Fuck Today (Part 1)

General thread for people to whine, moan, complain, and otherwise scream into the heavens.

For screaming into the void, click here instead.

I bombed my recent exam. I clearly don’t understand mass spectrometry, despite convincing myself otherwise. Fortunately it was more than just MS, so I didn’t lose my entire shirt, but fuckityFUCKFUCK!

I am unbelievably angry with myself, mostly at my self-deception. I had learned it before in another class a while back and I convinced myself I didn’t need to practice it and focus on other things. I clearly don’t remember it, and looking through a textbook, I realize I’m actually inept at it. Now I have to go to office hours and relearn this skill that I thought I had. And it’s a fundamental skill that I want to develop, not just for this class.

What annoys me most is that I can’t find good resources on it. I have the old standby: A textbook that basically every chemistry student has nationwide, and then… nothing that is really helping it “click” in my mind so that I can approach problems with any confidence. I can rationalize a correct answer, but I lose all confidence working towards one. Shit like this makes me seriously wonder if I have the chops for what I’m doing.


I know nothing about mass spectrometry. But I do know about learning.

Sometimes things click, but more often than not it is a slog–even for things that you will eventually master. So this is a two parter.

Don’t psych yourself out. This is critical. Acknowledging that something is hard is good, criticizing yourself for not being a master is bad. You must possess humble confidence–which means you are going to fail, but failure leads to understanding.

Second, start solving your problems or exercises at quarter speed. Literally. Check every number, every calculation, use perfect penmanship, everything. If there is a mistake, start again even slower till it is impeccable. When it is impeccable, only then increase the speed at which you solve, calculate, and record.

There is a third step, but I don’t want to muddy things :smile:


An untested fix that I pushed to TEST on Friday before I left on vacation was tested and pushed to PROD in my absence. Tested SUCCESSFULLY… for the target scenario, but not for the most common-use case scenario.


yes yes i know i should have tested the code i didn’t have time i got everything done on my MUST DO list as well as the PLUS THESE SUPER URGENT NEW ISSUES list as well and seriously the fix was six characters moreorless


I just finished writing up an extensive, although I knew not fully comprehensive, test plan. I hoped the test plan would become more comprehensive with feedback, and some has come in.

We got as many people to test as we could, although everyone else’s schedules were deemed priority. We finally got signoff from each department, and upgraded our Production System.

Nobody could make purchases on our site for over a day.

I take some comfort in the fact that it’s shaping up like the issue was in fact something that we had tested out and seemed successful, but that just means that there are likely significant differences in our Test and Live environments that we have to hunt down now.

I’ve told people a millions times, it’s pointless to have me test my own code. Once I’ve dug myself that deeply into something it is impossible for me to approach it like an end user.


Oldie but goodie:


I wrote a shit ton of test cases for code noone has looked at in a year. On Thursday I got feedback that it needed changes… Which required a rewrite over the weekend.

Guess what happened yesterday? Real world testing they almost all failed, which meant I reverted to the code I was asked to change, cause it was better.

I love the guys I work with, but sometimes keep your philosophy out of my unit tests.


If you’re still going through the things you mentioned a month ago in a different thread, you’re probably exhausted and any difficulty with studying bears no relation to your actual ability. I can’t really offer you any advice on freeing up your time, but I’ve felt similar about subjects that I enjoyed studying and found pretty straightforward afterwards, merely because I wasn’t so tired and stressed about other issues at the time.


I took thermodynamics twice and the second time around I am not sure what happened but when I got to where I totally lost all understanding the first time I was going wait why was this so hard before?
Sometimes it just takes our brains a few tries to figure it out.


A few years ago I was studying physics, chemistry and a math subject that covered statistics and logic, I think it was called computing maths or something. The physics and chem had been consuming my attention to the point where three weeks out from exams I was set to totally bomb on the maths (scored HDs on the physics and chem), when I got myself into a little study group.

Mostly it was only somewhat helpful, but there was this one guy who really helped me grasp stuff; he had a way of talking about the concepts that either really suited me in particular or just managed to bounce the ideas around enough to home in on my way of understanding. In three weeks I went from a certain fail to utterly smashing it with 100%.


I am going on day 6 of a migraine and I have a pile of work to do.
Trepanation looks better every day…


I don’t wanna go see my wife’s boss play in his middle aged rock band at a pub tonight. I’ll hate the music and have to stand awkwardly holding a single beer for the night, not knowing what to do with myself, looking stiff amongst all the relaxed cool young people.

Don’t make me do this Hun.


Are you sure that it’s not a phantom limb issue?

Via: chainsawsuit


Did you do better than him on the exam?
My proteges almost always ended up doing better than me…


No I am not sure! Do unicorns also have horns on the side of the head above the ear?


I dunno, but there can’t have been too many perfect scores; that shit was hard! Actually, I did get one question sort of wrong, because I couldn’t remember the whole process, but since the examiner wrote ‘any values’ when he meant ‘all values’ and it covered logic, for computers, and I answered the question as it was written, I’m gonna give myself that mark.


I think this is a factor, after going to my professor’s office hours* and showing her where I kept getting stuck, I realized that I’m working incredibly hard at the problem, and waaaay overthinking it. I also focused on learning the wrong things. I think it’s stress–irony of ironies–from stuff other than school and work. It makes me feel better, because I’m starting to see why it was straightforward the first time I learned it a while back and why I’ve suddenly been having problems with it. I was also informed in no uncertain terms that “rotavap” is not a verb that is ever used in scientific literature.

I’m just glad the exam doesn’t hurt my overall grade too bad.

I should do this, mainly because I actually understand things much better when I explain it to others, moreso than the other way around. Fortunately I have a guy in my class who was proposing we team up for study sessions. I suck at making friends. I’m not exactly shy, but the class is huge. This guy just happened to be my project partner in a previous class, though.

When I was a teenager I went through a period of intense inexplicable migraines for about a year and a half. Fortunately I grew out of it. That really sucks. I’d offer you tips but I’m sure you know them all by now.

*****Dumb question: What are office hours for, exactly? I have a hard time making the most of them. I never or rarely have question about things. Most of the time it’s a function of sitting and looking at the thing until I figure it out for myself. But when I hear some people talk about going to office hours, it sounds like they set up camp. Am I doing it wrong?


I worked for a company that manufactures Mass Spectrometers and I STILL haven’t figured them out!


I always thought Office Hours were a synonym for Cocktail Hours.


Think of it as performance art, and they’re actually all playing ironically and you’re writing a squee-worthy review of them.


What part of the company? Please tell me you were a sales rep, if only because that would be kinda funny.

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