And life resumes.

Tonight I turned in the last of my assignments for Summer. I don’t think they were perfect, but they’re off my plate, now.

The good thing is that I got full marks on the first two assignments, so I had 55% going into the last two weeks. This class is also only 1 credit, so a low grade isn’t going to ruin my GPA. (I am already in an Honors society, too, and can’t have that revoked…)

What can I say, but, IT’S OVER!

That class was so frustrating. At least if we had used a real programming language, I could have looked for help from someplace other than my Professor.

I also realized that my love of making things doesn’t necessarily extend to Programming, which is more like, “delivering instructions to a computer.” Not design or writing or crafting; because I’m not doing the work myself, the computer is doing the work.

Now I can return my attention back to work and my e-Portfolio, though to be honest, I’m thinking about doing some jewelry work (likely incorporating leather: I got the idea to make button loops with this so that the buttons wouldn’t be abraded by glass beads. There is also the option of knotting button loops (when using upholstery thread), though I’ve found that braiding them makes a more secure connection).

If I take out my 14g jewelry in the morning and put in light earrings; at the end of the day, I can still put the 14g jewelry back in. I am planning on exploiting this. 🙂 I also have a lot of earwires, so I can toy with designs all I want.

I am not sure yet what heavy earrings will do to my piercings (I’m thinking of a set of sunstone earrings in particular — my first attempt at chain tassels), but I would probably be in danger of losing them, from having the piercing stretched out. Luckily, I have a lot of earring stoppers (plastic stoppers to secure the backs of standard earring posts or earwires).

I am also not sure as to whether my piercings will in fact close up to a more normal size if I take the 14g earrings out, entirely. The problem with doing that, is that then I tend to miss them, and have to go through another cycle of wearing 18-16-14g, which takes at least 12 weeks to get back to the point at which the 14g earrings will again fit and not damage my lobes. It takes longer than that to get them to be able to move freely again.

No, I do think I’ll stay at 14g — but this is as thick as I’m going.

As long as we’re on the subject of appearances, I ended up trimming my hair instead of cutting it short; but I don’t know how long I’ll keep it like this. I mean, I actually look fairly pretty to myself, right now. I don’t know what changed except for beginning to use a different skin treatment. It also looks like my weight shifted. I don’t know what causes that.

At this point, the major issues I have with my hair are ongoing scalp health, and damage from heat styling. The heat styling is to prevent damage from snarling (which happens often enough with my hair wavy).

The only reason I know the heat has damaged it is that when combing it out in the shower with some kind of lubricant (it’s often difficult to comb, dry), I can feel it stretch when I hit a snarl. It’s not supposed to stretch. However, if I straighten it, I can keep it rolled up in a bun when I need to, out of the way and relatively clean. It’s also long enough to put the bun on the crown of my head, which minimizes pulling and discomfort (I often get a sore scalp if I even wear a tightly bound ponytail).

What’s good about this as well is that if I twist my hair down, I can wrap my hair in a scarf, and not worry about getting dust into it from my work.

On the employment front, I have a short amount of time to apply for a higher position, which I’m thinking is now appropriate (I’ve been getting a little antsy at work from not using my skills to their fullest potential). I still can’t drive on my own, though, and I need to get on that and get my license. If I had a license, I could be a substitute and not have to worry about balancing part-time work and full-time school along with having to arrange for transportation. But I am going into my last semester, so if I get hired next year, that will be cake.

I’m thinking that power issues may be tripping out some people I work with. It is probably past time to move up a rank.

I also spoke with someone today about support around getting back into creative writing. The meeting went really well.

The big thing for me about writing (particularly, fiction) is that it brings up a lot of issues that I still need to process, and it tends to bring them up all at once. So having someone to talk to about them, is really good. From what I heard, working through past issues with the writing is likely better than avoiding them by not writing.

It’s also something to take into account that the problems which bothered me before when I was writing, may not necessarily bother me now.  I mean, my last major extended experience in writing fiction was in undergraduate work. I was a lot less stable then than I am now, and beginning to write again now, doesn’t mean I’ll be going back to being like I was, before.

And, yeah…the person I was talking with did bring up the, “method acting,” tangent that I had also wondered about, but never looked up… In specific, the fear was that I’d get into character and then forget who I was. But I think for me, it times out after 3-4 days, even if I do lose my grip on myself.

Also, that mediumship thing about ending a session, I’m told, sounds applicable.

Alright, I should get some rest — I just realized that it’s now after midnight, and I’ve got stuff to do, tomorrow.

(and it’s not going to be graded.)

Advertisements

Puzzle solved!

There…really is nothing quite like the point where you see the logic in a program failing and make a couple little changes, and POOF! it works. (Except, maybe, solving a Rubix Cube?)

I can improve on two of the things I had to code. When I see the instructor do it, now, I can see it making sense. The problem is that I’ve …*cough* messed up my code with such divergent thinking that it may be simpler to, instead of editing it, either start from scratch or go back to an earlier version.

I still have to turn in a couple of things that I haven’t started yet, as well, but those are not coding exercises, they’re intellectual ones.

As a goal, I have been trying to get all of this done by tomorrow night. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s looking better and somewhat closer to possible.

I’m almost too tired to say anything, at this point: but I wanted to make a note to my future self. Future Self, don’t be scared of getting out of bed. Do rewatch and reread as all the videos and lectures you need to, as many times as you need to, for the Programming class. It shouldn’t take more than four hours.

Love,
Me

Still bothered by coding.

So…it’s been a few several days since I wrote that post talking about how I don’t think I want to be a Web Programmer. Since then, I’ve completed one Exercise (it works correctly, but it doesn’t meet the requirements) and am well on my way through the third assignment. Problem is, that was due on Tuesday.

Go, me.

In any case…I spent most of today avoiding going back to my code. I just didn’t feel ready. But I didn’t want to play around, either. I ended up resting and trying to plan out a strategy.

By the time I did feel ready, it was about 7 PM. I had decided to run some of my downloads through an online utility, to see if they had been tampered with. I got three hits (out of hundreds)…though at this point, I’m thinking they were false positives.

Of course, that’s after using a bunch of utilities to try and clean one program, and finding nothing.

And, of course, trying to rectify false positives, ate up a lot of my time and energy.

I may be relatively good with technology, but the drawback is that it seems things routinely break with no warning or explanation. I know there has to be a reason…it’s just that the reason may be so arcane that it’s not understandable to anyone except people with advanced Computer Science training. And in a networked environment, it’s possible that the error isn’t even on my end.

It’s tiring.

I have some stuff to mention on the topic of writing, but I’ll put it in a separate entry.

Frustrated and tired.

My code is almost working correctly, on the assignment I was too afraid to tackle earlier in the week.

At least it’s looking like it mostly-works. One thing is more rather than less certain, though: I’m more of a writer than a programmer! It is great to hit on solutions, because it’s basically like (“like?”) being given puzzles every week. (It is being given puzzles every week.) At the same time, for me it’s a bit discouraging/frustrating/tiring when the code isn’t doing what is intended, and it’s not clear exactly why, and you’ve been hacking at it all afternoon. (It is nice to see it incrementally getting better, though.)

Of course I would discover this, one semester away from graduation. I didn’t make Web Programming the exclusive focus of my studies, which I’m glad of, now. In this case, it may be a good thing that I did veer back toward traditional Library services in my recent classes.

I took Reference & Information Services rather than Project Management, last semester: broadening rather than focusing my skill sets onto something I didn’t know I wanted, may have been good. At the very least, it helped me meet some graduation requirements. (Project Management was recommended if one wanted to become a Metadata Librarian, which is still a possibility. Even though Cataloging is difficult for almost everyone, including me.)

Reference & Information Services is another type of problem-solving, but having to do with research and interpersonal skills more than engineering (I’m using the term “engineering” loosely, to mean someone who builds things, whether those things are information-based or not).

The section of classwork I’m working on now (custom and nested functions), is said to be a good predictor of whether one would like to take a full-scale programming class. (I kind of wish the Prof hadn’t said that; it would have helped me get to work on it earlier.) I’m not sure if it is because we are now into territory that I haven’t studied on my own before…

No, actually, it probably is because we’re into territory that I haven’t studied on my own before. This section is requiring some cognitive leaps, and I don’t feel prepared for it.

I actually feel like I may have to review the entire first part of the class to get the hints to know what to do on this assignment, as the code we’re using doesn’t exist outside of the training ground. So it’s not like I could refer to JavaScript or PHP manuals to understand what we’re doing, more, except in an abstract sense — and then translate that back over to the training area.

Though actually, given enough time and study, I could do this. Whether I would want to (and whether I do want to), is a different question. There are a lot of people I’ve admired who are into Tech, but the stuff I’ve been into over the past year (HTML/CSS, SQL, Relational Database Design & Implementation, Web Programming) is kind of next-generation.

And although I am a person who likes to have control over things, from concept, through design, development, and launch…in the real world, I am likely to be working with others, and not having to deal with it all, myself. So I have some choices over what areas I can specialize in — if I don’t close those doors.

I feel like I would actually be better at Web Design, at this point, than Web Programming. Information Architecture is also something I’ve had to deal with (I took two classes on UX)…it’s just that people are so unpredictable. I kept running into times when they would click on something I never expected anyone to click on, in my paper prototype trials…but that was actually easier than this. Even if a lot more messy and scary (because, well, people).

Aaanyhow.

My life has basically been made of trying to get this assignment done, today. I’m not sure if there’s something else due before midnight, but I think you can see where my head is at. I’m just…frustrated. I do only have one more week to go, though.

Then, it’s just me, my job, and my portfolio. And anything else I can find to distract myself with. 🙂

Getting a little harried with anticipation.

Today marks another day in which I haven’t worked on my portfolio, or read anything (offline) for pleasure. I did successfully write a bit of code, which was great when it worked out, and when I could understand why — though this took a bit of retracing my steps.

The big thing right now is learning to define functions from within other functions (I just built my first custom function, today). As I’ve been introduced to nesting code via XML, I’m thinking it shouldn’t be too hard. Still, though, I’m writing here instead of doing that.

I needed a break. Especially as the next couple of assignments are meant to show me whether I want to be a Web Programmer.

I don’t particularly want to go back to working on my Master’s for at least another couple of hours, though. I got up late again, today, so I’ve been dealing with life for four hours, max., right now. It feels like most of that was spent on homework. Certainly, most of the use of brainpower was spent on that.

In lieu of homework, I’ve gotten the idea to paint…but it’s getting harder to get ideas of what to do, away from the computer. This is another reason why I was sewing, yesterday: it does not have to do with logic.

Though as regards linear, step-by-step thought: I could postulate that it does. Which gives me an idea for one of the Discussion assignments I skipped over. I’ve sensed that working on the computer is about linear inputs, even when CSS formats these posts to insert an image or video…a reason why journalling offline, in an unlined journal I can draw in, is a good idea.

I guess it’s easy to get tired of this stuff. Like: homework that requires analytical thinking, reading for information, my job, my portfolio. Right now my life ideally would be circling around my future employment, with school as a component of that, but I don’t want to be working on that all of my waking hours. It would feel different if there weren’t additional work stress, but there is.

Also, I had to trash my first portfolio version because it didn’t adhere to school standards, and now I have to rebuild it. Ideally, I would have been building it over all the time I was in classes, but I did not have the foresight to do that. So I have probably about a month and a half to get a jump start on my capstone class so that I’m not overwhelmed and rushing to get everything in by the end of the year (as well as complete my other two classes).

I really don’t know how they expect everyone to keep records of everything for two to three years. But anyhow.

Maybe I’ll go and try and draw. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t meet my expectations. Maybe I should lower my expectations…

Worked on Folkwear #112 some more.

At this point, I am wondering if I should have taken a Digital Libraries class over the Summer as well as Fundamentals of Programming, which is straightforward enough to leave me a lot of time. Which …I should be using to develop my portfolio.

Today…I could really feel that I had taken medication way too late, last night. I wasn’t really up and active until after 2 PM, but that’s because (for those new to this blog) my medication is sedating and I took it at least three hours late. Sometimes it will knock me out until around 5 PM the next day if I take it at 1 or 2 AM. (For some reason, it affects me for around 17 hours when it’s late, less than that when on time. I think it has to do with Circadian rhythms.)

The good thing is that, due to tracking when I actually do take it, I’ve realized what happens when I try to stay awake by not taking it. If I don’t have anything I have to do the next day (like a class meeting or work), that day is often wasted asleep. Which…then, causes me to want to stay up and again delay taking the medication (if I’m finally awake at 5 PM, I hate to re-take that stuff four hours later and get knocked out again in an hour and a half). Which causes the next day to also be a wash.

Kind of a vicious cycle. On the bright side, when I take the stuff at 9 PM, immediately get ready for bed, and go to sleep when I’m tired, I end up waking at like 5-6 AM…so the loss of having a day only 5.5 hours long is basically…better than the alternative. And I guess I have a tendency to wake up earlier, too, though I can’t really predict that.

Having to do that is one of those things that will make me feel disabled for real, though.

I did see someone today I hadn’t seen in a long time, though I wasn’t up for talking, much (unfortunately). In lieu of working with the new leather project (on which I’m basically still in the design stages), I opted to go back to the trial garment (or toile) from the Folkwear 112 pattern (monpe). I did get a good amount of work done, though at this point I’m questioning why I’m doing all this by hand when we have a sewing machine.

Of course, in the finished garment, I would be using backstitch for my seams, not a running stitch. Backstitch is actually more satisfying for me to do, but I don’t really know why, except for the fact that it actually takes advantage of the fact that I’m hand-stitching. It could also be superior in a way to machine-stitching, in that it’s more elastic.

I’ve also realized that I was premature in cutting down my pattern pieces: one step of the pattern (the one I’m on) says to take different seam allowances for the different sizes — AFTER having cut out different size pattern pieces.

Since I’m sizing this up to a 16, I’ve had to go beyond what the pattern has written (if the instructions are accurate)…and now have no room for a seam allowance on the outsides of the legs. Even though I already added 0.5″ to the edges of the pattern pieces (which stop at Size 14 — I have the old version of the pattern). That adds a total of 1″ in diameter. The seaming instructions would add another 1″ in diameter, making an additional 2″ in diameter, total.

I do have one option, since this is just a toile, which is to just whipstitch the edges of the fabric together (or something), then try the thing on and see if it fits. The only reason for me to be making a toile is to learn what is being asked of me and to fit the garment, that is. It doesn’t have to look nice. Or last.

Speaking of which, I found that a certain stitch I was using on a patch pocket in lieu of machine topstitch only works to catch the edges of the fabric (I can’t remember the name of the stitch right now, and am too tired to look it up: the needle travels for about 1/8″ in a fold and then catches a few threads on the other piece of fabric, then goes back into the fold for another 1/8″). I would need to work back around the edge of the pocket with something more secure, even if it’s embroidery. Otherwise, that pocket is not going to stand up to use, as it’s being held in by tiny stitches.

That same stitch, though, is fine for things that aren’t going to be stressed (like the hem at the top of the pocket).

Also, somehow, I messed up one of my shoulders. I don’t know exactly how that happened, but I have been typing in some weird positions lately, causing pains in places I’ve never had them before. (I thought I might have had appendicitis, yesterday, but the pain isn’t here today. The day before yesterday, the small of my back hurt on the other side of my spinal column.)

I also helped unpack bins at work yesterday. That could have something to do with it (it’s possible that this activity has injured others). But I was also doing a lot with that arm, including lifting and holding heavy stacks of books, which could also be the cause. It just feels like before, when I lifted something heavy and then turned my elbow outwards, and then at certain angles, it felt like my arm would fall off.

Speaking of injury, I’m also getting good enough at hand stitching that I only hit my left thumbnail twice with the needle today. Unfortunately, one of those times was enough to split off the upper layers, but I’m still mostly intact! Without the thimble!

And…I think my brain just stopped working…