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.

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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…

Study is going well.

Yes, I am up at 1 AM. I lay down sometime around 8 PM, apparently woke at 9 PM, and slept through until about 12:45 AM. I had planned to get back up to study, but I even slept through DragonBall Super, which isn’t quite like me.

I’ve been doing some hard work on the Zen + Art Research Guide. I am scheduled to go back to the library tomorrow to see if I can find further information on the concept of Void (or shunyata/sunyata), as approached by the Ch’an school (which preceded Zen).

It also wouldn’t hurt to find some books on Taoism, as the latter has had such a heavy influence on Zen.

I know enough to know that books referencing Zen’s, “nihilism,” are likely off-point (Void/Emptiness/Shunyata is not the same thing as, “nothing,” or, “the Abyss”), but I need to confirm. At this point I’m not certain if Void is equivalent to interdependent arising [Indian origin], or to Yin [Chinese origin].

And I still haven’t begun to assemble this (I will need to break things down into conceptual chunks), but I have until Wednesday to do so. In the meantime, what I have to do is the Mock Final for Database Management: which I’m trying to convince myself, isn’t a big thing (as no one will see it, and it’s just a study aid). I don’t expect it to be easy, though…and I dislike seeing myself perform poorly. Even on a study aid!

Aside from that, work is fine. Although I keep having random sneezes, and I’m not sure if it’s allergies, or if it’s an illness I’m fighting off.

I know that after this semester is over, I’m likely going to want to check out some books on quilting. But after this. Maybe when I return my Zen books.

🙂

School-life tension? :P

All right, I’m set to go out tomorrow and blow $30 on some paints. 😛 (I feel silly going all the way out to the art store and spending $5. Even though that may be the sensible thing to do.)

I’ve checked: I have more weeks in the semester than I expected! So now I for real have three weeks left of classes! And I should get started on my peer grading.

I think Database Management will be…manageable, given that the work I’m doing for the last group assignment seems easy enough. Then there is the Final, which…I’m not really sure I’ll do well on, but I think it will be OK (as a co-worker of mine is fond of saying). I have a tutoring session scheduled for tomorrow morning; I’m hoping that this will make the Final easier.

And then there is improving on my Instructional Design proposal, and dealing with the Research Guide for my Reference course. Not really liking that last class, right now (perceived interpersonal friction because I was stressed, and now the Prof thinks I don’t care; and I’m wondering if I care enough to explain to her what was going on, which isn’t her business), but I might be able to do something with the last project which will make it worth my time.

The other day…I did get out my colored pencils. Like the archive of colored pencils going back to 1994 or whatever…

They work well, still; they just aren’t suitable for reproduction work (which is why I started in with the watercolors in the first place)! I have found, though, that some of these pencils are actually using pigments which appear very similar to what’s in my paints (like Cobalt Turquoise).

The major issue I have and have had with these is that it’s difficult to cover the paper 100%. The workaround I found for this is to paint the paper first, then color it with the pencils, so that what shows through is not white, but something else that adds some kind of depth or contrast.

I mean, that’s old news, but if you haven’t been following this blog for years, you might not have found the information. (I need to work on my organization of past posts.)

I also have too many colored pencils. I need to choose one or two of my repeat colors and then give away (or at least put away) the rest. It’s just annoying when I’m trying to match a color and I have more than one that look very similar…

…and I should aim to get rid of the older Prismacolors, first (some of which may be older than some of my readers).

Hmm. Well, aside from that, work was…tiring. And I still have yet to decide on my topic for the Reference Guide.

I’m thinking that color dynamics aren’t an “academic” enough topic, and that I would be better off going with something like an Art History angle where it comes to Japanese woodblock printing. I mean, it’s niche enough that I probably wouldn’t have to worry too much about narrowing my search…whereas color dynamics would have me sorting through masses of shallow books.

They’re not all shallow, just most of them don’t touch on what I want to know. At all. Like, I don’t care about interior design…or picture books…I’ve tried researching this before, but maybe my mistake is trying to use my home library system instead of one that has an effective OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog).

On the other hand, I’ve been reading handprint today…and that site has a wealth of information on watercolors. I’ve mentioned it before, but I haven’t until now just read it for kicks. But if I did want to do some work on pigments and watercolors as regards a Research Guide, I think there is a page there somewhere with an annotated bibliography, from which I could start.

Actually, that sounds a bit too hard to risk an assignment on it.

I’ll think about it.