Wrapping Up

We’re having a long string of wonderful warm and sunny days and biking to UAS is sheer joy. Every morning at around 8 AM when I crest the steep final hill before the campus I catch my first glimpse of the prominent BT7 tower brightly glittering in the summer morning light,IMG_20180724_075341 and think of all the times in the past three years I’ve seen it like this before. Still dark before sunrise in winter, with the lights on some floors already lit. The upper story windows covered in shimmering orange, reflecting the light of the rising sun that for me was still under the horizon. In a drizzling rain, with the top touching the low clouds. And I realize I won’t see it much more often.

Past a big crossroad, swinging left into the driveway, rolling down the service ramp flanking the justice building at about 30 km/h, passing under the foot bridge connecting BT7 and BT5, and finally a sharp left coasting to a stop at my favorite cycle rack. I’ve arrived here just like this countless mornings in the past three years. And every time it feels like I’m coming where alone I matter. In a very real sense in these years BT7 has become the center of my life. The one thing I did right. The one thing I am good at. The place where I am respected, by professors and peers alike. In truth, in all this time I would never have wanted to be anywhere else.

I’m no longer sad, as I used to be in winter, at the prospect that it’s about to end, but still somewhat sentimental. Though by now I can manage to see that it was good just the way it was. And it’s about to be over, and that is alright too.

We did indeed manage to hand in the final assignment for the IT security practicum on Monday. The professor found two errors which we fixed on the spot, and then we got our check mark. That’s one PVL earned out of only two this term, and by the by, it’s my twenty-third! Hard to believe, considering how much sweat and tears went into every single one of them, with few exceptions.

There will be two more practicum meetings for the compulsory choice module, but apparently they’ll just consist of some sort of roleplay in two parts–conducting a technical review of another group’s code from an earlier assignment. Likely to be fun more than anything else, I hope.

And yesterday I finally resigned myself to the fact that programming for my bachelor thesis project is done. Or rather, has to be done. I have achieved the minimum of what I set out to do: I have generated fake data, I have written an application that compiles it, and another that trains neural networks, and I have done all that in the cloud. It doesn’t really do anything, it doesn’t prove a whole lot, and as it is it’s completely useless in practice. And I haven’t successfully trained a single network to completion. And still, this is the best I could do, in the few months I had, with a stack of completely unfamiliar technologies. And for a bachelor thesis it’s really plenty enough.

So I recommenced writing and again found that the pages seem to fill all by themselves. A handful of paragraphs of why I chose Scala came out, in the liberal layout of the LaTeX template provided by the department, as one and a half pages! I’ll be done in no time. Still, I’ll see my supervisor this afternoon and report on my progress for the third and probably final time. (Supervising me is really no great trouble I dare say.) I hope she’ll see it my way, i.e. what I’ve done is enough. But then she usually does (see it my way).

So this is what I’ll do with the rest of my time here. Write the thesis. A few more lectures and a couple of practicum meetings, though this morning the IT security lecture is hosting a test lecture by a candidate for a professorial appointment. Some diversion. And then of course, pretty soon (too soon!) studying for the exams. Though there is little pressure, because I can easily complete writing the thesis well after the exams, and probably will.

Though sometimes, particularly when writing a text, I surprise myself by being finished much faster than I first think.

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