Things I Geek About: Scheduling

It’s registration week at my college. What does this mean? Well it’s time for everyone to complain. The art kids complain about their six-hour studio elective blocks and four-hour critiques that prevent them from taking basically any other classes. The engineers complain about being forced to take eight in the morning sections of physics and calculus, but that doesn’t suck as much as waking up at six this morning to snag their seat. The computer science kids complain that the system is bogged down, and why can’t a tech school manage to have servers that can handle the traffic of five thousand students all tying to register at the exact same moment?

But me, I love it.

Building a schedule for me is like a logic puzzle. It’s like Tetris in real life. Class blocks are certain shapes and sizes and they have to nestle in between all your other classes, snugly, but with enough space for a lunch break.  I have science classes that meet one hour three times a week with a two hour lab. I have art classes that meet six hours one day and four hours another for lecture, lab, and critique. I have writing and psychology classes that fit into nice two-day two hour blocks. I have foreign languages that meet three days in a row.

To me, fitting these classes together isn’t a struggle. It isn’t a burden. It isn’t anything but a logical and spatial challenge. How can I best maximize my weekend? Do I have time to grab lunch every day of the week? Did I remember to leave open my nights for gymnastics practices? Do I have long blocks of time in which to shoot photography assignments? When the answer is yes to everything then I have it solved.

So yeah, I geek out about scheduling while everyone else is complaining. It gives me a chance to solve a challenging puzzle three times a year, and it gets harder. Now that I only have three quarters (yes, my school is one of those) left to fit in all the classes for my major and minors and concentration, my puzzle becomes more challenging. Now I need to find a criminal justice class that meets from 2-4 on Tuesday and Thursday with a good teacher and an interesting topic.

One everything is set, I can begin color coding. Trust me, though, that is definitely a topic for a different Things I Geek About post!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruth
    Apr 29, 2010 @ 10:14:15

    I was that way in college. Now I get that way over directions and such. I try to come up with alternative and multiple optimal paths. I optimize my walk from work so that I hit almost no red lights. I’ve memorized all the light cycles between me and my metro stop so that wherever I am I know if it’s safe to jaywalk & generally what to expect.

    And it’s hard for me to understand why other people wouldn’t do it this way (even though I realize that not everyone’s minds follow the same tracks).


  2. Jonathan Liu
    Apr 29, 2010 @ 11:28:58

    So if you get all your classes scheduled just right with no empty spaces, do they flash for a moment and then vanish? 🙂

    I haven’t had to schedule classes in a while, but my Tetris skills have definitely come in handy in many other real-world applications.


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April 2010
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