Friday, August 27, 2004

Discrete What?

Friday is almost always a good thing; it invites the weekend which gives one time for rest and relaxation. Oh, and if you are a student, it also gives you time to catch up. This week at school was only a half week, and if it is any inkling of what school will be like this semester, heaven help me. The one good thing that I can say about it all is that I am actually enjoying my classes. Some more than others, but I think the sign of finally having found the right major is that you don’t necessarily mind spending hours on the homework.

Discrete Structures.

I am scared of this class. It is interesting, and after reading the first four sections of the book I can understand why they make it a requirement for all computer science majors, but at the same time, this is going to tax me in ways that I have never before experienced. I was instant messaging with a friend earlier this afternoon the conversation went something like this:

Me: I am not quite sure how I will survive my Discrete Mathematics course this semester.

Friend: Mathematics should never be prefaced by any adjective, especially that one.

Me: I totally agree… well… what if the adjective were something like easy, or elementary? I think I would be ok with it then.

Friend: But it isn’t followed by those words, discrete doesn’t imply easy.

The conversation gave me a smile this afternoon, and also gave me yet another thing to talk about here in the blog. As I sat in the discussion section for the class today the TA made a statement that Discrete math isn’t smooth like continuous math (calculus for example), that sounds pretty good. In fact, discrete math feels pretty rocky right now, but I will spend the seat time and hopefully learn how to write mathematical proofs. Which somewhat helps us get to the evenings next topic, right-brain versus left-brain.

In my childhood, I would have told you that I was very right-brained. I would have said that I loved creative things, and that I was a very creative person. Just ask one of my siblings. I went through one phase where I wanted to paint and emboss every object that I owned (and even objects that I didn’t own). I fancied myself an artist. Even in recent years, I would have said that I was more right-brained than left brained. I love photography, and was even the photo editor for a campus magazine in my early college career. I worked as a darkroom technician/photographer for the campus photography department for a while as well. I love to sing, and have been in choirs for a very long time. Until recently, I really hated mathematics, and anything that seemed heavily dependant upon science was just hard to understand and grasp (why I originally majored in Biology with that sentiment is beyond me).

So here we are almost to the last quarter of 2004, and I am majoring in computer science and loving it! Really truly loving it! When I started taking the classes I came at it again from the side of creativity. “Programming is an art, a place to be expressive and imaginative.” I would tell people. I still believe that it is. And now that you have heard my long story about why I think I am creative and right-brained. I take both of those tests out of the blog that I linked to yesterday, and the tests don’t say that I am slightly left-brained, but that I am TOTALLY left-brain dominant. Go figure. Maybe I work so hard at the left-brain stuff that I over compensate. Who knows? Though, I can say that being in this Discrete Mathematics course that I can use all of the left-brain goodness that the gray matter has to offer me.

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