September 14th, 2006

senior project

flying on paper

my test in microcontrollers tonight was insane. we had to write one whole program in assembly, and decrypt two others, with crazy jumping patterns and call statements fing with the stack pointer and the whole bit, just to make sure we understood assembly. then there were the hardware/memory mapping questions on top of that. it was basically a mad scramble for 90 minutes, just writing as fast as I could, and everyone else did about the same.

I know I made at least some stupid mistakes because that's what happens when I work fast. the thing is, I kind of like working fast. I left class smiling, even if I won't be smiling when I get my grade.

Since kindergarden I've been that kid who finishes the test first but screws half of it up. When I finally took a copyediting course for my tech writing minor in college, I finally learned to slow down and work until I'd produced something with NO mistakes. And then at my internship, they said I worked too fast, and at my job after graduation, I sometimes worked too fast, and it was sort of tough to take but I dealt. I learned to divide up my time... half was in the zone, hearing nothing, totally focused, and the other half was going through everything meticulously to make sure there was nothing wrong. In the aircraft industry, everything gets checked by several people, starting with the ones in your own group, and some of those people make it a point to find your mistakes, especially when you're new. it's sort of competitive. you don't want a mistake to leave your desk.

so even though the test sucked and I didn't totally finish, it's fun to just throw everything you know about slowing down and being careful out to the wind and just getting it done.

is the speed habit thing just a me thing, or do schools encourage it from an early age, so everybody has to learn way too late how accuracy can be more important than speed?