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August 29th, 2007

My 'last' first day at grad school

Today marked the first day of my last classes in graduate school. It was a very productive and positive day, thank God :)

My first class, running from 1pm-4pm is an HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) course. Our professor has a background in graphic design, education, and computer science. She also has a great personality - is cheerful and inspiring. Today she asked us to design the computer of the future with a bag of felt, markers, stickers, feathers, and other materials. Our group designed a computer that is the size of a soft-cover novel. It opens and closes the same way. When you opened it, the inside surface (on both sides) was a monitor. The keypad was tucked inside. Alternately, one could use a digital pen to interact with the screen. We also included a periscope-like camera that popped up and down from the body of the computer in the form of a popsicle stick and a googly-eye taped at the end. I am excited about the class and expect we will learn a lot about design!

My second class, running from 6pm-8:30pm is all about Information for Decision Making. Our professor is very nice and explains topics very clearly and thoroughly. I am really excited about the material. Tonight we practiced graphing lines and solving linear equations.

Yes, linear equations in library science!

We will be learning how to use Excel and math to study decision making behaviors and processes, as well as studying the psychological and social factors involved in decision making. I can't explain it, but the math thrilled me :) The time seemed to fly by and I really enjoyed myself throughout the entire class time. The course grade will be based on participation in class exercises and then problem sets we do at home. I will have no long papers or exams in either class. I am so thrilled!! God is so good to me^^

I also met the new professor for whom I will work as a TA. She is very friendly and I am excited to work with her and her class. I look forward to tutoring students and seeing the projects they complete. I am always inspired by their work and get new ideas for web projects.

Also today, I ordered my Buckit Week t-shirt, picked up my textbook for Dr. Soergel's class, and filed my graduation request. Oh, and I bought a textbook at the bookstore. This may seem simply, but it is a funny story.

You must understand, the past few semesters, I have had to order all my texts from Amazon or some other source. Either the books are cheaper that way or they can only be purchased from the publisher. Well, I learned that my HCI class has one text, and so I wrote a note to order it after returning from my classes. I mentioned this to a classmate and she said,

"Is the bookstore sold out or something?"
"The bookstore?"
"Yeah, that's where I got my book."
"Oh...yeah! The bookstore does sell textbooks!"
"...?"

And so, I went to the bookstore to pick up a copy of the book.

On the way around the corner, I saw the comics...Oh...They had Transformers: Spotlight volume 1, but I am waiting for volume 2 to come out this coming February. Well, next to the comics were the role playing books. (heehee - nerd books) And next to those were the sci-fi books.

"Do they have Dune, I wonder?" I thought to myself.
Yes, it was there on the shelf...along with Dune 7 (well, the first half of Dune 7, also known as Hunters of Dune). I have been wondering about this. It was to be the final volume in Frank Herbert's series, but he passed away before completing it. His son found his manuscripts and took to co-authoring this book with another writer. I was reluctant to read it for the longest time because I was afraid of what would happen at the end... But I read the back and saw that all the old cast is back.

Well, I looked and the line to the cash registers were miles long (since it is the first day of class) and thought...I could read the novel while I wait in line!

Yes, I bought it and the textbook :D

Now I want to stay up all night and read it! But I have things to do tomorrow morning, so I will restrain myself. Also, tomorrow I have more email chores, sermon outlines, and coursework preparation to do. Still, I may make a little time for Dune^^ There's something about Dune that is so...it's just a good quality story with a rich cast of characters!

And that was my day.
It's looking like a very pleasant and busy semester, so I am thankful to God! I want to work hard with Luke 16:10 in mind - "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..." I just hope I have the stamina for it and the time to get work and coursework done. I must say, though, all of my courses really excite me!

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