Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 0

Ok, I didn't manage to post at all in the first week... but that was just the start of the MDM program, learning names, learning what we have gotten ourselves into, learning the A-Z (literally) of the campus rules, getting our laptops, having a BBQ with the previous cohort, and some of us watching our first assigned movie: Blade Runner.

The first day had about 40 of us + some faculty learning each others names.  We went to "the Hanger", got into a large circle and Patrick started us off with his name, and a gesture. We repeated the name, and the gesture. Then Philip did is name and gesture, we did Philips name and gesture, and then Patricks name and gesture.  By the time we were done all ~45 people I knew most peoples name by sight.  If we didn't know it by sight, then the person would make their gesture and we would remember.  It worked well!

We did a few more exercises then some of us went down to get our student IDs and transit passes from the SFU Harbor Centre campus.  Sort of a pain, but we did find that the Granville station is slightly faster but the Waterfront Station would keep us dry if it were raining.

On day 2 we had an introduction to the program and the courses and how they all fit together.  One thing mentioned was that we do 15 credits this term, and a typical Graduate student would do 6 to 9 credits in a term.  I hope my CST diploma back in 1990-92 prepares me for this!  Somehow this is probably karma for what my students have to do in Java...

For day 3 we broke into groups of 6 people:
- one to two women
- different age ranges
- different first langauges

We are a very diverse group.... which is neat.  What we did in the groups was to take the 6 major topics covered in the previous day and mind map them out.  We had to each present, we will be doing a lot of presentations in this program.  My group nominated me because I was the oldest in our group (I am not that old!), I think they were nervous of speaking in front of 40 people. A problem that people will soon overcome I suspect :-)

I took the train back home with another student.  We talked about the 6-9 credit thing and the fact that those of us with experience cannot coast (I had no intention of coasting!) and decided that branching out to a new area would be a very good idea, and that we hopefully can work smarter not harder.  Let's hope.

Day 4 was easy, a BBQ put on by the C7 cohort, the students that have just finished their coursework and are now on their internships.  Attempts to scare us were for naught :-)  I think we are all a little shell shocked.

Before the BBQ I met up with one of my fellow students, an artist, and tried to go over something insanely dense: binary numbers, logic gates, logic circuits, how the CPU executes instructions, and what a simple C-like program would do with all of that to execute.  Hopefully an artist can help me make all of that more understandable since it is the core of everything interesting that goes on in a computer.  Thinking about all that together really made me appreciate how stupid a computer really is.  It reminds me of the (partial) Steve Jobs quote "Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you".

On Sunday about 20 of us got together and watched Blade Runner to prep for the Visual Story course.  Then off home to mentally prepare for the Interdisciplinary Improv course on Monday.  That one is going to be a challenge for me... you get rewarded for taking risks, and probably for failing while taking them.

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