In an attempt to cover the travesty that was my attempt at humor in the last post, I am going to post some information about my co-op here in Kentucky.

This job’s actually gotten pretty good as time went on. After the initial “I can’t do this” phase, it’s been pretty good here. That’s not to say this job is easy by any means; it’s probably the hardest computer science related thing I’ve done, but I think I’ve become a much better coder. And I’ve learned two new languages, so I’m going to say I came out on top on this one, knowledge wise.

Here’s some knowledge I picked up from my time here, that hopefully help people out who haven’t had a co-op yet.

1. You may or may not get a ton of work to do.
In this respect, I’m going to say I got lucky. I’m constantly hammered with various projects and maintenance, and this makes the time during the workday fly. However, from what I’ve heard from other co-ops is that this is rather rare, and you may be getting a good amount of work completely unrelated to your major.

I mean work like, making copies. Crappy stuff that a CE, CS, or EE major wouldn’t really want to do.

It’s luck of the draw there, honestly, could go either way.

2. Meeting new people is generally hard to do.
I like to think of myself as a generally social person, but I’ve met hardly anyone that I’d want to hang out with here in KY. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m the youngest person in my group, probably by at least 15 years. Also, there is no real communication between the co-ops here. There’s a council or something, but it’s a lot of talk and no action, so I’ve given up on that.

That could be just here, but I’d imagine this occurs other places as well.

3. Enjoy yourself.
I’ve seen this a bunch. People working through their lunches, not taking any breaks, staying late on Fridays, and working on stuff at home.

Don’t do that.

Seriously, my time here has been such a change of pace from the breakneck pace back at school. I can return to my apartment and just forget about work for the evening. It’s incredible. No homework, just relaxing and enjoying myself. I know I’m going to lose that during school, and I’ll miss it.

This isn’t saying to slack off. I work very, very hard during the workweek and I stay overtime when I need to. But just don’t overdo it.

That’s all I really have for now. I’m thinking of taking my blog in a different direction than it’s been in the past and commenting on current events or the like. I figure there’s a better chance people’ll read that then to hear me simply talking about my life. Just a thought. If anyone has any suggestions or topics they’d like me to give a word about, feel free to ask!

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New Rules

July 26, 2007

So, I may have lied about posting more in my blog.

My bad. I swear I’ll try to get more in. But no promises.

I was thinking today and I wanted to make a new ‘feature’ on my blog, and call it new rules. I thought of it when something stupid happened nearby to me up here, and I said to myself “Alright, new rule….”. So, I wanted to give it a shot and see how badly it tanks. Here we go.

New rule. If you don’t use your turn signal at all, anyone put into possible danger or annoyance should be allowed to pull that person out of their car and….. go ahead and finish this one yourself.

New rule. Mike Rowe, of the Discovery Channel, is all that is man. No exceptions, accept no substitutions.

New rule. Quit trying to do a burnout every time you leave the damn parking lot. It makes you look like a moron. Especially since you’re driving a jacked-up truck.

New rule. Hot Fuzz is a freaking sweet movie, and British comedy is funny.

New rule. I need to think of better rules for the next time I do this.

I do apologize for the above. I swear I had better ideas for it, I just couldn’t remember any ideas for it. Well, any good ones.

And that’s it for this post. I’ll make more, I swear.

I’ve been in Kentucky for about 2 and a half weeks now, and I’ve come to a conclusion

Turn signal use in Kentucky is strictly optional.

That aside, it’s been quite a trip so far. If you haven’t been keeping score, I’m currently on Co-op for Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing in Erlanger, KY. I work as a VB.Net, SQL, and ASP.NET developer for the Facilities Engineering group. I’ve learned an incredible amount about VB and SQL, and ASP is more or less an oversight that’s built into Visual Studio, Microsoft’s primary IDE (and only one I know of).

It’s difficult and time consuming, but it’s interesting and the time flies when I do it, for better or for worse. I have a “mentor” of sorts in the past co-op, another student from RIT. Which is cool. He’s helped me a lot, and it’s allowed be to progress very quickly in learning the new languages.

Got my own apartment here, which is cool. But it also brings up another point: I know approximately no one here. I know the other co-op in my group, but honestly that’s about it. Which sucks. I need to meet people, which I find hard in this setting.

Oh, and I recently came into ownership of an Xbox 360, along with a subscription to Xbox Live gold. If you play, feel free to message me with your gamertag. We’ll get something going.

Finally, I know I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been very busy, but all of you out there who regularly check this blog, all none of you, I’ll try to update this more regularly. I promise.

And for Christ’s sake, use your turn signal.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written an entry into this blog. Been quite a busy time for me at RIT. Quarter is coming to an end, assignments are coming due, and all other kinds of fun, fun stuff. A lot has happened, but I’ll keep it down to a few points to keep this entry (relatively) short.

First off: Ben Folds concert. Recently, the artist Ben Folds gave a concert at the Gordon Field House here at RIT. One word can describe his performance: Exceptional. I haven’t been to many concerts in my time, but this was a great time. Folds is funny, interesting, and incredibly talented at what he does. It was an awesome night of humor, random vulgarity, and great music. The openers weren’t that great for the show (The first one, a female vocalist, was fairly good. The second opener, hip hop artist “Black Violin” was awful), but Folds brought it back and the night was an incredible time. I could devote an entire entry to the concert, but that’s for another time.

Second: I finally found a co-op. Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has hired me for a summer and winter co-op (the second term is not sure yet, but it will be two terms). At the co-op I’ll be programming in Visual Basic .NET and SQL, two languages which I’m not horribly familiar with, but I feel I could learn very quickly. If anyone has any experience with either language, please feel free to give me some hints or tips in the comments or my e-mail.

Kentucky’s a far way off, but it’ll be fun to finally get off the East Coast (kinda) and live in a new place. Plus, the co-op is located in the town of Erlanger, KY, which is about a half hour from Cincinnati, Ohio. Maybe catch a Reds game or something over the summer.

I think a co-op will be a great change of pace from the normal term at school. Being able to focus on one or two topics that are (hopefully) closely related will be a lot better then focusing on the menagerie of topics I’m required to focus on during school. And plus, no homework. And also, getting paid.

That, my friends, is a true winning combination.

Finally, the last topic I will talk about will be trying to intimidate people. I’m not at liberty to mention any names and such, but one as myself and two friends were leaving class today, another student grabbed my friend by the shoulder and said “You better watching your [fornicating] mouth”

This was in response to said friend speaking to the prof. in class, and when being interrupted by this student, my friend more or less told him to shut up. Which was, of course, hilarious in its own right.

However

If you’re going to try to intimidate someone, you must meet a few criteria:
1. You must be physically imposing.
Do not try to intimidate someone if you are not either A) Very strong/muscular or B) Much larger then the other person. I don’t care if you know akido or karate or anything like that. If you don’t look intimidating, you can’t be intimidating (easily)

2. Don’t do it in front of their friends
Seriously. It makes you look stupid. And it also takes away any advantage you may have alone.

3. Don’t run away afterwards
Leaving the situation makes it look like you gave up. And it gives the other people/person time to laugh.

And most importantly, don’t do it at all. Trying to be intimidating or aggressive makes you look like a little child who just got his toy taken away. If you’re offended by something someone says, talk to the person or just cut your losses and live with it.

Don’t be an idiot. Period.

Interview introduction

April 15, 2007

Hi everyone. The next few blog entries are all about my day-trip to Kentucky for an interview with Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing (TEMA). The entries start with “Waking up is hard to do” and end with “15 miles…”. They may seem a little backwards, but I entered them in the order I created them.

I didn’t have internet access for most of my trip, so I waited to post all of the entires until now.

Feel free to comment and read through my adventure.

Take it easy.

…. so hears the deal.

The van made it to the airport at about 7:30. I entered the airport at about 7:31, and rushed to the ticket counter to see if my flight was still there. I found out that my flight hadn’t left yet.

Now let me give you a little sidenote. I don’t run. I never run. I really can’t run well due to problem in one of my legs, which I don’t want to explain.

However, with this knowledge from the ticket agent, I sprint.

Down escalators, to the security checkpoint. Where I promptly wait for 10 minutes for the opportunity to take my shoes and suit coat off.

One past the checkpoint, I sprint around the corner, and find that my terminal is on the other extreme end of the airport, and a train to get there just left.

Again, I sprint. Through moving walkways, past slower-moving people, and so on.

My flight leaves from terminal C, I started at A. Going past B, I had to take a shuttle to get to C, since there didn’t appear to be any other choice.

I get to terminal C. Sprinting to the gate, I look at the information window, and this is what it said:

Delta Flight 5082:
Rochester, NY
DELAYED
Original Departure: 7:30 PM
Now Departing: 8:00 PM

My watch reads 7:50. I made it.

Thank God.

I’m now in the air, heading back to Rochester, and this is where I end this line of blog entries. This has been a helluva day, one which I won’t forget for a long, long time. But now, I have to rest, since my laptop has gone on reserve power and I’m about to pass out as it is.

Goodnight, Everyone.

This is interesting.

I have to keep this short, since my laptop battery is about to die.

The Toyota interview was odd. They didn’t ask me any technical questions, which is what I expected. I was asked more situational-type questions, like “Tell me a time when you had a problem with a team member and how you resolved it.” Not quite what I was expecting, but interesting none the less.

Now for the more fun stuff.

To get back to Rochester, I was to take two flights. One from Lexington, KY to Cincinnati, and then one from Cinci – Rochester. Problem: The flight that was to take me from KY to Cinci was delayed, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal.

Unless you were supposed to fly out at 6 and your connection is at 7:30.

To try and fix this, Delta obtained two vans for passengers who had early connections and to make the one hour and thirty minute drive to the Cincinnati airport.

And that’s where I am now, on a freeway, being driven for an hour and a half for what would be probably a 20 minute flight.

And to top it all off, it’s about 7 now and I heard that we’re more than a half-hour out.

I don’t think I’m going to make it.