Been a few months since there last was an update here - so I'll group a few items of interest together in an effort to get everything up to speed:
Well, I Got What I Wanted... Eventually (6/18/2005)
I figured I'd do a .plan update sooner or later, but I'm posting it here first, as I know quite a few people here don't visit the front page and probably couldn't give a rat's ass about the .plan section. Especially after half of mine have consisted of me whining about the onerous network restrictions at my school. In any event, I figured the intended audience here was about right...
Also, apologies for the angsty crap. If you couldn't care less, move right along, please.
So, as some of you may know, I'm currently in my last year of high school in the (!) wonderful Ontario, Canada system of K-12 education. I go to a school that I've gradually realized sucks the big one over my four years there. Not just the extremist Catholic hardcore individuals and teachers there; not just the feminists and hippie liberals; not just the racial minorities that are so insecure that they feel the need to reverse lynch you whenever anything slightly politically incorrect is said; and not just the onerous policies and procedures put in place to keep us downtrodden. I'm quite honestly sick of all the dramatic bullshit and can't wait until I'm done next week (yes, Ontario high schools typically exit quite late; I've been mentally clocked out for the entire month though.)
The first part of the year was significantly difficult for me. With two extremely challenging math courses, a Physics credit taught by a teacher who may or may not be on hard drugs, and an additional communications technology, I wasn't able to keep up with my traditional averages. It didn't help that Geometry and Discrete, in particular, had a class average of 66% at the end of the term (keep in mind this was a senior, "university-bound" high level math class, probably equal to or slightly less than an AP course in the States.) It also didn't help that the exam was designed to induce failure, with the class average on it being 40%. I shit you not.
Regardless, I worked my ass off this semester doing a repeat/upgrade of a Computer Science credit, a University English course, and toadying along with the wonderful theologies expressed in a University/College-level Religious Education course. I now have an 89.5% average across my six top courses, which I'm hoping will reach a 90% solid after exams are all said and done. (For the record, math has typically not been my strong suit... but I've been able to cope pretty well.)
Should be worth something in the eyes of a university once called "Canada's MIT". Or at least I naively thought so.
While the university down the street immediately offered me a $1250 scholarship and acceptance, Waterloo waits until June 2nd - ONE DAY before the provincial university applications centre indicates that no more offers will be sent - then sends reject notices for participation in Computer Science Co-op and the Regular program.
When the same thing happens to four other students from my school, all with similar averages, all above the minimum admission requirement of "high 70's to low 80's", I am extremely displeased. Not a single student at my school enrolled in Computer Science actually gets accepted into Computer Science at the local university. Laurier is willing to take us all and pay us a minimum of $1000 for the first year to take them up on it. What the hell gives?
This displeases my teacher, as well, who has invested two years of his own time and effort into getting us prepared to enter the exact, second-tier programming course at Waterloo. In addition, he is a graduate from their Faculty of Mathematics with a degree in Applied Mathematics; since the Faculty of Mathematics encompasses the School of Computer Science, one would think he'd be knowledgeable about what we'd need to learn and achieve for entry requirements.
Well, apparently the power of Christ compelled him enough to do something about it. Behind the scenes, he comes in this Monday and tells me that apparently now something's changed; and Waterloo is now willing to take me.
So, a means to an end, right? I got what I wanted, but through highly unorthodox means; and it feels pretty bittersweet - things will cost twice as much and I'm getting zero from their scholarship department. I just don't know if I'm going to end up happy working at a much more competitive level.
What I Think Happened (6/18/2005)
[QUOTE=silver]just because you knew an alumni, they granted you acceptance? something seems fishy to me.
I honestly think what happened is that they've been ranking schools and David's happens to be the bottom of the figurative barrel. Then, when my teacher went and tried to find out what happened, someone may have acquiesced to his request. It's noteworthy that out of the five students that applied, I had the highest overall average - I assume what happened was someone said they'd take the person with the highest marks as a token goodwill gesture.
Honestly, I don't know how I feel about that. I'd have liked to get accepted on my own merits, and I really don't like stomaching the fact that I'm in on what might have effectively been a "pity pass". It's something I've found hard to come to terms with.
I'm in, but how well am I going to do if I'm the effective bottom of the barrel? I know I'll do well with the computer science stream of things - but the math is going to be killer for the first two years there.
Where I Am Now (8/9/2005)
I've come to terms with a lot of things in life recently. I've got an incredible job to work at for someone my age, where I'm just only now starting to show off some potential in innovating the way things are done. (Specifically, copying and pasting crap from websites occupies less of my time, and SQL/list management/technical input is taking over more of that.) Not once here have I ever heard anyone discriminate against me based on age; it's all about what my abilities and skills are and what I can achieve.
I've got an incredible group of friends that I can relate to and have fun hanging out with, that don't mind having my geek tendencies come out in full. Last night a friend and I spent at least a half an hour screwing around with wireless networking on our laptops, just to see if we could swap some files without using a cable. (It worked, for the record. )
My own personal projects have slowed down slightly - but I'm getting out more and relaxing; less worrying about how I might implement a database statement and more time spent with friends is good.
And one thing's for sure: I really do want to go to university. I'm not nervous or anything - just excited, which is something that my tone of posts should tell you I don't get very often. Even Orientation Week sounds moderately amusing, and I'm definitely not into those activities.
Conclusion and Linkz
If the "every 3 months" schedule of .plan updates here doesn't appeal to you, some friends and I post more regularly at ev98.net, which runs a piece of software I've codenamed Oxygen (and I've mentioned here before.) Oxygen is scheduled to get some upgrades before the end of summer approaches and will evolve to the next version of the software (codenamed Ozone.)
If you're into testing things like that out, I run an easily-breakable mirror of it at the development box. That's probably where any major progress will be.