Stuck in a "basic" course

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#1 nullcoding  Icon User is offline

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Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

I've been teaching myself programming seriously since June, but cleverly learned C, C++, Objective-C, the Windows API, and Cocoa instead of Java.

So since I don't go to to a science-oriented university, but rather a liberal-arts college, our computer science courses are pretty basic.

I am in the mid-level course, which is called a 132-level course...we spent last week discussing 2D arrays and are now talking about primitive types and parsing ints and doubled.

She (the professor) seriously asked if anyone had "no idea what she was talking about" when she talked about primitive types...and our homework is to draw a picture of the array created by a certain function.

Today we also "learned" how to use the command line.

This is just painful for me. I can't skip the class, because that's frowned upon. But my word it's boring.

BEFORE YOU ASK I am only in this course because I thought I wasn't good enough at Java to be in the high-level class. It's my first computer science class. I didn't have per-requisites on paper.

Oh my, now she's talking about how to draw tables in Word.

I can't, I just can't. :P

Anyone else had an experience being way too far ahead for comfort?

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#2 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:18 AM

It's called life mate. The best thing is to smile, nod, and keep your mouth shut. Don't be that pretentious douche in the front row that always tries to sound more clever than the teacher, those people are quickly ostracized by the rest of the department and that never ends well.

Perhaps you do have more skills, but patience is a virtue seldom practiced. Now's a good chance to learn it well, because from my experience, this won't be the last time something like this happens.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:44 AM

Quote

BEFORE YOU ASK I am only in this course because I thought I wasn't good enough at Java to be in the high-level class

Congrats.. you thought you were behind the curve and now have a baseline indicating you are a bit a head of it... Stop ranking on the teacher and class because you decided to bust out a bit early on the class.

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It's my first computer science class. I didn't have per-requisites on paper.

Welcome to college. Classes require proof of a baseline of knowledge before coming in or you end up wasting your time (and money) as well as the professor's.

Quote

Anyone else had an experience being way too far ahead for comfort?

What does comfort have to do with this? If I were you I would sit in the back, answer a few questions here or there, get the homework out of the way during class, and read up on more complex topics.
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#4 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:58 AM

I know what you mean! I was just sitting in my kindergarten class and they were reading Dr. Seuss... like jeez, I read Dr. Seuss 25 years ago. Talk about uncomfortable.

BEFORE YOU ASK I'm only in kindergarten because my name's Billy Madison and my dad said I can't have the families riches until I stop drinking beer and get a high school diploma...
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

.. yelling Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" at recess, amirite?
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#6 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:36 AM

Sometimes these minor course will suprise you by showing you little nuances that you might have missed.

This post has been edited by DarenR: 07 September 2012 - 11:57 AM

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#7 jimblumberg  Icon User is online

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:37 AM

While the first few weeks may indeed be painful, I think this basic course may help you by showing a more methodical way of designing an writing programs. On your own you tend to try to learn the entire subject in a single program, and in my opinion you are missing a great many small details that will make things easier in the long run.

Jim
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#8 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:27 AM

View PostDarenR, on 07 September 2012 - 11:36 AM, said:

Sometimes these minor course will suprise you by shwoing you little nuances that you might have missed.


Adding to this, you'd be surprised how many gotchas and blank patches there are in your knowledge of the basics. Unless you know the basics by heart you're in for a treat later on.
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#9 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:22 PM

View PostLemur, on 07 September 2012 - 07:18 AM, said:

It's called life mate. The best thing is to smile, nod, and keep your mouth shut.

couldnt disagree more. Heres what I say, if he feels that hes in a class that hes ahead of, he should speak up and try to get placed in a class where he will be challenged. I say he should try to test out of the class, if he fails at this, at least he can stay in.
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#10 Utael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:33 PM

at this point it would be too late, he's wasted the money on the class. Next semester he will be able to get into a more challenging class but, I'm betting his drop/add period is already over.
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#11 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:40 PM

View PostUtael, on 07 September 2012 - 04:33 PM, said:

at this point it would be too late, he's wasted the money on the class. Next semester he will be able to get into a more challenging class but, I'm betting his drop/add period is already over.

im pretty sure you can test out of a class at any time. perhaps he wont be able to add a class though. not sure as ive never felt the need to do it.
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#12 Utael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:07 PM

Depends on the school, he will also lose the money he has paid for that class, and if he is only doing 12 credits and ends up testing out of this course, he will forfeit his full time student status. So simply saying, he needs to talk to his academic adviser about any class changes.
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#13 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:14 PM

Talking about Java isn't really Computer Science.

Hopefully you'll cover data structures and some other "basic" CS in this course. I would be wary if the entire curriculum uses Java as the language of choice. Pointers should definitely come up in one of the first two CS courses IMHO.
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#14 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:23 PM

View PostNecroWinter, on 07 September 2012 - 06:22 PM, said:

View PostLemur, on 07 September 2012 - 07:18 AM, said:

It's called life mate. The best thing is to smile, nod, and keep your mouth shut.

couldnt disagree more. Heres what I say, if he feels that hes in a class that hes ahead of, he should speak up and try to get placed in a class where he will be challenged. I say he should try to test out of the class, if he fails at this, at least he can stay in.


Unless you learn the basics right, you're screwed. There's really no way to sugar coat that. You can be as capable as you want, but unless you have those by heart you're going to have a serious handicap that will curse you for the rest of your career.
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#15 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Stuck in a "basic" course

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:30 PM

View PostLemur, on 07 September 2012 - 08:23 PM, said:

View PostNecroWinter, on 07 September 2012 - 06:22 PM, said:

View PostLemur, on 07 September 2012 - 07:18 AM, said:

It's called life mate. The best thing is to smile, nod, and keep your mouth shut.

couldnt disagree more. Heres what I say, if he feels that hes in a class that hes ahead of, he should speak up and try to get placed in a class where he will be challenged. I say he should try to test out of the class, if he fails at this, at least he can stay in.


Unless you learn the basics right, you're screwed. There's really no way to sugar coat that. You can be as capable as you want, but unless you have those by heart you're going to have a serious handicap that will curse you for the rest of your career.


If he already knows the basics and what this class will cover, then he should see about testing out. If he fails the final, many schools simply make you stay in the class. Its worth a shot if he thinks hes up for it.
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