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This group project is going to be hardcore

January 17, 2012

As I have probably alluded to earlier, I have two major group projects this semester. These are going to take up the majority of my time. However, the way this is going to be handled is a bit different then I am accustomed to.

As a group, we are probably meeting every weekday (class or no class) to either discuss this and that about our project, or to proceed forward on it. We are going to dedicate the majority of our time to working on these projects. I might propose a lull period between project 305 and project 304 when it comes close to exam times so that we can study and manage to dominate those (depending on when we get done). That being said, it isn’t utterly all consuming. We have agreed that our “work days” are from 8AM to 4PM, and we don’t formally “work” on weekends unless we agree to it in advance.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to this method
Advantages
-We will all be in the same place working on what is presumably the same task
-Clearly defined hours of when we do and don’t “work” will keep things sane
-It allows us to have lives outside of our project provided it doesn’t interfere with the project proper.

Disadvantages
-It is a (very) different methodology of programming then what I’m used to. I usually just slam code at home when I am awake, with my resources (pop and snacks) nearby, awesome music in my ears to help facilitate my “programmers trance.” I often push myself extremely hard
-Programming in an environment I feel less comfortable and accustomed to doing that kind of work in might be detrimental to the results.

Would I recommend all my group projects in the future do this? Not in the slightest. While it does seem like an optimal method in this case (even if I would have to get up early on MANY days I have no class…), there is one very important factor that makes this possible. Academically, every one of us has the exact same schedule and class loadout. This makes keeping in communication about what we’re expected of outside our projects and in our other classes a non-issue. I can’t count the number of times I wanted to help people with assignments/study-groups/etc, only to have to reject them because I had homework or other such things in other classes. This time it’s a non-issue, because our entire scholastic existence is more or less synched up. This is a rather rare scenario in US education IIRC (not sure how common it is here. It seems this way by design in this specific course, but doesn’t seem to be common as a system wide phenomenon). This has NEVER EVER happened with any of my other classes (then again, I am doing two majors, so it’s even less probable for me then it is for others). This is the reason I, with the utmost reluctance, rejected that free norwegian crash course class. I felt keeping my schedule aligned with my group was the highest priority.

I would give more “Norway-esque” reports about the my experience here, but there’s really nothing to say. My days have been relatively dull and repetitive (not in a bad way though). Go to class (or group meeting), go home, sleep, wake up, practice IT skills for project, try to sleep for next day class. Rinse-lather-repeat, etc. Granted, tomorrow’s class doesn’t start until rather late (AND THANK FUCK FOR THAT), and we as a group don’t have a morning meeting (one of our group mates is going to the dentist I think), so I can actually get enough sleep not to go home ragged and not thinking “I have crap to take care of, but I’m TOO DAMN TIRED” like I have the last couple of days. Oh well, there are things to be said about predictability. It’s controllable, it is (in my case) affordable, etc. Still, there are things I do really need to do at school before the week is out, and a day where I don’t have the severe fatigue that prevents that from happening would be optimal.

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