The Saga of Calculus Class Finally Comes to a Close

Well, I was finally switched into the other Calc class. However, it wasn’t accomplished without some bravado by the head of the math department. She sent me an email on Friday:

You have been switched from 111F to 111E effective Oct. 22. I would be glad to talk to you about why I did this and I think it would be a good conversation for you to hear. Come to my office on Monday (207 Stratton) between 9 and 1. You will have to live with the lack of discretionary points.

You will have to live with the lack of discretionary points. What the hell are you trying to say? Before I go on any further, I feel obliged to present the whole string of emails:

—–Original Message—–
From: aferguso@Mines.EDU [mailto:aferguso@Mines.EDU]
Sent: Friday, October 22, 2004 9:50 AM
To: Barbara Bath
Subject: RE: MACS class change

I sent you an email a couple weeks ago and I have not heard back. In short, I can understand the fact that it would "not be wise" for me to change
classes because it is so late in the game. However, I believe that failing to change classes could potentially mean that I have to take calc 1 again, something that I wouldn’t look forward to. I’ve been attending Ms. Bailey’s class for about 4 weeks now and I have to say that I’m really enjoying it. Please get back to me ASAP.
-Andrew Ferguson

Quoting Barbara Bath <bbath@Mines.EDU>:

> Andrew, it would not be wise for you to change at this point as there are 40
> people registered in the class you want to change to and you would not have
> any discretionary points. There are a number of actions you can take to
> improve your performance. 1) Go to tutoring 2) Go to the workshops 3) Get
> the solutions out of the library 4) Attend other sections when you want
> further instruction 5) Go to Dr. Abushama’s office hours for additional
> help. Keep me posted on how you are doing. bbb
> Barbara Blake Bath
> Emerita Director of Undergraduate Studies
> Mathematical and Computer Sciences
> Colorado School of Mines
> Golden, CO 80401
> email:
> phone: 303-273-3872
> fax: 303-273-3875
> —–Original Message—–
> From: aferguso@Mines.EDU [mailto:aferguso@Mines.EDU]
> Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2004 7:29 PM
> To:
> Subject: MACS class change
> I am currently in MACS 111-F, which meets on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday,
> and
> Friday at 10am. I am having difficulties understanding the teacher and
> contacted Jennifer Bailey wondering if I might be able to switch into her
> class
> which meets at almost the exact same time. I have talked with my CSM 101
> advisor, Luisa Duley, and she has informed me that it is ok with the
> registrar,
> and I went to registrars office and they gave me a form to change classes.
> I talked with Ms. Bailey and she was hessitant about switching because of
> the
> descretionary points that are given out and that the class was kind of
> I
> went to her class all of last week and there were plenty of empty seats.
> not trying to be a pain or anything, I’m just trying to get the most out
> my
> education and Ms. Bailey’s class is significantly better then my current
> situation. I was talking with Mel Kirk about the situation on Friday and
> refered me to you. I’m wondering what my options are. Please email or give
> me a
> call when you get a chance. I’m usually up until about 11pm.
> -Andrew Ferguson
> 206-948-1701

There was also an email in there after her original response where I stated that I am not paying $30,000 to teach myself calculus in the library. I also noted that I am at Mines Park which is at least a half mile trip to the nearest tutor and that because I was so far away, I would be less inclined to go to tutoring. She never responded back to that email.

So I went to her office on Monday. The first thing she said was something to the effect of "Do you have any idea what would happen if 576 students wanted to change classes?"


"It would cause so much chaos" blah blah blah "Fortunatly, I was able to do you a favor" blah blah blah "your lucky I know someone in the registrar’s office."

I then alerted her to the fact that I had a Learning Disability. She then proceded to say that I should not have brought that up. WHAT THE FUCK? That is a very relavent point and I certainly have the right to bring it up! But it get’s better! She then goes on to say that for her Ph.D. paper, she studied math scores of children with cancer and that they were happy just to be able to learn. Again, WHAT THE FUCK? I don’t have cancer, nor is that an appropriate correlation to the current topic. She then got on my case for requesting a read receipt because it shows that "I don’t trust her." For the record, I request a read receipt for all emails I send out…thanks for asking. Then she said that Abushama’s english is "impecible." I wasn’t going to argue; she can speak english and has a good vocabulary, but her grammer sucks like a black hole and she doesn’t have any intonation. This makes it very hard to understand her. Seeing as I have a hard enough time with ADD and what not, I think I have the right to switch into a class where I can actually understand the teacher, even more so becuase I pay you over $30,000 to go here. She then said that she hopes I don’t do this often because I might get a bad reputation.

All in all, I attribute the entire meeting as a scare tactic. Something designed to let me know she didn’t appreciate me playing by the rules and causing her all sorts of paper work. Glad I could help.

Recreation and Wellness Center: Campus Development Off To A Good Start

Recreation and Wellness Center: Campus Development Off To A Good Start

Here’s my article for issue 4 of The Oredigger:

Recreation and Wellness Center: Campus Development Off To A Good Start

Andrew Ferguson

The much anticipated Recreation and Wellness Center is in its final phase of conception. The transition from concept to reality began on October 13th when the winning bid for an architecture firm was announced. Sink, Combs and Dethlefs will now work with the school to hire a general contractor who will oversee the construction of the Center. If all goes according to plan, construction will start soon after school lets out in May, beginning with the demolition and relocation of the McBride House, the Minority Engineering Program house, the Outdoor Recreation Center, the Senior Design House, and the old Sigma Kappa house.
There have been some concerns regarding the historic significance of some of the houses,
especially the old Sigma Kappa house. However, Harold Cheuvront, Vice President and Dean of Students, noted that "none of the buildings in the block are classified as historical landmarks nor are they eligible to be." Despite the legal status of the houses, there are still some concerned citizens who would like to preserve some of them. In an effort to accommodate that request, Cheuvront responded that "if the city would move them to a vacant lot owned by the city, we [Colorado School of Mines] would of course be willing to sell them a house for a dollar or something like that."
Construction of the Recreation and Wellness Center will cause a partial closure of Maple Street to vehicular traffic and the complete closure and conversion of 16th Street, between Maple and Elm, into a pedestrian walkway. Approximately twelve short months later, the newly built Recreation and Wellness Center will be finished.
The Center is mostly a response to student demand for more sports oriented activities. Currently, over 85% of CSM students participate in some form of sport; the new Recreation and Wellness Center will expand the range of physical activities and hopefully increase the amount of student participation as well as provide the opportunity for much needed socialization activities.
The Center will include several basketball and volleyball courts, a running track, a
climbing wall, locker rooms, weight/fitness room, racquetball/handball courts, an aerobics
and yoga room, and several offices that will house the Outdoor Recreational Center and
the Intramurals and Club Sports office.
Total cost of the complex, including demolition of the old housing and furnishing of the new
facility will cost around $18 million, $6 million less then originally budgeted. The difference is due to lack of state provided funds; the extra $6 million would have been used for an aquatics facility. However, there are still plans to construct the aquatics portion at a later date and the design of the Recreation and Wellness Center will allow for easy integration between the Center and the pool.

How The Internet Really Works

There is a big difference between how the common user percieves how the Internet works and how it actually works. This is something I’ve been learning over the past week and it really makes me hate and appreciate the Internet more now. Let’s say you go to my website, The first thing your browser does is check with the local Domain Name Server server. DNS servers are responsible for maintaining a listing of websites and where they point to. The DNS server will do one of four things:

  1. It can answer the request with an IP address because it already knows the IP address for the requested domain.
  2. It can contact another DNS server and try to find the IP address for the name requested. It may have to do this multiple times.
  3. It can say, "I don’t know the IP address for the domain you requested, but here’s the IP address for a DNS server that knows more than I do."
  4. It can return an error message because the requested domain name is invalid or does not exist.

Herein lies the key to why the Internet is a crazy place. Everything has to be specified. There are 9 types of records: A, AAAA/IPv6, SOA, MX, NS, rDNS, CNAME, PTR, and TXT. Here is the DNS record for this website: 86400 IN SOA 2004102505 10800 3600 604800 10800 86400 IN NS 86400 IN NS 86400 IN A 86400 IN A 86400 IN SOA 2004102505 10800 3600 604800 10800

The first line says that for, is the Start of Authority (that is has the official responsibillity to know where is located at all times).

2004102505 is the date this record was last updated: October 25, 2004, 5th version of the day. The next string of numbers are just timeout numbers and are not that important. 86400 IN NS and 86400 IN NS basically says that ns(0/1) is a Name Server for my website. 86400 IN A and 86400 IN A tells the DNS the actual physical location of my website. Note that both the qualified name and the www subzone are both listed. This is the actual information that the DNS server sends back to you, the user. Then your browser initiates a connection with and you arrive at my website.

For, the records look pretty similar. The one notible difference is the addition of: 86400 IN MX 5

This says that for the domain, all mail should be sent to the server named The 5 indicates that this is the first mailserver that should be contacted.

That’s a lot of stuff to figure out. Thus far, I’ve covered A, SOA, MX, and NS. I don’t use AAAA/IPv6, CNAME, TXT, or PTR. The rDNS basically is the reverse of the DNS lookup. It takes an IP address and gets an address back. Reversing my IP address will always return, it’s just the way it’s setup.

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore!

Wow! The wind is really whipping. I’ve never seen wind gusts this strong, never. Up to 127 kph! That’s so fast! The situation is aggravated even more because we’re right next to the mountains, so it really just whips down through here, making quite a bit of noise. The window even flexes a quite a few millimeters..

How 300 Million People Instantly Became Red Sox Fans

How 300 Million People Instantly Became Red Sox Fans

It could have started at the beginning of the year when Steinbrenner spent almost $200 million on players, more then any other team in MLB history. It could have been the fact that the Yankees have such baseball phonemes as Derek Jeter, ex-Mariner/ex-Ranger Alex "Payrod" Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Bernie Williams, Jose Posada, Ruben Sierra, or ex-Mariner John Olerud. It could be that Babe Ruth is back, with a vengeance. Or maybe it�s the fact that everybody, except for half of New York, hates the Yankees. Pompous, arrogant, snobbish: three great words to describe the Yankees. It could have started last year when the Yankees beat the Red Sox�s in the 11th inning. It could have started on Sunday when the Red Sox�s beat the Yankees in a win-or-go-home game with a 12th inning homerun by Ortiz. Maybe it was Monday when the Red Sox�s beat the Yankees again in extra innings, taking the to 3 and 2. Or maybe it was today, "[w]ith blood seeping through his sock and bravado etched on his face, Curt Schilling shut down the Yankees and – just as he wanted – shut up 55,000-plus New Yorkers…" forcing a game 7, and potentially upsetting decades of baseball tradition.

Weekend at Kit�s

I spent this weekend at Kit�s. This was the first time we�ve had a three day weekend all year long. We didn�t even get Labor Day or Columbus Day off. Any how, it was nice to be away from the regular scene for a little while. I was also able to work on the Shasta Blasta 2004 video. The DSL is also not working as it should, so there is some delay in AFdN coming back up.

A Three Day Weekend, Finally!

After weeks and weeks of toiling, we finally get a three day weekend. All I can say is par-tay. Well, not really. I�m going up to Broomfield for the extended break. Nothing special really. But it should be a nice time to get away. In other news, when AFdN comes back online, and when I my new laptop, I will be updating the AFdN interface.