A shark’s view: College

I’ve only been in college for two days and I already hate it. Why do we have to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to go to a university and learn a topic? You can learn most of the things taught in college for free on the internet in a quarter of the time. College doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I’m paying for a social experience not a learning experience. Still, why is that social experience so expensive? If I wanted to socialize with strangers, which I don’t at the moment, I would find places to do that for cheaper than a university. Why do I have to get myself into debt and attend college for 4 years to get a degree that says I have experience in a particular field? That degree doesn’t prove anything about one’s skills in my opinion, and I think college is useless. The irony about it is, when I’m at college I’m actually less motivated to learn than if I’m by myself on my computer.

I kid you not, but in every single class I was in today, someone’s phone went off. I’m majoring in Computer Science so the classrooms usually have computers in them. Half of those kids were browsing the internet and checking their Facebook accounts instead of actually listening to the lecture. It made it extremely difficult for me to focus, and I was dreading it the entire time. Should learning be like this? Why won’t anyone hire me unless I spend 4 years in this dreaded place to earn a degree that barely proves anything?

When I was sitting in the class for lecture I kept hearing people asking the question, “Will this be on the test?” “Will you remove points if we do it like this on the test?” “Do you prefer it like this on the test?”. Who cares about a test? I’m in it to learn a topic because I’m genuinely interested not because I need to pass an exam. I don’t want to be around an environment where people don’t value learning for what it is, and instead do it because they want to pass an exam. It really aggravates me, but I feel sad for those who view learning that way. Don’t they ask themselves, “Is this money really worth it?” Well, if you spend your time worrying about exams and homework all the time, instead of the joy of learning something new, it probably is.

I’m most likely writing this post because I’m angry at the fact that I owe money to the college and I might change my mind later. What are your views on college? Tell me in the comments below!

A shark’s view: Introduction

Derick Prize

Prize, the shark.

A shark’s view is a new series I’m beginning. This series will contain posts on my personal views on a variety of topics. The topics will range from Computers and Software Engineering to Psychology and Linguistics. The reason I have not blogged about these topics yet is because they don’t fit my blog’s theme. This series will allow me to blog about my personal opinions on topics without worrying about whether the post fits my blog’s theme or not.


Q: Why is the series named “A shark’s view?”
A: I’m Derick Prize, a very lonely shark in the vast open ocean known as the Internet.

Q: How long will this series last?
A: Hopefully a long time because I have a lot to say.

Q: Will you still blog about personal development?
A: I’m not very knowledgeable on the topic of personal development, but yes I will continue to make posts about that topic. In the mean time, I’ll recommend a list of very good personal development blogs that I read:

Q: Can I suggest something for a shark’s view?
A: Definitely! You can send me a message via twitter here, or leave a comment on this post.

How a graduation party taught me a business lesson.

I just finished highschool two weeks ago so I thought to myself, “Why not host a small party to raise some money for college?” The plan was that every person who attended the party would give me at least 10 dollars as a congratulations present for graduating. I know, I know, this sounds very self-serving, extortive, and even a bit cynical. The morals behind doing such a thing is a story for another post because that’s not the point of this one. The point of this post is how I extremely miscalculated what I thought my earnings would be from the party.

I planned to invite about 13 people to the party. Most of them close friends and family so I was very optimistic that I would reach my goal. The conclusion was if each person gave me 10 dollars each then I would have 130 dollars by the time the party was over. I would use the money exclusively for college purposes, books, materials, not starving, etc.

Okay so the planning phase was over and the party had begun. I bought drinks, chips, and my parents even made food! You know, all the essentials needed for a “graduation” party. Everything seemed all nice and dandy right? No, this was where everything started going wrong. My plans, my calculations, the amount of people, the time, everything was going different from what I originally intended.

I invited about 13 people but it turns out only half that number showed up. Instead of changing my plan immediately I kept saying, “Maybe they will show up later.” Why? The results were right in front of me, and it was so clear that no more people were going to show up. Secondly, not only did half the amount of people show up but none of those people excluding one gave me money. In the end it turned out that I only earned 31% of what I had originally planned. Yes, that’s right I only earned 40 dollars.

Everything was radically different from what I had originally planned. Only 6 people showed up. Miscalculation. I thought every person would give me at least 10 dollars but no one gave me anything. The one person who did give me something gave me a whopping 40 dollars. Another miscalculation.

So what is the moral (yes, pun intended) of this story? Be optimistic while calculating your possible earnings but always prepare yourself for the worst case scenario because it will most likely happen. Business plans are nice but make them fluid because the situation will change. Do not do what I did. I saw the results but I wasn’t adjusting the plan at all. If you see the results, if you see the data, begin changing the game plan because the game’s rules will not change for you. That’s what I learned today.

Hey, you actually got this far down? How about following me on twitter?

When learning something new, just enjoy the journey.

Joshua Bell Playing Violin

In this goal-focused society, we’re always putting the most emphasis on reaching the end of a goal. We, as humans, always want to gain a skill in the least amount of time as possible. I’m sure you have seen those ads that say, “Be Fluent in Japanese in One Month!”, or “Learn how to program in C++ in just 14 days!” or others that are very similar. Why is it that we’re so attracted to gaining skills quickly? We like to focus a lot of energy on when we will finally be able to enjoy the delicious fruits of our hard labor, and that’s why I think we don’t put any focus on actually having fun and enjoying the journey of learning the skill itself.

5 Reasons why you should use Wunderlist for your to-do lists


I’m a big fan of to-do lists, and I think they’re great! To-do lists are awesome for getting you organized and I think they can really give you a big boost while studying. They’re amazing because you can list the things you have to do and just forget about them. Instead of trying to remember what you have to do all the time, just take a look at your to-do list and you will remember. Wouldn’t you rather save your brain power for more important things (like studying Japanese, or writing that killer app)?

Although I’m a big fan of to-do lists, I never really used them until recently. The reason for that is because I’m not really a fan of writing things down with pen and paper. In this new digital age who will bother to pull out pen and paper when you can type it out on your phone or computer? If you feel that way about pen and paper, then Wunderlist is perfect for you! Even if you enjoy writing more than I do, you will not be able to resist the countless features that this application has to offer.

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No, you’re not too busy to study Japanese

too busy

How many times, on a given day, do you find yourself saying you’re too busy? Have you ever really given it any thought? Although you’re so busy, at the end of the day what have you accomplished?

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No Internet? No Problem.

No Internet Sad Face

If you’re like me, you spend over 12 hours a day on the Internet. Most of your hobbies require a computer and not having Internet would really be a detriment to your day. You probably wouldn’t even be able to socialize with a lot of your friends if you couldn’t connect to the Internet. Basically, 90% of your life takes place on the Internet and without it you would perish. I’m going to tell you that although it will not be all roses and daisies, you can still manage to get a couple of things done without it.

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Stop Being So Negative

Positive Thinking

I used to be a very pessimistic person. I used to be negative about everything and I never used to instill any positivity into anyone. No one used to like to hang around me because I was so negative all the time. Me being the person who I was back then, I thought this was just hate. I thought people didn’t like me because of very strange and esoteric reasons. “I’m not like them” I thought to myself. “No one understands me” I used to say everyday. I soon enough came to the realization that it was just me. No one likes a sour apple, and being negative all the time really makes people think you’re sad and have nothing going for yourself.

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Climbing aboard the Project Euler train.

project euler

That’s right, I finally decided to try Project Euler. I kept hearing about it everywhere and finally decided to go there and see what all the fuss was about. I’ll just say this. The website is wonderful and all programmers should check it out!

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A formal introduction.


Hi, I’m Prize. I’ve been reading and following blogs since ‘09. I’ve gotten a lot of valuable information and advice from them that I still use. I finally decided to start a blog and I’ll tell you why. There are countless reasons why I started it but I’ll tell you the most interesting …

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