Friday, January 30, 2009

So far, so good

Grades are starting to roll in, and they seem pretty good. Every class is challenging but nothing seems unreasonable, yet. The biggest nuisance seems to be circuits lab. Six hours of lab write-up chews too much study time, but we really only have six more this semester. The other labs are in a circuit design software called Pspice. My laptop is gradually turning in to a math/science nerds delight. It started with Excel, then Matlab, then Pspice, and now I have Maple, too. I even have software for thermodynamics that automatically pulls up the thermo tables and phase diagrams and solves all kinds of problems using thermodynamic properties. The first new property I learned is specific volume which is nothing more than the inverse of density, we spent today going over enthalpy and specific heat. Next, we learn how to make rabbits appear out of thin air. That's going to be cool!!
Calculus III has been mostly review thus far, so that makes life a little easier. Mechanics of Deformables has just been an extension of Statics. In Statics, you learn to resolve forces about a rigid body like a steel beam, but you neglect all the forces internal to the beam. Now we actually analyze those internal forces that can make a beam fail, or bend, or "deform".
EGRM 215 has mostly been fun with Excel, but now we're getting into some really cool funtions of Matlab. I've been using Matlab for a while now, but there's always so much to learn.
At some point I was planning on keeping this blog less boring, but everything I do in school is boring to anyone who is not studying the same thing. That's all I do!! There's nothing else to talk about. You can see all the cool stuff going on at home on Sonya's blog. Stay tuned here to get your nerd on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where were you?

Today was one of those rare moments. I made this list of others.

Space Shuttle Columbia - April 12, 1981 - Mom and Dad's room at 4999 Burton St., Grand Rapids, MI - 5 years old

Reagan's Second Inauguration - Monday, January 21, 1985 - Ms. Adam's Third Grade portable classroom - 8 years old

Challenger Disaster - January 28, 1986 - Ms. Capero's Fourth Grade Class (Oliver Hoover Atrium) - 9 years old

1st Gulf War - August 2, 1990 - Living room at 8025 sw 153 ct, Miami, FL - 14 years old

World Trade Center - September 11, 2001 - Dad's House, Country Walk, Miami, FL - 25 years old

Columbia Disaster - February 1, 2003 - Ginny Song's Apartment, Brooklyn, NY - 26 years old

2nd Gulf War - March 20, 2003 - Somewhere between Miami and Grand Rapids driving overnight with dad to Aunt Rose's funeral - 26 years old

Barack Obama Nominated President - November 4th, 2008 - At home in bed with Sonya sleeping next to me - 32 years old

Barack Obama Swearing-In - January 20, 2009 - VCU School of Engineering East Hall Atrium - 32 years old

I must have forgotten something.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day Two

I had Mechanics of Deformables this morning with Dr. Mital. I'm pretty sure he is younger than me, but that's o.k.. He's likable. Today we covered the syllabus and some Statics review. I actually felt very comfortable with the material, which is good, because I had Statics a year ago. We took a pop quiz! He made a comment about having pop quizzes when people leave early, and somebody left early. What a way to begin. I hope that early-leaver drops.
I have Multivariate Calculus in a couple hours. Her syllabus claims that anyone who did worse than a C in Calculus I & II will find the course "challenging." I can't help but think that it will be challenging even if you had an A in Calculus I & II. This is my last math requirement from the math department, but I still have two more math courses to take. STAT 541 "Applied Statistics" and EGRM 321 "Numerical Methods" are next semester, and I must admit to being a little nervous that a graduate level course is my foray into statistics. Most people I know who have taken statistics say it is boring, so maybe a graduate class will be more thrilling. HA!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day One

I'm back in school and glad to be there. I fixed the last little hiccup with my Circuits Lab, and now my schedule looks pretty good. My Engineering Graphics & Computation professor said her class is not a "weed-out" class, but she did say Thermodynamics is a "weed-out" class. I sincerely hope I am not a weed.
The first day of Thermo was just covering the syllabus and the professor assigned some light reading.
Circuits was a regular class section, but it was mostly review of some Physics II concepts.
Tomorrow I have Multivariate Calculus and Mechanics of Deformables.
Yippy for me!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Two Blogs for the Price of None

I just went through the digital camera and found some great photos of our trip to Nashville. We took no photos in Miami or Atlanta for reasons I can not explain.

This semester, I want to avoid the complete neglect of my creative urges that I have suffered in semesters passed, so I am doing my best to make my home studio a little more inviting. I found this little desk at Office Depot on double sale for $49. I could not pass it up. I have reinstalled Windows and Protools on my old laptop, so now I will hopefully be able to take advantage of the upgrades I performed on the memory and disk size over the summer. I don't even have antivirus software on that laptop, so hopefully there will be nothing to interfere with the function of Protools.

Also, I took down the "cone-of-silence" because it was under-used and over-sized. Now it is serving a superior function in my garage as a storage closet on wheels.
This is the only picture I could find of the "cone-of-silence" in its previous location. Notice my sisters performing their rendition of "Stop in the Name of Love." Fantastic!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Home at Last

We've been home for three days now, and we're finally feeling unpacked. We drove straight through the night on Monday after leaving Miami at 12:30 PM, and we didn't arrive in Williamsburg until about 4:30 AM. We even followed the Garmin's advice and took the ferry home. I'm not sure if it actually saved us any time, but it definitely shaved some miles off the trip. Plus, it's always nice to get off the interstate.
It took the better part of Tuesday to recover. We went to the bank, stopped by Target, and returned the rental car. I think we got to sleep again by about midnight.
We happily never left the house on Wednesday, but Christopher and Corbett stopped by around 9:00 PM to ring in the new year with us. Christopher and Sonya let Corbett and me drink in the new year.
As to be expected, Thursday was spent nursing my hangover. I was feeling better by dinner time, so we watched some of the DVDs we received for Christmas. Wristcutters is an amazing movie! We also watched the first half of Ken Burns' Thomas Jefferson and three episodes of season 2 of 30 Rock.
Today, I am finally feeling whole, so we're going to head into Richmond.