scarce. Mostly because I’m not always sure what makes a post, or that I actually have anything to say.
No, that’s not correct. I almost always have something to say. Just that many times, I don’t think it’s worth saying for others.
Though, somethings have been going right. Very right.
Graduated this past spring. Finally got my Bachelor’s. Proving my Uncle right, and wrong. Right in that if such a thing is ever completed, it’s completed after a very very long time. And wrong, in that a decision many, many years ago isn’t really haunting me. I keep it in mind, and acknowledge that yes people often times know more than I. This time in particular very much so.
But I graduated. Now this week I’m spending the entire work week studying for my next certification. A great step towards my career. So, that’s something right.
Another things that’s right, it’s looking like I’ll be going to graduate school soon. Now THAT is something that looks good, not only for my career, my resume, but the idea of studying Information Assurance is really something that sounds fun and exciting.
Fighting with Ubuntu 12.04 and then BSD to have a stable and usable system.
With BSD, I could not seem to get the networking under control. Great help from the wiki and more blogs and people that I can remember, but nothing seemed to permanently fix the issues.
1) First and foremost, BSD. I could not keep my wireless card up and running. Stupidly odd atheros in this HP G60. Sometimes it seemed to be power management, other times the daemon just lost the adapter. Without the network stable,
2) Ubuntu 12.04.1 Really? I wasn’t watching it, I admit so I guess it’s my fault.
Yes, I’m claiming it’s my fault that everything that worked in 12.04, when it updated through the regular software update, not the system release updater stopped working in 12.04.1.
The network, not quite the same problem as in BSD. But close enough: terrible, terrible limits. Dropping signal all the time.
The screensaver. What the heck? I had the very nice, debian screen saver pack running. But no more. I re-installed. I purged and re-installed. Nada.
The biggest issue, coming back from anything that locked the screen. Seriously, what happened to the working prompt? What happened to it? 4 out of 5 times that the system would go to a blank screen, sleep or anything like that and I would never get a prompt to sign in. Changing dm’s, resetting unity to defaults, lightdm with a different window manager… Nothing worked.
So today, I spent the time reinstalling. Tried Mint with Mate. Almost stuck with it. But I admit the advancement of launching control in Unity: hot key based number calls is just too much my style and in Mate I would have had to add things to get there. So, there we go, back to Ubuntu with Unity. Specifically 12.04.1, didn’t want to try the new one.
Too many things that I’m coming to depend on having a working system. So while a ‘final beta’ may be tempting, it is still a beta. Things are supposed to go wrong, not something I want in my main system.
So after moving to Ubuntu 12.04 I have really tried to like the Unity interface, but it’s soo slow and gludgy if you will. Moving to gnome3 was better, but there has been this one big thing that has annoyed me and just prevented any forward momentum from building in the ‘like’ department. The fact that on dual setups the default option is to have the workspaces only switch on the default monitor.
But thanks to some searching I found this fix posted by Cedric Briner: in a terminal run
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.overrides workspaces-only-on-primary false
Post 1 is about data, and research. It’s labelled for Statistics/BioStatistics Students but I think it’s applicable for everyone. http://simplystatistics.org/post/25368234643/pro-tips-for-grad-students-in-statistics-biostatistics
Post 2 is about projects and networking, Very important ideas to keep in mind. http://simplystatistics.org/post/25507941642/pro-tips-for-grad-students-in-statistics-biostatistics
Post 3 is the one that caught my attention. It is about the important of writing, clearly, simply and early. http://simplystatistics.org/post/32327301604/pro-tips-for-graduate-students-part-3
I am so sucktastic.
A writer? Seriously? I’m barely writing, I’m barely getting crafty, or creative, or even dropping a sweat as every time I look at a blank page, a blank screen I just have to turn away.
I don’t have to, but I do. It just seems overwhelming.
But there is something there, something small that in the back of my mind keeps whispering, “Write this.. Write that.. What about this scene, this description…”
And then there is the one that says “Only 40k left! After 100,000 words. Finish it.”
So, struggling at a lot of things lately.
Struggling to keep working out and be active.
Struggling to write on my novel. I either seem to have no creative energy, or my creative energy is bound and determined to be about other things. Witches and werewolves, dragons and trolls,
Struggling to not blather on my blogs and actually have some content.
Struggling with the work situation, and school. Especially as I have two issues. One the loss of direction for the department, which typically proceeds a department being seen as needless, and then disbanded. Two, if I get my current workplace to agree to pay for more schooling, I am tying myself to that place for a few more years.
In some good news, I finally did it. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science. Now, onto the Masters.. yes, calling me Master in the future is a distinct possibility.
What the hell?!?!
I cannot wait to finish school. Only a few more weeks to go and I really hope I can maintain patience with the whole collaborative learning, learning team crap. I am so done with having between 20 to 40 percent of my grade depend on people who increasingly:
- cannot communicate
- they say one thing, agree to that statement, and cry when asked to uphold it.
- want leadership, but refuse to have a leader
- will do the bare minimum of work and complain that they did an equal share
Argh. patience is a virtue. For all this though mine is pretty much exhausted. To hell with that.
A few weeks ago, I watched a couple of friends engage in a pretty good discussion of online schools. Some of the points made were based on the experiences and observed experiences of two University of Phx students. Another source of experience was another’s experiences with online schooling via the local community college.
Some of the points made dealt with how each school attributes work. Team work, collaborative, individual work, all of that are rather high on the list of things that differentiate individual schools. Other things to look at when picking a school are the length and depth of it’s courses, are such courses and the school accredited, similar and comparable to other schools.
For myself, I’m going to continue to grad school. I will not be continuing at UoP. To hell with that.
On another note. I worked out.
At 20 minutes on the stationary bike, my legs turned to jelly. After 30 minutes, my legs wanted to explode in on themselves. Then for the first time in months, I hit the weights. Within another 10 minutes, my shoulders, my arms, and my stomach wanted to explode. What the Hell?!
So another year gone. Another year that PhxCC, https://phoenixcomicon.com/ can count me as a happy attendee. This year was very different from the last few. I talked more to staff, and while I didn’t actually get to many of the panels, those I did get to were not all about writing!
It’s strange to think about that. I have been going for the networking with authors, yet now that my work in progress is stalled, I almost expected to spend more time focusing on that. Being revitalized by other’s that are writing, not so this year. I had earlier agreed with myself that I would allow myself the pleasure this year, No force myself not to do all writing panels this time.
I may not be quite there on my novel, it has felt over the past number of months that I hit a wall. That I see that from my original expectations to what I was asked for is more than just adding a few details. It has been to completely write a second novel, but call it one! This has, along with the drain from balancing work, school, and at someplace I felt I made a promise not to work on other stuff till this is done. These things have killed me. Killed my productivity, my creativity; and I know it.
I have now passed my original goal, and my secondary due date(personally set mind you) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been trying. 500 words there, 1000 there. A few times I’ve found I’m going back as I’m lost and editing when I do. Sucks to have had an outline, a concept that sounded good not only to myself but to a literary agent and find out that what the agent is asking for is getting on past a year now and it’s still not finished.
Not even beta read.
Still, I count this year at PhxCC a success. I have more of a plan for getting involved next year. I feel like maybe I started to make some local peeps, not just “con-friends” but peeps. People to do things with, see movies that kind of thing. Time will tell.
and what a relief it is. I officially have two more classes. 10 weeks, of back to back online ‘educational’ action. Unfortunately, no I cannot even put it that way. My last class was a complete let down. I’m sure I could compare the description vs my expectations, vs the reality of the class. In that, there is no winners, only myself losing. So, instead let me talk about the issues outside of the content with the class.
That would be issues with the facilitator, the students, and the class implementation.
Taking the last first, imagine if you will, playing a game of telephone. You whisper or write a message and give it to another, then without being able to refer back to you or your message, that person in turn relays it to another, and so on and so on. Then, at some point you, the original message creator ask the last person in line to give you your message. Yet there’s a catch! If you for some reason become disconnected from the chain, if you allow the message to be ‘saved’ in the chain of people for longer than 12 hours, everyone forgets your message. That’s what this class’s implementation felt like. A five week class, each each building on the week before. Yet if you used the school provided virtual machine of RHEL 4, it reset would allow you to save your work, and then if you failed to log in immediately if your booted out or the connection times out, your work is lost. Add to that how every night around 1 am, the instance was reset. Many many of my classmates completely lost it every time this happened.
I myself tried the school’s offering. It was Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. To connect I had to launch via browser a citrix session, then from the virtualized windows xp I had to launch another connection to the Redhat instance, which was ran in Zen hypervisor (or so the connection said). Really, make one virtual connection, to make another? That second one rebuilt the user how often? Oh, and it had no outward capabilities. I couldn’t launch a browser, I couldn’t get an external ping to go through, nothing. Oh and it reminded me of being back on dial up. With the slow speed, and the constant drops.
All of this of course affected the students. To talk about the students, I do have to back up a bit and state that this class was labeled as an introduction with no prior experience required. Which is what it seemed every other student had: No experience. So I had no one to talk to, and spent much of the class pointing out and sharing links for cheat sheets and basic lessons. If this sounds like it should have been the facilitator’s job, I agree.
The facilitator in this class has been an example of completely out of touch. He tried to justify why the class was offered the way it was. How the lesson’s were not his, yet were valuable, and how he really couldn’t answer any questions about them. Any thoughts or revisions were nothing that he could do, but instead pass the issue on. The facilitator would post the weekly discussion questions, yet have no idea about the question themselves, nor the reading that the questions were based on.
At least it’s only 2 more classes, 5 weeks a piece, that’s 10 weeks, 70 days!