William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

1. gr38n3$$

I want to be great, but I don't know what to do. I sat down today to start figuring out how I was going to do a teeny-tiny press-a-button, something-happens Java program, and I was quickly stymied by lack of Internet access - I knew how to do a "getGraphics" from a panel on a form, and I drew a crude little oval, but I couldn't figure out how to clear that same oval again (when the button is untoggled) save drawing something else over it. NetBeans showed me the methods I could use, but no explanations for any of them were available - I'm guessing that documentation is pulled down from the web on an as-needed basis or something, but anyway, I was SOL. (Solution: Call invalidate() and then repaint() on the object I'm doing graphics on, not the graphics object I got from that object. We need objects because objects.)

Well, not having some information is an easily-remedied situation - go look it up and try some examples. But what really bothers me is my neck. At least, I think it's my neck. I still have most of the same elbow and wrist problems that I had two years ago. I'm okay with the idea of spending less time on the computer - I'd just like to be able to actually do something useful with that time, and ideally not have to suffer while doing it.

When I first started the IT program lo those many many many months ago, I was worried I wouldn't be able to do the work and that I'd have to quit. Somehow, I just did it all, and the second and subsequent semesters ended up being a lot more bearable pain-wise. And this summer I am more capable than I was last summer. Maybe recovering from whatever dumb nerve pinching I incurred from playing Dragon Quest IX on the couch for days on end is just going to take another year or two.

Anyway, I've decided that I'm going to put off working on the Rails app I meant to make until I'm staying somewhere with internet access. I could ask to get internet here, but I'm trying to do what I did last summer and get unplugged from it a bit. I've spent enough time with my hand poised on the mouse, always in a stress mode. As for WordPress, I'm tempted to say 'screw it' – there's no hope I can learn it without internet access, even though I installed it and have it running with Apache on a virtual machine.

It's fair to say that I am outright addicted to social media, and I'd say it goes all the way back to the ICQ days. A lot of the appeal came from being able to connect with people I couldn't reach before – in high school I would have maybe an acquaintance here, an acquaintance there, but I didn't really have any friends or any circle of friends, and I never really hung out with anyone. (I did exist on the periphery of a third-floor Rifts group. I created a useless character and was never around to play it.) The internet was all I had.

At least I know that now, and I can fight back. I can talk to people. I can find opportunities for exercise. I can read good books. I can live well on my own terms.

All that sounds great, but what, really, am I going to do? I do think our culture puts unreasonable emphasis on this – you can't just live for the day like a bonobo or something. You can't do what you're good at if it doesn't make money; you have to do something that makes money. There might be something out there for me, and I'll admit I was far too caught up in surviving school to want to look very hard.

So I guess I said all that to say I'll look around. Hopefully winning that academic medal will get me a little bit of extra consideration for the next little while. Yep, I didn't just get the best grades in my program – I got the best grades in all programs at that campus. I should have taken a picture of the medal, but it's really more about the Governor General himself than anything else. You'd think at least one side of the medal would have some kind of academic symbology on it. At least the Governor's personal arms include the Johnston family crest (by sheer coincidence, my mother's father is a Johnston) and a stream of ones and zeroes to represent the information superhighway or some such thing. Anyway, eventually people will be able to verify my attainment of the medal on the GG office's website.

Now for some of that exercise – a nice little bike ride!
Tags: sherbrooke 2013

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