42 Piscine Day 1 — (00)

Edit: This is part of a series that culminated here, Next post. Previous post.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I managed to get in at the dorms around 2 pm yesterday after flying in from Austin, it took about 4 hours of flying, caught an Uber at the airport for about $35 and arrived at the dorms as a line was forming. It was pretty casual and reminded me a lot of how scout camp felt.

The first thing I noticed was how much more relaxed the students who are already attending are compared to those of us in the piscine, they do things sure but I also see them hanging out, chatting on the lawn, walking dogs. Not much different than any other college campus would feel.

The food options are less than expected, the Cantina’s hours are limiting (dinner is over at 6:30, who eats dinner that early?) and restaurants are all over a 20 min walk away, having a car would have been nice after all.

I’m rooming with a few guys, childhood friends from West Virginia, they seem cool so far, most of the people I’ve met have been pretty cool actually.

One thing that worried me a little is I met about 4 people who are taking the piscine for the second or third time. I had been under the impression that determination was a core determiner, but it seems these did finish but still did not succeed. I felt a lot less sure about my chances after meeting them. One has been a fantastic help to understand things, a real resource, another told me things that weren’t really true “like it was ok to wait in the rec room” (it wasn’t) and the third doesn’t remember anything from her last time here. Which is concerning in a different way.

Last night I tried to go to the lab and check it out, security asked me to leave as I hadn’t officially started the piscine yet. So I found some of the guys in the game room, joined a game of poker and later a few games of chess.

Now lets get down to what we learned today:

We started with an assembly where a few rules were explained, and the philosophy of the school was reiterated “you don’t learn to ride a bike by watching other people ride”. We were told to make sure we subscribe to our projects daily as we first wake up, were given wristbands and shown to the lab.

After that the instruction has been minimal to none (as advertised), there were some video tutorials that corresponded with the assignments, but those left a lot still to figure out, to search for online and to ask each other.

Our first assignment was to edit a text file agreeing to comply with harassment policy, then to figure out how our git system worked and upload it to the right place. This was harder than it sounded as I thought I had uploaded it twice when I had not, luckily as a first assignment I could retry it.

There were 11 other assignments today, I’m still working on number 4.

Assignment 1 was modifying write permissions of a file using the terminal

Assignment 2 was similar but with more files, directories, more complexity and linking of files

Assignment 3 understanding and getting Kerberos tickets

Assignment 4 ldap who am I script file (but we had ldap server problems, but I had no idea and fought with it for hours)

Assignment 5 is more ldap but with more things

Assignment 6 adding a phone number using ldap

Assignment 7 midLS (what even is that?)

Assignment 8 reinterpreting inputs lowercase z to uppercase Z

Assignment 9 program to find the difference

Assignment 10 program to clean up junk files

Assignment 11 find all files with the 42 header

It wouldn’t feel right to go into further detail than that, but as I said I’ve done probably 10 hours today and I’m stuck on number 4 of 12 for the day, I’m not especially proud of myself. I’m going to give it another 15 minutes or so and call it a night, get some sleep and be back at it around 5 am tomorrow as I’m way smarter in the morning.

People are getting more collaborative as it gets later though, so it might be smart to stay up a bit more, I’m not sure, I’m still transitioning out of nocturnal by the way so I have to keep that in mind too.

My brain hurts though, there is a literal headache.

Until tomorrow.

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