Exams are over

Time to reflect on 4 months of school that flew by.

Academically, it was a really successful term. Sometimes I felt like a real slacker and other times I was pushed to the limits.

  • ECON 102 – Macroeconomics Larry Smith lived up to his billing. I never thought it would happen, but I read the business section of the news now. (Scandalous!)
  • SE 464 – Software Architecture The phone system project was a killer. But I had a hardworking and competent group. I was really happy with our final product. Our design was rock solid.
  • ECE – 454 & 428 Distributed Systems & Networking are twinnned in my mind. Same prof, complementary material. Both were solid. I thought Prof Ward would use the same jokes in both classes, but he was just genuinely funny.
  • CS 448 – Databases was the biggest disappointment of the term. I reutinely skipped the course and worked on other homework. The material was really thin and boring, and the prof talked so sllllooooowwwwllllyyy, it almost killed me.

The course projects would really pile up sometimes and it really stressed some people out. Luckily I worked with talented groups that brought everything together in the end. The last two weeks were especially busy, with a few all nighters needed to finish the last assignments.

Exams went smoothly. No cake walks, but no train wrecks either. Unless you count Databases. The exam was supposed to be on Monday, but the Registrar’s Office only gave the prof 40 exams for 140 people. The prof and his TA’s tried to frantically make copies (but it takes a while to make a 100 copies of a 20 page exam). So, a half hour after the exam was supposed to start the prof had to tell us that the exam would be rescheduled. I felt really bad for the guy. He tried to get feedback from the students (bad idea), and the comments he got were really vile. I thought the students were going to riot. Note: only at Waterloo would students riot when they aren’t allowed to write an exam. Although I understand most of the frustration. The exam got pushed back to last night and it screwed up many peoples study schedules and travel plans. Because of the rescheduling I had 3 exams in 36 hours. I remember the databases exam going well last night (although after drinking at Molly’s last night, I don’t remember any of the questions).

The highlight of the term was easily Ultimate Frisbee. What a blast. Floor Hockey was fun too, but Ultimate stole my heart. I’ll have to find somewhere to play next summer. I was talking to Chad (my house leader from Shad Valley) the other day and he plays Ultimate every day at work during lunch hours. I wonder if the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal wants to hire a young Software Engineering grad next year?

Outside of school there was plenty of time for partying, at least before midterms started. A few memorable trips to the Bomber (well I don’t remember much, but I have pictures) and some fun nights spent drinking wine and playing cards.

All in all, I’d say it was another successful term. Scary to think there’s only one left.


  1. I think that reflection sounds too happy. I don’t know how you managed to have such a good time with se464, but then maybe you didn’t get screwed over with poor TA’s over and over like my group did. TA’s that were trying to screw with our brains. Not a pleasant experience at all. We are still suffering from poor TA in requirements. Now I can look forward to next term in which we can continue to be screwed from two previous TA’s.
    … one more term to go … kind of scary. 😡


    • SE 464 was a lot of work, but I enjoyed most of it.
      Our TA (Christina) was awesome! She was really easy going and understanding. We’ve lucked out twice with TAs. The TA for requirements was just lazy, so we didn’t have any advanced features to implement this phase.


      • All our “advanced” features were way too advanced, so we never implemented them. The problem was that the basic requirements were changed for us. Screwing us over several times this term, both for the design and the demo, because nobody understood what we were doing.
        *sigh* Time to go crash the quest servers.


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