Weeks 44-46

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My favorite part of Paris! (From La Fermette)

I was very busy with finals all month. I’m afraid things didn’t go as well as I hoped. I studied a lot throughout the whole semester, but my studying often seemed to lead to more confusion rather than clarity on these topics. It’s also true that while I studied a lot, I spent a lot of time not studying too. For example, I traveled, once to wedding in the US (causing lots of jetlag in both directions), and once to Paris to see some of my husband’s family that were visiting from the US.

At least now, all my exams are over…. but I doubt I got great marks. Doing poorly on an exam is really demoralizing, because it feels like despite all the  hard work you did throughout the semester, you didn’t seem to learn anything, or otherwise, you feel like you learned a lot throughout the semester, but you didn’t get a chance to show what you know on the exam. Some of the exams this semester seemed disproportionately hard, or completely unrelated to what was done in class, and judging from others’ reactions, I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.

Apart from exams, I have two group projects still due. The first is an iPad app for the software engineering class. Through this project, I learned a lot about Swift, Xcode, and iOS app development. The class itself, like the classwork and the exam, were pretty pointless. But I actually kind of enjoyed working on this project in the end, because I got to make something concrete, and because I actually enjoyed working in our group, for the most part. We all fell into our own little niches by the end, and I think we did a good job of handling all of the responsibilities, and trading them off when necessary as well.

The second project involves semantic parsing using neural networks, and unfortunately, I legitimately feel like I didn’t contribute enough to this one. It’s not quite over yet (I guess it’s due at the end of August), so hopefully I can somehow earn my keep on that team. If not, I guess I’ll just take the hit to my grade. I don’t think I actually need the credits at this point (unless I failed one of the finals).

I don’t expect to find out my grades from this semester for a very long time. In fact, not all of my grades from last semester (4-5 months ago) are in yet. Submitting grades seems to be up to each professor (as I’ve mentioned before, this school has little central organization), and some seem to enjoy taking their time. It’s really quite appalling.

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The battery meter shows how the battery just dropped right off (and the phone turned off suddenly) at around 58% battery left.

In other news, my phone battery decided to crap out. It now drains incredibly fast and dies when the battery claims to be between 20% and 60%. It’s the kind of phone where you can’t easily open the back and replace the battery. I can try to muck about with it (voiding the warranty), or  I can send it back to the US to get a replacement. Messing with it means possibly breaking it and being without a phone, and sending it back means I would have to be without a phone while it’s in the mail. So I would need to buy a phone in the meanwhile, even if it’s a cheap-o one. Thankfully, my husband’s family is once again coming to my rescue, and helping me buy a proper, new phone as a birthday present. This one just has to not completely fail on me in the next month.

In general, I feel that the trend of these types of phone problems has been on the rise. I don’t know if it’s planned obsolescence or if it’s just an actual failure in battery design, or if it’s a combination of the two. Either way, it’s clear that the big phone companies will continue to skimp here.

Bunch of bullshit, if you ask me.

The worst part is that I know that I am the one that gets myself into these situations– I am the one that chooses to buy phones from the companies that get away with this nonsense, because I use my phone in every aspect of my daily life. It’s an every-tool, but it’s also a shiny toy, and it’s one of the categories I am willing to drop a lot of cash on.

Long story short,  it’s been a stressful month, and now, I need to finish planning the move to Italy! I am also trying to plan some travel in August before my move, because I don’t want to waste the whole month just sitting around… but we’ll see if those plans come to fruition so late in the game.

Costs

  • €225 – rent
  • €90 – health insurance
  • €25 – phone
  • €5 – meds
  • €5.5 – school supplies
  • €20 – bouldering
  • €133 – groceries
  • €61 – dining
  • €50 – trip to Paris (family helped with the bulk of the costs)
  • €89 – new phone (family helped with the bulk of the cost)
  • €450 – deposit on apartment in Italy (the initial one to hold it, another will be due once I get there)
  • Total: €1153
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