Work Smart, Not Hard, And Fly Under The Radar

, , , , , | Learning | January 2, 2021

I studied computing at a local college as my secondary school didn’t have a sixth form at the time. One of my friends and I went to the same school and then went and studied the same topic at college and were put in the same class. We ended up working together on a lot of projects even when we were not really meant to.

This was especially true in programming; one of us would build the program (usually [Friend], as he was the better programmer) and one of us would do the program documentation (usually me). Then, we would switch and change it to match our personal style and method.

We always made sure they were as different as possible even though they essentially solved the same problem the same way.

We never once got caught for “plagiarism”. However, one day, everyone else in the class of twenty to thirty was called into the office of the head of computing.

They were given a first and last warning over copying, as the rest of them had found an example program online that solved the same problem and had just copied it with some minor tweaks to the source code.

They all had to redo their assignments on their own time as well as having their grades capped at a pass, while my friend and I both got 80%.

For those saying we cheated ourselves, etc., I knew I wasn’t going to go into programming — I just didn’t have the knack — and [Friend] could do the documentation, but we preferred to save a few hours a week and go partying, instead. 

He works at a university doing robotics and AI while I work as a digital marketing consultant, so I think we both did all right.

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Sounds More Emo Than Goth

, , , , | Learning | December 26, 2020

I am a Goth and therefore I always have my hair dyed black. Since many people in the dark alternative scene use makeup, I want to add that I don’t ever do this.

I am a university student, and one day, when I only have to attend lectures in the afternoon, I go to a hairdresser first to have my hair dyed. After that, I meet a friend who is also a fellow student and we walk together to our first lecture that day.

Unfortunately, it is raining and I don’t have an umbrella, so my hair gets really wet.

The whole afternoon, I notice people looking quite strangely at me, but since nobody says anything and my friend is acting perfectly normal toward me, I don’t give it much thought.

After our lectures, my friend comes home with me for a cup of coffee. When I go to the bathroom and look into the mirror, I suddenly know why I had gotten so many strange looks at university!

The hairdresser obviously didn’t rinse my hair properly, so the rain caused black streaks from the hair dye all over my face and neck! I look like a creature from a horror movie!

I jump back into the kitchen where my friend is sitting.

Me: “Look at me! You must have noticed from the beginning! Why on earth didn’t you tell me?!”

Friend: “Oh, I thought it was funny seeing you run around like that.”

Thanks a lot.


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Ugly Is In The Eye Of The Jerk

, , , , | Learning | December 23, 2020

I am doing a group project with three other women. They are all horrid snobs, and they’re all from fancy, influential families, whereas I am not. They think they have extremely good manners and like to correct me when I do things differently than them. My way of doing things is also considered polite, but they only know of two ways of doing things: their way or the wrong way.

I know that they actually know very little about manners as in Denmark, both then and now, the rudest faux pas you can make is to correct others in public. The second rudest is to brag, and if bragging was an Olympic discipline, they would be qualified to compete. Here is an example of their “perfect manners.”

One day, we are having a work meeting in [Woman #1]’s apartment. She has gone to the kitchen with [Woman #2] to get some tea and cookies.

Woman #3: “Well, well! Look at that!” 

She points at a hideous steel fruit bowl on the coffee table and bends over to pick it up. 

Woman #3: “I wonder if it is an original? The copies are sooo ugly! Oh! It is an original! Niiice!”

Me: “If the copies are so ugly, why did you need to turn it over to see the markings on the bottom to tell if it was original?”

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It’s Not Always Fun Being The Brightest Bulb

, , , , | Learning | December 21, 2020

My father and I have both always had interesting relationships with anything that uses electricity. He tends to have computers and cleaning appliances break for no explained reason, while I tend to have light bulbs blow around me. We also each have a lot of weird errors with any electronics we use in general, and while we don’t have an explanation for this phenomenon, many of my friends have observed and joked about it.

For instance, in my college physics lab, immediately before the lecture, we’re doing an assignment on circuits using five light bulbs. I pair up with one friend, while my cousin, also in the class, pairs up with another. Though I usually guide my friends through the labs because I have experience with physics in high school, my partner and I struggle because we can’t get the first light in the series circuit to work.

Me: “Let me make this a parallel circuit and see if the other lights come on.”

Sure enough, they do. We talk to the professor, who tells us to nab an unused light bulb. We replace the first bulb and continue through the experiment. However, as we proceed, each of the remaining light bulbs blows, and we continue replacing them. My professor has seemingly not noticed that we’ve blown all of our bulbs as he makes his way through the classroom. Finally, we make it through the experiment and think we’re done.

Professor: “[My Name], this is a crank battery. It transforms mechanical power into electrical power. See how hard it is to crank?”

He gives the crank to me so I can pump electricity into a series circuit. It’s fairly difficult and the lights are dimmer. Then, he turns the series into a parallel circuit, which makes the cranking much easier. The lights glow brighter… and one bulb blows. The professor stares at me. My friends, who have seen how many bulbs I’ve already blown, start to laugh. I hand the crank back to the professor.

Me: “I think it’s time for the lecture.”

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, , , , , , , | Learning | December 20, 2020

We’re preparing for finals. The professor has a slideshow going.

Professor: “Right. We’re going into finals prep. And that means you’re going to have a lot of questions, and some of you are going to think, ‘Wow, I shouldn’t be asking this; [Professor] is going to think I didn’t listen at all.’ But hear me out: I was a student once, so I know you’re all not sleeping and you’re all having doubts. At this point, I’d usually say that there are no stupid questions, but I learned a very important lesson.”

He advances to a slide that just shows the title of the course and his own name.

Professor: “This class is Biology 241. Bi-o-lo-gy. Two. Four. One. My name is [Professor]. [Prooofesssoooor]. We’re taking a final exam. That’s a big test. It’s going to matter. There’s more information in your syllabus. That’s the big packet of information that tells you how the class works. It’s also on the course site. BIO. TWO. FOUR. ONE. [PROFESSOR]. And if you’re wondering how many students could have used this reminder, the answer is ‘more than none,’ and that’s all I need.”

This story is part of our Best Of December 2020 roundup!

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