Mar. 27th, 2010

azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I'm starting to think my "education" with DeVry is a bit of a joke. It's probably misplaced frustration from over a week without a laptop, and, now that I've got a new one, trying to play catch-up in two classes that overwhelm me.

For starters, in my Information Design class, I feel like it's a re-hash of my last class where the teacher is just doing things "according to guidelines/rules." We have a textbook that I feel reads as horribly outdated (especially the part about justifying why a restaurant finder application should be delivered on CD-ROM versus a Web application--this book was written in 2005, which is like centuries in Internet time), assignments that don't seem very clear, and quizzes with even more trick questions (dependent wholly on the textbook too, which is the polar opposite of what my CSUN professors did: they actually wanted you to read/listen to the LECTURE and DISCUSSION).

Then there's my Flash class. The professor's cool, but the fact that DeVry is still using CS3 when they don't even SELL CS3 anymore is pretty frustrating. I think the fact that CS3 is no longer supported by Adobe should be a big clue for them to, at the very least, provide the CS4 methods of doing things for assignments, labs, etc. IN CONJUNCTION with the CS3 methods, if not use it primarily.

Flash intimidates the heck out of me. Even though it's a Macromedia/Adobe product, it looks and acts different from all the other programs I'm used to, and things just don't work the way I expect them to. My stuff doesn't look nearly as awesome as some of my classmates', and certainly is not anything I'm wild crazy about putting in a portfolio. It's nowhere near on par with the basic Flash you see on websites everywhere these days. Of course, that would be expecting a miracle, right? Going from 0 to 60 in just four to five weeks: I can't expect my understanding of Flash to hit me like an epiphany and I just start GETTING IT. It'd be nice, but it doesn't work that way. I don't work that way.

So I'm going to do my best and muddle through it, and hopefully not end up as part of the disappointingly-large statistic of people that don't graduate from DeVry. It has a miserable graduation rate, from what I found: about 34%. And here I thought California state schools were pretty bad.

I really wish they offered these classes in-person at the Daly City campus. I just don't think I do well in an online environment, odd as that is for both me and the program I'm in (Multimedia Design and Development).

I wonder if it also has to do with my environment here: lacking a job and the money to really buy something like a Fast Pass (monthly transportation pass), I don't go out unless I can spare the change or I really need to (or someone's driving me). Otherwise, I think going to the library with my laptop might be a good idea. I wonder if getting a Fast Pass for April might be a good investment, considering I actually do have some cash now? I really don't want to spend it on things I don't NEED though, since I should be paying my bills and such more than anything else. Still, a Fast Pass is probably a better investment than a bag of bagels (much as I want those bagels).

Plus, I have to treat all of this--getting a job, taking these online classes--like I were at a full-time job and still taking classes in a real university environment. If I can do this, maybe they won't worry and frustrate me so much. That's the hope, anyway.

Any advice from folks that know this sort of stuff--interface design with wireframes, Visio, Flash, etc.--would be totally appreciated.

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