Feb 21 2019

learning new things

justin scawful • 18 Feb 2019

so here i am again. i always have the availability to write a blog post but i kind of want to give it time so more things can happen in my life so that i'm actually updating the blog with semi relevant things. even on twitter i'm not really posting all the time like i did in high school. it's just nice to have something consistent out on the web right now. the homepage was redesigned again, this time with a purple look from a few months ago but with grid instead of flexbox, to allow for more variety in what I display (though, in retrospect I probably don't need both columns and rows for what I display here, but I was happy to learn a new thing in CSS anyway) that's gonna be a bit of a theme for this blog post, lately i've been learning a lot of new things. in the past i may have seen new information as a reminder of my lack of intelligence but i've been much more open to learning and developing new skills lately.

i've been willing to learn about schools in the area. i think i want to transfer to UIC after JJC. their computer science program looks nice and it would be really cool to take the train downtown and spend time in chicago. i'll have to take calculus 1-3, two science course (probably biology or chem) and then all the other gen ed requirements. Now I wouldn't exactly call myself awful at math because despite performing pretty poorly in high school I also wasn't nearly as motivated then as I am now. I also took it far less seriously, not paying attention or studying really at all. Now despite how rusty I am in math I'm expecting to take calculus and survive. So since I have a light load this semester I'm going to try and work on my algebra and study up. I have to take the placement exam and get a better score to even be able to choose calculus, which might be tricky. That or I have to pay for 095 which is the boom boom course that buys you basically into all the other math courses as long as you pass. I'd preferably like to avoid that and just get good at math.

i've been willing to learn more about computer programming. the intro to python class im taking this semester has been really helpful to me. not so much in the fact that i think python has been really amazing or anything but moreso that by using it i've been exposed to programming concepts while actually learning how it works on a very fundamental level. this has been extremely helpful and i think without this had i tried learning a language i wouldve gotten confused. i've dabbled with some scripting languages and web design stuff but never really got into the act of programming like i have been lately. now i'm trying to learn C so that I can understand and contribute to the Hyrule Magic source code. i also just believe that C will be a great foundation for the future of my programming career. i've talked about python with people online and you get a lot more, uh, judgement if you will from people who believe it's not a real programming language or have an issue with how it parses whitespace and these people are usually far more partial to OOP languages. Not that I'm learning C for the respect of others, but it does allow me to contribute to some bigger stuff with popular C github repos. so far i've just been learning syntax and MathOnNapkins has explained to me some stuff about allocation and memory leaks.

i've also learned a lot about myself and the way i think. it's harder to describe exactly what i've learned over the past few months here but i'm feeling far more understanding of myself and recently have been engaging with my internal dialogue far more. it's necessary for programming to talk to myself a bit for the logic and since i started doing that the voice has never really turned off. i used to resent my introspection because i was far more negative and hard on myself, however now i find it to be humbling to criticize myself. it can be hard to deal with social situations like at work or school when you have anxiety but when you allow yourself to be open to criticism to how you handled a social interaction you can learn from your awkwardness and become a better communicator overall.

i've been learning how to stay organized. while this is not so much something that's new to me it's definitely something i'm starting to become far more consistent on. i'm organizing my files more, this website, my bedroom, etc and doing it in a manner that makes everything more efficient than how i initially set it up. it provides some clarity about how my thought process can change so quickly in such a short period of time. i've used that clarity to motivate my urge to learn things. if i can change so much just in a few months then imagine what i could accomplish if i just committed to more mentally stimulating activities every day. after a few months, where could i possibly be? i think that by reading more and programming more and thinking about my future and organizing my stuff that i'm preparing myself to be like a functional adult someday.

i'm glad i feel comfortable enough with my life now that learning is fun again.