Calm, Cool, Collected, and Pissed Off

Well, at 3:00 p.m. CT today, I start 23 hours of hell. Yep, all three of my finals are in that time frame. I actually had a final last week in senior design, but that was … a joke. Easy.

The first is the hardest final and, perversely, the one I’m least worried about. Analysis of Engineering Systems is a class that makes good sense and builds upon itself, like any good engineering class should. [Please see for examples of bad engineering classes. Thanks.] Mind you, I didn’t care much for AES or Dr. Cost at the beginning of the semester, but the class has grown on me. Not caring much for the class at the beginning has hampered my grade somewhat, although rumors that Dr. Cost 1) curves grades and 2) rewards those who show steady improvement on his exams leaves me with a lot of hope for this class. A B isn’t out of the realm of possibility if he’s feeling nice.

At 8:00 a.m., I have Aircraft Stability and Control. Let’s talk about a class I have no use for! This course really should be an elective so that the instructor can go into much greater depth. It’s also one of those beloved 400/500 classes at UAH, which means the instructor loves the first-year grad students taking the class and has the undergrads along for the ride. I’m expecting a solid C in this class, but again, that’s because Dr. Blair curves the grades–and frankly, I haven’t cared enough to make any better than a C.

At 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, I have what most people would consider to be the easiest final of all–Art History. As I survey the choices I’ve made this semester, I truly regret one of them: not having taken this class last semester when I had a much easier courseload. Had I realized how hard AES would be and how apathetic I would get here in this last semester–I knew how hellish senior design was going to be, so that’s not really any excuse–I would have been a smart little engineer and taken this last fall along with my World Civ I class. Would’ve been serendipitous, too, as the classes cover the same timeframe in history.

As it is, I could really care less about this class, and it’s shown this semester. It’s in the middle of my class day, usually at the point where I’ve begun thinking about senior design and nothing else. Consequently, my class attendance has been abysmal, and when I have been there, it’s only been in spirit. There’s nothing really wrong with the class … it just never, ever stimulated me enough to go. Kinda sad, but five years of engineering have, in their own way, sucked out some of my love of learning.

The good thing is this: in 24.5 hours [at this writing], it’ll all be over, one way or the other. And while I never thought I’d say this, “D is for Degree.”

I’m just continuing my tradition at UAH: a good semester followed by a bad one. It’s like the stock market during one of those frenetic post-decline periods–good days followed by bad ones. Sadly, I computed my GPA earlier, and I’m pretty certain that, for the first time in my UAH career, I’ll end a semester with a sub-3.00 GPA. I have no one but myself to blame for this, really, but it irks me. I’ve done a damned fine job of walking the 3.0 tightrope before, but … oh well.

That is, unless, everyone is feeling really charitable towards me. Somehow, I doubt it.

Okay, time to stop rambling and start taking these tests. Oh, and I need to find a pencil, dammit.


  1. Your comment about one good semester followed by a bad one reminds me of one of my favorite Martin Luther quotes. He said that the human race is like a drunken man on a horse. First he falls off on the left side, and then he gets back on, and falls off on the right.

    Okay, so Luther was making a point about people making an error to one extreme, followed by the corresponding error on the opposite side of the spectrum. But it’s still pretty apt.

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