It seems essentially optional, but I know he's checking (because he called me on some bugs I left in several exercises a ways back).
The project is due two weeks from now, if memory serves. (And if I'm recalling incorrectly, I'm sure Mike will clear it up at today's class meeting. He's been very good about helping to focus our attention. "This means you're going to have X days. I'm not expecting rocket science in that amount of time, just functional behavior. Make it work." That kinda thing.)
It looks like my worries about bills may be partially unfounded; I have an interview Wednesday. I guess I'll see what happens.