Saturday, August 31, 2013

Senior Year

So, I'm in my senior year of college. Whoa. It's a little hard to wrap my mind around that fact. I started this blog my sophomore year of high school. It's a lot of fun seeing how I've changed since then. I think that's one of the reasons I write, is to keep track of myself, so I can see myself growing up. But I don't feel like I've grown up. When did it happen? The director of the summer camp I worked at made an interesting observation. She said "I remember who I was at 5, 12, 21, and 35. I'm the same person." (addressing each of the different age girls and moms at camp with us). And while yes, I am the same girl who started school at UMBC, I do feel like a woman will walk away from the school this May. Every time someone reminds me I'm a senior, I get surprised.

But anyways. I'm sure I'll be writing more posts about graduation and stuff in May. Right now, I want to write about my classes this semester, since it's something I've done almost every semester in college. So, without further ado, here's my fall:

1. Principles of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Not only is this class with my favorite Dr. Oates (who's been featured on this blog a lot), I feel like it will really stretch me philosophically. Yeah, I know, not something you'd expect in a computer class. But the first day we were already talking about the idea that someday there will be computers indistinguishable from humans, and weather we believed it was possible or not. I am really excited about this AI class because I do truly believe AI can be used to simplify and improve human life. It's my "just-for-fun" CS class.

2. Introduction to Network Security (NetSec)
OK, this class I could tell right off the bat was going to be a tough one. Dr. Joshi is a great professor. I really love his lectures. But, having been in his Operating Systems class, I know he expects a lot from students, and I already feel a bit behind since I had one of the pre-requisites for this class waived for me. I am probably going to spend the most out-of-class time on this course, but I know it's super practical for today's security-centric age of computing.

3. Design and Analysis of Algorithms (Algorithms)
This is one of my last two required-to-graduate courses and I'm not excited about it. Algorithms is understood to be a really tough CS class. Funnily enough, the first day, the professor posed the question "So what is an algorithm" and I don't think anyone in my class answered it satisfactorily. I hope I can do well in this course. It's a new professor for me (Dr. Kalpakis) and a lot of good study-group friends in the class so I think I'll do fine.

4. Technical Communication (Tech. Writing)
I actually haven't been to this class yet. I'll let you all know how it goes when I attend it on Tuesday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A story about a Woolie...

This week at school is Welcome Week, when the freshmen are invited to tons of events that encourage them to meet one another. There was an Instagram photo hunt list, and for fun I decided to participate. One of the photos we're supposed to find? "Post a photo of you and your Woolie".

A Woolie is a Welcome Week Leader (I've been one twice but not this year). My own Woolie my freshman year was this great guy. He was fun-loving, excited about the school, and gave us good tips, like bring a blanket to the outdoor movie, and attend CWIT meetings for free pizza. He was so inspiring that the following two years, I was a part of the Woolie team with him.

He and I continued to be friends throughout my freshman year (since he led my bible study) and my sophomore year (not the leader anymore but we were still in the same bible study) and my junior year (although we saw each other less because he got crazy busy with research).

His girlfriend-then-fiancee-now-wife and I became friends during my sophomore year. I had lunch with her weekly, and then she graduated and left me (just kidding). She and I shared so many elements of our lives and became fast friends. I could go on-and-on about her too but this post in particular is about the Woolie thing.

This past Saturday I attended their wedding. It was beautiful. I loved watching the groom's face while his gorgeous bride walked down the aisle, teared up hearing the confidence in their voices as they exchanged vows, cheered as I watched them kiss for the first time, and celebrated like crazy at their reception

So, UMBC (seb)? You want me to post a photo of me and my Woolie? How do I pick just one? I watched my Woolie change and grow as a person and I was inspired by his change and growth. I met his lovely bride and she touched my life by reminding me weekly to stick to the Scriptures, and remaining my fast friend after her graduation. There are a number of photos of us through the years, and a lot of memories we share that DIDN'T get photographed. So sure, I'll share a photo, and as I share I'll remember say "Thank you, God, for putting this couple in my life". Congratulations, you guys. I love you both.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grandparents and marriage

So, my grandparents are visiting for the week. It's been quite interesting. My grandparents are in their eighties. My grandmother is very energetic, excited about keeping herself as active as possible in her old age. My grandfather is more inclined to sit quietly.

I am learning a lot from the brief time I'm spending with them. It's most interesting to see how my grandparents marriage plays a huge part in their aging. Multiple times today, my grandfather told my grandma he loved her, to hear her almost automatic reply "Love you too precious". They were walking around the lake today and my grandfather made a remark about "when a girl gets married...", basically detailing how a wife is supposed to take care of her husband. My grandmother has so much patience. I doubt my grandfather would survive without her.

A good friend of mine is getting married in a few weeks, and another just got engaged a few weeks ago. As they look forward to their new lives, I wish them all happiness, but I can't help but wonder what changes will come about in my friends if/when they hit the 50+ years of marriage mark my grandparents have reached.