Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Looking Back at Grade 11 Computer Science

Note: Even though this is a grade eleven course, I took it in grade ten.

Computer programming has always been something that I am good at and interested in, so I was very excited to be in this class at the very beginning of the school year. Indeed, I easily mastered the things that were taught in the class and I enjoyed doing the programming assignments. However, there were a lot of annoyances that made the experience in programming class a lot less enjoyable.

First was the marking scheme and how my teacher marked. She made the programming assignments so easy that a perfect or close-to-perfect mark was almost guaranteed for each of the assignments. As a result, even those who were not very good at programming got pretty high marks. And as everyone ended up getting very similar marks in the programming assignments, the reading assignment marks became the factor that decided whether your term mark was higher than the others. This placed me at a slight disadvantage because I wasn't very good at those assignments. Fortunately, I did better than most on the exam, so my final mark was still higher than them. However, I thought that the gap was a bit too small...

Yes I know that I  am sounding a bit arrogant, especially because I am referring to those who got 7-10% lower than me. However, judging by the questions that they asked me and how frequent they asked me those questions, it's pretty safe to say that they should have gotten a lot lower. Anyway, I will now set the issue of marks aside, as I believe that I have done enough ranting about marks already.

The second annoyance was actually something that I have just mentioned: other students asking me questions. When other students were stuck on a portion of code, they sometimes asked me for help, and of course I was very happy to help them. However, one particular student just kept asking me questions, to the extent that I literally did not get any time to work on my own code! And obviously you could imagine that if a person had to ask so many questions, most of them were probably not very intelligent.

Because of this, I got very stressed before computer classes, thinking of the questions that he would bombard me with. And toward the end of the semester when he asked me questions, I would lose my control and tell him angrily to think twice before asking me any question. Every time I did this I would feel guilty afterwards, it certainly wasn't something that I would wish for.

Just one other short complaint: there were too many reading assignments! Those weekly assignments were so hard and tedious that I had to stab myself in the hand to do them. They totally ruined my weekends!

Okay, I'm done with the negatives, and now I'll go onto the things that I have learned in the class.

In this course, I have learned how to program in Java, using the Console class created by Holt software. Actually, I wish that we didn't have to learn how to use the Console class, because this class was created for students and has literally no use in the real world. I wish that we have learned how to program the way that actual programmers would (obviously I mean only the basic stuff). But still, I have learned the syntaxes as well as the most common keywords in this programming language and this would be enough in the most basic algorithms. Also, with the things that I learned in this course, I can now make simple and useful Java programs for myself.

Unfortunately I am not going to take the grade twelve computer programming because of the huge workload that the course has, and also because that I don't have any space in my schedule. But I am certain that I will not forget the things that I have learned this year because I will be writing programs regularly on my own.

Next Up: Looking Bat at Grade 10 Careers
Go back to intro and a list of all posts in my grade ten reflection series