Finals Frenzy

Finals week is over! It’s finally over! A heavy weight has been lifted. I had no sit-in finals on finals week, but my 10 projects/reports/presentation/take-homes spanned 2 weeks.

It began with the final report for EE 136, which was due the Saturday right before dead week. I stayed up almost all Friday night trying to do research, assimilate it, and write about it. I am very grateful to Henry for helping me understand quantum entanglement, and discussing it with me. I also had a presentation for this class the Thursday of Dead Week.

Next, I had a take-home final for Music 21 assigned on Thursday of Dead Week due the next day. Since I also had an in-class listening final for Music 21, my EE 168 video (which I had been working on the past week), and my EE 133 project (on which I had spent about 10-15 hours in lab that week) due that day as well, I had no sleep at all except for a 30 minute nap right before the demonstration of my EE 133 project. I ended up staying up for about 36 hours straight (not counting the nap as a break in between).

I then had a EE 133 field-test on Saturday. With our receiver, we were one of two groups to make it as far as the corner of El Camino Real and Serra. Then later that day, we tried to fix our transmitter to get a maximum distance measurement. We ended up fixing it, thanks to God, and set a new record for distance for the class. We made it out near Fry’s Electronics store and in certain spots, the sound quality was nearly flawless, indicating that we could go even further. However, I had a final report for EE 168 due on Monday, and biking on El Camino was noisy and dangerous, so we didn’t go any further. It was an exhilirating moment crossing California Ave. with adequate signal quality, knowing we beat the old record.

So I spent all of Sunday afternoon working on the EE 168 final report. That got done around 3 AM in the morning, and I couldn’t focus anymore. I proofread the paper at 10 AM, and submitted the report. Now it was time to start my CME 108 take-home final, which was due on Wednesday, but was assigned the Tuesday before. I spent the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday trying to solve the challenging problems. My solutions ended up being 20 pages long. And that was the end of that. Of course, I had an extra credit opportunity that I did not want to pass up, but that was due Wednesday afternoon. I stayed up till 3 again trying to finish the code. I spent Wednesday morning and early afternoon debugging, and finally submitted it right before the deadline.

There was one thing left to worry about, and that was the EE 133 final report. It was to be 10 pages, and I had about 24 hours left before it was due. I went to the library and started to crank out the pages. I had to make my own circuit diagrams too. I was so worried that I wouldn’t finish that I only slept 4 hours that night. I had the whole paper done by noon the next day, with the exception of certain details and measurements, which my lab partner and I did that afternoon. We set up the boards and made the measurements while I was writing and filled in the blanks as we got results. The report came out to be 13 pages, single spaced, at size 10 Garamond. It was the fastest report I’ve ever written.

It was probably the most stressful two weeks I have ever had, and I’m not sorry that it’s over. Needless to say, I need a long break. There are other things to worry about, like not hearing back from CalTech, but I’ll think about those later.

I’m going camping at San Diego with several friends for the Spring Break. I wish I could spend a bit more time with my family, but whenever we get together, there is nothing much to do. I’m wondering how I spent time with them in the past. Have I forgotten, or did I just never learn how? I always did homework, so that didn’t leave much time. We eat together, and that’s about it. What can we talk about? What can we do? I play table tennis with my dad and tennis with my sister sometimes, but my mom doesn’t play anything. She’s always so busy, I don’t know how she endures without time to relax or time to do something besides shopping and cooking and working and teaching. And when I’m home, I’m often home alone, so I read, play computer games, and play the piano. There really is nothing to do. No nearby basketball courts, no nearby arcades, no nearby amusement parks, but they’re irrelevant. I don’t really care for those things.