I Got Sh*t on by a Bird Today (and other reasons I'm in bed by 8pm)

"I think a bird just pooped on my head." -Demery Gijsbers

A draft from finals season exactly four months ago:
Today I spent nine hours in one booth at Beanster's Cafe. During those nine hours, I completely re-coded my web application final project, saw the same error message on that web application at least forty times, ate cereal mixed with almond butter out of plastic bag for dinner, sent a desperate and pathetic email to my Graduate Student Instructor for help on my project, and watched a mouse run back and forth across the cafe. The Michigan Difference!! Go Blue Forever!!

I have a hard time sitting still for an hour long class discussion, so nine hours in Beanster's (RIP in peace to Beansters btw) was borderline self-sabotage. Finals season in and of itself is just a collection of recipes for self-sabotage. Closing time is 6pm and we are freed from the grips of the Michigan League and released out onto snowy North University. It tastes like liberty as I munch on a freshly formed snowball and head home. The crows fill the trees and my friend Anna and I mutter fears about the flock of them pooping on us. Well, you may be ahead of me, here. It was four drops, and I'll never ever forget that feeling. "Is it white?" I ask Anna, and in hindsight, I wonder what crazy person would ever ask someone to describe the bird poop crusting in their hair. It was the icing on the cake that was a miserable college day, and instead of finishing my web application, I sit here, living to tell the tale. Two showers in one day is how the royals live, I think, and I treated myself to it today. Adulting means thinking about the water bill going up because of an extra shower right after you get pooped on.

As I look back on this experience from exactly a semester ago, it is natural to conclude that finals season blows and bad things will always happen to good people. It's currently snowing in the middle of April and I have more final projects and exams and papers than there are hours in a day to procrastinate those things. In an effort to feel productive, let's consider the "do's and dont's" of the semester if you're here for advice on web applications, or life, or making stupid last minute decisions to change a V important project.

Do: Consider studying for stuff early on. Just give it a little thought if anything. Then inevitably forget about it until the end of the semester.
Don't: Wait until the day before it's due to email for help.
Do: Know how to use JSON, Flask, and API's (W3Schools and StackOverflow are a coder's lifesavers and are probably used in some obscure way as online dating sites for CS majors).
Don't: "Just wing it." Been there, done that, didn't go well. Will certainly keep ya on your toes, though.
Do: Keep your hood up when you're walking under hundreds of relentless disgusting birds.
Don't: Keep it to yourself when you're considering overhauling the V important project. Someone's gotta be on that ship with you when it goes down.
Do: Remember that your grades don't define you. Remind yourself of this every time you get a freaking error message.

Here's a link to my github for those of you who made it this far because you're probably the only ones that are interested in coding and know what a github is. There are various projects, some finished and some horribly strewn across a Sublime text page (shoutout to my first python attempts, but also some very recent, very sad projects). I'm working on getting more of my web apps onto Heroku, but it takes about as long as cooking chili to deploy to the internet. (Recipe will go up when I finish the chili and decide if it's worth sharing or not).

Stay cool, even when it's thunder-snowing in April and you get pooped on.

All my best and then some,
Dem




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