We kicked things off by having a long series of presentations. One of the first ones underlined the importance of professionalism - we were asked to pretend we were hiring for a position and to pick out traits we'd want to have in a new IT employee, and virtually all of the traits that came to mind were non-technical. The technical skills are a must, of course, but the people skills are that little bit of grease that makes everything work.
That's my own, original idea (though spun from my thoughts watching the presentation), so feel free to use it, and if you do, credit me for it. Yes, we learned about plagiarism! But I apparently could learn still more, as I still can't spell it without the help of a spell-checker. Let's change the spelling to "playjarisim" and screw the cognates! Any takers? Anyone? I think this is part of why attempts to spell English phonetically are doomed to look crude.
The excitement wasn't over: next up was ©pyright! Actually, even though I am mocking these presentations, they were necessary, and I must remember that when I was in high school I'd actually entertained the notion of just setting up a photocopying cartel in university (as textbooks would no longer be freely loaned). I even had the short-sighted conceit that I was the first person to ever think of that! Any way I would have known about allowable copying fresh out of high school? No chance in hell, so this was another necessary presentation, though just a pleasant refresher for me.
Hey, you know those people who always have some tangential über-specific thing to add to a long lecture in a crowded room where everybody just wants the presentations to be over? We've got one of those. No, besides me, I mean. I don't harbour the guy any ill will at all and to some extent people like that who do us an invaluable service by giving us people to talk about, but it was impossible not to chuckle or even resist burying my head in my hands and shaking my head, yet all the while grinning. You had to be there.
Incidentally, this place is Aspie Heaven™ and I'd wish that I'd come here years ago were it not for one important ingredient - I now have a bit of social awareness that back then I almost completely lacked. I've been the guy that I described in the previous paragraph. I'm kind of glad that I've waited, since adjectives like "older" and "wiser" really do apply somewhat.
They also gave us a couple of breaks, which helped - some of us took a necessary coffee run on the second. The lady at the Starbucks counter sent new cream out to the island. Where does Cereal Cream stand on the Blend-Coffee-Whipping Cream spectrum, anyway?
At length, we were released for lunch. Well, not quite: There was an IT-specific scavenger hunt, giving us "something to do over lunch". Yeah, how about, I dunno, eat? Because I for one didn't end up having time to, but I wasn't really super hungry anyway and there wasn't a free lunch going on like there was the day before. It was also frustrating when I thought the clock on the library workstation was correct and so, thinking the deadline was imminent, I left before answering all the questions I could have answered using the NSCC website. Going back to the room, my teammate Brandon suggested we use wi-fi over a laptop. He tried his, another fellow tried his, and neither worked, and I haven't even tried to configure mine yet. As the final seconds ticked down I felt helpless and foiled.
Anyway, our team (among others) busted our collective asses on the scavenger hunt, and we won... an increased awareness of the school around us. ;-p The 4-person team that won won 3 large coffees from the cafeteria. Umm, kay. Anyway, it was a kind of hectic fun and the experience also helped me complete the individual non-program-specific scavenger hunt on my own later.
In the afternoon we got into our class groups and trundled off to the labs to endure a presentation of how to fail to connect to our virtualization software and operating system download sources. Then we did our WHMIS and OHS self-conducted online training. I was able to speed-read the tutorials and pass the exams without much trouble. I had to stop and re- [better: "actually"] read a few things, but reading every word about when such-and-such legislation was passed is completely unnecessary. They could do a lot to trim out the fat and convey the key points in a format that's much easier to read.
And once we got that done, we were free. Driving back home off-peak is so much easier than driving in. Trundling along the Bedford Highway at a steady low-speed clip (say, 50 or 60 km/h), Mom's V8-powered boat of a Cadillac claims that it gets 30-35 MPG while doing so. I can't, though, ignore the fact that that number ventures into single digits in stop-and-go or going uphill! I suspect the overall average is in the teens, or the low tweens if I'm really lucky.
I'm looking at the class schedule, and it's not too bad: I have only two classes each day, and I only start at 8:30 once, and 9:30 only twice. The other two days are 10:30 and 12:30. On the flip side, four days end at 4:30 and one ends at 2:30. On the days that end at 4:30, if I'm not going to leave right at 4:30 I might as well stay and do assignments into the evening, since otherwise I'll be wasting a ton of time in traffic. Did I mention I hate traffic?
Yes, there'll be lots of time for assignments, though perhaps even the seemingly generous expanse of time we have won't be enough, and depending on how that goes there might be some time for socializing. I like how this campus basically has one society - the Student Association itself! I'm kidding, there apparently are societies. But the campus is small enough that you can have activities and events that theoretically target the entire student population. You can't really do that at a larger school, if only because it's really hard to get everybody's attention. This is more like a high school in that everybody knows the dance is next Friday. The sign-up sheet for XYZ is in the cafeteria. To talk about ABC, see Jane Doe in room 305. It's all so easy to keep track of; I love it.
It's okay so far - but let's just see how it will be when I'm given some work! Will I be completely grey by the end of this term? Stay tuned!