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Monday, May 28, 2012

Where It All Meets

For several years I've been chasing a dream. The reasoning behind the dream would change, but the dream never did. When this happens, it really confirms in your mind that this is something important to you. You really think it is something you should pursue... strongly.

I did. At every turning point I would stumble. I would get so frustrated at every wall and give up, even when the walls were easily torn down.

After a while I realized that these were walls I was building. But why? I found the answer and it was more simple than I'd thought.

It was someone else's dream.

I have a dream now. A real one. It's not a new dream, but it's mine.

At first I'd felt pressured to program. Of course I liked computers, but I didn't necessarily want to code. I did it to get close. Then, I used it to impress. I used it to hang on. I programmed to get something back. And, finally, I programmed in anger, as if it were revenge... to show that I could be better. Am I a better programmer? I'm better than I was before by a long shot, but probably not better than anyone else.

All the while I'd convinced myself that I wanted to be a programmer. I just don't.

Do I blame anyone? Yes and no, but I'm thankful for it... and I'm also to blame for it.

I suppose I could use programming in the future and it really helped me not only become stronger in math, but actually love math. I seriously learn more math for fun now! Do I feel like I wasted a bunch of time? Yes, but I suppose that's life. And I don't mean that in a bad way. It really is life. Don't we all stand in line at some point?

The funny thing is that before this whole thing started, I tested an INFJ (MBTI stuff.) Then, during this whole thing, I tested as an INFP. I genuinely did. They say your personality doesn't change, but perhaps your perception of yourself can.

One day, last November it happened overnight. It LITERALLY happened overnight. I seriously woke up in the morning and just suddenly felt different. I suddenly felt good. It was like years of negativity and low self-esteem had suddenly been sucked out of my body. (I tested INFJ again in January.)

I have no idea what made me feel better. I have no idea what made me feel so horrible for so long. I can't say if it was someone else that made me feel so horrible for so long or if it was me. Sometimes I feel as if I could shout from the rooftops, shout it to everyone, or shout it at a particular person... that I really feel good.  I wish I'd been like this, felt like this for an old friend. Sometimes I feel like I owe that to that person... to at least know I'm okay... or to be able to see this wonderful light. Maybe even catch a ray and glow too. And then sometimes I'm buried in deep resentment. That's probably something I'll feel forever. Sometimes I feel like contact was the cause. Do I owe it to anyone to say that I feel good? Maybe. But I also think I owe it to myself to continue feeling good. And so I keep it to myself, to those who sat by my side while I slept for so long, and finally to new friends who will only know who I have been buried underneath black paint for so long.

And I smile. A real smile.

It's been a few!

So, I may write some code here and there. It's something I enjoy with no real seriousness. I'd like to say it's been a sudden stop, but it's been a while to realize this is not my dream. The good feelings started overnight, but this took me a while and then a while to admit.

I think this is ultra appropriate.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Domo Arigato, Pool Roboto

In robotics club, we made a robot that "swims" around in water. The intention was to test it out in a swimming pool, but we made do with a pond. This is the frame for the robot. (As you can see, it was difficult to assemble. Just kidding!) It just required a pool noodle, some pvc pipe cut into sections (with holes drills into parts of the pipe.) The holes were for plastic ties we used to attach plastic netting.

We waterproofed the motors with film canisters and exorbitant amounts of wax. The robot was controlled via cate5 cable, so he definitely wasn't wireless. Very primitive, but a lot of fun to put together.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Full Swing

Grades came in and I've managed to get an A in each and every one of my classes. So.... that puts me on the Dean's List. That paired with the $$$ from on my my articles going viral in May have given me great cause to celebrate.

On another note, I'm finally writing again. I've only just published my first article for the month. It's a humanities piece. I always love writing those. :)

Things have been pretty awesome lately. I've been doing some traveling (not happy about an upcoming 21 hour layover in Helsinki :( murrrrrrrr....), my cats have been well (Chip's nose has healed well), I've been cooking a lot, and I've even started running... something I never thought I'd be into! Things have been a bit slow on the writing front. It's hard to put things into words, a bit of laziness on my end. I just want to gab lately!

Debating on whether or not I should get a room for that time!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Alligators? Sweet!

I was away in Florida and couldn't post for the lack of interwebs. I flew out there on a quick red-eye so didn't have time beforehand to warn ya'. :P

So, without internet what is a girl to do? With rumors that the woods/swamp near could have an alligator, I made it my mission to find it. I went out there alone a few times, but walked the top of the wall around the swamp to be safe*. I found that from this point that I could see quite a bit of the swamp, but wasn't close enough to see anything. I'd heard what I was told were alligator grunts, which helped me out with what I previously thought could have been a sick snipe hunting joke.

I saw a lot of big turtles in the water, lots of lizards in the trees, but no alligator. I climbed over the wall, like an idiot and walked along the water to get a closer look (not too close, I stayed on the high ridge so that nothing that was in the water could get me.) With the water on my left and thick bush on the right, something rustled in the bushes and spooked me. I ran all the way back to the wall.

In the night, I was sitting on the porch and heard a loud plunk in the water. I ran and got a flashlight and made my way to the wall where I heard more "alligator sounds." I shone the light across the area nearest to the wall, nothing. In the bush... nothing. I slowly went over the water with the light and an eye glowed back at me. I got a better angle as I walked along the wall. It was her. She grunted a few times while I was out there. Of course, since it was evening, I stayed on the safe side of the wall.

The next say I ventured out to the water, but she was nowhere to be found. I did see a few turtles, though. Since the area is heavily lit during the day, I imagine she ventures further into the woods and comes to the water at night.

So that's what I did on my internet-less trip.

*unless I fell from the wall, then I'd be screwed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Foreign Language This Summer

I made a goal of working toward learning a foreign language over the summer. Obviously, I won't be fluent by the end of the summer, but I plan on learning enough to get by. I was hoping to learn French since I have a few French books (and already know some French), but unfortunately, they're all packed away in the furthest reaches of the attic. I was able to find some fabulous foreign language learning resources, but they are for learning Italian.

I played around with the resources and found that I'm actually really cool with learning Italian. I might as well since I'm taking it in the fall... I guess I could learn a bit ahead of time! I already learned some. It's just basic phrases like "Gli uomini cucinano" and "Il bambino e l'uomo bevano dell'acqua." I'm having a lot of fun with it. I ordered a workbook to help me get better at sentence structure. I'm finding pronunciation much easier than French, but I am having a few issues with the letter "r", but it's much easier to pronounce than the French "r", so it should be so bad.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fibonacci Script in Ruby

I wrote a small script that calculates fibonacci to the nth number. The script doesn't use recursion, but it's still awesome. It's, of course, written in Ruby and it looks awesome. I've decided to make this a part of a series of math related scripts that will do a few things for me:

     a. Teach me better math skills
     b. Teach me better programming skills

If you want to keep an eye on the rest of my algebra scripts, head on over to my Alg-scripts repository. Here, you'll be able to check out all those scripts as they come out. (More coming this summer.) Also, you can keep an eye on my other programming projects (you'll find my GitHub username on that Alg-scripts repo.) Feel free to fork my project. :)

When I ran my Fibonacci script (I chose to display the first 900 numbers), something interesting happened. Here is an image to show what happened. I know that this happens in nature, but in printing the numbers? Interesting, nevertheless.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Logic Puzzle in Ruby

I wrote a puzzle that kind of takes some skill in the area of logic.

It's essentially a word puzzle that does a small bit to introduce a little bit of Ruby syntax. It's a string made up of characters.

There is one letter for each character given and one character for each letter. Meaning that if { = z, { ALWAYS = z and z ALWAYS = {.

Line 1 is the puzzle string. Do not edit this line or you will mess up the puzzle and you may be unable to solve it.

Line 3 shows syntax for inputting symbols (in this case it's "|") and inputting letters (in this case it's "i".)

Lines 5-7 are comments. You can edit these to look like three, inputting your own guesses at what symbols in the puzzle string mean. Use line 3 as a template. Your best bet is to NOT edit line 3 as, for this puzzle, it's correct. | does equal i. That's a huge hint that makes this puzzle significantly easier so don't edit line 3.

Remove the "#" at the beginning of lines 5-7 so they'll run. You can't put the "#" back in if, or some reason, you want to disable that line of code.

Line 8 prints the puzzle, including your guesses (as long as you've deleted the #.)

Of course, you don't NEED ruby at all to solve the puzzle. You can do it with good ole' paper and pencil.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Writing for May

I've chosen nine topics to write articles on this month which I'm really excited about. They're topics I'm really comfortable writing about, so they should be cake! I've also got a bit of editing to do on articles I wrote last month. (I was in a HUGE rush due to finals.)

Just got done with a little CS schtuff. Now I fear it's just time for bed.

I drew a picture of a kitty that I was going to post, but I don't have my phone with me to take a pic, so it'll have to wait until the next time I post. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" + "h" = "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh"

Holy cannoli!
A grade came in. I got the HIGHEST A in Speech class. I'm feeling awesome. I should totally have an F since I'm uber shy. (Although I'm getting less shy and I did give an awesome speech.)

Yesterday I was taking my Geography final when my prof said I hadn't turned in an assignment. I told him that I promise I had. He said I could redo it, which I promptly did. When I was just about to email it to him, I saw that he'd emailed me and said he'd found it and that I'd received a 96 on it. I should have an A for the course, but that grade hasn't come in yet.

Right now I'm studying for my maths final/looking at funny cat pictures/listening to music/playing on my iPhone/browsing reddit. Srs biz.

Listening to "Silver Lining" by Rilo Kiley