caejones (caejones) wrote,

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Gotta Get Back to Hendrix

This started out as a comment elsewhere, but as things I write tend to do, it refused to stay small. So, guess what: LIVEJOURNAL'D!

I'm planning on returning to college (Hendrix, since you asked) in the fall. Most of the obvious scholarship application deadlines I've come across have passed, and I wasn't in a good position to make this decision until this month (a deadline just passed half an hour or so ago, and my application turned out flawed because I failed to account for Spring Break interfering with getting the necessary documents). I went in expecting tuition to have inflated to ~$40k; between an estimate from someone in admissions, and a random tweet I read just today on the cost of Harvard, reality is apparently closer to $20k, which is only half as terrifying.

I presented the appropriate people with the pattern I identified when reviewing my transcript: aside from one rather special incident, all the courses I failed included a near-weekly "Read this, write your reaction in the form of an essay" component. I also mentioned that I was interested in switching focus to computer science (which I probably would have done 6 years ago if not for the afore-mentioned incident). The responses I've received have been most helpful (the CS department has caught the memo on companies paying more attention to ability than what's in your transcript, the chair in the department of my major quickly found a course that satisfies the requirements without a literary response focus). The only real difficulty is going to be funding.

I'd like to stretch it out to two semesters, if possible, but there are conditions other than disaster in which I'd be willing to work with just one. Namely, the amount of value I predict I'd get from staying: if there's no more room for improvement, or it'd be more efficient to do something else, I'd leave; if there isn't enough progress to justify continuing, I'd leave. There's a broad area in between where "there's progress, it's much less than I'd like, but it's better than leaving" and "There's so much value here and I haven't even gotten the most of it holycrap you don't even know" are possibilities.

Anyway, goals:

  • Get better at programming. I was able to pick up Javascript and HTML on my own like it was nothing, but I can't convince myself to switch to Python, I've never had a good experience with Linux, and C++ just hurts my face. Hopefully, they'll let me into the course that handles those exact things.
  • I need better math skills. I did not understand Calculus II. I passed, sure, but with a D. It'd've been better had I failed, since then people would have not found it weird that I wanted to retake it. It seems I will need one or both of Discrete Math / Linear Algebra, and statistics wouldn't hurt. Gah!
  • And I will be taking something French (Something to do with phonetics and grammar, probably) to complete my major that might have turned out better if the first half of 2008 hadn't been so horrible. Voilà, le diplomme.
  • All that stuff I'd want to learn from a training center for the blind? Let's do that at college instead. They have ovens, right? Also, if I can find a trusted minion, I can set up mobility tasks of increasing difficulty without having to sacrifice all the other benefits of college.
  • Let's take this tactile display crap seriously. I don't care if it's a cheap braille display, crowdfunding something through Reduxst or Senseg; I just want that power, and I've been waiting way too long for someone else to do it. (I might have done it at WSB, but plot twists happened. -_-. If the same happens this time, they'd better be good plot twists.)
  • No, really, way too few people around here I can stand for more than 5 minutes at a time. If I make it last for two semesters, I can get into Gladiators 2014. And that'd just be awesome.
  • Easier control over diet and physical activity and time spent outside and holycrap can you believe my parents try to pass off "go shopping with us" as a form of getting out of the house that has more value than sleeping? Hendrix has trees! And a really steep hill that ends in a giant pit! And swordfighting! And a gym!
  • I... uh... need money. I have no idea how I'm supposed to come up with money while remaining a college student, but I'm open to suggestions. Preferably suggestions that help me stay above water debt-wise and still let me aford laser hair removal before the end of 2015. French Seal facial hair.
  • You know what college has in ready supply? Experts, and cheap minions. I could use both of those! Actually, to do things as time-efficiently as possible, I should immediately propose LC as an Odyssey project upon my arrival, making it look a lot like I came back just for the cheap minions. ... What made the decision for me was comparing the efficiency of college with WSB / an NFB center / home.

You know, I probably had a lot mor rambling in mind, but now, all I can think of is how stupid it is to go to college immediately after high school if you've been as sheltered as a lot of millennials have been. I really blew it the first time through, because I honestly had no idea what I needed. Sure, I learned things (such as how poptarts are baked every morning by Satan, and sunshine is the carresse of a dozen angels), but honestly, even those don't make enough of an impact without a better real-world grounding. Actually leaving, being confronted with debt and real socio/financial obstacles (among others) actually taught me something. (Meanwhile, if you read the Seva Trilogy, the general theme is: Royce is right, because someone always saves him when his plans explode in his face but still leave him looking badass, somehow. Had you asked, I would have insisted that I did not believe reality was like that, only toned down. But I sure acted like it.)

I will also state, for the record, that fanfiction has had way more impact on my life than amature dabblings in someone else's universe have any business having. And I don't just mean the obvious ones like Azuri's and Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (disclaimer: HPMoR evangelism annoys me, especially when the evangelists are oblivious to the attitudes of their audience). Also, I like how using Google to get past Fateback sporking Azuri's main page brings up a portion of the Legacy of Warriors description, and that the first Fan Character is At (second is Taliya). And the last fic on the first page of results is 'The Key', which was ... eh, maybe the second or so fanfic I read on her site? ... ah... I'll be quiet, now.

Tags: college, life, school
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