Michael VanOverbeek

An aspiring game developer.


Hosted on GitHub Pages — Theme by mattgraham

Adventures in Dual Credit

It’s not really often I write a full-on blog post about literally anything to do with school. I haven’t even written a blog in a couple years, all the way back in the ShiftOS days. But things are a lot different nowadays than they were back then. So I think it’s a good idea to do this.

So, what exactly do you mean by “Dual Credit?”

Actually it’s a pretty cool concept. Basically, rather than taking a regular highschool course such as math, art, music, etc., a Dual Credit course allows you to get a feel for what it’s like in college by taking a single semester at the college along with your highschool courses. You only take one course in that college semester, and it counts as both a highschool credit and a college credit - hence it being called a Dual Credit.

In my case I took a course in game development, which, as you may know, is something I’m extremely interested in. So let me tell you about it.

People

There’s a big difference between classmates you meet in highschool and the ones you meet in college. In highschool, people are mostly taking the same courses whether they’re interested in it or not. There may be different levels and different focuses of each subject, but… everyone’s taking 4 english credits, 3 math credits, 2 sciences, a Civics & Careers, a Geography, a French, and a History course. At least that’s how it is in my schoolboard. So, basically, you’re going to see the same people a lot. And they may not be extremely interested in the subject.

You’ll hear people complaining that they don’t want to be here. You’ll hear them say they’re going to fail. People will disengage from lessons. People will get distracted and distract others. And you know what? I’m guilty of it. Because I feel the same way about highschool as a lot of those people because I’ve experienced college already. I don’t want to be in highschool.

In college, the people you meet actually are invested in the courses you take with them. They’re paying to be there, or are in a dual credit. They chose to be there. Therefore, people will focus on lessons a lot more and help people who are struggling way more often. People are more willing to share textbooks with those who can’t afford them, people will strike genuine conversations with you about what you’re interested in.

I’m not saying that this doesn’t happen in highschool, but, you do hear a lot more negativity in a highschool class than you do a college one. And for me at least, everyone in my college course have EXTREMELY similar interests to me and thus I feel more social.

Computer hardware

Ever tried to use a school computer to get work done and waited 20 minutes for it to log in because it’s a Dell Optiplex that’s probably older than you are? Guess what? That crap ends in a dual credit/college course… Especially for a gamedev course.

So here’s the specs of the computer that I’m writing this article on, the same one behind Peacenet as well.

Now let’s let that sink in for a bit. This computer isn’t that bad of a desktop. Could use some more RAM, and a better CPU, but it’s still running really fast. But it comes nowhere close to what I use at college! That thing’s got double the RAM (and DDR4 too, so, faster), and a really beafy Intel Xeon processor that completely destroys my A10.

That CPU alone contains at least 100 highschool computers if I’m being absolutely honest. Needless to say I nerd out all the time when I get to that computer.

IT

Okay, so, the college IT guys are badass for lack of a better word. Like, absolutely amazing. I’m partially blind, and over time I’ve developed a way to COMPLETELY get around it while using a computer.

Every program I use, if it has a dark theme, that theme gets used. If not, Windows has a decent screen magnifier with inverted colors, and Compiz has this feature built in with the Negative and Enhanced Zoom Desktop plugins for those on Linux. Don’t ask me about macOS.

The issue is, the way school/work computers are usually set up is they are wired to a centralized domain. This means that when you log in, your settings and profile are pulled in from a remote server rather than the computer you’re using. So, when you log out, those settings don’t save. So my accessibility settings would be wiped.

……Until I tell the IT guy nearby about those things and he makes it so that my account specifically has its settings stored locally on the computer I use instead of on the domain so that when I log out and only when I do, my settings are saved on that specific computer. So I basically have my own reserved computer in the lab we work in that always remembers any of my settings so that I’m ready to go whenever I log in just like everyone else.

Conclusion

This is really just a part 1 of this little adventure of mine, and really a test of my new site. If you guys want to hear more about it, I’ll most likely post another article on this topic after a few more weeks of me experiencing it. :)