Kevin Vance - College of Computer, Magical, and Physical Sciences

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03:48 am

College of Computer, Magical, and Physical Sciences

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
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I should be sleeping, but instead I need to write this down and see if it makes any sense. The University of Maryland was my Hogwarts. That was wizard school for me. When I was a kid I was really interested in programming computers. I even tried to get some of my friends in on the fun with QBASIC. It didn't last though, and I wasn't helped by the fact that none of my friendships were very good back then.

By the time I was trying out my first C++ compiler, nobody in meatspace was interested. And it stayed that way through middle school and high school. After BASIC, I had gone beyond what my dad could help me with. There wasn't even a programming class at school. When I stayed up late hacking, it meant nothing for anyone else in meatspace. I might as well have been smoking pot or having sex or whatever it is teenagers were supposed to do to waste time*. It's no wonder I preferred IRC to to actual conversation back then.

A short time later, I drive two hours away. And everyone is programming, and lots of them are good at it, and there's code being written down and spoken aloud. Wizard school!



* On one of the last days of high school, our english teacher was killing time by having us make up, on the spot, 5 minute speeches on "interesting" topics. Luckily, time ran out before I could deliver my lecture on regular expressions. But a lot of my classmates, perhaps thinking that the statute of limitations had expired with their impending graduation, described misadventures they had at parties. Until that day, I thought that the "stereotypical high school party" was an uncommon thing that you'd normally see in the movies, like a natural disaster. It never occurred to me that my erstwhile colleagues were actually doing it.

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[User Picture]From: dariusk
2008-07-08 11:50 am (UTC)
Reminds me a bit of, I think was in Cryptonomicon, where the main character is categorizing programmers as wizards, elves, etc.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2008-07-08 04:30 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah. I think he classed himself as a dwarf.
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[User Picture]From: kartos
2008-07-08 04:32 pm (UTC)
You are a huge fucking dork.

That being said, we should have hung out more. I was usually drawing, which was also not what everyone else was doing, and making graphics on the computer. You may or may not have noticed I was very much not going to said parties and worrying about being pregnant.

Honestly, you could say that for anything that doesn't fly with the norm. I did have to go far, but I did for my major and people being good at it we'll ignore SVA for this conversation

Edited at 2008-07-08 04:34 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2008-07-08 04:38 pm (UTC)
Honestly, you could say that for anything that doesn't fly with the norm.

Maybe that explains some of the appeal of the Harry Potter books.
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[User Picture]From: kartos
2008-07-08 05:27 pm (UTC)
It must be, because we all know it isn't because of the writing!
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[User Picture]From: czircon
2008-07-08 10:13 pm (UTC)

Back then? I still prefer IRC to actual conversation.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2008-07-09 12:48 am (UTC)
Heh. I sometimes think about getting back on, but I worry that I'd never get anything done with an IRC window open all day D:
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[User Picture]From: wikle
2008-07-09 02:01 am (UTC)
When I was in High School I always considered College to be my salvation. I was so happy to be going to a place where the occupants read books and weren't assholes.

Actually in high school I was incredibly sterotypical of a geek. I had a 3 or 4 geek friends and we all hung out together. We even had a separate part of the yard where no one else went to eat lunch except for us.

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