And so, the laptop hunt comes to and end and I am finally the owner of a fine machine to call my own. A graduation present, mum calls it. I call it a gift horse and don’t plan on looking it in the mouth. For the technical-minded, the lappie is a Fujitsu-Siemens Intel Centrino Duo Core 1.8 Ghz, 512 RAM, 120 HDD with DVD R/RW and WiFi.
As luck would have it, it appears my work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) is not yet at an end. SZABIST, it seems, is very interested in revising and improving the syllabus for the BS (CS) degree as much as possible and want information and feedback both from students and teachers, but with the focus on the students. I think it’s a good idea to take feedback from the recipients of any degree about amendments to said degree, but let’s face it: the quality of CS students has been on the decline for some time now and the most vocal gripes come from the corner of the students like myself who want to change the system rather than have to study something they can’t understand. The Coordinator is interested in discovering the reasons for this decline from the students who did choose to enroll, but the conclusion seems obvious: managers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, all these potentially stand to make more money (in the eyes of parents) than a kid with a Computer Science degree, and to some extent they’re right. What parents tend to forget while not so gently steering their offspring in the direction of some potentially profitable degree is that not every kid can be a good manager/entrepreneur/businessman. It takes a certain kind of person to succeed in each field and a kid would stand a much better chance of making it if he were allowed to actually focus on what he thinks he would be interested in and could work at.
At the time of my own enrollment in the BCS (Honors) program, some four and a half years ago, Pakistan was slowly beginning to realize that there was actually a Dot Com Boom (which experts abroad were then calling the Dot Com Bubble and predicting its popping) and that being a Computer Scientist may not just be for weird, eccentric genius types who were always immersed in their machines. As with the study of any field and like any college grad, I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up. I had taken several very varied courses in my A levels and found that programming in C and drawing flow charts came fairly easily to me, and what was even better, it made sense to me! This was the reason I opted to join a CS Program, envisioning three years of drawing improved versions of flow charts and learning how to code more complicated structures. Once into the program, I began to realize that a fundamental part of a CS curriculum is Math and Science (Physics, to be precise). Finding both interesting and doable only when they make sense, I encountered a flurry of teachers more anxious to get the course material over and done with rather than actually try to make students understand the concepts. I also found out that in subconscious retaliation, I was also becoming too stubborn to learn from such methods. What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistible force? You start to flunk out, that’s what. Three years wasted, apparently and no end in sight to the many courses left still to conquer. It was at this period that I truly began to despair and wondered weather it was possible, even at this late stage, to actually switch over to the more harmless seeming BBA degrees. At least there the language spoken was English, not numbers and symbols.
Thanks to the level headed advice of a few good friends and future boss, I endured and finally have reached the end of the road.
The point of this post: I am almost a graduate now! I have but one course remaining on my plate and as soon as the result comes out (and I’m hoping desperately for a favorable one), I shall officially be a Bachelor(ette)!