jillithian: (big brain)

So, I slacked off this last semester on that term paper. And the professor knew it when I handed it in before I took the final. He was concerned and stopped me after I turned in my final exam. He knew I'd been pressed for time and rushed through it and he also knew that I was doing high quality work for everything else in the class. See, if I don't get at least a B in my classes, I don't graduate and he was concerned that because the term paper was worth 30% of my grade that I might not graduate. He said he'd let me know if it was borderline on the B and C and possibly give me another chance to re-submit the paper.

I thought that was very generous of him. So I've been checking my school email constantly since then. It was mostly dependent upon my final test - if I had done well, I'd get a B. If I hadn't, I'd get a call or email. I did not receive any call or email, but he just posted the final grade for the class this morning.

I got a B in the class. YES!

That is the best news possible. *happy dance*

I also got a call this morning from the lady in the School of Graduate Studies. My paper format has been reviewed and she will be mailing it to me today. So, I just have to make whatever formatting changes they say, print it on 100% cotton paper four times, and then run around to get signatures again. Not sure how that will work as two of the three committee members are in Asia right now, but we'll find out. I'm not too worried about that portion - if they don't formally complete my graduate degree til this fall because of delayed signatures, I will survive. I'm just ELATED that all of my school work is done and that I finished my masters degree with two Bs, an A-, an A+ and 6 As while working full time in under three years.
jillithian: (PeeWee's bike devil)
So, I think I just finished my paper last night. I didn't send it to my committee last night as I figured it'd be best to let me sleep on it and reread it this morning with a more fresh brain. I only found two typos I needed to change and didn't want to completely rearrange any sentences. I exported to PDF and sent it to my committee this morning.

I don't know what is more nerve-wracking: waiting for a response or getting a response. I only sent it about thirty seconds ago and I've already hit "Check Messages" four times with no change. I'm nervous. I hear other people talk about working with their committee to get it done and I didn't do that. I didn't really have any questions. There aren't any style manuals for a capstone paper, just a starred paper and thesis, so I bought the starred paper manual and checked out a starred paper and a thesis from our department from the library and based the flow and structure off of those. I think the part I was least interested in writing about was the literary review. Not quite sure if that is what a literary review is supposed to look like. I'll find out, I'm sure.

Let's just hope they don't wait to tell me 5 slides into my final conference's presentation like they did during my proposal presentation.

I have to say that I really enjoyed using OpenOffice to format my report. It made a lot of sense to me once I got the hang of it. You can define styles and style hierarchy. You can copy styles and edit them and immediately apply them to everything. And if you still can't get it to format EXACTLY the way you want (like in my table of contents and lists of tables and figures), you can manually edit it. Then, once you define the structure (I like my structures defined early on), it's very very easy to use what you've created. Plus, it's free. And it exports to PDF if you want to send it to someone who might not have that program installed. And you can save it to a .doc format if necessary (works best in a minorly formatted document, and not this big document I wrote).

(Note: I've since hit "Check Messages" ten more times during the creation of this post.)


Mar. 27th, 2009 04:21 pm
jillithian: (big brain)
I started this morning with working code.

All I did was try to move the call to one function from one area to another.

Now, all I am getting is core dump after core dump. I just want to close the window and go back to the previous window. But the wclose() function is what makes it barf. I can whide(), but then it doesn't repaint itself and all of that fun garbage.

This is the part of programming that I hate. It's not the fun discovery or planning or implementing phase anymore. It's the "Let's narrow down to the most friggin' obscure piece of 30 yr old code that you copied from one section where it worked fine but it doesn't want to work fine here." struggling phase. I love figuring stuff out, but this is more of the "using up vacation time waiting all day at the Social Security office to change your name on your card and when you are finally called to the window ten minutes before it closes, being told that you needed to get your license updated first at city hall across town, which will also close in ten minutes" kind of figuring stuff out that isn't fun.

It's a Friday afternoon. Half an hour before the end of the day. The gray matter was borked by Wednesday afternoon. I am still expecting to work on my capstone paper tonight as the deadline is looming (Monday!).

What I would really like to do is say "Fuck it. I quit," walk to the bar across the parking lot, forget my name in a couple bottles of Captain Morgan, and drunkenly decide to go swimming in the freezing, foaming, flooding Mississippi. I figure the second bottle of Morgan will numb whatever pain there is before the cold numbs the rest.

But I'm not going to do that. I'll end up resisting urges to go for a swim, and probably resisting the urge to waste the evening playing Sims, and instead prod my borked gray matter into pecking out something half legible on the laptop while the dog stares and sighs at me bored.

Update: There's a comic for that )
jillithian: (big brain)
I like to be self-sufficient as much as possible and really prefer to get things done myself without having to interrupt anyone else.

Unfortunately, sometimes that just doesn't work.

I've been stressing out for the last week and a half because I was registered for EM 699 (Masters Thesis Research) instead of EM 696 (Masters Capstone Research) and this could have threatened my graduation completely - and possibly require me to spend another thousand dollars on three credits of the correct course. I had emailed my advisor immediately and he had emailed the lady in the Grad department immediately as well. Unfortunately, it was also Spring Break.

I hadn't heard anything from the Grad dept lady so I emailed her again on Monday this week.

Still no response.

This morning my coworker Gail asked if I was ok because yesterday and today I just seemed off. I figured that was a sign that I should take it up a notch. So I called the Grad dept lady this morning and left a message with her secretary to call me back. Which she did in about 15 minutes. Within a half hour of that call, she had emailed me letting me know she sent the appropriate request to my advisor and I received a response from my advisor saying he'd send in the course number change request to the Dean on Monday.

Sometimes it just helps to call someone.
jillithian: (cabin at sunset)
My first MBA class was last night. And Denise was in it.

Denise is the person who I rolled my car with. And, after digging for a while, I can't find anywhere that I posted about it. I'm pretty sure it happened in February 2002. (Update: it happened in February 2001 before I started LJ) I worked with Denise at Sears - she was in vacuums and I was in electronics. I invited her to go to a Flipp concert with me in Becker. It was slushing out - that frothy mix of snow and freezing rain. The show was canceled but we didn't know that until we got to the venue. Heading back, we took I-94 which is 70 mph speed limit.

Before this, I never knew that you weren't supposed to use cruise control on slippery roads. I haven't since. It makes sense now, but having never thought about it before, I was cruising in cruise control in slushy freezing rain going 70mph on the freeway.

And walked away from it.

Just before the sign that says St Cloud is 12 miles away, there was a slight curve in the road and my car was suddenly facing the opposite direction and sitting on it's roof in the center ditch of the freeway. It slid upside down into the ditch and the snow crashed through my drivers side window. I had small cuts in my face from the glass. Other than that, I was fine.

Denise is about 6ft tall and I don't think the chairs in my car fit her as well as they fit me. We were both wearing seat belts. The force of the spin and roll pushed us back into our seats and I think the head rest was just a little off for her. She managed to roll down her window and we crawled out of the car that way.

It was still slushing out but someone had seen us flip over and called an ambulance. Luckily the people two cars behind us were off-duty EMTs. We sat on the tail-gate of their truck in blankets. They seemed to be the most worried about me because I was bleeding from my head - but I just had those small cuts and was fine. Denise's neck felt funny, though.

I remember them asking me who the president of the US was - to see if I was coherent. I remember laughing and making some comment that I wasn't sure! (This was during the whole Bush/Gore fiasco) I sat in the front of the ambulance - not as a patient, but as a friend to Denise who was laying in the back. She was worried about her neck, so they took us to the St. Cloud Hospital. I remember being just fine through the whole thing - when the county sheriff told me vaguely which auto shop they towed my car to, the ambulance ride, and sitting next to Denise in the hospital. Fine, that is, until I called my parents to let them know what happened. Must be a trigger. As soon as I heard their voice on the phone, I started bawling.

Denise turned out to be OK as far as I found out. Incidentally, it was HER insurance that paid for her hospital trip - not mine. I paid for my car repairs myself and my insurance rates never went up. $1336.16 was the cost of the repairs. Some reason I still remember that number exactly.

That summer I quit Sears and got my internship at Bankers Systems and so Denise and I lost touch.

Until she sat right next to me in my Business Law class last night.
jillithian: (big brain)
Just got a flash of inspiration!

Back in September I had reported on the Voluntary System of Accountability that my university had joined. Methinks this might be a good topic to do my paper on it. It's something I'm actually interested in (much more so than the other topics I was thinking of or that my professor suggested to me) and it looks like there's plenty of data to dig through.

*wipes off forehead*

Just got an email from the professor of the MBA class that starts in two weeks and she's already got a big list of stuff to do before class starts.

Seems like it's about time I really buckle down and prioritize this stuff.

Spring break is next week. My goal will be to have a rough draft of my capstone paper (sans final results) done by March 16th, the Monday after spring break. That way I can send it to my advisor for feedback and will hopefully get that back before the end of the month, when I can finish it and send it to the committee for review (they want a few weeks to review it). My goal (I should probably reserve the room soon!) is to have the defense the second to last week of April.

So, get that big chunk of work out of the way that week. Wednesday of next week, however, I will reserve for creating my presentations for the two classes I have to teach for the MGMT class. I need to cover two different articles he has supplied. Luckily we are covering three articles this Wednesday, so I'll be able to refresh my mind on what all he is expecting me to do to cover them.

Sunday the 8th I will go in to the Write Place to have another set of eyes to look at my capstone paper.

To make sure I have time for all of the stuff I need to do just to prepare for the first class of my MBA course, I will work on that this Thursday evening and finish it up on Friday evening.

I think I will use Monday evenings in the next month and a half to do my reading and notes for the MGMT class and use Thursday and Friday evenings to do my reading, notes, and group work for the MBA class. Sundays will be my term paper days, I think. It all depends on my group members' availability, as well.

*deep breath*

FINALLY. The whole idea for my term paper was the hardest thing for me to accomplish. Once I know what I'm working on, I can usually get it done. Hopefully my professor will approve the idea so that I can get to work on it.

But the capstone paper is the main priority for next week as my timeline is affected significantly by my professor and committee members, so the sooner I can get my shit done, the sooner I can hand it off to them.

It's going to be a very very busy month. Let's hope I can keep up my drive and ambition. The end is so near, I am fighting off my own version of "senior-itis".
jillithian: (PeeWee's breakfast)
Last night was our semester's potluck for the MEM program. Oh, it was so good. So many kinds of curry. One Bangladeshi fellow was saying how HOT these chicken legs were and I ate 'em. And they were good. I had to take a breather from time to time, it was so spicy, but it was good. American restaurants seem to just not know what spicy is.

There was so much good food. There was this one potato roll thing, I think from Peru?, that had raisins and veggies and a hard boiled egg inside. Favorite! I am still a big fan of Nepali samosas. The Chinese chicken salad was pretty tasty, too. Home-made by four Chinese guys at a friend's house. They later did a presentation of Shanghai, which is where they are from. A university in Shanghai has an exchange program with our university, and they are who came over. One fellow actually used to work for the metro trains in Shanghai and was pleased with our bus system here in St. Cloud. He got the most laughs of the picture of him in a butterfly apron making Chinese Crystal cakes.

We also had presentations from students of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the Bangladeshi and his Minnesota wife presented Bangladesh.

I have to admit that the presentation for Saudi Arabia irked me. Maybe it is just that country that irks me. All of that wealth and overt displays of it. It's a monarchy - really no citizen representation - and all of the buildings are named after King this and Prince that. They have so much money they don't know what to do with it. One prince is planning a building that is one mile tall - just because. Saudi Arabia is a desert, so one anecdote the presenter made was that a gallon of water costs twice as much as a gallon of gasoline. And the King has the tallest water fountain in the world. That just makes me crabby. An amusing point, however, was when he showed all of the Saudi Arabian bills and there was some confusion until he realized some of us in the room can't read Arabic numbers. He was remarking on the 500 Riyal note and we didn't know which one he meant! Their 2s look kind of like 7s.

To be fair, I was a little wary of the presentation of China, as well. I think the recent stories in National Geographic have tainted me - you hear about so much poverty in the country and then see all of the money they spent on the Olympics and now on the 2010 World Expo. But, I'm American, and you shouldn't throw stones in glass houses, so they say. I'm lucky to live in an area of my own country where there isn't as much poverty as, perhaps, Mississippi or Alabama. I imagine my very small exposure to their country is about as fair as what they may see of ours. When I was scarfing down five different kinds of curry (the professor from Korea was in front of me in the buffet line and brought his young son, warning him that this curry would be different from the Korean curry they have at home), I was sitting with the Bangladeshi couple and one of the Chinese professors. He was saying how impressed he was with "Minnesota Nice" and how different we are from people in LA. The Bangladeshi agreed, saying we were much different from people in New York, where he had lived previously. I joked that we HAD to be nice so that when our cars died in the winter, someone would give us a jump.

I did not know much about Malaysia before the presentation, so I'm glad that Kien talked about his home country. It is made up of mostly three kinds of people: Malays, Chinese, and Indian. I had only heard of one of the fruits that he showed: durian. It is supposedly the most pungent of all fruits (he didn't think "stinky" because he actually likes it). Another he said was just like a kiwi but brown on the inside. Most of the audience is from India and I think they were surprised by the number of similar traditions and dishes in Malaysia - probably due to their large number of Indians.

I also did not know much about Bangladesh before the presentation. The student who presented is actually the son of a diplomat and didn't know a lot about Bangladesh first hand as they had moved around a lot. I did not realize that it was originally an Indian state, then part of Pakistan until 1971 when his "Indian brothers," as he called them, helped them get independence. They say it is humid here in Minnesota during the summer, but his wife visited Bangladesh during their summer and it was even more humid. It is a country of rivers, she said, and most of the pictures of her from there just make her look drippy.

The new professor who taught my Operations Management course last semester is just this little wisp of a woman - she'd make [livejournal.com profile] viksin look tall. She's a vegan and kept asking if different foods had egg in them. But, she's smart as a whip and brought this delicious creamy mango beverage. Very tasty! The closest thing I can compare it to is slightly melted sorbet, but milder, less sugary or acidic, and creamier. Goes down smooth.

The Nepali dumplings were very good - although I think I liked the vegetarian ones better than the non vegetarian ones. (Vegetarianism seems to be very common amongst Indian folk as the Hindu religion prohibits them from eating cows (sacred animals) or pigs (dirty animals)). I'm note sure who brought it or where it was from, but one of the desserts was this purple liquid stuff with tiny clear balls in it along with some cut up bananas? and other fruit. It was also tasty, but the soupy consistency threw me for a loop - I kept looking for something I was supposed to be pouring it on as a sauce. I ended up just eating it with a spoon. It was mildly amusing that it sat next to ice cream and some Little Debbie snacks.

All in all, it was a very satisfying evening. I went home sleepy with a belly full of food I can't pronounce. And it was goooooooood. I will miss this night when I graduate.
jillithian: (foil hats)
So, Sunday I emailed my committee members my new project proposal paper.

I had heard nothing at all in response since.

So, this afternoon, I sent my advisor an email:
Hi Dr. [advisor],
What is my next step, here? Do I need to have another proposal meeting for my project? How do you suggest I proceed?

His response:

You can send e-mail updates and send in a full report a month before you plan to hold a final conference.

Best regards

So, rather than looking a gift horse in the mouth, I am running with this answer as an OK to go! I'm probably shooting myself in the foot by not asking explicitly if it is approved, but he would tell me if it wasn't, right? Right?

(I'm working on not being so direct in my emails as I've gotten burned very badly at my past job. Who knew people hated it if my email only included the answer to their question and no fluffy stuff? But when I get stressed, like I am this week, I relapse a bit.)
jillithian: (cooking)
And so, around slide 4 or 5 of my starred paper proposal presentation today I learned that, incidentally, starred papers are now obsolete. I will need to do a capstone project instead.

The good news is that if I give them a new proposal in the next couple of days and date it for today, they'll sign it and still consider me able to graduate in May.

The bad news is that I have to think up a project that I can actually do and write up a brand new proposal paper in the next couple of days.

I never did get to finish my presentation.
jillithian: (Big Earl)
It occurs to me that I do not have any icon for exalted jubilation.

Email from the lady in the School of Graduate Studies:
I will prepare the paperwork and email the sheet over to Dr. [advisor] so that he has it for tomorrow. Thank you for the notification.

That is half of the battle right there!!!!
jillithian: (Wedding Day)
I'm studying for a final this evening in my intl business mgmt class. I remember being amused by this portion when we first covered it, so I thought I'd share:

My professor had mentioned in passing that the requirements for selecting a partner in a strategic alliance should also be used when choosing a life partner:

    Making Strategic Alliances Work
  • Partner Selection
    • Shares purpose of the alliance
    • Helps partner achieve goals
    • Has skills
    • Will not behave opportunistically

  • Do Due Dilligence
    • Get info from the public and knowledgeable 3rd parties
    • Have a meeting of managers

Have I mentioned how much I love my husband, lately? I especially appreciate all of his help as I've been working on my master's degree, not to mention all of his skills. ;-)
jillithian: (big brain)

here comes the panic.

Yes, I did just look at my calendar and yes, I have finals in two weeks. And a test next week. And a term paper due.

But mostly, the almost instant onset of finals is freaking me out the most.

holy fuck.


Nov. 18th, 2008 01:03 pm
jillithian: (PeeWee's bike devil)
Email from my advisor to the MBA department:
Hi [redacted]

Jill is doing her Master's in Engineering Management. She has opted for MBA 634 as an elective in her program. Can you please accommodate her in this class?


Registration started last Wednesday and it will be my last semester of classes other than my research credits. I've had my program (including these elective credits) approved since spring of 2007. But I can't register for this elective without permission of the MBA department.

Email from MBA department to myself and my advisor:
Dr. [redacted],

We will consider your request, however, we need to allow time for our MBA students to complete their registration first. After December 1st, I will check the enrollment of the class to see if space is available. I will respond with an answer at that time.

Thank you.

As of right now, not even a week into registration and still 13 days from December 1st, the class has only 2 of 25 seats open.


Right now I am scrambling for some class, ANY CLASS, that will fit my requirements. The hardest part is that I think I need it to be a 600 level class - which there are few and far between that appeal to me. And if it's not on the standard approved electives list (which is short), I need to get approval from my advisor. Plus, if I don't get into this class, I'll need to file for a change in study program. And still find a class that's remotely related to something I'm interested in!!!

This one interests me but it is a 500 level class and has nothing to do with software engineering, but could be used in conjunction with the Facilities and Manufacturing classes I've taken: ETS 582 - Renewable/Nondepletable Energy - Evaluation of energy resources including environmental, social, political, and economic considerations; synthesis and evaluation of renewable resource potential/rationale.

That sounds super interesting to me, but due to previously mentioned reasons, I'm not sure I should even look at it any more. Plus its three times a week during the day, which is increasingly more difficult to schedule work around.

I am literally going department by department, looking for a 600 level class that remotely interests me and fits my schedule.

I'm already stressed and disappointed in the fact that I'm pushing my graduation out another semester, and this isn't helping!!!!
jillithian: (typewriter)
If it was not obvious before, it is now.

I am a nerd. Certifiable, even.

My International Business Management class is on Wednesdays from 5 to 7:40pm.

There was recently an annoying phenomenon (other than the stiff keys on this keyboard in the school library) in which the clocks all needed to be turned back an hour.

Incidentally, the clock in the classroom for my IBM class was not turned back an hour.

So, tonight when the clock said 7:28pm in the classroom, the professor got a little flustered and started talking about how he may have to alter the class schedule and he's sorry it took so long and quickly took attendance. So students in the class started packing up their belongings. I whispered, "But it's only 6:30" and was promptly shushed.

The class emptied and there was just me and the professor. I told him the clock was wrong. His response: "Oh, shit."*

I caved in to peer pressure. I really actually wanted to stay another hour. I paid good money for that class out of my own pocket. I was debating the whole time in my head whether to tell him or not, but with the shushing and the quick emptying of all of the other students, I caved. Were I in the same age bracket as these young snips, I probably would have also been eager for an extra hour's respite. As it were, I'm writing this and then starting a bit more research on my term paper.

*Coincidentally, this man is about as tall as [livejournal.com profile] viksin and weighs less than 100 pounds. So imagine this tiny wisp of an elder Indian man running his hands through his hair saying "Oh, shit." He recovered quickly though and said it was his problem.
jillithian: (Grumpy)
Wow. I did absolutely horrible on my test last week in International Business Management. Horrible. As in, 22 out of 35 horrible. I am so glad that it is weighted so that your higher scores are weighted more heavily than your lower scores. The first test, I got 35 out of 35.

I'll be eager to see what I got wrong. I wasn't entirely confident going into it, but I didn't think I bombed that badly...
jillithian: (Default)
The amount of money I spend is directly related to the amount of free time I have.

At least when I have time between required time slots. Like today, where I took the afternoon off with vacation to study for my mid-term in my Operations Management class.

At first I was feeling like a wanker for not properly utilizing the time I had in the evenings of this week before today. But whatever. I was having fun playing King (or Queen) of the World on Facebook.

I realize that was not a really good use of my time, and I know there probably are going to be many days from now until next August where I will wish I still had that half day of vacation. But after studying for the last two and a half hours in the library, I am feeling pretty confident with my knowledge on the subjects covered - at least other than remembering which person first invented the term "quality assurance" in what year or memorizing the fifty million different ways to calculate sigma based on the type of chart you are creating. (Me = hates memorizing)

Of course, I'll know in about an hour just how well I learned the subject matter. *grimace*

But anyhoo, I have some extra time between now and 5pm when the test starts, so I know it will be all I can do to not go shopping downtown. I am not allowed to go to the Electric Fetus. I spend mucho dinero in there on CDs and vinyl that I do not need to spend.


I could also be working on my term paper for the International Business Management course or even on my portion of our group's case study for that course or starting to research for my starred paper. But I know my limits and if I start working on anything that will require major amounts of brain activity, I may lose the benefits of the studying I did this afternoon. (Think Kelly Bundy and her maximum brain capacity).
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
It's that time again...

The Engineering Management potluck dinner is tonight and I'm already salivating...

1) Chicken Wings
2) Potato and Onion Bujia (Indian style fries in chick pea flour)
3) Samosa ( Stuffed vegetable fry)

Main course
1) Lemon fried Rice
2) Egg Fried Rice
3) Chicken Curry
4) Chole (Garbanzo curry)
5) Chicken dish
6) Non Vegetarian
7) Korean vegetable Noodles
8) Chopped Boiled Eggs

Dessert -
1) Ice cream
2) Hyderabadi Sweet
3) Mazamorra Morada - Spainish Desert
4) Carrot Cake with welcome to graduate students written on it
5) Coca- Cola cake

One of the new students in the program is from Peru and he is bringing the Mazamorra Morada - something new!
I didn't really comprehend the prevalence of vegetarianism in Indian culture until recently. I just previously thought it odd that people bringing food had to list if it had meat in it or not. But it sounds like it is very common, at least among the the Indian students in our department.
Oh, this is going to be so yummy. Seriously, it's 9:30 in the morning and I just finished breakfast, but I'm salivating for dinner.
jillithian: (Default)
Voluntary System of Accountability Program
From their website:
The VSA is a voluntary initiative for 4-year public colleges and universities. Developed through a partnership between the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), the VSA is designed to help institutions meet the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate accountability and stewardship to public
  • Measure educational outcomes to identify effective educational practices
  • Assemble information that is accessible, understandable, and comparable

Both my university and [livejournal.com profile] thetim and [livejournal.com profile] princess_nicci's previous university are participants. There's some interesting stuff in there.
jillithian: (Default)
So, I posted yesterday about how Honda has an incredible flexibility in their production line versus any other automotive company. It basically takes them minutes to switch from one type of vehicle to the next type, whereas it can take up to months for other companies. Turns out, my Operations Management professor also gets those emails and has included that particular snippet in the slides for tonight's lecture.

It's nice to know I'm not the only engineering nerd excited about that shit. Of course, her previous position was at a university near Detroit, so I imagine that industry hits home for her.

I really wish I knew more about cars. It doesn't seem like a fleeting interest for me as I was super excited when they first introduced the Prius. So excited, in fact, that I convinced my mom to get one, but the waiting list was for so many months that she got something else instead. Well, to be more precise, I wish I knew more about the mechanics of cars. I open the hood and can point out the battery, air filter, and maybe the oil cap, but other than that it is just over my head.

Just add that one to the heaping pile of stuff I want to know everything about but don't have the time.

YET. Next summer is getting closer....


jillithian: (Default)

February 2017

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