd be dead without books!. Like I said, in most courses we don't even cover the whole textbook, and unlike some people, I don't have time to read books on relational database management or self-repairing neural networks for fun, especially when I have assignments due. Hell, I'm still not finished Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller that I started reading in August, because of assignments.

Now that I have no assignments due, I should go use my $40 Chapters gift certificate this week. That should buy me half a computer reference book.

00:00 | School

December 10, 2002

Last Exam

Tonight is my last exam, after which I will be reduced to a drunken mess. It's interesting how not stressed out I am this term, compared to my last few terms. It could be because during both my last two terms I was taking 3 CS courses, and this term I'm taking 1.

I remember waking up in a panic two terms ago, after having two consecutive nightmares about failing an exam. The exam was CS 341: Algorithms Algorithms Everywhere and I was terrified. I dreamt that I slept through the exam and had to beg the prof to let me write it. She agreed, and I proceeded to get 30% on it (because in dreamland they mark your exam in front of you as soon as you write it).

But this time is different. Last night I dreamt I was writing my Japanese exam, and I wasn't failing it. The funny thing is, I already wrote that exam, and I think I did fine on it.

Stupid brain. Now to try to concentrate on that one last exam.

00:00 | School

December 7, 2002

Halfway Done

Just finished my Japanese exam. No problems. It was a 3 hour exam, and I left after an hour and half, and wasn't the first person to leave. He left after only 45 minutes. I always wondered about the people who leave exams at the earliest possible time. Do they know the material so well that they've already answered everything, with no need to double check, or are they so clueless with regard to the material that aside from their name and the date, they didn't get much else correct? I think the latter.

00:00 | School

December 4, 2002

Last Assignment

I just received my mark for my last CS assignment ever: 95%. I am the man.

Now for a fun-filled day of studying. Wait a minute, that's not fun... That's not fun at all!

I did end up going to Larry Smith's lecture last night. I almost wish I had another term at UW so I could take ECON 102 with him. I would also take the final Japanese course (and deal with sensei one last time), and the sequel to the creative writing course I took this term. Oh, and I guess I should fit some CS in there too. It is my major, after all.

00:00 | School

December 3, 2002


Lectures are now over, and I have one of my last four exams under my belt. I'm still going to my economics class tonight, only because Larry Smith is the greatest lecturer the earth has ever known. No other class would I even consider trekking 20 minutes in the -10°C weather during exams to go to a lecture of non-exam material...

Um... maybe I'll stay in after all.

00:00 | School

November 29, 2002


Wow, I got an email from my Japanese teacher apologizing for forgetting about me this week. I think this is the first time in my university career that a faculty member has ever apologized to me, and believe me, some were much worse than sensei.

00:00 | School

November 27, 2002


I am so thankful that tomorrow is my last Japanese class. Don't get me wrong, I loved the opportunity to keep up with the poor Japanese skills I had, and was even able to make them slightly better, but I cannot take much more of the teacher.

A week before my interview, I went up to her to tell her that I would be missing the next class, and if I could write the test on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Here's roughly how the conversation went:

Me: (In Japanese) "Excuse me sensei, but I will not be able to make it to next week's class."
Sensei: (In Japanese) "Ah ah! Use the form we learned in class today!"
Me: (struggling because the form had nothing to do with what I was asking) "Um, class... uh, me?"
Sensei: "Say 'May I leave class early today?'"
Me: (confused)"May I leave class early today?"
Sensei: "Yes."
Me: "But what about the test?"
Sensei: "What test?"

Exasperated, I just asked her in English. She told me to meet her at 4:00 on Wednesday to write the test.

Wednesday 4:00 rolled around, and she wasn't in her office. I went to the classroom, and there she was giving a lecture. I waited for 15 minutes, but she showed no signs of ending the class. I knocked on the door and reminded her of my test. She informed me, rather coldly, that her schedule had changed and that she was in the middle of teaching a class. Without so much as an apology, she told me to come back at 5:00.

5:00 I met her in her office, wrote the test, then had her explain what was required of me for the final project. She said she didn't have any handouts with her, but that she would leave some in the office by Monday. If the handouts weren't there on Monday, I should email her and she'll have them for me before class on Thursday.

Well guess what. No handouts, and no reply to my email. So, I'll be handing something in tomorrow, but God only knows if it's what she wants. Somehow I feel I'll be losing marks over this...

00:00 | School

November 26, 2002

Last Week Of Classes

One week from now I will have finished my last university class ever.

Two weeks from now, I write my last exam ever.

Last night I got my website review assignment back: 7/20. Somehow pages 7-15 didn't get printed. I still don't know how that happened. It's all good though; the course marker allowed me to resubmit with no penalty. It's the kind of course that is really easy to get 70% in, but hard to get over 80%.

I also got some feedback from my English class about the last fiction piece I handed in. The group thought it was "awesome". I'm amazed, considering I did most of it the night before I handed it in, and honestly didn't put my all into it. If I'm so inclined, (and there's sufficient interest) I may post the fruits of this course to the site. But I have a Microsoft rant to write first...

00:00 | School

November 20, 2002


By the way, only 20 days left until I'm done university forever. Not that I'm counting or anything.

00:00 | School

November 18, 2002

You Know A Class Is Boring When...

...visiting professors fall asleep in it. Today my first-year CS prof attended my Distributed Systems class, just to listen, I guess. He didn't last 15 minutes.

...the prof announces that the slide projector wasn't available so he'll have to draw the pictures on the board. Then, in an effort to fill up the 3-hour period, he tells us to get into groups, where we have to work on a project that is worth 0% of our final mark.

00:00 | School

November 13, 2002

Chris Lyon, Web Critic

I'm working on a 1000-word report on the usability of the City of Toronto's website. It violates almost half of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, commits dozens of Nielson's No-nos, and their total lack of CSS would make Jeffrey Zeldman cry out in anguish.

I only have 1000 words, but I could easily write a short novel about the site, tearing it up like a Kleenex at a snot party.

00:00 | School

November 7, 2002

Purintaa Ga Dekinai

Purintaa Ga Dekinai

I stayed up til 2am last night typing up this Japanese composition. Luckily Windows XP and Word XP are very friendly to Asian languages, so typing it was no big deal. It even let me use furigana for all the "big" words. I emailed it off to my friend Aika in Japan (arigatou Aika-chan!) for proof reading, made my corrections this morning and was set to print it off.

Except Ryan's printer doesn't work (no, I don't have my own printer. My big computer purchase this year was my new monitor). It's now too late to write it up by hand, so hopefully my Japanese professor has joined us in the 21st century and has email.

00:00 | School

November 4, 2002

The End Of The Beginning

Today is the last midterm I will ever have to write. Let's not forget that in less than 48 hours after that, my last programming assignment ever is due, and less than 24 hours after that, my last Japanese composition. The midterm: STV. The program: a distributed client/server system. The composition: a rough Japanese translation of The Old Man of the Train.

After that, a long-overdue weekend off when I'll be writing my next rant, coming up with a website face-lift, as well as a adding new addition to the website (my programming side-project). Oh, and I'll be preparing for my upcoming interview at Microsoft.

00:00 | School

October 25, 2002

The Great American Novel

In other news, I have to hand in a 1250 word flash fiction story next Friday for my Creative Writing class. I think I'll write about a futuristic amusement park where dinosaurs are brought to life through advanced cloning techniques. I'll call it "Billy and the Cloneasaurus."

00:00 | School


Well, it finally happened. Two weeks after notifying Imprint of the factual errors in my story, they printed a correction in this week's issue. "We apologize to our readers and the writers involved." After being told by my editor that story writers have the ability to ignore proofreaders' corrections, I'm surprised we haven't seen more of these apologies.

00:00 | School

October 21, 2002

Sleeping Beauty

I got 80% on my partnerless assignment. I honestly think I would have had a lower mark had I kept her on as a partner. Her original idea was to write it on a device that wakes up narcoleptics. I fail to see how that reduces social isolation (the point of the assignment), but she probably some insight into the matter, being a narcoleptic herself. I guess she could use such a device, considering I saw her fall asleep twice in class today.

00:00 | School

October 18, 2002

Why? Why Was I Programmed To Feel Pain?

I know I promised not to rant today. But then I remembered what this website was called, and decided, what the hell?

First off, update on the whole partner-from-hell situation: she emailed the course staff proclaiming she never received a single one of my 7 emails about how I hadn't received her part. But there's one glaring inconsistency: If she never received the emails asking for the document, then she wouldn't know that I hadn't received it. Given that, why send it to me on Monday night with the "late" subject?

She told the course staff that she would contact me to resolve the situation. I'm calling her bluff. I'll just sit pretty and wait for her to contact me (in the meanwhile, finish the damn assignment myself).

00:00 | School

October 16, 2002

Apology Not Included

My partner did manage to email me her half of the assignment, 7.5 hours late. No reasons or apologies, only a blank email with an attachment and subject line. What was the subject you ask?

"guess we sent it late. sigh"

Note the lack of remorse from screwing up an assignment worth 20% of my final mark. Now marks may not matter to her, but I'm not about to fail a course in my last term at university due to a MIA partner. What's with the "sigh"? It's like she's saying Well, we tried our best, but just couldn't get this assignment done in time.

I like to think that I work well in groups. I understand the importance of how to divide up work, how to prioritize ideas, and most importantly, communication. Unfortunately, when a group member takes off and ignores the only means of communication given to the rest of the group, there's not much I can do. I tried looking her up in the phone book (after emailing her my phone number several times). She wasn't listed. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and waited until 4 hours before it was due. Nothing. There was only one way out left for me: Snitch.

Believe me, I get no pleasure from ratting out my classmates. I probably would have said nothing to the course staff even if she had handed in a mere fraction of the 1500 words required. But abandoning me like that, and subjecting me to late penalties without excuse or apology is unfair and unacceptable.

Resolution: I have officially divorced her as my partner and am going at the assignment alone. I have been given an extended due date and I sent an email to my ex-partner explaining the situation and wishing her luck.

I'm sorry for ranting. I'm sure I'll have something joyful to write about tomorrow.

00:00 | School

October 15, 2002

Seething, Blinding Rage

Today at 2:00 pm, my STV assignment is due. Basically it's analyzing how technology can help reduce social isolation among the homeless. We were strongly encouraged to work in pairs. I never liked working in pairs on assignments with people I don't know. You can't assume they care as much about getting a good mark as you do. Worse yet, they don't immediately know I'm always right, and try to argue, only to be proven wrong by my superior sense of logic.

Ok, that last bit doesn't happen all that often, but you get my point.

So I decided to team up with this computer engineering student, who will remain nameless, lest she reads this blog (fat chance) and attacks me with some sort of soldering equipment. Anyway, we had discussed it in class, and divvied up the work. We traded email addresses and went on our separate ways. Last Tuesday she sent me her point form notes. I commented, and gave her my phone number. On Saturday I got an email from her stating that she had lost my previous email and wanted me to reiterate what I had said. Fine. The next email I got from her was yesterday. Here's an excerpt:

"Hi. Did you receive my part? I emailed it on saturday night. I think it had about 1400 words. With 3 illustrations."

But I wouldn't know, since I never received it! So I emailed her back. Three times. No reply. This morning I got desperate. I looked her up in the phone book and called. No answer. Not even an answering machine. That's when my right eye started twitching.

So I called the course marker. When I told her who I was, and explained the situation, she replied with "How did you get this number?" I told her I looked her up on the university website. Apparently I was calling her at her other job. I apologized profusely (even though I had little choice but to call her). She told me that I should have had better contact with my partner. However, I was not in the mood to be lectured on the dynamics of group work. She then told me that she will not penalize a late assignment and sent me on my way. I only hope she wasn't just trying to get rid of me.

There are three things I hate about my university life: group partners with no work ethic, teaching assistants who are too busy to deal with students, and paying $150 for a textbook that the used bookstore won't buy because it's no longer used in any course. But that's another rant.

00:00 | School

October 8, 2002

Picture Page

Got my picture taken along with the group of all 2003 Math Grads. Although I'm graduating this December, I'm considered class of 2003. Whatever. That just means the yearbook I paid for will only have two recognizable faces in it: mine and my roommate Ryan's.

00:00 | School

So Very Tired

Got 4 hours sleep last night. Spent all day in the Imprint office waiting for interviewees who didn't show up. Phoned them, rescheduled, they showed up late for their rescheduling. Got the article finished, then got an email from the Survivor organizer who is worried about the comments some of the contestants made to me, and how the article will paint it all.


00:00 | School

October 7, 2002

Vindictive Quote

Yesterday I swung by UW's residence to see the final act in a play we like to call Survivor UW. I arrived just in time to see one of the contestants storm off angrily after denouncing the other contestants as vindictive. Mental note: get juicy quote from that guy. My article will hopefully be done by Wed and in print on Friday.

00:00 | School

October 5, 2002

So Very Angry

Welcome to the high highs and the low lows of Chris' mood swings. Upon a closer reading of my Imprint article I noticed the edited version contained spelling and grammatial errors that the submitted copy didn't. What does this mean? It means a rant about why Imprint angries up the blood.

Update: my editor emailed me and told me he was not responsible for the changes to my article. Someone else changed it without his knowledge. Sorry about that Tim. We'll work together on making next week's issue even better.

00:00 | School

October 4, 2002

Page 7

For those of you on campus, pick up a copy of Imprint and turn to page 7. That's right baby, the whole page 7. The second-last page of the news section. Pure Lyon.

For those of you off campus, I'll post a link when the paper updates its webpage. Keep you in suspense indefinitely.

00:00 | School

October 3, 2002

Beginning Of The End

Today was my first midterm of my last term at university. I'm looking at the final programming assignment the University of Waterloo will be extracting from me: it's 11 pages long. Swell. But it's almost all over. Less than 3 months from now, you'll be able to refer to me as "Chris Lyon, BMath". Either that or "Hey pool-guy, you forgot to clean up some leaves over here!"

00:00 | School

September 30, 2002

Photo Time

Last week I signed up to have my grad photo taken. There was a sign-up sheet posted on the wall of the MC building, and I signed up for today. The thing is, I think I signed up for 2:55pm today - right in the middle of my Distributed Systems class. Why would I do such a thing, especially considering I had so much free time during the day? So on Friday I went back to the sign-up page to make sure. It was gone. So I went to the Grad Committee office to find out if I actually made such a brain-dead decision. The guy there told me that the photo guy had taken the page down, and could not be reached. He suggested I show up where the photos are being taken at 9:00am and find out. Yeah... I'll do that. I think I'll just show up at 2:55, miss my otherwise boring class and get some work done in the meantime.

Oh, did I mention the pressure is on for my Imprint news story the same week I have my first midterm (this week)? Remind me again why I volunteer for anything...

00:00 | School

September 28, 2002

A Lesson We'll Never Forget

Thursday's Japanese lesson provided us with a special treat: a cartoon to help teach us grammar.

Nighttime. A sheep and a gorilla are standing next to a telescope. A single star is shining brightly in the sky.
Sheep: "I want to look at that star."
Gorilla: "I don't know whether or not we can look at the star."
The gorilla looks in the telescope.
Gorilla: "Ah. It is possible to look at the star."
The gorilla sees a man sitting on a chair, on the moon. The man is drinking coffee.
Gorilla: "Someone is there."
The gorilla lowers the telescope so the sheep can see.
Sheep: "Eh..."
The sheep sees the same man on the moon.
Sheep: "It is true. Let's yell out, and he will hear us."
Gorilla: "Hmm. It is very far. I don't know whether or not he will hear us."
Sheep: "Baaaa!"
The sheep and gorilla wait for a response.
Sheep: "No good."
Gorilla: "Good! Whoa!"
The gorilla yells so loud, the words come out of his mouth, fly across space and hit the man on the moon. The moon then crashes into the Earth.
The End.

I think we can all learn some important life lessons from that cartoon.

00:00 | School

September 24, 2002


I should head on over to the Imprint office today. Why you ask? Because they want me to write news articles for them. For those of you who aren't UW students, the Imprint is the student newspaper, and I've had a beef with them for years. Poor proofreading, weak stories, and "articles" so full of the writer's personal opinions, it feels like a tabloid. Granted, these people aren't getting paid, but I expected more for my $4 a term.

So why are they contacting me? I decided to quit just bitching about the problem and do something about it: I volunteered. I can't wait until I see a front-page story, penned by yours truly.

00:00 | School


It's 9:00am. For any of you who know me personally you would be shocked and appalled that I'm up this early on my day off. Here's why: I have an essay due at 2:00 all about my bathroom. Yup. It's for my STV class and I need to evaluate the design decisions that went into my bathroom.

Even though it's due at 2:00, I have a dentist appointment at 1:00, and I need to fill the tires in my newly-reassembled bike before I can go anywhere. So that's why I'm up at this ungodly hour on my day off.

00:00 | School

September 20, 2002

The Joys Of School

Wow, I've been so caught up in the excitement of school that I've neglected my blog. And what excitement! Like my drier than toast Distributed Systems class, or my hand-holding Japanese class. I'm also taking a Science, Technology and Values class, that belongs to no particular faculty. I've had two 3-hour lectures and I still don't know what that course is about.

When I got back to campus, my Co-op coordinator was really excited about the idea of Co-op using Notification Services. So she set up a meeting with me and one of the directors. We had the meeting, after which the director informed me that he, in fact, wasn't in charge of the tech aspects of co-op, but passed my email address along to another director, who he assured me, would know more about these issues.

I finally got an email from this second director, who informed me that Co-op already had a system in place, but he was willing to hear me out (I guess he didn't want to hurt my feelings, even though it wasn't my idea). I described to him what NS does, and how it would be useful. I got an email back saying thanks but no thanks.

And how exactly did I get into this situation? Oh yeah, by going to that mandatory Return-to-Campus Interview.

00:00 | School

September 17, 2002

Tuesday Is Artsday

Despite the fact this is my last term at UW, this term has been full of firsts:

Since I'm leaving in December, I might as well go out with a bang.

00:00 | School

August 20, 2002

Not Mandatory

Well, I got my wish. According to a University of Waterloo press release the engineering course which teaches C# will NOT be mandatory. This contradicts Microsoft's press release that stated the course was mandatory. For a second there UW has the investors' interests in mind instead of the students. Thank God that's not true.

00:00 | School

August 14, 2002


I just read today from various news sources, that the University of Waterloo is accepting a $2.3M donation from Microsoft and in exchange will teach C# (a new programming language invented by Microsoft) instead of C++ in a required entry-level Electrical and Computer Engineering course.

Now I don't know how to feel about this. On one hand, UW accepts donations from other companies, like Apple and Nortel, and adjust curricula accordingly (CS 130, a semi-required course is taught on Macs). On the other hand, C# is a brand new language, one that has not yet proven itself in the real-world (as was the case with C++). Also, no one likes the idea of a university's curriculum being bought out by a corporation.

On the flip side, UW churns out the more graduates who get hired by Microsoft than any school in Canada, and more than most American schools. So I guess MS figures it's just training its future employees early.

Sorry I don't have a definite position on this issue (no, it's not because BillG signs my paycheques), but because:

I hope this gets resolved in such a way that UW doesn't look like it's getting bought (like only teaching C# in a non-required course).

00:00 | School

April 19, 2002

It's Over

Well another term has drawn to a close. I somehow managed to survive the onslaught of exams this week, and now I'm packing up, ready to move out this weekend. Any minute now my Internet connection is going to disappear, so any of you who have still links to the old address on your own websites, please update them.

Good bye Waterloo for another 4 months!

00:00 | School

April 13, 2002

Exams Got Me Down

I think I'm starting to get burned out from exam studying. I've only written Networks so far, and I still have Vietnam on the 16th, Databases on the 17th, and UI and Greek Myth on the 18th. I've been studying everyday since last weekend and I'm a bit tired.

00:00 | School

March 11, 2002

Grad Shmad

I was informed today that my picture was in the 2002 Grad Slide Show. I didn't know such a slide show existed, let alone one featuring my likeness. Apparently the photo came from a girl on the yearbook committee who asked to take pictures of this year's grads. Since I'm technically graduating in 2002 (December) I let her take my picture. Then she asked what program I was in. I told her I was in CS. She seemed exasperated and informed me that I was the nth CS person she photographed in this building, as if it were somehow my fault. Where was everyone else? Probably not in the UNIX computer lab in the Math & Computers building, I told her. Oh, right.

00:00 | School


So I guess I should sign my Intent to Graduate form before December. I love that name: Intent to Graduate. It's like they're giving you one last chance to fail. "Well I failed all my courses in my 4B term. At least I told the university about my intention to graduate in December. That's what really counts, right?"

The answer is no.

00:00 | School

February 18, 2002


Well, it's happened. Since co-op is so slow to update, my would-be employers have contacted me. I got offered the jobs at Microsoft and both RIM jobs. Now I have to weigh the pros and cons of each job. RIM offers a mangement position in a growing company with a very good chance of full-time employment and a better-than-average salary. Microsoft offers a huge salary but no one knows if there will be a place for me full-time. Damn it, I don't know. And I have to spend today studying for a midterm instead of contemplating it. Help me.

I guess I can't completely blame Co-op. If the employers don't send them the info, there's nothing to post. But still, if the point of the online system is to eliminate lineups and the need for paper copies of ranking forms, I'd say they missed the mark. By having Access not be able to handle the load of every co-op student at once checking their rankings at the exact time they said it would be available (co-op's choice... they could have updated it at night), they ensured that they would have irate students and the same long lineups in Needles Hall.

I did get one more piece of information today. Voxar cancelled their co-op position. Great. The only info I get from co-op doesn't help me at all. Oh well, Tuesday's the big day. Too bad I didn't have to weekend to consider my decision.

00:00 | School

February 17, 2002

Co-Op Wa Dame Desu

Sorry, I know this website is turning into a Co-op bashing site. Oh well. It's my site and I'll bash whoever I want (except the wonderful people at Bell Sympatico).

From the Co-op website:
Please check ACCESS again on Feb. 16 and on Feb. 19 for the most up to date information.

From the Access Website (since Friday afternoon):
The Application Server is currently down. Please try again later.

00:00 | School | Comments (1)

February 15, 2002

Co-Op Angries Up The Blood

So at noon today Co-op "released" the interviewer rankings (OFFER, RANKED or NOT RANKED). At exactly noon the Access Web-based Co-op system crashed and stayed down for an hour and a half. When it finally came back up, I got my "results". They looked a little something like this:

Company Position Ranking
Longview Solutions Java Software Developer RANKED
Microsoft Corporation Software Engineer in Test NO INFO
RIM Quality Assurance NO INFO
RIM Project Manager NO INFO
Voxar C++ Software Developer NO INFO

Well thank you Co-op. Now I have the necessary information to make my decision. Did I mention that this decision possibly dictates where my full-time carreer will be? Tuesday is when my ranking is due, and I can't even think about it over the weekend, since I don't know who's offering me a job! I mean, what the hell am I doing here?!

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February 13, 2002

Co-Op Makes Baby Jesus Cry

I woke up this morning to find that co-op had scheduled two interviews for me in overlapping time slots. Two 45-minute interviews, one at 9:30am, the next at 9:45am. Great. So I made another trip to co-op reception:

Me: "Who do I talk to about interview scheduling issues?"
Receptionist: "What's the problem?"
Me: "I've been scheduled for two interviews at the same time on the same day."
Receptionist: "Yeah.. the computer does that sometimes."
Me: ???
Receptionist: "It does that if it can't fit you in anywhere else. Try to email the other people being interviewed and see if they'll switch with you."
Me: "And if no one will switch with me?"
Receptionist: "Then we'll just schedule you after everyone else."

So why didn't they just do that in the first place??? Urge to kill... rising...

00:00 | School

February 9, 2002

Best Lecture Ever

Thursday I sat through possibly the most entertaining lecture in my academic carreer. It was my America and the Vietnam War class and the lecture was on how the soldiers were being abused trained by their drill sergents. The prof put up an overhead with the main points of the lecture. One of the points was "FNGs: Fucking New Guys". I think this is the first time I've written the word "fuck" in my notes because the teacher told me to.

The prof then performed a one-man dramatization of what would happen to a soldier should be caught laughing at the drill sergent. He began by screaming in a southern-US accent at the imaginary soldier, eventually demanded he drop and give him 20. He then crouched down next to the invisible private and, still screaming, suggested the private enjoyed pleasuring his grandmother orally. He even made hand and tongue gestures to get his point across.

Every other lecture I will ever attend can only pale in comparison to that performance.

00:00 | School

February 5, 2002

Oh My God

I got an update on my co-op situation. One rejection and one interview. Now I know what you're asking yourself: "What company would interview the student ten other companies wouldn't give the time of day to?"

Microsoft. Somebody pinch me.

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February 4, 2002


Midterm #1 is over. I guess it went ok. I need to study tonight for my next one. Some good news though: I got 95% on my last CS assignment (worth 10% of my final mark). I think I'm going to stick it to the fridge so company can see it when they come over.

00:00 | School

Co-op sucks

Access, the web-based online interview checker, wasn't updated today. I went to the co-op reception to inquire:

Me: "When will Access be updated today?"
Receptionist: "Access is updated Midnight to 6am Monday through Friday."
Me: "Ok, so that means it won't be updated until tomorrow?"
Receptionist: "Access is updated Midnight to 6am Monday through Friday."
Me: "Uh, right... So since the web page hasn't changed since Saturday, I need to wait until Tuesday to see Monday's new results?"
Receptionist: "Yes."

00:00 | School

February 2, 2002


I should be studying. I really should. Instead I redesigned the site s'more.

So much homework to do... At least I don't have to worry about job interviews. Yup, it sure must suck to have to worry about job interviews: researching the company, brushing up on your interview skills. None of that for me.

Good lord I'm depressed.

00:00 | School

February 1, 2002


Up to 9 rejections, including a company that in a previous term offered me a job.

00:00 | School

Co-Op Blues

I'm feeling down. Out of 24 résumés I've sent out, I have so far received 7 rejections. That's nearly one third. I'm now starting to wonder if I have some sort of awful typo on my cover letter, like accidentaly misspelling Computer Programmer as Donkey Molester.

What I really don't understand is, I applied at a bunch of companies that deal with wireless mobile device programming in Java. I'm one of the only people in North America with experience not only writing such software, but deploying it on actual devices. I have almost 1 year experience doing that.

Not only that, but this is my 8th co-op term. Co-op normally only allows 6, but since I went to Japan, they decided to grant me one more. So I have more full-time work experience than anyone else in the co-op program.

I just wish I knew what employers really wanted in a 4th year co-op student.

00:00 | School

January 28, 2002

That's Me Herc, That's Me

Just when I thought things were going badly enough. Co-op hasn't updated the interview list since Friday. I may be missing an interview as I type this, I don't know. Hopefully they update tomorrow morning, probably about half an hour before my interview.

Hell Week is getting worse. I just found out in my Greek Myth course that the midterm (thought to be multiple choice) will in fact be fill-in-the-blanks and an essay question. And we have to get the spelling of all the ancient Greek names right (like Erichthonios, who was born from the earth when Athene wiped her would-be rapist's semen from her leg onto the ground).

It is an interesting course though. I learned that centaurs came to be after some guy had intercourse with a cloud. And let's not forget about "The Erotic Adventures of Hercules" where he fucks 50 different girls in as many nights (on some accounts, all in one night). And they say today's kids are growing up without decent role models.

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January 27, 2002

The Depths Of Hell, Waterloo Campus

I just looked at my schedule for next month, and my heart trembled with fear. Hell Week is coming. Co-op interviews start Jan 28 and go on until Feb 14. For those of you who don't know, when you have an interview scheduled you cannot miss it under any circumstances under penalty of death. Ok, maybe not death, but the Co-op Dept becomes none too pleased. You are expected to skip class if necessary, and in dire circumstances, swap interview times with other people on the interview list.

During the week of February 4th, I have 3 midterms and an assignment due. And I have to drop everything for interviews. All this stress - and to top it all off, Sunday February 3rd is my birthday. (Shameless birthday plug. Send me gifts.) Not that I'll be celebrating that weekend.

May God have mercy on my soul.

00:00 | School

January 9, 2002

School Sucks

First week back to classes today. Time to start assignments, readings and of course, sleepless nights cramming. To celebrate, I wrote a Miscellaneous Rambling with an appropriate topic. Hope you all enjoy.

00:00 | School | Comments (2)

December 18, 2001

Now What?

A stack dog-eared books with highlighted pages, sheets of hand-written notes scattered across the floor, and of course, empty beer bottles all litter my room. Exams are over. I feel like a whore and the University of Waterloo was my john, who beat me up, then angrily threw money at me when he was spent.

But I still have to wait to see if I passed all those courses... maybe after all that screwing, the john "forgot" to pay me after all.

So now what? Now that studying is done, I have so much free time, I don't know what to do with it all. I guess I should start my Christmas shopping. Only one week left before Christmas... d'oh.

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December 17, 2001

Exams Are Over!

Ha ha! Exams are finally over this term after 2 weeks of being completely stressed out. I had two separate nightmares about missing/failing exams, and I don't want to ever be that stressed out again.

00:00 | School