Posted by: GeekHiker | July 5, 2010

An Ever-So-Brief Update

I would have to be exceptionally lazy to go through a three-day holiday weekend and NOT sit down to write at least a little something.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I actually am that exceptionally lazy, or at least very much have the potential to be.  Despite this, I’m sitting in front of the computer on Monday afternoon, typing away.  I’m driven, I think, less by any particular need to write as by the fact that the sun hasn’t made an appearance all day (oh, the glories of June Gloom).  Were it not for that, I would have been over at the park with a good book, laying in the dappled sunlight of a tree.

Stupid June Gloom.

The studying, for those interested, continues apace.  I’ve read through the entire 700+ page book, and spent the last couple of weeks typing up all my notes into a Word document.  Which, basically, means that I’ve narrowed down the contents of book to only 47 pages of bulleted lists and definitions that I must, somehow, commit to memory.

If I do end up taking the test, I highly suspect I’ll bomb it, at least on the first pass.  This isn’t my normal self-deprecation speaking: it comes from the fact that the amount of information they expect you to recite from memory is a little bit insane.  It reminds me of my biology final back in high school, where you were expected to know long lists of biological nomenclature and identify various animals and plants.

Personally, I’m not convinced how useful being able to recite lists of commands and switches from memory is in the real world of IT, especially as many of them aren’t the kind of things that are used on a daily basis.  Understanding that the functions are there and what they’re used for is useful, but being able to list off every arcane, rarely-used command line from memory?

Then again, this is standardized testing.  It’s a lot easier to test lists of commands than how to deal with things like having three separate vendors, all pointing fingers at each other regarding the down system, all while having the employees complaining about how they can’t work and the CEO complaining about how much it’s costing the company.

Which is a lot more like how IT actually functions on a daily basis…

* * *

I did not, however, study this weekend.  Not one bit.

Instead I spent Saturday running errands: taking recycling to the local recycling place, picking up a new inner tube for the bike and a pair of hiking shorts, etc.

Sunday, I spent the 4th of July by myself, and was rather okay with it.  Most of the morning involved a ride along the beach path, where all the beachfront houses already had their parties going.  It was only 10 am, but the number of intoxicated kids was astounding.

(I also noted another phenomenon: riding the beach trail on the 4th of July is a good way to feel old.  Apparently most all the families with kids and other adults leave town.  What’s left?  All the teenagers and twenty-somethings.  It was as though I were riding through the live version of some MTV beach party show.  I felt rather detached from the whole thing, actually, riding along and feeling like an anthropologist observing another culture: not only was it not my crowd, it never was…)

My neighbors held their party again, but I wasn’t bugged by it.  I got my reading done earlier, so my day didn’t feel interrupted, and they had invited me down when I left the house on my bike earlier besides.  I stopped by for a few minutes, but between the headache I’d developed and the soreness from the ride, I wasn’t feeling particularly social, so I retreated back to the house to grill up my burger.

And, of course, there were fireworks, which are visible from where I live.  Most of the neighborhood turns out to watch them, sitting on front lawns or right in the middle of the street.  This happy celebration was marred when some world-class, Grade A, Number-one asshole decided to get in his car and leave – right in the middle of the show.  So he drove up the block, expecting the 100 or so people sitting there to part the waters just for him.

Most didn’t, and eventually he had to shut off his engine and wait for the end of the fireworks.  After the show, as people moved off the street and allowing him to pass, more than one said to the driver “please, feel free not to come back to our neighborhood next year!”

Today I’ve spent cleaning, reading, writing.  And hoping for the sun to come out, which it never did.

A mellow weekend, to be sure.  Perhaps not as fun as last year, but better than the year before that.  Certainly better than a few years ago.  Still, while I had no problem spending the weekend flying solo, sometimes I grow nostalgic for those family 4ths of July I had as a kid.

I guess that’s just a part of getting older.

* * *

So, there it is, a little run-down of the studying and the holiday, just to touch base (I should probably reply to all the unanswered e-mails I have as well, but we’ll see how late I finish this; hope no one feels ignored, it’s nothing personal!).  There are so many other things I could write about (the post ideas are stacking up in my mind, believe me), but it’s clear to me after the past few weeks that concentrating on studying for this bloody test at the expense of the blog was the right choice.

Hopefully I’ll sign up for the test some time this week.  And with a little luck, maybe I’ll even pass the silly thing and get back to being around here more often..

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Responses

  1. Finally, an update! 🙂 Welcome back to Blogosphere (for the time being) and glad to hear that you are doing well! I highly doubt that you will “bomb” the test though — I think you will knock ’em out of the park. Anyway, good luck and keep us posted!

  2. Good luck to you. And good for you for making it a priority.

    *luck*

  3. Good luck with the test … and with everything else, of course.

  4. I can’t imagine studying anymore. I think all my study synapses fizzled out years ago. Hope the test goes well for you.

    I add 4th of July to the other holidays that just aren’t the same when you’re grown up. Mr. W and I saw a few fireworks from his front window and then I pretty much passed out on the couch. Not the same as lying on your back watching in wonder when you were 10.

  5. I spent the 4th alone as well, at a MN festival surrounded by un-alone people…good times. Ah well

  6. 🙂 Good luck on your test! I have a good feeling for you.

    Awesome story-telling!

    • By the way, it sounds like MY hometown weather has settled over your hometown! Wanna trade? It’s too sultry here. 🙂

  7. Aw Hiker! That’s a lot of studying. 😐 A lot. I tensed up just reading about it, which confirms my fears that I can’t handle tests well now, at 30.

    Hope you kill that test dead.

    (Ironically, I really like this kind of entry of yours 🙂 )

  8. GH…..

    I think you are going to do just fine on this test. Studying 700+ pages, that is some level of commitment. Hope you get one of those nifty certificates of completion to hang over your cubicle!

    You had a quiet 4th, sometimes it’s nice for it to just be that way, too many crazy drunks and dbags, especially in LA. Loved that it sounded like a warzone in my neighborhood at 2:30am when I was trying to sleep, ack!

    Glad you are taking advantage of your ME time. It’s important that you do so, don’t burn yourself out silly, life is too short to not enjoy it.

  9. I read anthropologist but I actually thought entomologist… I’m just being mean.

    Good luck on the test! You may find that you already know most of what you need given the time you’ve used up organising and typing up your notes.

  10. good luck on your test! Rooting for you (as always). 🙂

  11. Hooray for studying!

  12. K – Don’t be too sure. I understand the concepts, but the exact structure of command lines at a DOS prompt are tough.

    Char – Thanks!

    Homer-Dog – I’ll need it…

    MelHeth – Yeah, stuff is just never the same when you get older and the aches and pains kick in… or maybe that’s just me.

    S’dizzle – Bummer…

    MissMcCracken – Thanks! And, yes, I’d be happy to trade.

    Narami – Too bad it’s a part of life, eh?

    Ruth – The problem is cramming that 700 pages into my too-small brain. But, no, I’ll try not to burn myself out.

    Gany – Maybe so. But when I do the practice tests, I feel like I’ve forgotten it all!

    Spleeness – Thanks!

    TheCoconutDiaries – LOL, you sound like a teacher! 🙂


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