The Week That Went By

A week has passed since I started school again. It’s refreshing to be in classes and around people that are learning that I want to learn. The classes are fun. The professors and students are great. I have to change the final projects that I want to do. My Java programming course doesn’t have a final project.

Each class has an assortment of exams, quizzes, and assignments. My PHP and Swift courses also have final projects. My WordPress course has 2. The blog piece I wrote in the summer about my plan for projects has to be changed.

swiftIn my Swift course, our final project is building a simple app. I wrote about wanting to build a game in an earlier blog post. I still do, but the brick game I want to build will have to wait. With this class, I’m going to build a small game that revolves around a clown throwing a ball up in the air. The user’s goal is to prevent it from dropping. I’ll be writing more about this project in future posts.

My WordPress design course is stricter with the projects that we are doing this semester. First, we’re doing a redesign of a literary journal from North Island College. The second project in the course is creating a portfolio project site, like this one. Both will be great projects to do, and I’m really excited about working on the lit journal because it’s something that I really want to do moving into the next year with publishing WordPress magazines for my business.

There are a lot of good projects to do this semester and they’re making me excited.

Finally Back to School

I tried to write something for the past week about going back to school. My fears, and anxiety about taking classes. The preparation I had made to handle the course load. I am fearful, anxious and I am also excited. I’m back for good reasons. The year off was great. Now it’s time to get back to work. To help this amazing community grow.

studying
Back to Studying Yay 🙂

My first day of classes was yesterday. Even though I had a bit of anxiety they went really well. My fear that I had walking into classes was removed. There are a lot of great people and professors in this program. My confidence is slowly building. I’m taking a fourth class now, the WordPress design course that I dropped. I found a new job in peer tutoring, tutoring English, and hopefully business as well as interactive media (HTML and CSS). I’m also able to help out with the Student Leadership Team and running for Education Council.

There’s a lot of exciting things happening. I want this blog to be a place where I write about them. Now that school is in session, I’ll have a lot more to write about and more topics to discuss. I want to write at least three blog pieces a week. School is a topic, the self-studying of game design is another, as well as getting into maker culture.

I promised myself that if I’m publishing more articles they’re going to be well written and come with photos. This will help me push my writing experience to where I want it, and help me ensure that this blog grows over time.

Lots of exciting things and I can’t wait to share them with everyone.

On Track with My CMS Class

For the past few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Content Management Systems class in September and what I wanted to do with my final project. To create the site, I really wanted to do my own designs rather than relying on the work of others. I batted around the idea of doing a Pacific Northwest Folklore and Paranormal Blog. However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t draw a grey alien to get the header right.

That’s not to say I won’t be doing a blog on that topic. I won’t be doing it for class. I want to create great headers for the piece. I then turned to video games. That’s something that I want to do for a career. All the designs that I tried to do for the header (i.e. Mario Blocks) would have led to copyright infringements. I needed to do something that was unique and was my own.

That’s when I started looking at what I’ve done and what I could create a blog with. A couple months ago I created a new world for Dungeons and Dragons 5e called Adraia. Something that I hoped that I could create and share with others as well as use for gaming sessions. A blog is a great way to do that, as well as push me to write fiction and draw as well.

The past few days I’ve been working on a WordPress header to begin the blog, I really like how it’s coming along though it’s not finished. I can’t wait to get into the project and work on the site itself.Adraia Header-01

Worried About Going To School

It’s under a month until I go back to school. The excitement that I had for going back for the past couple of months has turned into the fear and social anxiety about being back for the first time in a year.

I love learning and working on new things, but, two years ago I found myself burned out. I was working, took classes, and held positions as a student rep on the Education Council and Board of Governors for North Island College. I was emotionally drained from everything that I did. My depression flared up, A couple of months before I tried to walk away from everything. Then I decided that I needed to take time off.

Peter_SelfPortrait Good
I got to learn cool programs like Photoshop

I loved my classes and my professors were great. I learned a lot about design and media. That’s something that makes me excited about going back to school. All the learning about coding and programming the past couple of months have made me excited about going back as well. Getting good at programming and starting my own business next year are two things that are driving me to go back.

I worry about going back. No matter how much I tell myself that I won’t overburden myself with leadership opportunities. Back to design blogs later in the week.

Learning Before School

Ever since I decided to go back to school in February I have been learning about programming and graphic design. Most day I would work for five to eight hours a day, then go home and study for five to six hours a night. Back in February, I was almost scared to be going back to school. Now, after studying I feel as though I’m prepared to go back. There are a lot of cool websites out there that can help those who want to start learning coding and graphic design. Here are some that I want to share:

Lynda.Com

In my first year of Graphic Design at North Island College, I was introduced to Lynda.com as a site to supplement learning. For anyone that wants to learn programming, coding, audio, and visual design Lynda.Com is an amazing tool. While it costs a monthly fee, if you’re lucky enough like we are on Vancouver Island, your library might have purchased a membership for you to get in for free.

I have used Lynda.com to learn about Adobe’s Creative Cloud products, coding languages, and graphic design and will continue to use it through school for iOS and Java app design as well as learning game design with Unity and the Unreal engine.

Udemy.Com

This is a site that my friend Remy said to try. It similar to Lynda.Com, however, it is a strictly paid site and has more programs and classes that you can take. The breadth of courses are well worth looking over, I’m using it to learn drawing, unity and the unreal engine.

Humble Bundle

Every month there seems to be a new set of coding books or software on sale on Humble Bundle. This month it’s a tiered set of books on Linux. For studying web design the past series have been great when you can get the full set of O’Reilly Web Design books for $20US when one book in Canada costs $40 and up in Canada it’s well worth it.

These are a few of the great sites out there. They have helped me out and I know they’ll help out those that want to learn programming and design too.

Back to Swift

swift apprenticeTwo months ago I began learning the Swift programming language. I read the book “Coding iPhone Apps for Kids” by Gloria Winquist, then wrote a blog piece about it. The book was a good introduction to the language. I began slowly learning how to code my own iOS apps.

Last week I started to read “Swift Apprentice” by the Raywenderlich.com Team. This book is the text for my class on Swift in September. It’s a little bit more complicated than the first book, but it explains the concepts better and goes more in-depth with them. It’s also helping to slowly get me into the game that I want to design for the second part of this course.

Speaking of my final project, I began to draw some preliminary sketches. These show how I want the app to look. I also know that there is a lot to learn before I can create the app. I want to design an app I can put onto the Apple store. “Coding iPhone Apps for Kids” taught me a little bit about game design, especially around setting up a game space, and characters. However, I need to focus on physics as well.

I already feel a bit overwhelmed by all of this. Hopefully, that feeling will pass.

School and Final Projects

Woot another blog post. Two days late but that’s because of work. I’ve been thinking a lot about the classes that I’m taking. Especially the final projects that I’m interested in doing. I wanted to share those classes with everyone.

I’m taking four courses in September:

IMG – 210: Content Management Systems.

The goal of this course is to integrate student web development skills into a large dynamic CMS. Students will learn to set up CMS user access levels, sections, categories, plug-ins, and components. Students will acquire knowledge to activate existing CMS templates as well as to develop their own CMS templates. CMS installation, deployment, backup, and security will be covered. Search engine optimization will be practiced in the context of a course long project.

I really am excited about taking this class. It will help develop my WordPress skills, especially when designing my own sites for the media company that I’m building. The final project in this course is a semester-long blog. I have a few ideas for what I want to do. Some are video games, paranormal, even transferring this blog over. I haven’t picked a final project for this course. I know that throughout the weeks I’ll be updating how I’m creating one.

IMG – 204: Introduction to Programming in Swift

This course provides an introduction to essential skills for development of iPhone, iPad, and iPod applications using the Swift programming language. Principles of a correct object-oriented design and implementation will be emphasized to develop tested and reusable high quality code. The course will also cover elements of the Cocoa and Foundation Framework.

I’ve been in love with Apple products ever since Windows Vista’s blue screen of death came out. Ever since I’ve bought iPhones, iPods, and Ipads for myself and my family. Learning the Swift programming language will help me create iOS Apps. I’ve spoken a bit about the game I want to make, and I can’t wait to start this class to start learning how to make it.

IMG – 100: Introduction to PHP

This practical course introduces students to the development of database-driven web-server applications. PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) scripting is used to define the logic and behaviour of student-developed web applications while SQL (Structured Query Language) is used to communicate with the underlying relational database engine. Students will install a development environment to learn and practice essential programming skills and elements of database design and usage.

I’m worried about this class. We have a sessional instructor teaching this course. A lot of students who have taken this course say how hard PHP is to learn. I’ve been studying PHP for the past four months. I haven’t heard of a final project in this course yet, but I really want to help create that choose your own adventure with it.

CPS – 100: Computer Programming I

This course is an introduction to computer programming. Students will be introduced to problem solving methods and algorithm development using the object-oriented programming paradigm. The students will learn how to apply problem analysis, program design, and program implementation while using the top-down and stepwise refinement design methods. The course also provides an introduction to the object-oriented programming paradigm and recursive functions. This course will provide a sound basis for later courses in computer science. Note: Basic computing skills are assumed.

I’m excited about taking this courses as it delves into the Java programming language. In January, I’ll be taking Android App design. I want to create a random insult app that contains funny insults you can send to friends and family. This is course will help me learn to code and start building the app.

 

Random Musings

This week I bought a new drawing tablet. I’m really excited about creating digital art. I think it’ll help me generate some cool images and logos for graphic design that I couldn’t have done with a mouse. I really don’t like using a mouse with Photoshop or Illustrator. I find it’s way too bulky and clunky and you lose a lot of control especially for line work. It’ll take some getting used to but this drawing tablet I think will be perfect for doing designs.

In other news, I signed up for another class in September, Content Management Systems. That means that I get most of my coding and web design work out of the way this year. Which is great for the business I want to create. I have so many ideas floating around in my head about what I can do with a new media business that I need to start working on it and stop talking about it. I think college will really help with that.

Speaking of college, I have some cool ideas for final projects that I want to work on in class. I want to make a game for my Swift/iOS app course. Something like the brick games that I played when I was a kid. Where you moved a paddle around to bounce a ball and hit bricks. The second is a choose your own adventure that I want to build for my PHP and JavaScript classes. I’ll have to wait and see if these both happen.