Saturday, April 4, 2009

First week of classes

Coming back to school full time and quitting my job was an awesome, awesome decision. My whole lifestyle is dramatically improved. I've spent all my time this week studying fundamental truths, rather than artificial arrangements (which admittedly don't ultimately matter but need to be maintained for appearances sake) and poorly constructed computer systems. My Calc notes are at least twenty pages long, and I'm approaching the same level with Neuroscience. And I still need to study my graduate-level stuff...

So aside from the awesome aspect of being able enjoy the spring weather on a beautiful campus, having a nighttime job that lets me study is great (and absolutely essential) because I'm in way over my head. Its been more than six years since I studied any trigonometry, and I didn't realize how vital it is to real (not "applied") calculus. My algebra skills are also not great, so I need to do some exercise in both subjects in addition to the actual calculus. On top of that, I've jumped into a Neuroscience course that the third in a sequence. Professor Bickle started of the first class by saying "we're going to build on the knowledge you gained in the last two quarters on neuroanatomy and use it to understand learning in the brain. If you're not familiar with the material, you need to read chapters 2-6 and the appendix of the book and have a good understanding of it before next week." This was on Tuesday. I ordered the book, it arrived next-day, and I've studied chapters 1 and 2. Awesome stuff, and I think I will be able to stay afloat once I get these chapters behind me. Its a level of detail I've not been exposed to, but subject matter I'm familiar with. I'm a little concerned that I will also need to learn Chemistry on the fly.

I regisetered for Summer quarter already; a suprising bonus for being a grad student. I've got CalcII, Object Oriented Programming in C++, a graduate Time Series Forecasting class, and labs for the first two.

Another delightful suprise: the Autumn quarter class catalog is already available. So I've got my schedual picked out: Graduate Probability, Graduate Simulation modeling, Chemistry, Biology, and maybe Calculus III. Unfortunately I have to drop one of those five in order to stay under the credit-hour limit. Calc is offered every quarter whereas I think that Chem and Bio are more restricted to their sequence, so its probably better to take them now.

And my stack of books-to-read continues to grow. I just got one from Melenie Mitchel (DRH's grad student who wrote Copycat) called Complexity. I want so badly to start reading it, but I have so much class stuff to read first! Ah! *ha* I'll reward myself for doing my homework by reading a science book.