Week Five: Exam Time!

What can I say about this week? Highs and lows, y’all…highs and lows.

I finally finished a project without asking for help on anything major. My main problems were with syntax (surprise!), but overall, I was able to create an application where you can add and remove classes from a class schedule, entering a description in there as well. The BEST part was when we learned how to actually deploy a project, meaning putting it out into

Sports Day took us on a walking tour of the city.
Sports Day took us on a walking tour of the city.

the big, wide world of the internet. Up to this point, all of our projects have lived on what’s referred to as a “local machine”, which is basically just my computer. In the off chance you have some way to hack into my computer and use my localhost address, I guess these could have gone out earlier. To assume you’d want to break into my computer to post a sophmoric effort at a website is sort of laughable, but the world is a weird, weird place.

Anyway, it was really cool to be able to make all of the connections you normally see on a website: multiple pages, all hooked up with links and buttons, on the web, where I can geekishly share a web address with my sisters and husband, who can be proud of the aforementioned sophmoric effort. The whole page was built with Django, so I’m sort of beside myself that I made that happen, given my irritation with the language last week.

Okay, so we’ve hit the highs… On to the lows. And by lows, I mean my first black belt exam. In general, I am a terrible test taker. I get horrible anxiety over how I will perform, and when it’s a timed test over material with which I’m not terribly comfortable, it’s exponentially worse. That being said, I failed my first exam EVER on Friday. I had problems with my login page, which set me back to the point that I decided to skip over it and build other parts of the page. Big mistake. After 2-1/2 hours of working on the exam, I scrapped the whole thing and started over. So….yeah. I knew I wasn’t going to pass when I was halfway through, and for someone who is used to excelling academically, it was a huge blow, mostly to my ego I think.

Can't beat the Boiler Room's P-B-J.
Can’t beat the Boiler Room’s P-B-J.

Friday night was spent in the company of my cohort, drinking away our collective dissatisfaction. It was the first time we’ve all hung out (minus one student, who already had plans), and it was a great bonding experience. Ironically, we went to one of the three bars Hubs and I went to on his trip, but they have a pizza-PBR-shot-of-Jameson deal that’s hard to pass up, especially when you’re drowning sorrows. Saturday I woke up to an empty house, had a lazy morning, and made my way to the Harold Washington Library in the South Loop (the largest library in the world!). I pulled out my computer in the 9th floor Winter Garden and combed through all the things I missed the day before. Another afternoon of hanging out solo followed, with some continued studying on Sunday. After wrapping up for the day on Sunday, I got to catch up with an old friend I worked with at a bike shop in Colorado. Now here I sit, writing for you…my adoring fans!

A Pritzker Military Museum installation at the library.
A Pritzker Military Museum installation at the library.

Next week is a short one, and for that I’m grateful. Thanksgiving is on Thursday and my flight leaves at 10:00 on Wednesday night, meaning I get to wake up in my own bed for the holiday. I’ll retry the exam on Monday or Tuesday, depending on how things go. Hoping for better results on round 2!

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