Argh, don't you hate it when you feel too lousy to get anything worthwhile done, but not bad enough to stay in bed without being bored out of your skull? My brain is expanding and my skull is not...ugh, this means that even vb programming is quite a task. Ouch.
I'm grumbling today about a few things at the University that seem unusual. First off, does it seem weird to anyone but me that you must have an official paper to change registration? That everything must be written? I wanted to drop a physics course (that phys minor just isn't happening I guess) and STAT 230 (Does anyone like that course?) and take C&O 331 and FR 300A (I might do a master's at UQAM, and don't want to lose my skill in the language) instead. I have approval from an advisor (all it took was a chat with a French professor over the phone and telling a math professor I passed MATH 245 and C&O 230 already) but I must have either my original pre-registration form or my tentative schedule. According to the schedule for Winter '97, I can only fit three of my five original courses together anyways, and the courses I would like have many open spaces and fit with the remaining courses. Why is there no way to print out a schedule and then hand it in?
My other gripe has to do with co-op. Now, my job is great, and I'm learning a lot, but I have contempt for a few of the advisors. Before I started this job, I had to search for an advisor to give me the correct address and phone number for my position (Mississauga is not in Alberta. My placement form thought it was.)
The coordinator came to visit me a while ago, and she came on the wrong day. She was lucky I was in at the moment. She didn't have any of the forms (evaluation, math work term, etc.) She asked me if I could tell her what the company did. I tried, and wondered why she could not read the rather well worded posting I had applied for. I wondered if that was not her job. I was trying to explain some quite specialized software to her, but I gave up at the blank look on her face when I mentioned the word ``database''. OK, we have an engineering/math advisor who does not know anything about computers. Fine; I showed her some neat maps and told her that the pictures were generated by perl scripts when we entered a query on the form, not stored somewhere. The look on her face told me that a discussion about raster graphics vs. vector graphics was out of the question.
Now, we are at a university known for expertise in computer science. Why don't we share this expertise with the administration? Why not change the scheduling software to allow printouts of schedules anywhere? It is so much easier that way... I'm not even asking for a change in the guts of the system. How about requiring that anyone in co-op advising students in math, engineering or whatever else has placements involving a lot of computers to take advantage of one of the staff courses on computers? Ignorance is not great, but hey, it's easily curable. All we need is to get some momentum...
Carolyn ``Useful Work? Not likely today'' MacLeod
© 1996 mathNEWS