Working hard does pay off

Today, my team and I were supposed to make a slideshow presentation for the computer class about hardware. I had gone ahead and made a PPT slideshow and I was going to send it early to the rest of my team. I don’t know what happened but we all forgot about that until yesterday.

One of my team classmates said he was going to bring the projector for the class, but he didn’t show up until we were almost done. The other one in my team got out, and I had to start exposing the topic to the class — by myself.

Fortunately, I had a whiteboard marker in my school bag, and I remembered it. So I got it out and started giving the class like any other teacher would do. I was happy I had done all the research by myself, and it was a topic I’m passionate about. So it wasn’t very hard. The hardest part was to realize I had to work by myself, but hadn’t I done everything without them already?

Anyway, a little of luck, a bigger part of work and my previous knowledge of the topic helped me enormously. The other classmate, not the projector one, eventually came, though his participation was minimal. The teacher was fair and he said that while the presentations were done in teams, he was going to evaluate us individually.

I would have liked that everything had gone better, but at least being the one who does most, if not all the work, pays off. However, I am concious that it is not how teams are supposed to be or work.

I wish that my posts were a little better planned, but I have been kind of busy this week, and I have problems writing something better.

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Starting to feel like winter so soon

Today morning was really cold. I didn’t have time to check the thermometer but it was cold enough to make a thin layer of ice on my windshield. I now understand why Sam’s Club started selling Christmas decorations so soon. It already feels like Christmas.

I’ve also been in a somewhat Christmas-y mood lately, I even feel like singing carolls and stuff like that. I like that tingliness and cheerfulness that comes every year when it gets cold enough to wear thick clothes and jackets.

There is, however, one thing that makes me want Christmas to take an eternity to come, and that is the final evaluations for the semester.

Despite the fact that I am trying my best at school, there are a few things that are holding me back, which are the same you can find in pretty much every other student: procrastination, disorganization and laziness.

I realized that I am a bad leader, especially when coordinating people that are as lazy or lazier than I am. I’m not aiming to be the founder of a start-up or anything, but I think that it would cause a lot of problems in any laboral environment anyway. I’ll have to work on that, as well as on building social connections, which for me is a pretty hard thing to do.

Everytime I read about industries and jobs and entrepeneurs on Flipboard, a shiver climbs through my spine as I think that I’m not ready for that, but that moment in my life approaches at an outrageous speed.

Anyway, something that I don’t know if will make me happy or otherwise is the fact that I got mentioned in another blog. That might be good because it will get more traffic to this site, since my stats are depressing. But it might not be good, as I will start to get spam, which leads to insanity.

Those are my thoughts for today. I’m glad I could finish this post, because I’m busy, busy, busy with homework. I think it’s fair to edit posts later, isn’t it?

School Subjects and Programming

Today, in the computer class, we finally started learning to code in C. I’m quite happy and excited. Although I think that the teacher could definitely make the class more dynamic, the fact that I am learning something that I like makes me as cheerful as a kid in a candy store.

I have always liked to at least do quite simple tasks on a computer. However, I stay away from more complex things, such as messing with scripting or using the console in Ubuntu, because those tasks are frustrating, time comsuming and not as rewarding. I’m not an advanced computer user, I recognize that. But at least I hope that learning to program from scratch broadens my understanding, if only just a little.

Since an early age, I have been inclined towards technical stuff. When I was around 7, I started to do some basic circuits using capacitors, resistors, LEDs, lightbulbs, relays and stuff, but I couldn’t figure out how to use a transistor or an integrated circuit, so I didn’t progress on that regard. However, I am happy that the major I chose will give me that knowledge.

Entering what would be the equivalent to highschool was when I realized. Liked many subjects. I liked Biology, Chemistry, the Computer class, English… the idea to choose one for a major later was like having to choose your favorite song or your favorite food or your favorite photo, there isn’t a single favorite. So having an option that integrates most of them was like a no-brainer for me.

The only subjects I am more than happy to leave behind are Geography, History, PE and Arts. Although I like photography a lot, I dislike making stuff with my hands, because I am just so clumsy. I even have a hard time tying my shoelaces. But anyway, I also liked Philosophy (the one where you see concepts from Ethics, Onthology, Logics, etc. from the ancient Greek philosophers and more recent thinkers), Etymology (I like linguistics) and a little about Literature. It’s a shame I couldn’t integrate those to my daily studies.

I was good at those subjects, and it was because I could gain meaningful knowledge from them because I enjoyed to study them. I don’t know what the fact that I liked such a great variety of subjects tell about me, but I am glad I could enjoy so many diverse experiences. I think I am a nerd for having fun learning all that.

About School

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Today was our first practise in the Electronics lab. Everything is so disorganized that we didn’t go to the lab we had assigned, because there was nobody to open the door for us. That is one of the couple things I miss from being in a private school, that there was always someone to help you, if only with technical stuff like that.

The other thing I miss is the yearly study plans. A semester is not enough to cover all the topics we are expected to, which results in no one learning nothing. However, I’m more than happy to be there. My major leads to a great variety to science-related branches and I get to cover all the basic areas I did during preparatory school: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Computer and Math. So I’m used to taking a variety of subjects, which by the way, I like. Except, maybe for Math, but even Graphics Design students have to take Math at one point or another.

My fears are, however, that I might be spreading myself too thin, and that I might not reach anything.

In the end of the day, I like school, although the things that come with it might be a little hard to tolerate. Like getting up early, transportation, stupid classmates (even there you get some), test stress, expensive lunch if you don’t want to carry with it, and lots and lots of complicated reading when the explanation to the many problems is quite simple but hard to get.

While I may not pay much for classes, really, its close to free, though I always make donations, the University is one of the best ones in the world, and as far as I know, it was the best one in Latin America, but I heard it sits now in second place. However, the fact that it costs so little to be in a good school is quite remarkable, and I am very happy to be given that oportunity.

Anyway, in Electronics, we saw how resistors affect signals, and we played a little with the oscilloscopes, something I found a lot of fun.

We didn’t have Thermodynamics, because the teacher got sick, so I don’t know if it’s OK to be comforted by thinking I was not the only one who got sick.

Anyway, I hope this blogging thing doesn’t interfer too much with my study time. 😛

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Writing

Foto 30-07-11 01 01 06 a.m.Today, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows. Well, I had read it, but somehow I entirely blanked, so when I watched the movie, I didn’t knew how accurate it was. However it was actually pretty accurate, with some quirks here and there, but it stuck well with the plot. Or at least, that is my opinion.

I’ll try not to bring up any spoilers, but you should skip this next paragraph, just to be safe.

The book had quite a lot of touching moments, but what really touched me was the life of Severus Snape. His wasn’t what one would call a happy life, and it had a lot of pitfalls. To know about the past of someone really makes you change the way you feel and think about him. This is the magic of writing. Good writers play with the readers’ emotions, and they best ones are the ones who can put your world upside-down, twist it, and then put everything in order, or just skip that last step.

The writer just doesn’t need to just call the readers’ attention, but he must give insights about the characters, the plot and the universe they live in. No wonder why is such a fascinating profession. I once attempted to write something, but as they said in my favorite game, Alan Wake, which is about a writer, the plot is like a living thing, and the slightest mistake can seriously injury, or kill it. I’m not quoting there, I’m so sorry, but you get the idea.

To what I’m concerned, Rowling made a magnificent job spinning the plot, and then knitting it so small details connected to bigger events. Not only during a book, but throughout the plot. Some argue that Harry Potter is overrated, however, I think differently. Writing is a fine and difficult art, and Harry Potter is very well done.

Realization

So, today it’s my third day sick. It’s also the third day of the month. Is it a coincidence? It’s a very unfortunate one. Anyway, I’m getting better faster than I expected. I feel way better than I did on Friday.

Anyway, today I had the intention to read some of Albert Einstein’s quotes, and it felt weird to get a tiny, and perhaps narrow glimpse of the person behind the quotes. But it was enough for me to make the unsurprising assumption that he was an amazing person, but his quotes the fact that he started like everyone else would, makes him look, dare I say, human.

It is interesting how people who make fantastic achievements, gigantic leaps to humanity, somewhat lose their human condition and are regarded as some sort of unreachable semi-gods. But it’s only when you look at their background and think about where they are coming from that you realize that they are like everyone else. Perhaps they had an advantage over the average population, perhaps they were in disadvantage, but at the end of the day, they were made of the same things as we are.

This tiny moment of revelation was highly inspiring to me, but it came with, let’s call it a problem, I’ve been dealing with for a long time: What do I need to be a better person? What do I need to be an outstanding human being?

Do I need a brain? I already have one. Do I need two hands? Checked. Two feet? Done — but at the same time, there are people who, unfortunately, lack some of the items I listed and they are still outstanding.

I also feel that I am very lucky to have what I have. I live a peaceful life, I am healthy — despite the cold I caught, which is temporary. I have a few people I can call friends, even if they annoy me from time to time.

That makes me think I don’t really have a reason not to be happy all the time. But I can’t help it sometimes. There are some things, for minimal they might be, that kind of flip a switch in me and make me turn into a Hulk. But yeah, I am trying to change that.

But back to the question: what do I need to be a better person? I think that the answer is: more good persons. People who make a difference and serve as an example.

I found some of the ideas behind Einstein’s quotes somewhat contradictory, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m not digging further into it, and instead highlight other topics that called my attention today.

Like an, if dated, but creative marketing campaign: catsagainstclay.org. I find the idea of cats starting a revolution highly amusing and to have cat litter behind it, somewhat hilarious. But if you think about it, we, or at least I never came to think that box-contents would influence the health of my feline companion as much as, say, the food I give her, or the time she stays outside, where a lot of dogs roam freely.

Cats against Clay

One of my classmates often wears a shirt that reads “power to the pawpulace”. And behind it, the URL catsagainstclay.org is displayed. I hadn’t thought about it until some random revolutionary ideas came up in a chat room I frequent, and I thought the quote from that shirt would fit perfectly.

Revolutionary Cat

Today our struggles begin against INJUSTICE. Cats will have the last word. Victory!

I felt curious about it and went to said URL, but since I got redirected to a cat litter web page, I decided to Google the phrase, and I had a fun moment with the things I found. I even learnt a couple new words, something I greatly enjoy: “ailurophile/-phobe” which means someone who is fond of/afraid of cats.

Anyway, I found a blog about cats (obviously) in that domain, and I liked it very much. I recommend it if you’re a cat fan.

Sick Day

So, as you may know, I recently caught a cold. In fact, I got sick yesterday (though I might had gotten infected a couple days ago, symptoms started appearing yesterday), and I’m impressed by how fast the disease has progressed.

Yesterday morning, I only had a sore throat, but by the evening I was feeling really sick. And at 2 am, I woke up with fever, from a weird dream involving WordPress, some lawyers chasing after me, werewolves and water pipes. Don’t ask. I took a sick day since I still had fever before going to school, and both driving there and paying attention to class would have been really challenging with how bad I was feeling.

I’m still sick, and I still feel bad, but not as bad as I felt earlier. I hope this ends by Monday, but I don’t really think this lasts for less than a week.

Anyway, staying home let me play with some interesting AI. I found it on an entertaining video I watched, and I wanted to try it out. It yielded some interesting conversations, of which I highlighted some interesting moments.

I could also play The Sims 3 for a while. It was long enough for me to fulfill my life-time wish: to be a world-wide recognized surgeon! I have been playing with that sim for a month or so, so I’m very pleased I could finally achieve that.

So yeah, not much has happened today. I couldn’t go outdoors and I didn’t get out of my room much. And if there continue to be power failures, I might as well go to sleep. It’s alos the first time I notice it’s hard for me to output coherent thoughts when being sick.