Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 4 - First day of the Semester

Last semester was a bear.  I only had 2 classes (six credits) but it was the hardest semester I've taken.  As I've found out in computer programming, you MUST be perfect.  The code MUST be perfect.  No extra space, no comma instead of a period, no lack of a space, no lowercase letter at the beginning of a variable and never ever EVER end a command without a semi-colon.

So imagine my surprise last semester when I began finding not one, but a few mistakes in the textbook I was using.  So I asked my professor to open a discussion board on our classroom website.  I posted what I thought was paramount information for those of us who were learning something WRONG.  This would save my classmates time as not only did I spend 20 extra hours a week of my life checking, double-checking, and triple-checking that I had typed my code EXACTLY like the book, I had to figure out ON MY OWN that it wasn't my code, it was actually the book.  I ended the semester spending an average of 40-50 hours a week learning, unlearning and editing the code.

Thus begun a LONG semester that ended in a 10 page error-data sheet compiled between myself and the publisher for a brand new book.  I called them and originally they just thought I was another stupid uninformed student that didn't know what she was doing.  Item after item in every chapter convinced them otherwise.  Fellow classmates saw the validity in my frustration and my professor had lively debates in class using civil oratory skills.  My point was that any education expert knows that Education 101 is "get it right the first time". Studies have shown that when we learn something wrong the first time, and then relearn it right, our mind recalls it wrong first, and then sometimes remembers it right and sometimes we don't.  My professor's point was that after intimately entangling my mind with computer code that I would learn it better and wouldn't forget it.  We still respectfully disagree.

After this 3 credit course took an average of 50 hours a week due to this inaccurate textbook, I did learn the code and my frustration level never lowered.  However, I believe good comes out of every problem or more politically correct....situation.  But never did I expect this....I start the new semester today with renewed hope and faith in people.  The people who work for the publisher had decided that I had basically edited this new book and gave them my edits for free. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I received a UPS delivery on a holiday to do the right thing. Companies would do well to recognize that it's the people that create relationships and are key to its success.  I had only asked for one thing, a complimentary copy of the next edition.  No credit, just to make it right that the book I had now wasn't.  I received an American Express Gift Card for $250.  Perfect.

~ The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. ~Richard Moss

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