Results, and a 2014 Wrap-Up

It’s the time of the year again. A time to look back at all the moments and achievements, also at all the missed opportunities and failures. But before I go into that.

Results just got released today.

I did pretty okay, considering that both of my As came from my CS modules. Well let me just sum up the semester since I have not done so yet. A little pre-summary of the year. What better way to do it than a module-by-module analysis again? Refer back to my previous post!

CS1101S: Programming Methodology – 5MC

Yep. This has got to be the most important module of the semester, and how much have I learnt since my previous post about this? Lots. We’ve dealt more with OOP, more recursion, lazy-evaluation and the killer topic which wasn’t really tested, the metacircular evaluator. The more I went into this course, the more confident I feel about my code and the thought process behind it. Some graduated from CS1101S with regrets, but for me, I have none. This was probably the best decision I’ve made as a freshmen. 😀

The finals for this was pretty manageable, more manageable than the mid-terms and practical exam. Yes, I got an for this module, which unlocks the next crazy module I’m going to take, CS2020, a 6MC accelerated data structures and algorithm course. 😀

CS1231: Discrete Structures – 4MC

Previously I’ve mentioned the importance of this module and how I’ve been pushing myself to take it seriously. All the hard work had paid off in the finals which felt really manageable. I guess the main concern about this course is the different type of mathematics that one would encounter. Like I mentioned previously, this module teaches you how to think, logically. An important skill and foundation for future modules, and will later prove to be very useful in life.

Yes, being smart will give you an advantage, but hard work would probably give you a greater advantage for this module. I think a piece of great advice on the Internet for this module could be found here. The amount of work I’ve put in rewarded me an A- for this module, could have probably done better if I had focused more, but I’m satisfied.

MA1521: Calculus for Computing – 4MC

This H2 Mathematics on steroids got pretty challenging as we got into integration. Not challenging as in difficult problems, but challenging in a tedious way. Lots of long workings which I’m pretty bad at, since I’m really, really careless. Anyway, it’s a for this module, and I didn’t quite expect that coming my way. (Was really expecting something better, S/U-ed this anyway)

LSM1301: General Biology – 4MC

This module taught me a valuable lesson. Don’t take another life science module in NUS, again. I’m really bad at these, and I don’t have much time to put in effort for such modules. I’ve prepared pretty decently for this module but got a B- in the end. Perhaps this was the reason why I took physics instead. I S/U-ed this, and the other two science modules I’m take in the future will probably be from Math department.

GEM1902M: On Blindness – 4MC

This is my Tembusu module and was ungraded by default. As the end of the semester was nearing, we watched several interesting movies and had discussion based on those. The essay assignment I wrote for this module sort of enabled me to think on a deeper level, and how to draw relations between different things in life.

I wrote about the relation between mid-life crisis and messianic time. 

In fact, the essay was formulated on an MRT train when I was looking at an elderly lady napping on one of the seats. It sort of gave me the idea that all of us are actually bounded by two different types of blindness and they grow in opposite directions/time.

So there I was, staring at the old lady while all these thoughts start to flood in to my head. Then during the seminar for our assignment workshopping, my professor pointed out to me that I could actually relate it to Paul the Apostle’s messianic time. And voila, I crafted out a nifty little essay with diagrams and graphs. Yes, I put in quite a bit of effort for an ungraded module.

There’s my 21MC worth of modules in semester 1, and the next semester I’ll be taking 23MC worth of modules. No more S/U safety net next semester, so it’s time to take things even more seriously (as though I wasn’t serious enough this semester).

2014 in a Nutshell

It has been helluva year for me. Let’s list down in order the major events that happened in this year.

  1. Exercise Thunder Warrior 2014 – New Zealand
  2. ORD
  3. USA Trip – Chicago
  4. Peru Trip – Machu Picchu
  5. China Trip – Three Gorges
  6. School Commences

I believe it’s the first time I’ve been to four different countries in a single year. It was really eye opening and exposed me to many different cultures. More importantly, it gave me space to think about what I really want in life.

Looking back, I’ve never really had an idea of who I really want to be, or who I was until the recent years. At least now I have this idea of who I want to be, where I want to be and how I want my life to be in the future. I’m really glad to have established such targets, and it is definitely motivation and fuel for my university journey.

So here are a few things I’ve learnt in 2014

You are smarter and better than you think you are.

Sometimes I feel that I’m surrounded by people who were damn smart. Way above my level. Only until I watched a Steve Jobs video on how beautiful things around us were invented by people no smarter than you are. That phrase stuck in my head, and in fact, gave me a large boost of confidence. I have a tendency to underestimate my own abilities, or in other words, I have a lack of confidence sometimes. I’ve been working on this for quite a while, and should continue to work on this in 2015.

Never say no too early.

There are many opportunities that come knocking at my door, but usually I turn them down to walk a ‘safer’ route. But really, where does this ‘safe’ route lead me to? Perhaps it’s time to step more out of my comfort zone and try something very, very new. I’ve made some effort in ensuring that I’m constantly challenging myself out of my learning comfort zone, but what about other aspects of life? This is definitely something to keep in mind for 2015.

Learn something new on a constant basis, and you’ll be surprised how fast you actually learn.

I’ve picked up several new things after I got into university, and roller blading is one of them. I skate for 2 hours every Wednesday. At first I was overwhelmed with all these thoughts of embarrassing myself. But as I progressed on, it turns out to be something so natural, and learning new tricks is fun despite the falls. I’m actually quite amazed at how much I’ve progressed in a single semester of weekly roller blading.

Of course, I’ve been trying to apply this to coding. I document some of the things I learn here, and would really like to do a weekly update of what I learnt as well. There we go, another goal for 2015!

Learn to relax.

I have no idea why this has to be a skill, but I seem to have lost the ability to relax. Just lie back and forget about school work, forget about coding for a moment. Probably the fast paced school schedule has drilled into me the thought that every second is valuable, and every second not doing schoolwork is wasted. Not a very healthy habit, let’s try to get rid of that in 2015.

So, there are my ‘sort-of-resolutions’ for 2015. I don’t like to call them resolutions because more often than not, they don’t get ‘resolved’. It’s good to keep something in mind for a brand new start though.

Not forgetting to live by the code I set for myself in university:

Be yourself, be free, have fun, and don’t forget to dominate.

Here’s to a better year, and better semester up ahead. Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Results, and a 2014 Wrap-Up

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