Category Archives: School

How Time Flies

Wow, another semester almost over.  Just a few weeks until finals.  It’s amazing how quickly they go some times.

It hasn’t felt like a very productive semester for me, either.  I didn’t figure I’d get a lot out of my java class, since my self teaching has progressed so far in that regards, but I was hoping for some useful development in my English class.  No.  A waste of time.  Professor was a joke.  Oh well, at least that completes the requirement.

Part of the problem, I think, was the fact that it was online.  This was the first wholly online course I’ve taken.  I’m taking another over the summer.  Hopefully it will be better.  This class has left me leery to the value of online courses.  Which is counterintuitive.  I thought an online course would be excellent for me since I do very well at self study and spend so much time online at work.  Maybe it was the prof, maybe it was the nature of the class… whatever it was, I hope it was a fluke.  Online courses are definitely more convenient for a working adult, so I’d like to take more as my degree progresses if they have value.

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You only have 1 life to live, make it one you can be proud of

As an aside before I begin this post, I find it interesting how much environment effects mindset.  I composed most of this post while driving in to work this morning.  As soon as I got here, I jotted down some “sign posts” for myself on my notepad to remind me how I wanted it to flow.  I then sat down and started getting ready for my day of logical, analytical thinking.  As things got busy, I didn’t get around to writing the post until now.  I find that I am now having a hard time thinking the same way I was this morning.  The “creative juices” just aren’t flowing that way now.  Stuck in the overly logical mindset.

 

I have an advantage that many people sadly don’t have.  Well, I suppose that there are several if you analyze my life, but what I am referring to here is the fact that I had amazing teachers when I went to school.  I had at least one teacher every year I was in jr high and highschool that truly touched my life.  Which is not meant to discount some of the amazing teachers I had in elementary school.  I was truly blessed in the education dept.  One teacher, though, truly stands out.  Mr Ray was my creative writing teacher my Jr. year and my English teacher and adviser for the Literary magazine I was editor of my Sr year.

Mr Ray was a jazz musician who had taken about a decade off between highschool and college to tour the states with other great jazz musicians such as Gene Harris.  Then he settled down and got married and started teaching.  The man was a wealth of real world information, not just booksmarts, and very supportive of peoples dreams and nurturing intelligence.  Not just classic intelligence but artistic and emotional intelligence as well.  So, when he gave me advice, I usually took it to heart.  At one point towards the end of my Sr year, he told me about what he called a Gentleman’s Journal.  Now, I can’t find any reference online to this concept.  Certainly not under that name, nor any other variations I could think of.  The basic idea of this Journal was for a man to keep notes of quotations he liked, philosophical thoughts and ideas that occurred to him and advice for future generations.  The way he told me about this concept was in telling me that he hoped I kept one and got it published so he could read it one day.

When he told me about that, I thought it was a neat idea and figured I might consider it.  I wasn’t aware at that point how much of an impact the man had on my life or the significance of how highly I regarded his advice.  Looking back on that day now, I’m deeply honored that he would be interested in reading my Gentleman’s Journal.  I haven’t really kept such a thing in a single consolidated location, but I certainly have all of this scattered about from throughout the years.  This blog as well as others.  My facebook account.  Journals and notebooks I have around my house.  That sort of thing.

What brings all this to mind to me again is actually a lyric from a song I heard on my way to work this morning.  It wasn’t a song I’d ever heard before, and I only caught a small snippet of it as I was cruising stations.  “You only have one life to live, ” and another line I heard but don’t remember.  This got me thinking about all the variations of that phrase I’ve heard, which got me wondering about people on their death beds.  You hear things to the effect of you mostly regret the things you didn’t do.  I wonder, though, if that’s generally true and what life lessons could be learned from truly plumbing the experience of people who have lived long full lives.  Which brought me to the concept of the gentleman’s journal that Mr Ray had told me about all those years ago.

Now, I’m hardly old enough to give deep, meaningful life advice, but my completion to that quote would be “make it one you can be proud of.”  Now, that’s going to have different meanings to different people, and I think that’s part of what makes it good advice.  Trying to apply static advice to the masses is like trying to put the same dip on all foods.  I love ranch, but I wouldn’t want it on my cheesecake!

Like anyone, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes.  Maybe more than, considering all that I’ve been blessed with.  However, I feel that our mistakes are a large part of who we are.  They teach us, mold us and define us in to who we are just as much(maybe more so) than our successes.  I have things I truly regret, but regret is part of who we are as well.  The important part is, in my opinion, that we regret the right things and learn from them.  That we take our mistakes and use them to help make us a better person.  We all have mistakes, but if you can make the most of them, then you can live a life to be proud of.

I don’t think I’m any kind of expert on life or how to live it.  My philosophies on the matter are a stew of other peoples advice I’ve been given over the years.  I think it turns out pretty good, but like with any food, taste is subjective.  I’m going to start compiling my Gentleman’s Journal.  I have no delusions that I could possibly get it published, but thanks to Mr Ray, I have the gumption to try.  So, I say to you: You have only have one life to live.  Are you making it one you can be proud of?

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ob-la-di ob-la-da

Bah.  My professors haven’t posted the new assignments for the week yet.  Don’t they know that Sunday is when I get these things done?  I’ve been feeling fairly productive of late, but I’m at work and things are slow and I’m having a hard time finding meaningful things to do.  I’m afraid I’m going to lose my momentum.

I’ve been feeling like super husband, too.  The “romantic” side has kinda flipped back on.  Prior to meeting my wife, I claimed “hopeless romantic” status.  My wife saw that in an online profile and messaged me to disabuse me of the notion.  We got together, we got married and she succeeded.  Of course, now she wishes she hadn’t, lol.  I’ve been doing good lately, though.  Not to toot my own horn (okay, so yes it is), I’ve managed to surprise her with sweet cards and notes, made her a “mix tape” of nostalgic 80s/90s music (go go big hair bands!) and arranged to have a girlfriend kidnap her for a girl’s night out.  Still plotting my next moves, but I can hopefully keep it going.  It’s fun romancing my wife.

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Shut the front door!

Definitely staying busy.  Work, school, homework, new app I’ve been working on…. go go go!

So, I put my AarDice up on the app store just before the new year and just got my first monthly sales report (oooh!).  19 sales.  wow.  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s much more than I expected.  The things started off as just an experiment project to help me learn java and snowballed from there.  I put it on the app store as a “hey why not?”.  I figured I’d get two or three downloads from friends and family.  So, I’m impressed it made it this far.

While my java class this semester started off slow, it is picking up a bit now.  I’m glad, cause otherwise I have a feeling I would have started skipping a lot of class, which is not a habit I can afford to start getting in to.  I haven’t learned anything that directly applies to my newest app project yet, but I have started learning some new things, so I’m happy. I’m sure I’ll be able to apply them at some point.

My son is starting to walk.  Way excited.  Mostly he’s walking with help (i.e. holds my finger for balance), but he’s taken a few steps unassisted.  Almost more of a stumble than a step, but he’s getting better.  It’ll be cool to see him up and moving on his own like that.  Though, terrifying at the same time.

Looking forward to valentines day.  Already have a sitter lined up so the wife and I can go out.  Now that I have a kid, going out to the movies seems like more and more of a treat.  No clue what we’ll see yet, but then it doesn’t matter all that much, really.  Going out with my wife and spending some time connecting as a couple is the important part.

The wife and I have been watching back seasons of Castle.  We are finally caught up to the current season.  I started watching because of #Nathan Fillion and am exceptionally glad we did.  Fillion won our loyalty as Mal on #Firefly and #Serenity and I think we’ll follow him to pretty much everything he decides to be a part of.  Besides from being a brilliantly funny actor (not to mention ruggedly handsome) he also has a knack for picking shows with amazing writing.

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tweedle dee dee

I’ve been pretty lax about posting again.  Just haven’t had a whole lot I felt was worth posting I guess.  Working, schooling, coding.

I took last week off from work.  That was remarkably refreshing.  If you disregard the horrible stomach bug I had Wednesday, it was a good week.

Started up a new school semester last week, too.  More Javajavajavajavajava, and a technical communications course.  blech.  but, you take what you have to take for your degree, I guess.  It won’t be too bad, I just don’t expect to learn a whole lot from it.  Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

AarDice is up to 10 downloads.  Woohoo.  That’s about 8 more than I’d expected.

Very happy today because the hurricane tornado that was supposed to go through my sister’s part of Tennessee didn’t do any damage.  Still a stressful night on her end, though.  Poor thing.

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Now I’ve done it!

I just submitted my first android app to the amazon app store.  I’m both excited and terrified.  I didn’t do it really to make money off of it, but to get some experience with the process.  The app itself isn’t anything all that special, even.  Pretty basic dice roller app for table top role-playing games.  Tried to add in a few things to make it stand out a little, at least.  Mostly it was just an educational experience for me, though.

All that being said, if it made a little money, I would not be heartbroken.  I don’t know how long the review process is before it actually hits the store.

oh!  the app name, you know, the shameless self plug:  keep an eye out for AarDice, ver 1.0, coming soon!

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Parting is such sweet sorrow.

The semester has gone.  Took my final yesterday and am quite certain I aced it.  I miss the class already.  Teacher was wonderful and the content was enjoyable.  I’m really looking forward to the next semester and diving deeper in to programming concepts.

Of course, I’m also dreading next semester a little because I don’t know how well I’ll handle it.  I’m working full time and raising a (now 8 month old) baby.  This semester I took it easy since it’s my first semester back after years of no school, and only have 2 credit hours.  Next semester I’m looking at 7.  Yeep!  Now, I know there are people out there who work full time and go to school full time and raise a child.  Some of them even do it as single parents.  These people are blessed/cursed with some form of super power that I do not believe that i have.  7 credit hours between two classes does seem doable to me, though.  Only time will tell.

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I’m a bad student and a lazy writer

It’s been hectic lately.  I managed to get a promotion at work (yay!!), which while it doesn’t really change what I do, it begins recognizing me for all that I’ve already been doing with a decent pay increase.  My poor son has been horribly sick, but is now better.  Been making repairs around the house, built a ginormous bookshelf as the beginning of our “library” and getting our wood-stove in working order for the oncoming winter.  (#Winter is Coming)!

I realized, while walking to class yesterday, how different school is for more than it is for others, and just how much I respect people like my wife and sister for their school experience.  I was a straight A student in elementary school.  As and Bs in jr high and high-school.  That’s not all that unusual, but what was is that I did it all without trying.  My school mates spent hours of their life studying.  Alone, getting together in study groups, staying up late, waking up early, whatever.  I didn’t do that.  I don’t think I ever really studied at all.  I also barely bothered with homework.  when it was handed out, I worked on it in class until class was over, and then when I got to class the next day, I’d get done what I could before it was turned in.  I did not do homework at home.  This was most personified, I think, in my Sr. Paper.  I waited till the day it was due and went in to school a little early and drew up my 5 page report on an obscure playwright.  I had read 1 of his plays and a couple reviews of his work a few weeks earlier.  It took me 30 minutes and I got an A.  School was just that way for me.

On the other hand, I remember watching my little sister study diligently and work hard to get grades that were almost as good as mine.  Now I’ve been watching my wife for the past few years busting her ass in college, and I do my bet to help and be supportive, but I don’t have the skill set to study, so I have very little advice to give her in that regard.  It all makes me feel kind of guilty.

 

Also, NaNoWriMo has begun.  I have not.  Hopefully I can get on the ball with this thing.  I know it’s my first try and all, but I still want to succeed!

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New Laptop!

I got a new laptop.  Usually when I buy a computer, I go for fairly top end equipment.  Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but since it 1)tends to be higher quality equipment and thus last longer and 2)remains relevant longer so there isn’t a need to upgrade as frequently, it usually saves me money in the long run.  This time, I didn’t.  I went for a more affordable option.  I just needed a laptop that I could use for school, so it didn’t need to be anything fancy, just functional.  Still, I’m quite excited.

I did something I don’t usually do when I get a new computer: I customized the look of it.  I modified pretty much every visible element of it.  Of course the wallpaper, then I got rid of the start bar entirely, applied desktop skins to show information I care about, a couple of widgets, replaced all the icons…. etc.  I just went wild with it.  It feels much more like “my computer” than any I’ve used before.  It feels personal.    I love it.  I never realized how satisfying that could be.

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Who the hell is this guy?

I am in my early 30s.  I’m the husband of a wonderful and industrious woman and the father of a toddler.  I work 40 hours a week in IT for a company I’ve been with for nearly 10 years and am going to school for a computer science degree.

I used to write a lot, though that’s faded out of my life as I’ve gotten older.  From an early age I’ve been a fan of Fantasy and Sci Fi.  I used to read voraciously and still read as often as I can find time to squeeze it in.

I’m not entirely sure why I’m starting this blog.  I’ve tried to blog before, but have been horrible about keeping up with it.  My wife, on the other hand, keeps up with writing 3 blogs.  I feel the need, though, to try again.  So, here we go.  In general, I’ll probably just talk about my life, as droll as it is, and whatever else comes to mind.  I’m afraid that I probably won’t stick with any particular topic or theme like most successful blogs do.  My wife would have a heart attack.  All 3 of those blogs I mentioned that she writes have a very distinct theme and purpose.  Very little crosses between them.  I’m afraid I don’t categorize my life quite like that, so it would never work for me.

That’s something of who I am.  We’ll see together how much more comes out of this.

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