Ramifications of Failing Physics

So the reason Friday was such a pivotal day was because Friday was the day I was given the opportunity to retake the final to see if I could score highly enough to change my F to a D. Well, to make sure I didn't get any breaks I was given a final from a different professor than the one whom I took the class with and don't think I made the water mark, but I won't know for sure until Monday.

So my biggest concerns now are how my parents are going to take this and what this means for my Microsoft job offer. I come from a family of overachievers, I have more brothers and sisters that are Ph.Ds and M.Ds than most people have relatives. I was already being a Black Sheep by suggesting I'd go into the work force right after a B.Sc but this is unprecedented. I feel like such a fucking disappointment. My mom was so fucking proud of me when she flew down here for my graduation this Christmas and I feel like such a shit for having to call her and tell her to quit being so proud because I flunked a class.

The Microsoft job offer does add a wrinkle to the situation. I doubt that they'll hold my spot for three to four months especially in this job market with so many experienced people willing to work for peanuts. The fact that I'd be H1-B doesn't make my position any more palatable. I know so many bright people who've gone months without work and some that have had to go back to their countries of origin because they couldn't find work in time to stay legal.

The only bright spot is that I could probably claim domain expertise in next generation XML technologies that few people are even aware off let alone experts at using, how much that'll buy me in five months is anyone's guess.

I need to call my recruiter on Monday.

Personal Life

My ex-girlfriend and I are friends which is unusual for me since I rarely have female friends and even more rarely do I keep in touch with females I've had a relationship with either brief or long. I like her a lot but realize I'll never be a good boyfriend for her;
  • I'm a workaholic and it'll probably be years until I slow down enough to give someone like her the time she wants and deserves

  • I had a problem with her weight which I refused to admit while we were together but which in hindsight bothered me more than it should have. Realizing that you a shallow and superficial bastard is not a pleasant experience and there I was thinking I'd matured.
I'll be twenty four in a few months and officially in my mid-twenties, I keep waiting to wake up one morning and be more mature but keep disappointed. *sigh*

The only bright light on the technical front is that I'm still able to find females who are interested in me physically but don't carry the baggage of wanting a fulltime relationship and thus aren't a burden I am unable to deal with at this time.

Keeping Busy

I spent all of Saturday converting my entire website to XHTML for no other reason than the fact that I decided that I'm so immersed in XML that I should put my money where my mouth is and be standards compliant. So now every page on my website is valid XHTML including the ones created from my K5 articles which turned out to be easier than I thought.

I've spent most of the last few weeks posting to the xml-dev mailing list and it's been great. Discussing various aspects of XML with people's whose books I learned about XML from and whom are defining the next generation of standards is very humbling. I hope, I can stay as a good a sport as most of them are if I ever become some sort of tech guru [Yeah, right, in my dreams... :) ].

I've also been working on articles for WROX's C# Today website after one of their editors emailed me after reading my Java/C# article. I get paid for them but they have to follow a specific format which I'm not sure I like since I'm not really into writing step by step programming guides. Getting paid to write is kinda cool though.

Anyway, I have four major projects listed in order of priority that I plan to work on over the next month that may or may not be of interest to K5ers including
  1. XML Data manipulation Language (XDML): Although XML and databases have become intertwined with the rise of native XML databases and XML-enabled databases, there doesn't seem to be much work in the direction of creating something analogous to SQL for the XML database world. I plan to have a go at a crude implementation and write up my findings and ideas as a possible start to a research project (which will pay off if I end up not being able to find a job and need to go to grad school).

  2. Book Proposal/Table of Contents: Besides being approached by the WROX website, I've also been approached by another publisher about writing a book. It turns out that the process involves me outlining the book in excruciating detail in what is typically called a Book Proposal. Here's an example of one. Spelling out the table of contents, estimating the potential target audience size, and describing the competition is expected from me and more.

    All this and there is no guarantee they'll give me a book deal.

    By the way, Adler Books is not the publisher I am talking about, their site just happened the first decent site to come up when I Googled for a book proposal.

  3. XML Web Services Comparison: The Java/C# comparison turned out to be quite a hit. I've gotten close to 60,000 hits since the article ran on Slashdot and have received dozens of emails. What's been really cool is checking ny server logs and seeing links to my article from French, German, and Spanish sites as well as all the notable Java boards like JGuru, TheServerside and Java Lobby. I even got linked from some Sun intranet sites and it was passed around within MSFT as well.

    Anyway the point of all that is that I'm thinking of doing a followup but focusing on "XML web services", everyones new favorite buzzword and seeing how Java/J2EE and .NET/C# stack up (and I'm considering throwing Perl/SOAP::Lite in the mix).

    Anyway, I need some feedback from those who'd be interested in such an article. When I compareded C# and Java, I wrote all my code in Emacs and did all compilation on the command line so I wouldn't be making the mistake of comparing IDEs. But with web services it looks like all the major vendors have added all sorts of hooks and features to their IDEs to make things easier that wouldn't make any sense ignoring.

    The question now is whether I still try and do a comparison based on using Emacs and command line even though 99% of the people who'll use .NET to create web services will use Visual Studio.NET or do I just use IDEs?

  4. The Myth of Open Source Security part 2: I'm considering rewriting this article and backing it up with numbers and perhaps with a few quotes from some notable folks if I can get any of them to respond to my email.


W hy Slashdot Sucks. That post had 30 moderations applied to it the last time I checked and I love the way it so eloquently states something that has bothered me about Slashdot for a while now.

By the way HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


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