I was supposed to go to a “speed dating” party today, but some of my old classmates from Portland State convinced me it it wasn’t a great idea. At best I’m not sure I can make a good impression in only a couple of minutes. At worst I could get more repeated rejections than I can handle.
Well, I suppose I’m a little tired from helping at the 2003 ACM Pacific Northwest Regional Programming Contest. It was enlightening seeing all the whining. Not from the teams, either, but from the coaches. I hope the link to the scores still works. You can also try this.
No one was willing to host the contest this year, so Jason Wilcox from Portland State arranged everything in a month and a half. Unfortunately, the largest computer lab at Portland State is nowhere close to a large classroom, and the contest needs a meeting area as well as access to computers. So the classrooms were in a different building than the lab.
I’m not sure if the coach from a state school was joking, but I’m not a big fan of their athletic programs, so I’m willing to think he was just a whiner. “Do you think they had to walk in the rain in Fresno?” If they were outside I’m pretty sure they did. The contestants ended up holding their group discussions in the hallway. Anyway, if it’s not good enough for the coach, he can host the contest at his school.
The worst loon was a coach from a local private school. I don’t want to go into excruciating detail, but the leading team was from University of British Columbia and were German exchange students. The lunatic coach ranted, “In Germany, you have to take a test to stay in high school or to go on, if you’re not good enough, you’re out. … Here, any drug dealer can get into college.” He really didn’t appreciate my comment that MIT and Caltech are highly rated (deservedly) in both undergraduate and graduate education, and if they didn’t win International Computer competitions, it probably meant the competitions don’t mean all that much. He also seemed to think the big competitive power came from Taiwan and Russia and I don’t see those countries at the forefront of Computer Science. Before I left, he spent some time bad-mouthing Portland State.
Oh, well. I’m not sure I agree, but as they say, “It takes all kinds.”
So what did I get out of this?
- A chance to help a friend out.
- A t-shirt that’s too large for me.
- Some IBM swag.
- 2 1/2 hours of work on Friday, and 9 1/2 hours of work on Saturday, all unpaid.
- Some ranting from crazy college professors.
All in all, just another day in my life.