Thursday, May 19, 2005

Some background on why Brian and I don't hang out

I was a little hard on Brian in my previous post. I guess reading his blog entry about how he totally disrupted a training session hit a nerve with me.

I guess it just reminded me of what happened when we were in college together.

For those who don't know(most of you, I think), Brian and I signed up for an independent study together. Our idea was that it would be good for us to work on a joint project, to give us some idea of what professional programming would be like. Also, it would be fun to hang out together and do some interesting programming.

Independent studies at UNF work like this: you talk to a professor, and they either give you an idea, or you submit an idea for a fairly major project. They sign a form, and you go register and pay for the course. At the end of the semester, you give your completed project to the prof, and get a grade.

I went to Dr. Eggen, and presented our idea of a joint study. He had reservations, because Brian was not going to register, he was going to wait until the next semester, so he could pay for the class then(money troubles). Eggen was concerned that Brian wouldn't be properly motivated, since there would be no negative consequences if he didn't do the work, or did poor quality work. I spoke with Eggen three times, and vouched for Brian, before Eggen agreed. I vouched for Brian based on the strength of our friendship(we were pretty tight, at the time).

Eggen proposed that since we had two people, we should do two projects. Any other solution wouldn't have been fair to the others who did independent studies in the past.

Summer came, and we scheduled several times to get together and begin working on the projects. Each time, Brian called me and cancelled. Most of the time, he cancelled within 15 minutes of our scheduled meeting. A couple of times, I didn't hear from him until an hour or so after we were supposed to meet.

I started to get worried after the first meeting got missed, but we were still hanging out and stuff, and Brian assured me that the projects would be easy, and we had plenty of time.

At the end of the summer, no coding had been done on either project. I had thoroughly researched one project, and Brian had researched the other. Both looked fairly uncomplicated to code, but the architecture for both was daunting. Since my project was not complete at the end of the summer, I negotiated with Eggen to get an I(incomplete) for the project.

During the winter semester, I talked to Eggen several times about the project, and my inability to get Brian to commit. He decided that I could complete the project alone, and dropped one of the two projects off my list.

So now, in September 02, I am starting off on a new project, and have to complete it by December 02 to graduate. Except, I had my schedule planned out for a certain number of hours, and didn't make room for the extra class.

I didn't get time to work on the project until about two weeks before graduation. My final semester was filled with programming classes, and I spent all my free time in the lab working on projects that were due right away.

The last two weeks before graduation are a blur to me now. I don't really have any clear memories of that time, except for sitting in my room, in front of my computer from the time I got up till late at night. I only left the computer to eat and sleep, so I could get the project and all the documentation done.

I finally finished the project, and met with Eggen to get my grade. That was on the day of graduation, at 3 pm. Until we left his office around 4:30, I wasn't going to graduate. We had to go to the dean of the CS college, and get her to make a special update to my student record so the grade would be recorded and I could graduate.

Everything ended up okay, because I got my degree, but I would have been a lot less stressed if Brian had help up his end of the deal, and worked on the project when it was due. I guess the real reason I got upset is because I counted him as a friend, and he totally screwed me. I don't think friends should do that to each other.

I realize that I bear most of the blame for causing my week long coding marathon, since I could have worked on the project without Brian, and probably got it done over the summer, but I was still going under the belief that we were going to do the project together, as a team thing.

To this day, Brian still hasn't told me that he has bailed on the project. He never told me he didn't want to do it, or wouldn't do it. That is just not the way you are supposed to treat friends.
Listening to: I Will Be Heard - Hatebreed - Preserverance (02:59)


Simian T. Brain said...

Evidently there was quite a lack of communication between you and I, and that it has bred some sort of anger in you directed at me.

It's an interesting sequence of events that you portray. However, I remember things very differently, e.g. Eggen's final comments to me concerning your lack of participation in the project and your eventual disassociation of yourself with it.

It's also interesting that I asked you explicitly about the project and you indicated to me that you had lost interest of sorts. Whether this was because you were protecting my feelings vis-a-vis the project failure or not is irrelevant, the fact is I only knew of the premature termination of the project. You and I seemed to be in similar situations at different times with respect to the time we could spend on it given what you wrote near the end of your blog, so your lack of understanding puzzles me.

Regardless, I did not have a great deal of time in the project although I did not "bail" on it. I actively worked on it up to the moment Eggen said I was not beholden to him. If you are looking for someone to blame for the failure of the project then perhaps some introspection is necessary to reveal that you are as responsible due to your complete lack of communication with me regarding the status of the projects as I am for not spending enough time with it. The idea that I have never told you that I quit the project seemed pointless after talking with Eggen.

Personally, we spent some interesting time together, enough so that I though I had a handle on your character. The affair with the car dealership comes to mind. That is why I am utterly confused at the cowardly way that you chose to expose this revelation. I would have expected better from someone who asked me to confront others concerning their behavior. I would have expected better from somone who called me "friend".

On a side note, to take the comments on a blog "bragging" about being a jerk as gospel truth shows a naivete on your part of the nature of my character in addition to your complete lack of understanding of the actual situation. My interest is in storytelling and humor, and I tailor the entries in the blog to facilitate this end. If you are interested in knowing how things work at work I would be happy to fill you in on the (extremely mundane) details sometime.

Cullen Waters said...

No thanks.

I've really had all the communication with you that I desire.