I just ate a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese by myself…

…and I liked it. I’m on spring break and in college terms that means heavy drinking and passing out on a beach to wake up with a severe sunburn. So what am I doing with my spring break? Working, homework, and getting ready to work after I graduate. Work, work, work, that’s like a triple negative. Spring break, psssh, more like Spring work.

Worst habit ever?

I was in a slightly irritable mood today and I was sitting in my Greek Mythology class trying to follow my professor jump around (figuratively and literally) in her lecture, but the guy in front and to the left of me was driving me completely bonkers. He sat there for a good 30 minutes of the class chomping away at his nails, I mean just digging right in. Mmmmm a feast of undigestible keratin protein. That has to be one of the worst habits you can have privately, but come on in college? Also, asking really stupid questions in the middle of class that don’t make sense or aren’t complete sentences is up there too. /end venting

What habits, your own or others’, just drive you up the wall?

Professor Andrew?

Not really, more like teacher assistant Andrew. I’ve got a project going at school right now to further develop our Microsoft infrastructure for use in various classes, primarily for teaching ASP.NET. Since I’ve actually been using it in my internship I guess that makes me qualified to give 3 lectures on the subject in the upper division Web class. I’m actually taking the other class that will be using the technology so I’m sure I will be contributing there as well. I need to make a point of posting more often to keep myself off of Nathan’s Dead Blarg Friends list.

Textbooks: Save your hard earned money

Some of you reading my site are in college or at least like to read so this should be a great site for you. It took me one semester to figure out that the bookstore at any college is a corrupt operation explicitly designed to gouge and rip off the students they vow to be serving.

Since I pretty much pay for my own books, I have always tried to save the most money possible when I buy textbooks and get the most back from the ones I do not keep. Here’s a quick list of what I do to cut my textbook costs by up to half:

  • Never sell books back to your bookstore, sell on Half.com or Amazon Marketplace
  • Never buy books from your bookstore unless absolutely necessary
  • Find the lowest price of used and new books on the entire Internet at AddALL
  • Compare that price to your bookstore’s new and used prices, purchase accordingly
  • Take shipping and taxes into consideration, a $3-$5 cost for shipping is offset by no tax being charged
  • Make a spreadsheet to see how much you save!

I think my all time high in savings was close to $200 and I have even sold books for nearly the same or more for what I paid for them.

One thing to watch out for on books that seem to have prices too good to be true is a growing popularity of International editions of books. These are usually printed in India or somewhere and are the exact same book, but they will always be softcovers with black and white print on inferior paper to the US editions. If you don’t mind the loss in quality go for it but I’ve only bought one and will shell out the extra money for the nicer hardcover.

My Goals for Winter Break

With one final left tomorrow (I would categorize the two from yesterday as “almost easy”) I’m looking forward to getting some stuff done over the break. In no particular order here we go:

  • Overhaul computer to dual core Athlon 64
  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Help finish off kitchen remodel
  • Watch Kung Fu DVDs I have not yet viewed
  • Get down and dirty with ASP.NET 2.0
  • Start planning what I will be doing after graduation
  • Start looking for possible employment opportunities
  • Spend more time with Sarah who has been slightly neglected this semester
  • Spend more time with Nikon D70 who has been slightly neglected this semester
  • Prepare for my last semester in the comfy world of academia
  • Get Christmas tree before Christmas
  • Maybe put up some Christmas light before Christmas
  • Get resume up to date in XML format using standardized DTD

If I accomplish anything, I really want to get some more programming and dotNet knowledge. It won’t be long until I’m interviewing for jobs and I want to make sure my skillset is up to date and competitive.

So what are you going to be doing with any vacation time you get?