Monday, January 18, 2010

Achievement Unlocked: Week One Complete

[Originally written 01/12/10 - I'll add more to the end of the post -Rob] Oddly enough, the first draft of this post originated on paper with the use of - wait for it - a pen! As I write I'm sitting in one of the many atrium/cafeterias scattered around campus. I'm currently on a two-hour break before my last class of the day. I even lugged up my heavy laptop today to help me pass the time between classes. Unfortunately I a)didn't bring the power cord and b) didn't have the foresight to change the power settings. The first hour of use pretty much drained the battery. So here I sit. With pen. And paper.

Two days in and not much has happened. While I did have my first second-class today everything else has been introductions. The most exciting thing I did today was get a locker so I don't have to lug my drafting kit or T-square on the bus daily.

Last week I ordered my new laptop for school. I spent the better part of the day Wednesday researching models, buildings systems at Dell, and finding cheap prices at the local Big Boxes. Right from the get-go I was leaning towards a custom build from Dell. Nowhere else was I finding the power for the money. But I searched. I found a pretty sweet Acer that even had a touch screen! It was almost half the price of the Dell I was thinking about but it was far less powerful. So after going back and forth I finally decide to pull the trigger on the Dell. I head back to their website (after signing back into Airmiles - gotta get my Airmiles.) and go to the page for my laptop and find that they've removed the processor I wanted. I've literally configured this system over a dozen times with the most recent time being about twenty minutes earlier. FML. I try their sales chat hoping to find out what's going on. The chat window won't launch. I call their toll-free number and get connected with someone, regardless of what he tells me, is not named Scott. He checks the page and confirms that, yes, it's been removed. No idea why. His best offer was that it may have been removed for maintenance and will likely be back in an hour or so. I thank him for his time and decide to try chat again. Maybe they've got their finger on the pulse of what's going on. This time the window actually opens however the representative offered up pretty much the same suggestion - check back in an hour or so. Sigh. I really wanted to get this ordered.

So, I check back in about ninety minutes and lo-and-behold, it's back. Hey! Maybe they do know what they're talking about wherever it is that Not-Scott and his chat colleague work. I get the laptop ordered and get an estimated delivery date of 01/21. I'm pretty happy with that as it's only a couple weeks turnaround. Of course, being me, I'm checking the status every day even though I know it's going to be a while. Last Wednesday (01/13) it shows that it's shipped! Nice! I click on tracking number and it tells me it's "In transport in U.S." Okay...not the most helpful delivery tracking. Thursday afternoon the phones rings at home and it's an automated call from Dell letting me know that hte laptop is going to be delivered on Friday. That's pretty awesome considering I wasn't expecting it until the end of this week.

I was up here Friday when my wife sent me a text message letting me know that it's arrived. As difficult as it was, I resisted the urge to tear into it as soon as I got home since I had to go pick up the kids. But it's not Monday and I'm finishing up this post on my shiny new fingerprint magnet Studio 15 from Dell. Me likey.

So the first week of school is over and done with. While there were a lot of introductory classes I did manage to squeeze in a quiz and an assignment. The quiz was on AutoCAD and I'm pretty sure that I aced it. I know I got 100% on part of it and pretty sure I got 100% on the other part. The assignment was fun. We had to sketch, freehand, an elevation of one of the buildings here on campus. This would be a fine assignment for the fall class since it's still warm. Park your ass in a lawn chair in the field across from the building and sketch away. However when the mercury is sitting at -10 that really isn't much of an option. I snapped a ton a pics and did the elevation from those pics. My first draft stretched across 4 pieces of 8.5x11 graph paper. A little on the big side. I then cut the scale of my drawing in half and was able to reduce it to two pages taped together. For next week, I'll need to transfer that over to a 17x22 sheet of Vellum paper. Right now my drawing will be a little too small so I think I'll need to scale it back up by about 30% or so.

So no great stories yet but I'm only a week in. My class is shrinking already with at least one person for sure disappearing late last week. There may be more missing but when you're one of three women in the class, you're a little easier to spot when you're missing.