My definition of fun is probably grossly out of tune with the more traditional interpretation. Since being out of class for a week now, I’ve been able to do some things I didn’t have time for before. For one, I’ve really sat down and evaluated my school schedule. While the requirements are not strict, because the duration of the program is not that long and some classes are only offered in a certain semester each year, it’s easy to get off track of a focused plan pretty quickly. I registered for a third class (after days of internally debating the possibility of actually pulling this off) that sounds really interesting and useful… Enterprise Software Architecture. However, if Software Engineering isn’t offered in the Spring, then I may be out of luck, or I may stay in the program longer than necessary to fit it in. Being in the Software Engineering program and not taking that class seems silly, but staying in the program longer is pricey and defeats the advantage gained from cramming three classes into one semester. I still feel at odds over this situation, so I may drop the Architecture class and pick up the Engineering class instead. My other issue is that I am planning on making a real attempt at completing the free online course in Machine Learning from Stanford that starts this October. The class sounds particularly applicable to my needs and interests, plus it’s an awesome experiment in delivering education to the world, basically. I feel like I really want to be part of this experiment! Finally, (yes there’s always more cause I’m a Complicated individual; if (individual of type Complicated), then individual = crazy).. there’s this really great opportunity to work on a project with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. It would be an independent study type situation and would replace one of my classes from my current registration. Why involvement in a project might require even more of a time commitment than class, it would be such a great opportunity for real-world work experience (and an advantage on a resume too). My experience isn’t exactly what the position calls for, but I know from experience that just asking to be involved is sometimes enough and working through the unknowns is no problem. So keeping my fingers crossed and will be anxiously awaiting the final word on this next week.

Besides all this scheduling fiasco, which can only last for another week when school starts, there’s a good intro to operating systems book I’m reading through Safari to sort of get ready for my upcoming OS class. I like to take some of the mystery out of what I’ll be studying beforehand, and I know this instructor is going to nail us to the wall with all the tidbit particulars of OS and so I’m psyching myself up for the hurt. 🙂

Also, I’ve been on myself over not getting into c/c++ yet. I think I need to at least have casual knowledge of these languages (and C#) because they’re so commonly used and foundational with respect to all the newer languages around. So I finally got around to starting the c tutorial disk that came with my c++ book (just something I picked up from the bookstore). To be able to practice c coding I installed eclipse cdt within my eclipse helios (java version). I think there is still some sort of configuring to do, but I really am comfortable with eclipse and am glad to be able to use it for c/c++ too. Once c is covered, on to c++ and also objective-c. There are really nice tutorials for iphone/ipad apps that I have started reading. I’d like to know how this works, and with such nice tutorials provided, it seems silly not to go through the process. At worst, another resume attribute and at best, a fun way to impress my kids. 🙂

Finally, (another one?) I have the multimeter and the solder and the books.. I’ve read about PBASIC and electronics and sensors.. just waiting on the robot kits themselves and then some robot building is going down at my place, hopefully this weekend! I ordered the boe-bot after a lot of sifting through online kits and beginners recommendations and the K-SAND from Solarbotics to go with Robot Building for Beginners. Fun, and then some!