My life motto Smile

I’m almost done my first quarter as a Computer Science student—craziness!

I was so nervous heading back to school—I was certain I was going to be the oldest person in class.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  I didn’t consider it much at all until a good friend told me she thought I was “so brave for going back to school at this age.”  After that, I was terrified!

It turns out that there are a ton of students of various ages in my classes, so I don’t stand out.  Unless you count the fact that I’m a girl.  In two of my classes, there are only two or three girls (including me).  But truthfully you don’t really notice it once you’re in the class.  Smile

This quarter I’ve been taking three classes:

  • Data Structures, Algorithms, and Discrete Math
  • Software Engineering
  • Technical Writing

Anson has been enjoying watching me learn C++.  It’s pretty amazing how much you can learn in such a short amount of time.  Though, I still feel like I’m playing catch-up on some “basic” concepts.  <all non-technie people should feel free to skip to the next paragraph>   For example, I only *just* learned that the copy constructor gets called every time you return a value.  Also, when you use dynamic allocation to create a new object, you make a pointer.  And upon learning that, my love/hate relationship with pointers evolved (we like each other, but we don’t like-like each other—we’re thinking of getting coffee next week to talk out some of our issues).

Technical writing is pretty awesome. I struggled in all of my previous writing classes because I’m not a very creative or flowery/poetic writer. So, when the professor said that all of the sentences should be only facts and that they can be structured the same way?  The clouds parted, the sun shined down, and there were rainbows everywhere!

Software Engineering is the wild card class.  We have a weekly group quiz that tries to prepare us for the real-world battlefield of <insert software company name here>.  The quizzes are all run in a software engineering model (waterfall, scrum, kanban).  Each team has one PM, two devs, and two testers. There are six pages of quiz questions; one page is placed on each of six tables that are located in the center of the room.  These quiz questions are “features.”  Our team’s goal is to ship as many quality features as we can in the time allotted.  Only two teams per table at any given time and only devs are allowed to write on the papers (design the features).  Welcome to Thunderdome.

There’s actually a group of us (about half the class) that meet for an hour every day before class to study.  Well, actually we started with that goal. After the first couple weeks of going over the concepts in the chapters, we realized that that information wasn’t necessarily on the quiz. So, we started trying to brainstorm questions we think the professor might ask.  We’re not so great at that either.  So, we decided to try to strategize ways to succeed in whatever model we’re working in that week.  This sometimes helped (and I have a suspicion these discussions may have been our professor’s goal all along). The past couple weeks, we’ve been plotting ways to have fun with the quizzes.  The thought is that, for the last quiz, we will all bring in sheets and create forts for our teams.  Maybe bring in andon phones and vests.  Ah, it’s great to be an adult Smile

Aside from school, life has been pretty normal (and by “normal,” I mean “awesome”).  Anson and I have been keeping busy with the usual—work, school, and trivial pursuit.  We’re getting ready for thanksgiving.  I just bought the turkey and now need to decide what kinds of pies to make. Any suggestions? Smile

4 Responses to “Too School for Cool”

  • Dad Horton:

    Apple “and” Pumpkin

  • Mom Horton:

    Darling Rachel—
    I am so impressed with your computereeze (

  • Debra Horton:

    ok so the autocorrect doesn’t like my weird spelling! I hope I haven’t lost you to the nexus of computer world…I love the fact that I have a daughter of the heart that I can actually talk to–do not fall into that never ending spiral of C## and languages that not too many can speak ! You are wonderful as you are! I love you and will keep my mind open to this new language you speak,,I know you will always be you! Happy Thanksgiving!

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