Archive for April, 2007


April 22, 2007

I’ve been waiting for over a day for the svn repository to let me commit a patch to fluxbox. It appears I’ll be waiting for quite a while longer, so I guess I’ll take some time to write a blog entry.

On Wednesday evening, I took the WPE. In case my use of acronyms doesn’t properly label it as a waste of time, let me explain what this is. Fulfilling the Graduation Writing Requirement (yes, one of those) (GWR) is required in order to receive any Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at Cal Poly. The Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) is a 2 hour exam where they stuff 200 people into a room with 150 seats, ask everybody to write a 500 word essay, and then eventually grade them and tell you whether or not you passed. This is the only way to fulfill the requirement without taking an English course (where you would be expected to do the same thing, only with fewer people in the room).

In case this doesn’t sound like a bureaucratic mess, allow me to describe the process for signing up to take the WPE. The flyer on the bulletin board outside my office says, “Complete a WPE Space Reservation Form at the Cashier’s Office in the Administration Building.” Naturally, I walked up the hill to the Admin building to fill out the form. I looked around and didn’t see any, so I talked to the cashier. She informed me that I needed to go back down the hill to building 10 in order to get the form. So, I did that. The “form” turns out to be a sheet of paper with instructions for the test and, notably, no spaces where a person might fill in personal information. A little confused, I took the “form” back up the hill to the Admin building. I was then allowed to pay the cashier the small fee of $25 (this is probably to cover the costs of 10 sheets of lined paper, one photocopy of the essay question, an envelope, and a stamp). She stapled my receipt to the “form” and told me to bring it with me to the exam.

It certainly wasn’t the greatest essay I’ve ever written, but I think it should be sufficient. Anyway, I’m glad it’s over.

Curse you, berlios.


What’s in a Name?

April 9, 2007

I’ve discovered a fool-proof way to get lots of people to say strange things to you. Step one: grow a rather significant beard. Step two: shave it.

Here’s a sample of the things people have been saying to me:

  • Said my housemate John, “what’s this 15 year-old doing here?”
  • According to Tinh, my officemate, I looked smarter with the beard.
  • My neighbor, whom I have met at most once, yelled from his garage at me, “you look better without the beard!”
  • Karen, my other officemate, called me “cute”, of all things. I think she’s biased, though, since I look like her dad.
  • Dale, the department secretary, also a Minnesota native, told me I no longer looked like I’d been out hunting in the backwoods. I hope that doesn’t mean she’ll start pestering me for a picture again.

While I’m blogging about things that happened two or three weeks ago, I might as well fill in the gaps. During spring break, I caught a train to Los Angeles to meet Max and some of the other NationStates admins. I’ve been working on the site for about a year and a half now, so it seemed like a good idea to catch him while he’s within 10,000 miles of me. Max was very easy to talk to, which says a lot coming from somebody as untalkative as I am; but maybe that’s because he knows things about Linux and programming. No, it’s probably despite that.

I’ve also been interviewing for a job at Google. I don’t know if I’m particularly interested in the job, but I figure it’s worth trying. After all, it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll be doing much else for most of the next school year. That reminds me: I need to go work on my résumé.