William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

Test Drive report

Honestly? After seeing NSCC-IT, I wanted to kiss the grass at Saint Mary's. There's nothing wrong with the place - but it lacks a few of the university-standard creature comforts, like:

- A full-blown gym / athletic facility. (Not that it needs one... but it should be noted that their exercise room is really just a room - and the shower (I mean "the shower") is across the hall. So buy a membership at a place that has the facilities that are important to you (even Saint Mary's doesn't have a pool - though there was once a small one somewhere in Vanier Residence) and go there.

- Elevators, seemingly. (Not that you need them... but it seems that they suffer from the C.P. Allen architect's admiration of ramps. I feel for the folks in manual wheelchairs. On second thought, maybe they like not having to rely on an elevator. I think I would like that.)

- 24-hour computer access. (Not that you need it, since you can supposedly set up a virtual machine on a portable drive and take it to and from school.)

But there is plenty of:

- All-day on-street parking. Way way way easier than finding a spot near SMU (though I always have a few tricks up my sleeve for desperate situations). You don't even have to walk very far.

- Affable folks. It seems chattier than SMU. The guys from the class also went and had lunch together. You I never fucking see that at SMU - if I meet someone in the cafeteria, it's purely by chance.

- Lockers oh god the lockers so many lockers, it feels like you're in high school again! Please, do something about the lockers. They are traumatizing me!

As for the program itself, well, I feel more informed than before, but nowhere near fully informed. I saw the campus and got over my shocks associated with being an insufferable snobbish elitist prick. But as for program content, I only experienced:

- Two 5-minute presentations for a business communications course

- Imaginary stock trading on Updown (for report-writing purposes in another business course - this is actually fun to play with, but they don't have any Canadian, Japanese, or European stocks that I was interested in that don't have a USA-based listing (e.g. NYSE), though that's infinitesimal nitpicking)

- A few minutes chatting with the programming professor who came to class an hour late. It's the same schedule every week, and we set our clocks back an hour about a fortnight ago. Besides, if he'd forgotten to set his clock back, he'd have gotten to class a hour early. (To be fair, my "mentor" for the day had all of his assignments finished for the entire term for that course - it's possible there wasn't an overwhelming need for the professor to be there.)

That was about it. And the whole day was set aside for it. At least there was a free lunch. They also thoughtfully gave me a login for the computer systems. I suppose I should have found a development suite and tried to hammer out a "Hello world!" program, but it's only just occurring to me now.

I dunno guys - that Test Drive was a gong show - but I did pay my confirmation fee and I'll be there next September unless I change my mind. People do get jobs out of this program. They get jobs out of library science, too, but that costs about three times more, and I know a guy online with that degree who isn't employed in that field. Knowledge for knowledge's sake is great... but knowledge priced so dear in money and time should have some kind of positive effect on your financial well-being for it to be worth your while to pursue.

One thing is true, though: No program will be the last program I'll ever need to take that helps me take in the last thing I'll ever have to learn. Not that I want to stop learning. I just want to stop paying for it.
Tags: halifax, nscc, saint mary's, schools

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