Its Over! Eminent Reflection 2016

Eminent is over (finally) and I couldn’t be happier. Not only was I able to help the night be a huge success, I managed to perform my speech better than I thought possible. I honestly believe that because of “unintentional genius” that speech was elevated to a level that I did not think it could have been. I was happy every time I managed to assist someone else, and ultimately I am glad with how the evening went.

Lets start things off with the setup of the evening. I managed to show Lucas where the ramps were, and assist with the removal of three tables. After that came learning center setup and applying costume. While my learning center went up without a hitch, Alicia (who was beside me) was plagued with trouble. The paper on her walls constantly fell, and eventually we halved the amount of paper there and proceeded to only have paper on the lockers. During this time I also got dressed, tried to get my hair to go down, and gave the remainder of my white hair spray to Francisco. Unfortunately there was little to none left when I gave it to him, making it relatively useless.

And  now, what I would deem as the most memorable part of the evening, speeches. Things did not go as planned, and I couldn’t have been happier. For the intro of my speech, I opened a bottle of “beer” that I took swigs of throughout the speech. However, it was a bottle of root beer, which I pretended to take swigs of during practice. While doing so, I ultimately shook it greatly to the point where it erupted in the middle of my speech. Now this was not much of a problem as after I noticed it, I attempted to time my drinking with its eruptions. However, that too caused problems because the beverage did include bourbon extract leaving my throat and (due to bubble ups) nose with a distinct burning sensation. It was because of this and the fact that my beer was leaking, to laugh once or twice during my speech. The first time I managed to stifle it in drinking. Unfortunately the second time, I did laugh noticeably and forgot my next line because of it. However at that point my angry little speech had become something truly comedic, which stood out more than I could have hoped for. The speech is something I hope to remember forever, as it was something truly magnificent.

After speeches, I had a truly wonderful time at my learning center. I managed to talk to many people about George Lucas and his work, as well as convince a “Trekkie” about in what ways Star Wars was superior to Star Trek. I was also happy to feed many people countless cookies which were in the shapes of various Star Wars characters and ships. While few people had even heard of his lesser known works, I do believe I managed to implant the seed of interest within most. I was happy with my time there, and managed to share a great number of laughs with some of the Talons Alumni that came around.

During cleanup, I managed to show a couple of nines how to bring down cafeteria tables, as well as bring many food tables from upstairs to storage. I also assisted with food cleanup by sorting and placing the remaining food items in the fridge. I was quite happy with how cleanup went, although from the comments from others, this feeling was not universal.

All in all I found myself quite pleased with how the evening went and I look forward to watching it all next year.

Library Post 2016

This year the library experience was very different, for many different reasons. While this year I did not walk away with any book, I still feel that I left with a great deal of knowledge. For this time I feel that I got a much greater feel for the nines than I ever had access to previously.

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As I stood in in front of the library, I found my mind looking back to all of my hopes, dreams and fears that came with being a new talons student. But this year, I no longer feel the same way. The memories came with an essence of accomplishment that dampened the fear that came with them.

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I came into the trip with little intention to get a book, but instead to enjoy and relive the experiences I had last year. The library was magnificent once again, but it was not as intimidating as it was last year. While once it had represented everything that I do not yet know, it now felt much closer to a challenge. Questioning what I have and what I will accomplish outside of its walls.

MacLeod’s bookstore was awe-inspiring as always. But it too felt different from last year. It seemed more friendly than it was last year. There was no pressure or fear to accomplish something while I was there, this time I was there simply to enjoy myself.  This was not entirely what I had expected. I had guessed that it would no longer be a stressful experience, with that gone I found myself disconnected from the entire experience. No book managed to intrigue me, and because of that I did not purchase anything while I was there.

Throughout it all I was able to connect with a couple grade nines, and on that alone I was glad that I went.

The World Of Science Fiction: George Lucas

For my eminent project, I have chosen to focus on George Lucas. George is a american writer, director and producer. After graduating with a fine arts degree at the age of 23, he attempted to join the air force as an officer, but was declined due to numerous speeding tickets. That same year he re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. During this time he directed his student film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which was later converted to his full-length feature film THX 1138. After that he wrote and directed many films including Star Wars, Indianna Jones, Pan and many more. His films have won 54 awards and been nominated an additional 32 times.

I chose do my project on George Lucas because of his eagerness to break boundaries. I admire how many projects and companies he has established in order to advance their respective areas. The ability to dream and imagine are things I greatly respect, and George has managed to use his to carve out an incredible place in this world. I am interested in writing and special effects, and I hope that this project will help me explore both.

My goal this year is to perform a well rehearsed speech, as I feel that that is something I struggled with last year. I would also hope that I could produce a detailed learning center that does not rely on a poster board, as I feel that I was lacking in that category as well last year.

This year I believe that I will be able to accomplish much more than I did last year, and I look forward to what he will be able to teach me about myself.

Confidence

          The only thing to fear is fear itself. At least, that’s what people said. For a while I followed that code and for a while it worked. I saw my confidence as something that could grow forever. The more that I did, the more I felt I was capable of. As time went on people started to watch me do my stunts. The cheers that I heard from the crowd was invigorating. It didn’t take long for me to go professional, everyone was always interested to see what I would do next.

          My doubts and fears disappeared quickly. People thought that I was as fearless as a lion and twice as proud. People saw what vehicles and ramps could really do and that attracted a lot of attention. People began to give everything to see me perform, and that only fueled my ambition.

          My stunts only got bigger and bigger to get a cheer the likes of which I had never heard before. I became dependant on their applause. Their joy became a drug so addicting I could never let it go. That drive got me far in this world. Everyone wanted to see me and I was happy to oblige. I wanted the best and it was given to me. Money, power, lovers I had the best of it all. With people pining for my passion there was nothing I could not do. I was king of the world and nothing or nobody could ever take that away from me.

          The stunts are still increasing in danger. I know that soon one of them will claim me, but what does it matter? I have survived countless tricks without so much as a scratch. I have aged, yet nobody can come close to my level of performance. Even my protégé pales in comparison to my greatness.

          But still, I grow older. I am no longer as quick as I used to be. Even the simplest jumps are becoming a struggle. I should stop, no I need to stop this before I kill myself. Even so my addiction to attention says otherwise. Even though I am slowing down it only thirsts for more. Unfortunately, I listen to its cries. I continue to do more and more dangerous stunts. The gift of fearlessness becoming a curse as I no longer know the concept of danger.

          I am performing when it finally happens. I reach the trick that kills me once and for all. I don’t know how it happened. One second I am racing up the ramp full speed, and the next I know I can’t reach the landing. My greed has lead me here and I hope it’s happy. I’ve spent my life amusing others rather than ensuring it’s a better place when I leave.

          In this moment I’m scared. Funny, the one prized for fearlessness now terrified and uncertain at what happens next. I was so focused on making defying death so interesting for others I didn’t stop to consider what happens when it catches up with me. No longer do I belong here, the reaper has finally claimed me and I no longer stand a chance. My deal with greed has come to collect and I am the only thing of value it wants. My comfort around danger has brought me to the greatest highs, and now the time has come for the lowest lows. Farewell.

Cyborgs Today

As difficult as it was to produce this video I am happy with how it turned out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did while making it.

The websites that I used are at the end of the video as well as in the video description.

In-Depth Post Number Six

Well its one month away from In-Depth night and I am both exhilarated and frightened by it. While it is an opportunity to properly show my programming prowess I am not certain on how others will look at it. Those who don’t know much about it will likely overate what I have been able to accomplish and those who have worked in this field for a long time will likely consider it a waste of time for it changes drastically every couple of yours. However beyond my worry I am still excited to construct my learning center and show everyone I have done.

So, my learning center is something I’m looking forward to piece together. My ideas currently have led me to place at least two computers and as many monitors as I can get a hold of to display code I have created both in action and not. Provided I have enough screens I intend to display my code in chronological order from left to right starting with items that I created before this project and then ending with my last piece of code. But either way it should be an eventful night and I look forward to seeing how everything is going to fall together.

In-Depth Post Número cinco

A lot has happened in my in depth project recently. To start with, when I saw that I was not learning about web-based programming the way I wished I asked my mentor about it. He said simply “You are asking for the tools to build a bridge without knowing how to construct your own blueprints.” It was then that he reinforced the need for learning the basics of object orientated programming as well as a good amount of application based programming.

At first I found this news somewhat crushing but then I realized not only was this an opportunity to expand my knowledge into more currently relevant fields but it also means that Mike is truly guiding this project into what is best for me.

Currently there is not much more I can do to try to accelerate my learning short of creating a nest for myself where I can code all day with minimal to no social contact. So thus I feel that my project is moving along at a nice pace despite that it is not how I saw it moving.

So in the past week or two we have been working on application based programming made in android studio. Most recently he has introduced me to the command currentTimeMillis() which gives you the time. In milliseconds. Starting the count from 1970. So you can imagine how it would be difficult to wield for the value that it produces is just one number and means practically nothing to you or any user that you spew that info on. Thus he got me to problem solve how to use it and I managed to put it into an app that would measure the average of how quickly you could press the button. By taking a snapshot of the time after you press the button and then subtracting that from when you press it next you are able to get the number of milliseconds that it took for you to press the button. Creating that system was easier than one might think but it still was incredibly difficult to create and I am grateful that Mike took a hands off approach when it came to this project for I am quite proud of creating it.

In-Depth: How things have gone down

These past few weeks have been both incredibly informative and curious. As hectic as times are right now we have both managed to still find time to work and thus I have learned much. While  attempting to discover the semi-hidden world that lies in the internet, we have found that he and I have very different programming styles.

For the most part I prefer to use variables as mechanisms to enable and disable pieces of code, whereas Mike prefers to use much more complex statements that will allow functions to only trigger when varying conditions are met. Its fascinating to see how our different styles conflict horribly, but also how they create some truly magnificent lines of code. While for the moment I am merely learning new commands and testing them, it is easy to see how this new knowledge will be able to create something amazing.

While the physical computer knowledge is useful, learning how to properly use the one on one sessions we have will be much more useful down the road. While in the short term perspective learning a slight bit more about things behind the screen might seem tempting, it will be those who know how to work more efficiently with their mentor that will be able to get more out of this project. While the knowledge component is clear the people skills one can obtain are arguably far more valuable than almost any knowledge.

I believe that me and Mike make a great duo for not only to we provide a unique blend of programming styles but we seem to see eye to eye on many things which will only prove more valuable as time goes on.

In-Depth Intro

When I first looked hard at in depth I saw an opportunity to do anything. Now while originally my mind wandered from learning to make sushi, learning to mountain bike and everything in between it wasn’t until I sitting at home on my laptop that I realized I knew practically nothing about web-based programming. While I considered myself to be fairly well educated in programming with games, apps or, object orientated programming (oop for short) I had managed to grow a giant blind spot when it came to the internet.

After that it was fairly clear that I wanted to learn about it. Of course before I did anything I quickly checked that it was not covered by programming 12 for I have the full intention to take it next year. Once I discovered that it did not (no real surprise there) the final immediate hurdle was finding a mentor which I found out was no easy task.

First off, it was near impossible to find anyone locally and all those I could find simply did not care. Then I realized that he who had already taught me most of what I know what likely be happy to teach me once again. Thankfully, I was right. Now even though he may be younger than I am when it comes to programming I consider him in every way my superior.  Now even though I may not be a high bar he still has proven again and again that he can be an innovator and when he does the world listens.  Not only was he sponsored to go to the HTML 500 event but he was also able to go to the Canada Wide science fair in  New Brunswick for some of his code.

In the end I am so glad to be pursuing programming once again and I am so happy that it will be Mike teaching me.

Poetry

For my poetry project I decided to look at five different types of poetry and then create a couple samples for the styles I studied. Fairly early in I found that love poetry actually felt far more powerful than most of the story based poetry styles. After I had decided my two favorite styles it was time to get to work. The process of writing the poetry both took longer and shorter than I had expected for backwards poetry proved easier than was expected, whereas the acrostic poem proved quite a challenge.

Writing the poetry was the best part of the project. You are able to just release your deepest thoughts and desires onto the page without any fear of rejection. Although creating the acrostic poem put me far behind schedule the time it took to create the backwards poem was so much faster than had expected once I figured out the trick to it. The trick was to create everything in two or three line bunches keeping in mind whether the non-fact line denied or accepted that which was above it. From there you just need to match the couplets together and then you have a poem!

I learned that writing poetry feels different than any other kind of writing. You are trying to make the reader feel you. You want them to understand your pain and struggle while still leaving them uplifted at the end. While that may sound impossible it is actually simpler than it sounds. With backwards poetry from the start you are constructing that tale provided you are writing the bottom while you’re writing the top. On the way down you can fill it with nothing but sadness and lost dreams and desires but on the way up you need be certain that you are still striving for them.

I also learned a little bit about showmanship through the presentation. When I presented my backwards poem on the way down I could see confusion and sadness on the face of my readers. But when I started to read from the bottom back up to the top the look of surprise and amusement was unmistakable on everyone’s face. Unfortunately near the end on the way down I read to fast and there was a small gap in time before the poem began to read back. Those few seconds could have been used to say any number of things that would only have made it more powerful unfortunately I am not an improviser. Those seconds were only used to confuse my audience and that is something I never want to have happen again.

In conclusion this project was surprisingly enlightening. While I was unsuccessful on modifying traditional styles of poetry, creating what I did still taught me much about the art as well as about myself. It was a magical experience and I hope to keep practicing and creating for a good long while.

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