Friday, May 21, 2004

System.out.println("Hello World");

(for the un-programming-initiated, "Hello World" is the very first program that the programmer is taught to write in a new programming language)

  ******************* D I S C L A I M E R *******************
  * This blog rehashes the life and opinions of just one
  * individual and is not meant to be representative of
  * the life of all who passed through SoC or, for that
  * matter, NUS, no matter how your sad, lonely, and
  * pointless existence parallels the collage of experiences
  * reflected here.
public static main (String [] args) {

Come 25 May, both my School of Computing (SoC) Unix account and my SMART card access will be deleted.
System.out.println("Goodbye, SoC.");
Do I miss school? Right now, as a professional bummer, java.lang.NullPointerException, no :)

Will I miss school? Perhaps.

As any working graduate would say, I miss being a student: living my own student life; staying up late, and waking up late (and still never sleeping enough); missing lectures; letting assignments and projects pile skyhigh till the day before the deadline; referencing other people's tutorial answers and Java programs; enjoying student prices & privileges; relishing the NUS science canteen spicy, exotic Indian food (woe on you if you've never tried it) and thick and milky 'tea with milk and less sugar'; hanging out with friends in the canteen or club office... java.lang.StackOverflowError

Of course, all that's just the good stuff. There are the other memorable moments: banging my head against the computer monitor in frustration because my program refuses to run correctly; trying in vain to decipher the Java API; staying up late at night, rushing to complete the group project (10 times the stress and sleepless nights in school if it's a programming project but not for Unix command shell programming because I'm just doing the documentation); project-group bitching about the group mate - either a slacker or a public enemy - who has cost the group a grade; bitching about the lecturer or tutor who thrives on our misery; cramming for exams; bawling over my terrible exam results; flipping through my 10,000 word honours thesis to studiously check for typos... java.lang.StackOverflowError

Well, it's been a tough fight but I've survived! It's interesting how we collectively tend to first recall the most stressful and dreariest of times... (the power of shared experience).

*recall June-July 2000* fresh-from-NS, naive, horny, enthusiastic, blur 20yo entering LT27 to meet other fresh-from-NS/JC, naive, horny, enthusiastic, blur 18yo's/20yo's on day 1 of SoC orientation camp under the guidance of cynical, battle-worn, and seasoned seniors who were abt to teach us what they knew of the way round SoC and NUS - in many respects - and whom us freshies come to trust or distrust, like or dislike.

Come July 2004, I'll get to don the graduation gown. I imagine eager graduates and families, tense and impatient, waiting to go on-stage to officially receive our degrees, and to symbolically throw our mortar boards in air (never to get the same one back again), yelling "Thank God!". This is then followed by a month-long, island-wide photo shoot with fellow graduates, tirelessly and shamelessly flaunting our newly awakened hopes and dreams, temporarily oblivious to the foils of the labour market.

While some may lament that the past four years has been a necessary waste of time, I see more of myself now - and yet perhaps less of what is to come. Over a gathering a few days ago, a long-time friend remarked how he still feels young and inexperienced despite being 25 years old. I couldn't agree more; I feel like a fish fry that has been set free into the ocean - finally free to roam wherever I choose, however I choose, whenever I choose. Having spent a major part of my life merely chasing after pieces of certificates, it is finally time to embark on the real journey in life.
System.out.println("Hello World");
} //end method main

1 comment:

Lemming said...

virtualMemoryFIFO.c:123: unterminated string or character constant
virtualMemoryFIFO.c:77: possible real start of unterminated constant

Why won't C die in peace....