Almost There

Late nights in the lab are starting to take their toll on me. I have never spent so much time in the TE Lab working on projects. It is something new for me and I just am not used to leaving things to the last minute like I am now. But, things always seem to get done and I shouldn’t worry about it. But, it is hard for me to not worry about it. *sigh* Oh, well… The quarter is close to being over and all that is left is a 3 page paper in 310 and our 340 final on Monday. The end is so close I can taste it. Maybe tonight I’ll get some good sleep. I can only hope.

Current Feeling: Tired

What is Informatics?

Well, this question has been asked recently and I always answer “It is human centered technology.” That response usually will suffice for the temporary conversation, but if they asked a follow-up to that question, what would I say? My friend Aaron summed it up pretty well in this post on his blog.

To me, I guess Informatics is more than just technology. That idea was something that drew me to this major. I liked the aspect that what I was working on had a direct effect on the people using it. Also, the fact that it wasn’t CSE or IS was an added bonus. I really like the program that I am in. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I mean, look at the blogs that I read. Most of them are of the Informatics people. They are by far some of the coolest people that I have meet during my time @ UW. This makes me enjoy the major that much more.

Really, I am dry on a description on what Informatics means. I can think about what it means in my mind, but to put it into words is something that I don’t know if I can do. So, we’ll leave this for another day.

However, one theme that Aaron pointed out was that, “My classmates are very bright people who could tell you the advantages of applying Kuhlthau’s Model of Information Search Behavior to a particular User Group, but couldn’t code themselves out of a paper bag.” That can sum up the programming abilities of some on our major. But, hey, what can you expect? We are Informatics not CSE.

In a 380 class far, far, away…

I was an Informatics student enrolled in a systems analysis class. I thought this class that was supposed to be taught by a professor. However, this professor did not teach. He had a grading rubric that was never disclosed to the class. He kept the class in the dark about what he expected from his students and then he graded as if they knew what he wanted. This caused a stirring response from his students. Many were in dismay when deliverables were returned to them. They were thinking, “Why is it graded like this?” His response was, “Didn’t you just know? Well you should.” Of course we did not know, that is why we didn’t complete the assignment how you desired. On top of the lack of solid grading procedures, the dates that assignments were due were very hazy to the students. This created some tension between the students and their professor.

When steps were taken to clear the haze of the due dates only more confusion arose. No emails were responded to. Phone calls were left un-answered. This only added to the confusion of the students in this class. In a twist of fate, the professor parted the haze of due dates and provied a solid layout of the due dates for the class. This eased the tension between the students and their professor, but the students knew that there was a lot of work left to be completed.

As the quarter winded down the level of work increased along with the students stress level. However, once the presentations are completed and the system proposal is turned in, a burden is lifted from the students chests. It was now time for them to enjoy the summer and to forget about the hellish times that were found in this class.

But, we are not there yet. In one week this will be a reality. In the present, this is currently only a fantasy that is longing to be achieved.

This is Strange…

For some reason last night when working on my deliverable for 340 in the TE Lab I did not feel any pressure to get it done. I rarely ever have studying left to at last moment like I did last night. However, last night I was content with just getting what I could completed before it was due the next day. It was really strange for me. I also noticed that I have been really calm the past few days. I don’t know why that is. Have I finally hit the wall and just want a break? Maybe. But, in either case it is so nice to just be calm and to enjoy each day to the fullest.

Current Feeling: Content

Hrm, No Class? (Part 2)

Again no INFO 380 today. However, this time I made it all the way to class with Jamie to find out that it was canceled. This was because the internet was out at her place and I was going to check my email to check on what was new from overnight. Oh well. It ended out good though. Anthony, Rufino, CA, David, Jamie, and I went to IHOP for some breakfast since we didn’t have class. Now it’s time to prepare for the rest of the day and our INFO 310 Presentation that we give this afternoon. Until later…

**EDIT** We owned our 310 presentation!

Current Feeling: Clean

Hrm, No Class?

Well, no INFO 380 this morning. Here’s how I found out.

Me: *Waiting for either 372/68 to go to campus* Bus shows up @ 9am, like always, and I file onboard the 68 with the rest of the Nordheim folks. I am standing on the bus and I feel my left leg vibrate. I am thinking, that’s odd, no one ever calls me this early in the morning. So, I pick up the phone.
Jamie: Did you get the email?
Me: What email?
Jamie: The one about 380 being cancelled.
Me: No, why?
Jamie: It’s cancelled! Where are you?
Me: That’s cool. I’m on the bus… and the door just closed. Ok, so, great.
Jamie: Well, just come over!!
Me: Ok, I’ll be there!!

That’s how I found out about it this morning. I usually make a point to check my email in the morning since the iSchool has that as their preferred method of information dissemination. But, I have this thing for packing my bag, like a 10 year old, the night before class so that I don’t forget anything. Well, I guess by me packing my laptop I didn’t think of checking my email. Then the question gets asked, why didn’t you check it on Outlook on your PC? Um, damn good question. I don’t really know. I just didn’t? I dunno. I guess that is a lesson learned.

Not having class was a good thing because I had a feeling that the Prof was going to flip out at the poor turnout for the transformation project that he had planned. I am sure that we will hear about it on Thursday, but that’s ok. I think I can handle it. Needless to say the day has started off good so far. Now I just need to get cracking on all the work that is due in the next week.

Lesson Learned: Check email before going to class!