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Musing about Relavant Things Thinking about Life This Week in college

Expectations

When we start our school journey, we usually assume that we will do well and learn anything given the right teacher, which is true. So then why do so many people have trouble in college? Well, they expected that college would be easy or that they won’t need to spend all day studying. The real expectation should be that college is a proving grounds for you and your work ethic, perseverance, and willingness to seek the things you want. We should expect to struggle, fail, and ask for help, but we( including myself) tend to think we can do it all good the first time.


I have been good at school and learning most of my life. This knowledge has helped me be confident enough to take on challenges and come out on the other side while also not getting weighed down with all that I have to do and how much time I have to do it. The issue arises when I expect myself to get it right the first time or get it right away. I have learned that the expectations that we place on ourselves can either motivate us or discourage us. Give yourself a little grace and do your best; sometimes, that won’t be enough, but not trying for fear of not meeting your expectations will cripple you going forward. Expect yourself to put in the effort and to have to learn and grow as you go. I don’t think of myself as a perfectionist, but I do have some tendencies that way, and I found a piece of advice that said doing something half-way is still something done half-way was not doing something because you can’t do it perfectly is still nothing done perfectly. Do what you can and do it the best you can with what you have at your disposal, and adjust your expectations accordingly.


The project I am working on has been fun to research and has helped me to get better at researching and understanding how the design and implementation process can change as you go along. I initially expected to implement our store-page directly into another website, but I currently don’t think that will work how we wanted it to do. I expected to create a tool that would build the web store with a few clicks of a button, but I now see that this is most likely not the case. My expectations allowed me to work and continue in the process until I discovered new information to change my expectations. That is the learning process and what college is all about.


I am looking forward to what my team and I create and what we learn along the way. I expect to be challenged, have to grow, and stay up late a few times, but ultimately I expect that we can do what we set our minds to.


“I don’t know who we’ll become
I can’t promise it’s not written in the stars
But I believe that when it’s done
We’re gonna see that it was better”
Lyrics from Grow as We Go by Ben Platt

Categories
Musing about Relavant Things

Time

Time is so fundamental to our society, and the ever-popular saying “time is money” [1] is a common way of looking at Time. But Time is also abstract and more or less a human creation. It allows us to make sense of the cosmos, our days and give us something to help guide us in our day-to-day lives. The truth, whether Time is made up or not, is that it is useful. It is useful in helping people plan, or how much effort something will take or display data or information; Time is useful.


Time has this sense that it has intrinsic value, but is that true? Time is simply a resource, and thus, it does have a value, but the value is derived from what is accomplished in that time, not the Time itself. Time does not have any value unless it is spent doing something. The concept of paying somebody for their Time is really the wrong way of looking at it. People should be paid for the work they do. Time is simply a lens to look at what a person accomplished and weigh it against others.
I choose to think of Time as a resource for me. It is a way of quantifying my effort and value. Time can describe what I can accomplish or what I got done, but Time is how we can tell what we value.

My Time as a college student is my most valuable resource because I pull everything that I do from it. I have to spend time to accomplish assignments, and in return, I get knowledge and understanding and, hopefully, a good grade. Outside of school, I have to choose do I invest in a job or a project that furthers my understanding of different concepts. Do I invest Time into a hobby that brings me enjoyment and potential relationships with people who enjoy similar things? I could spend Time only doing the things that I want to do, and that gives me temporary happiness or pleasure, but Time is limited, and if I learned anything from economics is that everything has an opportunity cost. Everything has an opportunity cost school friendships, and other relationships have an opportunity cost. So every day, you have to look at what you do as a choice of saying yes to one thing and then saying no to something else, so make the best choice for you. Invest your time in what you most value, and you won’t waste your time.

After writing about teams last week, I realized I often felt that I have to be the last one on the project and see it to the final submission. If that is the case, then I don’t trust my teammates, and after years of team sports, I know you have to trust your team. If you don’t trust your team, then you are wasting your time and their time. There are times when letting your team finish something or taking a break, and working on something else is the best way to spend your time. The value of time is what you do with it. So, take time to do good things for you in the short run, the long run, your health, both mental and physical, and enjoy the time you have, even though you don’t have any time because it is all a construct of society.


Invest time into you, whatever that means for you.

[1]“Time Is Money, but That Doesn’t Mean You Need to Work Non-Stop – Pacific Standard,” Aug. 23, 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20190823202307/https://psmag.com/economics/time-money-doesnt-mean-need-work-non-stop-81438 (accessed Oct. 17, 2020).

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Thinking about Life This Week in college

What is the point of teams?

This week was a week of feeling like I never have enough time to get all the things done. At points, I struggled to get simple stuff done but the college or any type of education like anything else is a test of perseverance, determination, and hard work. When you as a student have to get the work done you are faced with two options either get it done or don’t. The value of getting it done is then you learn something and you can move on to the next thing. The hard part with college is that you very rarely have nothing else to get to and thus are always having to do. This can be draining physically and mentally and even emotionally. Our bodies are not made to be under stress all the time. Unfortunately, college can be that for a lot of people. This all to say take a break and stand up relax shut your eyes for a minute, go on a walk, talk to a friend or roommate, anything to give your mind and body a break. Also for goodness sake get some sleep, I employ 20-30 minute naps most days to let my brain rest and get a little boost before returning to the grindstone.

Okay, Okay now onto what I am really going to talk about.

In college and almost everywhere you will go in life you will be with other people and you could call them groups. One group is the infamous group project or assignments. There are a tremendous amount of benefits to groups but there are also a fair amount of struggles and disadvantages to groups. Group assignments allow people to learn from each other fill in the gaps in understanding or expertise and overall create a better overall result. The problems are that people suck sometimes. People are lazy, I for one can be on occasion, but when you have a group that clicks that is one of the best feelings.

In a group, there are the leaders, the doers, the followers, and the no-shows. The leaders tend to organize and direct the group, the doers are the ones that work outside the group and take a lot of the work, the followers are the ones that can tend to struggle with the project or assignment and often just need a little help then they carry their own weight, and the no-shows are well not helpful. Group projects or assignments often have the majority of the work fall on a few select individuals, and they do it and do it well, but this can lead to burnout and unnecessary stress. I don’t believe that the no-shows or those who don’t contribute as much do it intentionally; sometimes, they are behind or struggling in their own right, which is okay. We are all going to be there at one time or another, so give people a little grace and encourage them instead of getting mad. They are not malicious actors that want to take you down with them, so don’t treat them like the enemy. Make the extra effort to encourage them and try and include them; maybe that’s all they need.

Quick side note, please communicate if you can’t finish something or are stuck or need help. When you work with other people you have to communicate else nothing will get done and everybody will not be able to help. Side note two if you need help in any way not just with school there are so many people that want to help and are willing to help… YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.

Okay, teams, I get to work on a pretty cool project that I will be telling you(my audience) about as we go along but that is for a different week. My team consists of our project sponsor who I really like and is knowledgeable and is an effective communicator which I believe is going to be a huge asset to our team. There are also three other students on the team with me, and I like them they all seem like good guys and people that want to work together. I was greatly encouraged after our first meeting and am looking forward to working with them as we go along.

Teams are what you make of them. Communicate with them, support them, encourage them, help them, challenge them, really every time you interact with somebody on a team you have the chance to improve the opinion of team or group projects. Teams are so you don’t have to do something alone, you get to work with them. No matter what you want to do there are going to be people involved. Try and leave the people around you better for having worked with you.

“Leave every town better than you found it” Mollmauke Tealeaf

Or in my case Leave every team better than you found it.

Categories
Musing about Relavant Things

Who Am I and Where Am I Going?

I started out on this journey of pursuing my college education and, ultimately, my career knowing that I want to sit in front of a computer for the rest of my life. I think computers appealed to me because my dad worked on them, but also, there is always something new to learn and something different that I could try.

I attended community college at an early age and really enjoyed the atmosphere and having teachers who were experts in their field to teach me. I had decided pretty early on that I wanted to end up at OSU to finish out my degree. After switching majors two times and two community college later, I am now in the senior year of my long college career.

It is interesting to see how you, as a person, change and how the things that are important to you change as well. I knew that computers where I want to end up, but I don’t think I would have guessed that I wanted to study data Science. I have loved my CS classes because they keep on making me learn and grow, and I get to learn new things. But the classes that I feel that really brought me to want to study Data Science have been my Economics 101 class, my statistics classes, and my discrete mathematics classes. These really opened my eyes to data as a fun and interesting field and particularly the application of data.

In the past 4 or 5 years, we have really seen how having correct and unbiased data is really important and that I something that I have always appreciated is the facts without the bias that can be found everywhere we look. I see my love for computers and their raw computing power and the prevalence of data collection to be an interesting cross over. The draw of providing something that is so desperately needed in the world today and gets paid for it is a pretty easy road to go.

The hardest thing to date about this path has been the difficulty of getting experience in my actual field. Due in part to the way classes are scheduled at OSU but not being able to take any of my data science or even Ai classes has made it particularly challenging to understand my field better. The biggest way that COVID affected my plans has been the canceling of my internship over this past spring and summer because I was going to get my first real experience in my field. The Fortunate thing is that I could work on a project for a friend of mine that included some data processing, parsing, sorting, and mapping. All of which were very helpful and enjoyable but still lacking the experience in my actual field.

Looking at the available projects, the ones that most interest me are the ones that involve some data processing, analysis with real-world applications. The DUNE project is the topic project on my list, being that it includes all those things mentioned above and international collaboration, while also working with something that I don’t know very much about. I grew up in a rural area and had farmers all around me, which immediately makes me interested in ALL the Farms because it incorporates data and that real-world application and it is in an area I already have some knowledge about.

All this to say, I like the path I am on, but I don’t know exactly where it will lead. I hope to get one of the projects that will let me do something in my field or at least adjacent. Wherever I land, I will take it as it is and enjoy it. Data is fun, especially when it makes sense.

“Data is good, only if it is good data.” Professor Javier Rojo MY Statistics Professor at OSU