[CS-FSLUG] College / University

Nathan T. celerate at gmail.com
Sun Dec 10 12:30:05 CST 2006

Hi CS-List

Remember how I said I would revisit this topic when the time was  
right, well I've graduated from high school now and I'm working a  
full time job for a yet to be determined period of time, so I think  
now is as good a time as any.

I'll recap a little, my obsession is programming. Over the years I've  
acquired several hundred dollars worth of programming books and I'm  
currently trying hard to motivate myself to finish my current Qt 4  
book before the second one (about design patterns and Qt 4) arrives.  
I've done well for myself over the last few years of high school, I  
was a straight A student in Saskatchewan, pulling in final report  
card marks that were usually in the high 80s or 90s. Since then we've  
moved to Yellowknife, and my last half a year here was rough. The  
provincial exams and the move hit me hard and I ended up pulling off  
higher grades in that ridiculous English class (where we did no work,  
just listened to the teacher's personal stories and rants and then  
discussed them) than in Calculus and Physics 30. I don't have a  
diploma yet, supposedly I have to get ahold of the school board to  
have one sent to me, but I haven't gotten the time to do that yet  
because going into the Christmas season things at work are spinning  
out of control and I'm coming home exhausted.

I'm thinking of University, and particularly of taking CS as my  
major. Around here the closest are U of A, the Augustana Campus is of  
particular interest because it's not in a major city. I have been  
considering U of S because even though up here in YK people seem to  
be unaware of it's existence I have several friends from Prince  
Albert going there. There was U of Victoria in BC, but I hear that  
cost of living there is extremely high. My tutor recommended that I  
go to U of Waterloo, but I have some reservations about being that  
far from home and particularly living somewhere that expensive and  
going to such an intimidating school.

Michael Robertson of Linspire recently fired off a newletter to his  
subscribers in which he said that post-secondary may not be worth it,  
of course he lives in the USA and what he says may not be as  
applicable in Canada; however, I also have many coworkers who got  
certifications instead of post secondary (although they're  
technicians, and I don't want to be swapping out motherboards and  
cleaning off viruses for the remainder of my adult life.

I'm looking forward to some input. Because of how difficult work has  
been, and the managers' desire to keep cost down at the expense of  
being understaffed, I have been considering going off to University  
or at least to some reputable technical institute as a method of  
moving forward. One more thing I should mention that may or may not  
be important: I have no car, and only a learners drivers license. I  
also don't want to stay in Yellowknife for much longer, I would much  
prefer somewhere with milder winters, plus the low lighting here  
during 6 months of the year makes me feel perpetually tired.

   - NT

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