Exams are such a perverse means of testing one’s mental acuity; not so much in the Arts and pseudo–Sciences (like Psychology and Linguistics, both of which I have dug immensely during this round of exams), but in computer programming. How exactly does my scratching at a piece of paper for two hours demonstrate my ability to program effectively? If I make an error on paper there’s no feedback loop, no testing or debugging, no mailing lists, and no consultations; so it really just comes down to “got it right first time” or “wrong wrong wrong”. This is, perhaps, why I managed a splendiferous 93% on my first CS123 assignment, but only a lousy 46% on my mid–semester test.
Contrast this to linguistics, where I nailed the exam and my last three assignments garnered scores in the range of 91–100% (I kid you not, 100%. And you wondered why I love linguistics so much) and you might think I’m just a little milquetoast when it comes to programming. Or hell, it might just be functional programming I’m sucking at; I guess we’ll see what comes of Java next semester before we start making guesses as to my poor exam performance with Haskell.
In any case, exams are done with for another semester. As I walked through the parking lot I half–expected to see my car festooned with ribbons and candy canes, a massive “You did it!” banner strung across my windshield; but alas. This afternoon doesn’t feel that much different to yesterday afternoon, and I spent so much of last week partying (I had a week’s break between today’s exam and my previous one) that I’m not all that psyched now that exams are finished for real.
So tonight I’m going to sit down and have dinner with my parents and my grandparents (who are in town for my grandfather’s 80th birthday) and have a decent meal for once. Then I might sit back and watch Spider–Man, sighing occasionally for the fact that Spider–Man 2 will be opening while I’m away.