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Purdue Freshman Year ('00-'01) - Semester II

Well, it would appear as though I somehow managed to survive my first semester and actually made it to the second. The interesting thing is, the "real" weed out class is this semester (PHYS 152). Anyhow, I don't anticipate doing too poorly in any of the classes, but we'll see what the final score is later this year.

ENGR 117 - Honors Engineering Computer Programming

Hmm. I'm back? Yes, the sequel to ENGR 116. Although, I must say, I was able to make this class much more interesting for me than the previous one. It was all about programming. For the first half of the semester we learned Fortran 90/95, and then moved onto C in the second. C rules. Anyhow, for our final project we had to develop a lego car that could traverse a 10x10 grid given a home location and coordinates to move to. Unfortunately the project itself was poorly setup, and the write-up wasn't given to us until a week or so before the project was due. However, it was still interesting programming a lego robot in C, and I suppose in a way I enjoyed it. Of course, just as with the previous lego project, I'm sure I'll have pictures of our car posted in the "Photo Albums" section eventually :).

PHYS 152 - Mechanics

Ahhh, welcome to the first of many weed out courses at Purdue University. The goal of this class, whether admitted by the faculty supporting it or not, is to screw you over in as many ways as possible, as often as possible, and in as many situations as possible. CHIP is a fine example. Fitted with tricky wording, as many unit conversions as possible, and anything else they can think of, this online homework was due twice a week throughout the entire semester (excluding days preceding any of the three exams). Ironically this is the part that I did the best on in the class. Additionally, there's Physics 152 Lab. I'll admit, they didn't try to screw you over nearly as much as the faculty in the 152 class. Actually, they did their job quite well. The concepts we learned in lecture were often times well illustrated in lab, so if you're a visual sort of person lab was helpful. Additionally, we also had tutorials twice a week. One where we went in, screwed around and then left; another where we went in, handed in our homework, and left. I didn't find either all that helpful, but they were there nevertheless. Ultimately, as though part of a movie, this class came to a climactic ending at the final exam in the Lambert Fieldhouse where, upon receiving our exams, an individual seated a few rows away promptly stood up, shredded his exam in front of everyone and screamed something similar to "I can't take it any more! I hate Physics 152!" while immediately running from the fieldhouse.

CHM 124 - General Chemistry for Engineers II

Yes, the sequel to CHM 123. Last semester I had Dr. Bodner, and I thought he ruled. This semester we have Dr. Robinson who, like Dr. Bodner, seems to understand chemistry extremely well. He was really well organized, having PowerPoint presentations ready for each lecture. He also visited us in lab on occasion, which was something that Dr. Bodner didn't do. However, I still feel Dr. Bodner's lectures were more exciting, and that I was able to understand the material in the manner he presented it. Ironically, I'm getting an "A" in this class while having gotten a "B" in CHM 123. Lab was also interesting...our TA, Claudette, was a distinct change from our previous TA Larry. She tried at times, but never really taught us anything. I actually think this was somewhat good...we learned to be self-sufficient in lab. Although, our class did have the lowest test score averages. *shrug*

MA 174 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry II

I must say, this class was far better than my last semester experience in MA 173. We did some limited 3-D geometry in this class, but focused mainly on multivariable calculus. Variables and numbers are things I deal with extremely well...graphs and shapes, well that's another matter. Professor Chan & our TA both understood the subject matter well and did an excellent job explaining it. I sincerely regret missing the couple of lectures that I did this semester, but it was more or less necessary. As it stands I feel that I've learned a great deal from this class and can only hope that my future mathematics professors are near as good at teaching the subject matter as Professor Chan.

BAND 117 - Concert Band

Once again, my favorite class from the semester has arrived. Unlike Marching Band from the previous semester, this one required considerably less physical effort. However, the physical effort was quickly replaced with mental and musical effort. The music that we played in this class was astounding. Being in a band where everyone (well, mostly everyone) took it seriously and played their parts well was amazing. I have both of our concerts on CD and listen to them regularly. Dr. Leppla was our conductor, and I think that without him the course would have taken an entirely different path. Doc kept people focused and helped us mature as an ensemble. Unlike previous directors that I've had, he didn't dwell on individuals and their problems. He focused almost entirely on things that the ensemble as a whole could improve, and in the few cases where individual sections did need help he quickly took care of it. The fact that almost everyone was either able to play their part immediately or made the effort to learn how to play it made a great deal of difference, however. I think it gave me a small taste of what it might be like to play in a band profesesionally, and I liked it. I've never had this type of experience before, and I only hope that I'll be able to make it into this band again next year.