Friday, October 8, 2010

"You may have been the best, but guess what? Now you're all average!"

Looks like it's time for me to do another post, seeing as I haven't done one in about a month. At this point, now more than a third of the way through the semester, classes are finally starting to pick up. We have a project due just about every week now in CS529, our game dev class, and quizzes and exams to keep us on our toes in CS525 (C/C++). That's in addition to the projects in CS525 and CS241 (graphics), which are due abou every two weeks. So, there's a lot of work to be done, but what else?

Well, after having our first quiz and exam for CS525, it's becoming apparent that this is the class that weeds out the unworthy. My performance on the quiz last week was... less than stellar... but I did considerably better on the midterm, which was yesterday. Apparently, so did everyone else. How do I know this, you ask? Our professor has written scripts that automate a number of things for him, such as testing and grading our code, and also generating statistics for the class based on our grades. And where am I? Right in the middle -- I'm completely and utterly average. Oh, and did I mention that our professor has failed a third of the class before? How's that for motivation?

When I got here, the Student Association president gave a speech about how, while you may have been the best at your respective schools, that means you're all just average at DigiPen. Listening to him talk about that and give  a number of other speeches, I assumed most of it applied more to the Freshmen. We're Master's students, we've already been through the gauntlet, right? Apparently, though, graduate school is hard. I know! Who'd have thought?

It's been a long while since I've fallen into the "average" category. Honestly, this feels more like high school. Although I was in the top 10% of my class, among the people in my Calculus BC class, my performance was pretty much right in the middle. And, what do you know, I got my first C in that class! Oddly enough, I don't think I got any Cs in college. This, of course, raises the question of whether I should have gone to a more academically rigorous and challenging university. One could argue back and forth forever about this, but I maintain that it was the right decision. While I may not have been challenged as much as I should have, I gained a lot in other areas, especially music, and made a great number of good friends. All in all, I'd say that my experience there made up for any of the aforementioned deficiencies.

And after all, I still got into DigiPen, right? Sure, I may be average, but I'm average in a group of very intelligent people, people I'd be proud to work with. Of course, this doesn't mean I can just sit back and let things happen. I have to be pro-active and hard-working and I absolutely must improve my time-management skills if I'm going to survive this ordeal. Soon, the real fun begins. I have just less than a week to make Asteroids, and pretty soon after that we'll be starting our main project, to create a platformer from scratch! And, for the record, I absolutely cannot wait for next semester when we start our first team project!


--Jeremy




ON THE SIDE

  • I've been working on a project in Flash/ActionScript 3. It's a platformer currently titled 'Gremlin.' I haven't worked on it for the past couple weeks, but once I have a playable demo, you can be sure I'll publicize it fairly heavily. I'm using Adobe's Flash Builder and Flixel, an open source library for making games in Flash.
  • The work of Mason Bates, composer of classical music and electronica, has really inspired me. His recent compositions for Chanticleer, one of this country's best (if not the best) chamber choirs, have shown me that the realm between the classical and the electronic holds an enormous amount of potential. From this point forward, I plan to gradually shift a good number of my compositions in that direction.
  • My recent gaming playlist:


Questions or Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at jbkings@gmail.com.

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