Diary of a geek

August 2005
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Andrew Pollock

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Thursday, 18 August 2005

To withdraw or not to withdraw?

That is the question.

Never before has a University census date been something I have been eyeballing so closely. I am in two minds about whether or not to persist with this semester's study.

Why?

Well there is a reasonable chance that I won't be in the country come exam time. The conundrum becomes: do I risk that I will, persist with my study, blow my fees, and hope I'm here (and pass my exams)? Or do I want to spend my final days in the country relaxing a bit more? That option is starting to appeal to me. Especially given that I really don't feel like I've engaged terribly well this semester with all the other distractions in my life lately (potential changes in employment, marriage, overseas trips, excessive trips to Brisbane).

That and the two courses I'm doing are a combination of damn hard and damn boring: Software Design is boring, and Concurrent and Distributed Systems is extremely hard, with a track record in failing students (quite a few are repeating it). To cap it off, the boring one is actually more important as far as prerequisites for third year go.

I already feel behind. I have two assignments on the boil right now (one of them a group one), and I'm going to Brisbane for the weekend, so this weekend is a write-off.

So I can spend every night next week at Uni, as well as all of next weekend, and flog myself silly, and I might just get somewhere remotely close to back on track again, just to find out that I have to withdraw further down the track anyway (possibly with academic as well as financial consequences) or I can just withdraw now, presumably get my money back, and not get a blight on my record.

The one downside to doing this is it fucks up my original (and future) plans for returning full-time and knocking over 3rd year in one hit. I'd still be two courses shy of graduating.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to get this degree. Sometimes I wonder if it really matters. Then I remember how close I came to probably not being able to get a US work visa at all because of my lack of a degree, and I remember...

Sigh. Waiting sucks.

[23:46] [uni] [permalink]

So cut

And that's just my car tyres.

I had my usual 9am Friday lecture this morning, so I went straight to Uni from home, and parked at the usual set of parking meters close to where my lecture is, at about 8:45am. I was the first car there.

At about 10:10am, I returned to my car to discover that the back two tyres were flat, and the front left one was also looking a bit short of breath. I was a bit stumped on what to do with that many flats for a while, and finally called the NRMA to try and organise a tow.

The operator tells me they'll have someone there "within the hour". So I sit in the car and twiddle my thumbs. An hour and a bit passes, and there's no sign of anybody, so I call again, just to check they've got the location correct. They tell me that they were only going to send a patrol car (one that can jump start your car, give you emergency fuel, look under your bonnet, that sort of thing) not a tow truck. I tell them that that isn't really going to help me with three flat tyres, and so could they please send me a tow truck. They agree, and say that one will be dispatched.

Shortly afterwards, I get a telephone call back from someone at the NRMA trying to talk me out of getting a tow truck and just getting a patrol vehicle. They put me on hold for a bit and say something about getting the patrol vehicle to swap the spare and blow up the rest and see how we go. I couldn't be bothered arguing with them, and at this stage I wasn't sure why my tyres were flat, so I agreed. Another hour passes.

The patrol vehicle turns up at about 12:15pm, and proceeds to blow up the back two tyres with a portable air compressor, and sure enough, the knife slash points become quite obvious because air is pissing out of them. Great. To cap it off, I'm not entitled to free towing because it is malicious damage as opposed to a breakdown. Maybe that's why they wanted to send a patrol vehicle so badly. The patrol dude tells me it'll cost $88 for the NRMA to tow me to a tyre place, but he rings a mate who says he'll do it for $65 or $55 or something (didn't quite make it out over the radio), and be there in another hour or so. So we (Sarah had come and joined me, and my study buddy Tiane had as well) settle back and wait some more. Steve happens to wander past as well. We could have had a right party in the car at this point.

An hour and 20 minutes pass, and no tow truck. So I call the NRMA and ask them to call the patrolman and get me the number of the tow company he'd called. I get that, call them, and they have no idea what I'm talking about, and tell me that it'd normally cost $170 for a tow, but they'll do it for $80 cash and be there in another hour.

That tow truck rolled up a bit quicker than that though, which was a relief. The car's now sitting at the tyre shop until Monday because everyone seems to need to order in the type of tyres I have on my car, and don't keep them in stock. Lucky we're going to Brisbane for the weekend.

So I ended up getting to work at about 3pm. I'd love to know who slashed my tyres and why. I don't recall causing any road rage on the way to Uni, and it's been a huge inconvenience. Parking around the Uni is hard enough as it is, without putting me off parking in the one spot I can usually get a carpark.

Sigh.

[22:56] [life] [permalink]