Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The "Kid"

Was today only Tuesday? A sabbatical would feel really good about now. I can not believe that we are still at the beginning of the week. Believe it or not, I actually have a story to tell today. I should probably be working on homework or studying, as I have two exams on Thursday, but the story is of interest.

Setting: Shortly after CS2020, walking in to the classroom where the CS2100 (discrete structures) discussion section would be held. We had about 20 minutes to go before the session would start, so my 2020 classmates and I kept talking.

Me: So what do you think will be on the exam on Thursday?

Friend in CS2020: It will be a fun one, you KNOW he will test the memory model.

Me: I kind of figured as much. I really don’t fancy implementing a linked list on the exam. I hope that doesn’t come up.

Annoying kid from CS2100: Linked lists are easy, I could implement one of those in five minutes.

Me: (to the kid) I am afraid you don’t understand, I am not talking about using the collection linked list, I am talking about building it from scratch.

Kid: Yes, I could do it in 5 minutes it is easy.

Friend: (dripping with sarcasm) I must be an idiot then, because it took me five hours to do it the first time.

Kid: It would be way easy in C++, it might take time in Java, but in C++ it would be a cinch.

Me: From what I know of C++, I think it would actually be more difficult.

Kid: Java isn’t a real language; I don’t know why they bother teaching that to you in those classes.

Friend: You had better get used to it. That is what you are going to be expected to learn

Kid: I didn’t have to take the 2010/2020 series I was able to skip right to 2100.

I will kill the conversation at this point to tell you that people that I have SO LITTLE PATIENCE for people like the “kid” in the above conversation. Perhaps I am low on self confidence; perhaps I just expect people to listen to me and at least pretend to understand my point of view. Arrogance won’t buy you any credit with me. This kid then goes on to tell me that C++ works on any platform more easily than the Java bite code, or the C# CRL. I was totally befuddled.

After class began the kid then proceeded to talk the whole time, interrupting the TA at every turn. I just wanted to lean over and tell him to SHUT UP. However, the civilized me just sat in my chair three rows behind, took some deep breaths, and tried to make sense of the gibberish on the chalkboard. The difficulty of discrete math, along with the frustration of the kid, was just about all I could take today.

Moral of the Story:
If you are smart and think you know it all, you probably don’t know anything. Discretion truly is the better part of valor.


Anonymous said...

By the same token, people who know to little are truly annoying as well.
Recently I was sitting in a real estate course which I am taking in the evenings after regular classes. There was a guy in the class who knew nothing and had to interrupt the teacher after she touched on every point with a series of "what if?" questions.... he stretched the class by over an hour because the teacher had to stop teaching the class to personally tutor this guy, and 90% of his questions were inane.

I wanted to lean forward and tell him to shut up....

Joe said...

We are agreed on that one. If someone continually asks dumb questions, you end up in a similar situation. Your comment gives me thought though to think about when I ask a question in that particular discussion section. My questions aren’t necessarily the “what-if” questions you mention in your real estate class, but they are usually along the lines of. Hey, slow down, and explain that again this time showing the steps you skipped. You have given me food for thought anonymous person. Oh… and thanks for the reply, I love comments.