Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I'm Almost Done

Finals week is now into full swing with today being the first day of exams. Luckily for me I don’t have any, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had things to do. I’ve had three final papers that needed to be finished and I’ve managed to polish off one completely, I’m close to finishing the other (just proof reading and revising left), and the third is next on my agenda. If all goes well, I should have my last paper done by tomorrow night so that I can use all day Thursday to pack up my stuff for Friday when my parents come up to help move me home.

This last week I’ve often found myself getting sentimental about almost everything I do. It’s so weird. “This is the last time I’ll play volleyball with my team.” “This is the last time I’ll be sitting in class.” “This is the last time I’ll ever have to take the bus.” “This is the last time I’ll ever get to eat at Sexton when they have curly fries while it’s snowing outside.” Well, maybe not sentimentality to the extreme of the last statement, but it’s strong nonetheless.

To help reinforce this feeling, the philosophy department had a Christmas get-together at one of the prof’s house in St. Joe on Sunday night. It turns out that it wasn’t just a Christmas gathering, but Steve (the prof whose house we were at) had gotten a cake for Lindsay (anther senior philosophy grad) and I congratulating us on our graduation. Not only that, but the department and other philosophy students gave us each a card and gift. Because of my interest (and degree) in computer science, they gave me a book on artificial intelligence, which looks to be quite interesting as it details the history of the field of AI while speculating on the future of what may or may not be able to be accomplished.

It was really nice to sit down, relax, and talk with my professors and fellow classmates for a few hours. It really made me notice the difference between the computer science faculty and the philosophy department. When I was going through the computer science program I never really felt a connection with any of my profs and I never had any desire to interact with them outside of class. On the other end of the spectrum, there hasn’t been a philosophy professor that I haven’t wanted to talk with outside of class. I also think that the faculty in the philosophy department has more of an investment in their students. Sure, whenever I had a question or problem in my comp sci classes my professors would be there to help, but I never felt like they really, truly cared about me as a person. In the philosophy department, I actually feel like I’m more than just a common student with questions that need to be answered.

Another thing that has become quite apparent over the last few years is the difference in the type of students in the two majors. I never really connected to many people in the comp sci program. It might be that none of them really had social lives outside of their computers, but even so it was hard to even strike up conversations with most people in my classes. In the philosophy program I have easily made numerous friends in the short time I’ve been in the program (only 2 years). I’ve also felt so much closer to the students in the program, and I know I will miss many of them.

Ok, enough sentimentality for now, especially since I’ve been feeling my fair share of it lately. Now back to talking about homework! Really, though, I am quite thankful for my laptop at the moment. In the past I’ve often had a hard time writing papers…well, not really a hard time, but I would often get easily distracted. There’s always so many cool things on my computer like games and the internet that I have a hard time focusing on my paper. Even when I can tune out the temptations of my computer, there’s the television or video games or comic books or something else always vying for my attention as well. With my laptop, I can disconnect it from the internet, leave my room and sit in the living room where Karl is watching Law & Order (which I am completely uninterested in) and focus on writing my paper. I’ve also even went to Barnes & Noble to completely get away from everything that might distract me (although I did spend some time perusing the books) so I could focus. Because of this focus, I’ve basically got two of my papers done when semesters past I probably wouldn’t have thought of even starting them until tomorrow.

Well, since I’m talking about my laptop, I think I’m going to get back to finishing my second paper so I can start my third when I get finished here at work. It’d be nice to have everything done before I go to see LOTR: The Return of the King tomorrow so I’m going to try to buckle down hardcore. Wish me luck!

No comments: