Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reflections on Year 2 and Thoughts on Year 3

It was challenging. The novelty of going to school again had worn off, and it was grinding through. I was going through some personal challenges as well, which made it less enjoyable, but in the end it turned out all right.

I finally had a full engineering (ie. 6 courses) courseload and it was, well, busy, as you would expect. On the bright side, I had no more labs, and I got to write a few papers, which was a nice change indeed.

On a side tangent: no labs is a definite win. Those 1 credit lab courses sometimes take just as much time and resources as 3 credit courses. I find that frustrating. I also find it frustrating that some lab instructors prefer to mark labs based on perfect data. If labs are not a place where you can explore and make mistakes, then I don't know what the point is. As students, we are trained to all but put our self worth in our grades, so if they want perfect data, then students will give them whatever they want.

I guess I've been thinking about that for a long time, considering I had no labs since first year.

However! Onto UBC and year 3. Although sometimes I really wish it were all over already, the change of scenery should be new and exciting! The courses should also be much more interesting. New people, new residence, in Vancouver, one of the nicest cities in the world. It's going to be great.

INCLUDETEXT in Word 2011 for Mac OS

*This is totally unrelated to anything school or engineering*
I just discovered something great for single-sourcing snippets that are repeated in a larger document. It uses Bookmarks and Fields.
To insert a document or part of a document (a.docx) into the main document (M.docx):
  1. In document (a), highlight the part of the text that you want to bookmark.
  2. Click Insert > Bookmark, give it a name (let's say "Zoo"), and click Add.
  3. In the main document (M), place the cursor where you want the bookmark text inserted.
  4. Click Insert > File, and browse to the file.
  5. Select the Link to File check box and type in the name of the bookmark in the Range/Bookmark field.
  6. Click Insert.
If you right click on the text and select "Toggle Field Codes", you'll see that the field looks something like this: { INCLUDETEXT "Macintosh HD:Users:myhome:Blah:a.docx." Zoo }
This looks quite different from the Windows version which includes double backslashes: 
{ INCLUDETEXT "C:\\My Documents\\a.doc" Zoo }.
There are probably other nifty optional tags in the field that I don't know about.