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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

Changes

It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote a piece for the blog. Injuries at work led to my hours going up. That left few hours to read coding books and get ready for the new academic year. I’m back now though and I have been reading over some of the past pieces that I have written.

I really want to change this blog into something that I can use to share my experiences while going back to school, something that I can create a portfolio around as well. That said I really feel that there are too many pieces on programming, and not enough design talk (even though the majority of my classes this academic year are deal with Java, JavaScript, PHP, and Swift).

I feel like there’s so much more than this blog can showcase, especially around my ideas and design, what I think of major designs (like getting mad at the current gen iPhones and they’re thunderbird cable). I also decided to change the posting schedule on the blog as well, with Thursday and Saturday throughout the summer till September, it’ll help with work and keeping my mind sane.

Here’s some good news though, people always talk about that “Eureka!” moment when a topic becomes clear. It’s taken me three months of reading on coding and programming and I can finally say I understand it and it’s becoming clearer. I think practice and pushing myself has finally paid off (especially on JavaScript).

Meet My Nemesis: JavaScript

The single biggest reason why I’m studying before going back to school is JavaScript. In my last semester before I took a break I was in a class on it for 3 weeks. An assignment that I had to finish caused me to drop the class. It was the most frustrating project where I thought I knew what I was doing. After 6 hours of attempting to implement an HTML table through writing JavaScript code, caused me to pull my hair out.

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I’m Starting small with JavaScript and becoming comfortable.

Okay, so maybe JavaScript isn’t that bad. Maybe I just haven’t given myself a chance to learn the language. I was frustrated that in class we dove into the deep end first. I’m now reading about the JavaScript coding language. I’m determined to conquer the language and not let it beat me. Having spent the last two months learning other coding languages, I can say that JavaScript is incredibly similar in syntax, style, and writing.

This fact is very cool, it makes learning easier. Still, I’m lining up books to read about JavaScript before my class in January. These books include JavaScript for Kids, which is an intro to JavaScript aimed at kids. I’m reading it as an opener before I move onto to books that are in depth. Three other books I’m using this summer are, JavaScript & JQuery The Missing Manual, JavaScript: Visual QuickStart Guide, and JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Development (which will be the class’ textbook).

 

Reviewing HTML and CSS

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 10.47.43 PMI first learned web design in my last year at Vancouver Island University. I had taken most of my classes in my Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree and had a few electives left. I decided to take a few courses in Interactive Media program learning about audio, video, and web design. I knew that the publishing industry had been going through changes and I wanted to be learning about them through understanding the role digital media played.

I loved learning about web design especially HTML5 and CSS. The only problem, we were learning half of what was needed to code web pages. Through my Interactive Media program at North Island College, I learned that there was so much more. Web designers used programs like JavaScript, PHP, Ruby to create full websites (many of which are included in classes that I need to take).
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This month I started reviewing HTML5 and CSS through the textbook we used in the first web design course, Basics of Web Design. Found that I knew some things (the basics) since my year-long break, but I needed refreshers on a lot of other coding techniques and elements (forms, CSS rules). It was good to review it before moving onto other web design languages.

There’s a lot of work to be done before I head back to school in September. While reviewing more of HTML5 and CSS properties, but also moving onto JavaScript and PHP.

 

One of the My Favourite Class Projects

Before I took a year off from school I remember doing one of my favourite class projects in school. It was to design a self-portrait through learning aspects of Adobe Photoshop. I think I spent about 20 hours on this piece, learning curves, image masking, different blending techniques. It still is one of my favorite pieces that I have ever done.

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Learning to Code

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Learning to code through my first program in Java 😀

I know that I lost a year when I decided to go back to school. In the two months since then, I became worried about how much I missed. What would I retain? What did I lose? How far behind was I? I wanted to work on anything that could catch me up before I go back to classes in September. I went back and read textbooks, started learning on lynda.com, and decided that I was going to back a little earlier than September. I’m taking classes in May.

Still, I want to learn more. When I looked over the course possibilities that I could take in my second year I decided to learn more coding during the summer. In our program, we have three programming course chains, one for web design, two for mobile app design. I decided to focus on the programming languages that I will be learning including:

  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Swift
  • Python
  • Ruby

Learning programming languages is like learning the world’s cultural languages. There’s a lot of syntaxes, similarities, and they all fall along similar lines of variables, objects, loops, statements. There are few differences too. It’s fun writing and then seeing the process it takes to make apps and web pages. I can’t wait until September when I focus on this in school.

For those wondering about the books, some may be basic but they’re perfect starting off points, I’m learning from here’s a list: