The freshness has worn off

It’s amazing, when the thought of getting back to writing is what gets you out of bed…and then, once awake, you realize how many things you have to do. Particularly, in this case, this XML class…which, frankly, I don’t want to engage with, anymore: too much of it is self-taught. We’ve been given problems which we have to do our own outside research, to be able to solve. But it’s far too late to drop the course, and Withdrawal would likely need to be for dire reasons. Given that, maybe I should just be glad to suffer through it.

The good point is that I only have six weeks to go. I’m almost certain not to get an A, at this point, due to the fact that I thought I had an extra week to deal with last week’s homework, and I didn’t. And, okay, I realize that going down to around 90% credit is not a big deal, in the scheme of things; but that means that the most credit I’m likely to get amounts to a B+, if I otherwise excel, with all other options being below that.

When I would need to keep a 2.0+ GPA in order to remain enrolled, this would be a huge deal…although I did just look it up, and a 2.0 is a straight C. I suppose that does mean that a D or F is permissible, especially with a cushion of As and Bs. As I tend to be an A-/B+ student, maybe I don’t have to freak out so much? I’m still in my normal range, and about 2/3 through the semester.

There is, also, the fact that this is a Master’s level class: apparently, it’s supposed to be difficult.

I’m just not totally understanding the current material (maybe due to missing helpful cues in the questions), and that has me a little panicked. It’s rare, that I don’t understand the material; though as I wrote earlier, this isn’t unusual for me and technical courses (with the notable exception of HTML5/CSS3: though that’s markup, not programming). This is just the first time I’ve recognized the pattern. It does mean that maybe I really don’t want to get into XML/RDF, like I thought I did. At least, not now — or, not hard-coding the back-end of a resource discovery and management system.

I have a tendency to really dislike back-end work (e.g. setting up websites, dealing with ports, SFTP traffic, etc.), where it comes to needing to utilize Computer Science skills…largely, because I don’t know what I’m doing. On the Web, there are consequences to not knowing what you’re doing. Utilizing the front-end of a SAAS, is fine. It’s where things come to databases and developing the architecture that constrains data input, that I get torn up.

I can input the data; what is really annoying me is setting up the conditions to input the data. We’ve even been told that a lot of what we’re studying has, most of the time, been already set up. I can see the use of having these skills in troubleshooting someone else’s messed-up code, but there is the question of how often we would be using them. Then there is the “designer” part of me that looks at the .XSL files and groans, “why can’t we do this any better?” Particularly, “why can’t we do this any cleaner?”

The favorable thing is that I have already graduated, so I don’t have to worry about this impacting my GPA and imperiling everything I’ve accomplished. What is hanging in the balance, potentially, is whether I’ll be able to get into another Master’s or Ph.D. program, after this (though with the way I’m feeling now, it will be something I either want to write and/or teach about, in the Humanities; thus, my ability or inability to understand things like NoSQL databases probably won’t come into play). This means that I’ll need to at least try to keep my commitment, through the beginning of December. I can’t just blow it off. Even if I really want to.

But like I said: nearly everyone is struggling, in this class. When I wasn’t struggling, it was because I’d learned the material, before. I’m not sure whether this being hard on everyone is due to the difficulty of the material, the difficulty of the readings, the format of the readings, and/or the Prof’s teaching style. (Because everyone is struggling, we now have a landslide of exercises. I’m not sure that approach is going to work.)

I am hoping that we tackled the hard stuff early on…the problem is, then, having to go back and review the hard stuff so that anything more advanced can be accomplished. When…the hard stuff was hard, for a reason.

I’ve been trying to reconstruct the last half-week where it comes to my health, and I’m having considerable difficulty doing so (especially when I effectively lost the majority of yesterday to sleep). The point is that I’ve been having clearly somatic effects, due to my level of anxiety– whether you look at my back tightening up so that I could neither write nor type on Saturday night (it’s currently Sunday night), or the anxiety attack I had on Wednesday night (adrenaline rush; fast, shallow breaths; heart palpitations; weird blood pressure).

Earlier, I was still dealing with a slight backache, though I think that specific pain originated from writing by hand on a surface which was too high. That surface was my desk with a calendar and laptop on it. The ridiculousness of this, is not lost on me.

How tall does the desk have to be? What is this desk made for, if you can’t use a computer on it without a lift and footrest, and you can’t write on it? Is it for intimidating visitors? Is it just made for huge people? When did I get this desk? High school?


But yeah, that’s just merging into finding more things to complain about. Luckily, these things don’t last forever, and as I’m currently writing from my bed — the pain has dissipated. It’s nice to know that things heal. Sometimes. Though I do understand that as I get older, things will heal less and less.

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