Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Spring Break!

It's too bad I have all the things to do on my week off. There's a speech and a discussion on the Tuesday after break, 1,250 words due on Wednesday, and an essay test on Thursday. At least, I suppose, I don't have to do all of that while going to class and getting daily work in Statistics and my computer class or something. If I have time this week maybe I'll do next week's programming assignment, so I don't have to worry about all of that in the midst of worrying about everything else. But I won't stress about that. And I'll stop complaining about the rest of it.

I checked out a fun book from the library that I'll read and call research for my speech: "In the Land of Invented Languages" by Arika Okrent. Talks about the history of created languages, from Esperanto to Klingon to Loglan, all sorts of obscure ones too. That mostly just leaves me requiring a visual aid and info on Quenya for that speech, assuming there's something I can use in this book for the others. Of course, I need four sources anyway, so my search hardly stops here.

I could use this research for my iSearch project that hasn't even been talked about in class. I mean, it'd be something to do, all I have to do for that assignment is research stuff, it needs to have one or two books, various articles from the databases, that could totally work. I just need to keep track of a Bibliography and not just a works cited and then kind of write a reflection/log of my research. I could give it a shot. It doesn't take that much effort and if it's not right, well, I have other speeches to research for, too. But if I took the time for this it would be done. Then it's just a matter of cleaning up and making sure everything fits ok. I could worry about other things for other classes instead of worrying about getting this research done. Sounds like a plan! We'll see how it goes.

I promise someday I'll write about something other than school, but evidently not during this break, seeing as I have so much school to do right now.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Not sure what to say about this certainly important holiday. We get an extra day, and I've heard it proposed that since it's so very... extra... we should get it off of work and school and the like. We have another day so people should get to use it to relax, right?

Anyway, I'm going to use it to make sure I actually get my blogging done this month, since I'm supposed to try and post at least twice. There's not a whole lot to say: school's kept me busy, this week is particularly hectic. I have three tests, two projects, a quiz and a paper to write all this week. Well, the paper's not due until Monday, but I'm just like that. The good news is that by now most of that's sort of taken care of. I have one test and a quiz out of the way, I mostly just need to tidy up the paper, I lucked out that I don't have another test on Monday, and... oh right. The projects are done.

How can it still be Wednesday? As much as I feel like I did on Monday alone I'm ready for the week to be over. Alas, I still have the two tests tomorrow and Friday. At least I've sort of cleared out my schedule so I can study for those. One shouldn't be so hard. The other... well, it's a placement test for third or fourth semester Italian, so we'll just have to see how that goes. I just don't want to have to take yet another one of those.

Otherwise life has been pretty dull; I don't get to have much of a life because of all of these classes I'm taking, but Spring Break comes up March 12th, when I at least don't have to do a bunch of homework. Instead I'll get my wisdom teeth out! Yay.

School is just stressing me out and crowding out pretty much any other clever thought I have. I think the other day I thought about where the word "talent" probably got it's current meaning, but I'm not so sure it's all that interesting. Maybe you've heard of the Parable of the Talents, told in one of the gospels? The boss goes away and leaves three servants in charge of some money. To one he gives... five talents I think. In this case a talent refers to an amount of money, maybe a year's wages or something. I don't quite remember. Anywho, the next guy down the line gets just three. The third gets one lonely talent.

The master comes back after a while, and the first guy says "I invested your money and doubled it, so here's ten talents when you gave me five." The master says "well done, good and faithful servant. Come and enjoy the fruits of your labor." The second shows up and says: "I invested the three you gave me and I got three more." The master says the exact same thing to him.

The last dude, though, had run off and buried the one talent he'd gotten, so he comes up and says "look, here's your money, safe and sound!" And the master rebukes him, saying how he could have put it to work and maybe gotten him some more money. Moral of the story is good stewardship, I believe.

Anyway, if you can imagine how people tend to want to apply this: "it's not just money," they say. "It's about whatever God gives you. Your possessions, yes, but also you abilities." And they send them off with the admonishment to "take good care of every talent God has given you." And then talent becomes a specific ability God gave you, or that you were born with. Viola!

I have no proof. This was me thinking in the shower.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In Which I Start Getting Nervous

So... school. Things keep happening. Western Civ is going ok, I think, we're reading Italian Journey by Johann Wolfgang von Geothe, which is a beautiful book, but I'm not sure how well I'll discuss it. The past two have been pretty heavily philosophical books, but this one is just a guy on a trip and his musings. He gives great description though.

Also on the subject of Italian, after having backed off of Italian I now need to put the pedal to the metal again, at least until I take a placement test to see what class I should start with at KU in the Fall. It'll be soonish, but now I have a list of things I should study, so I'll get to writing myself discussions and things about those and bother anyone who will listen so I can remember everything.

What else... I'm giving a speech in public speaking (who'da thunk?) on Tuesday, but now that my outline's done I'm not so worried about it. Papers come up due in Composition II rather often... at some point some of these classes will cool down a bit, but the others will heat up (Western Civ will get harder around midterms, for sure), so I guess there's going to be this balance throughout the semester. Except for Italian, which will be really hard for a bit here and then just go poof! gone.

I find I'm already looking forward to June and Camp NaNoWriMo, since a friend and I started creating yet another language, and the people are just begging for a story so I can get ahold of their culture so I can work on their language some more. And that winds up taking more time than you might think, what with the two being intertwined.

But for right now, homework + Italian studying. Non stop. Should be fun. Maybe I'll blog something again someday.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh, I'm Supposed to Blog Again!

Right, that goal of trying to post twice a month. It's nearly not January any more, and I've only posted once. Guess I should fix that.

School's been going on for a few weeks now, but I'm having a hard time finding a routine. Tuesdays and Thursdays I'm up at the college late, maybe, but it's never predictable. Late may mean until six, or maybe until five, or sometimes not really all that late, if someone's hanging around at about three. It messes with my homework routine, though, if I don't know when I'll have to leave. That's probably why I hit burnout with my Italian. Trying to work out two lessons, six days a week, along with accomplishing all of the school I want to doesn't really work, I've found. Since unfortunately school has to take priority, so I'm backing off of Italian and going to a few lessons a week along with a little more time spent on native materials, which at this point can be more entertaining anyway. At this point I think it's what I need to push me to a higher fluency level anyway, as textbooks can only get me so far.

The class that will be heaviest on homework (I think) starts today, since for some reason it was a late-start this semester. I'll lose a few hours of homework time to class, and I get a fair amount of more homework: not exactly the nicest arrangement, but I suppose we work with what we can get.

Oh well, I guess that's all for today. I may have had some somewhat interesting musings before, but I've forgotten them in the rush of getting a post up. Ta!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Huh... 3000 Pageviews

Happened to see on my dashboard today that I have exactly 3k pageviews on this blog. That's not a tiny number, as far as numbers go,  but when it's applied to a blog it doesn't mean much, considering how long it's been hanging around and whatnot.

Not that I particularly mind. I've hardly gone out of my way to promote this thing or put any sort of sensational content to draw readers, and it makes me no money regardless seeing as I haven't hooked it up to adsense. Just an interesting bit.

At any rate, I've been working on catching up with Italian work and finding myself considering what language I want to work on next. Swahili? Japanese? Spanish or French? Right this second I'm thinking something a little bit useful, which in all honesty means probably Spanish but currently in my head means Japanese because... IMPORTS! I guess.

At any rate, currently my Italian listening comprehension still stinks, and until I improve that I doubt I should really move on to much else. Grammatically I'm improving day by day, though, I'm still working through my Assimil course and recently I was blessed with an Italian email penpal, someone I actually get along well with, seeing as we share a lot of common interests. Which brings me back to wanting to learn Japanese for the sake of watching more Anime and reading more Manga and getting newer video games, although anymore everything is region-locked so there's no real bonus on that front, if I'm honest...

Current plan is to resume making concerted effort with listening comprehension, probably utilizing my previous recordings and the constant input of every other kind of audio I can get my hands on. It gets boring to me, listening intently, I'm more of a reader to be honest, but listening is what I need, and there's no other way to fix my comprehension than just listening and comprehending. And speaking. More of that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm All Out of Post Titles

I think a new shipment of blog post titles comes in later this week. Maybe we'll get lucky.

Anyway, one of my goals this year is to blog regularly, according to a schedule I set as opposed to just whenever I happen to remember long enough to write one.

Turns out that schedule is going to be twice a month. Not so often I get tired of it and start writing really boring posts, but often enough that maybe I'll keep it in my head to post once in a while.

I've already listed out my other goals, I suppose, but there's not been a whole lot of other things going on, as early as it is in the year. I've been chugging away at my Italian, and I should finish my book in late February, after which I'll have to move on to something else, I suppose. By that time I hope to be able to read books and newspapers and things like that in Italian. What gets tricky is that I have to get it through my thick head that it's not just for fun. When something is easy enough just to be fun it means I need to move on to something more complicated or difficult. If I'm not getting anything wrong it means it's time to move up.

I remember hearing about an article (classic internet-infused teenagerism: "I read an article... well, the majority of an article, about how...") that said the people who keep themselves from reaching a plateau on their knowledge or ability of something is that they force themselves to a level higher than they really should be, allow themselves to make mistakes, keep themselves from getting comfortable. That's really the hard part, getting yourself to try something new and move on.

Let's see how that goes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Huh, It's Late December...

It's that time of limbo where the Christmas rush is suddenly over, you're still on winter vacation, it's not the New Year yet, but you feel like you're about ready to leave the current one behind. Or maybe not. I wind up considering by New Year's goals and figuring out what I want to do next year.

Of course surviving college is on that list, since I'm taking 19 credit hour next semester and then transferring to a four-year university in the fall, and that goal is probably going to stay on the list until I'm out of college, in which case it'll probably be changed to finding/keeping a job or something.

I've got a few Italian goals, little things to count as milestones: finishing up my current Italian course, achieving a B2 level of fluency, finishing the entire Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in Italian, writing a short story in Italian (that last I feel would signal to myself that I have a reasonable mastery of the language that I can construct a thousand words or so of comprehensible script, which in my opinion is an accomplishment). I'd like to start a new language as well, maybe Swahili or something, but those Italian goals come first.

Also linguistically related, I'm sort of putting my created language, Ganyi, on hold. It doesn't appear I'll have too much time to devote to it, and I didn't even complete my goal for it this year (yes, I technically have a few days left to work on it, but I have plenty of other things to do at this point as well, like catching up on my Italian work). So for now it gets the goal of adding at least 100 words to the language and we'll just sort of go for a slow but steady pace of improving the vocabulary, which is largely what it needs at this point. I can't just randomly assign words though, I want to have my etymologies straight and common roots and all of that jazz, so it's not as simple as just any little algorithm to work it out.

Piano playing makes the list, in the spirit that I don't want to drop it. I want to improve my jazz and blues playing skills (I'm not adding a great quantifier to that, no, but as my jazz and blues skills are currently non-existent, I'll know when they're actually there, and that means they've improved. I'd also like to work up at least ten pieces to, well, I guess performance level, even though I don't expect to perform them. Maybe offertory or something at church.

What else... I would like to blog somewhat regularly, maybe weekly with a few excepted weeks. Maybe I'll shoot for twice monthly. Also a little fitness goal, and something fun like memorizing "Fox in Socks," and then something NaNoWriMo-esque: I want to participate in either one of the Camp NaNoWriMos (I'm thinking June) or else the original flavor of NaNoWriMo, in November. It is not on my list to do both a Camp NaNo and the regular one, since I doubt I'll want to try a NaNo challenge in November when I'm away from home. August is when school starts and I'll be moving and such then, so I'm thinking ideally we'll go for June, when school is out but there's not usually a whole lot else.

So that's about my plan for the next year. We'll see how it holds up under stress. It's not that I care much about planning the whole thing out, but the lists I make up are sort of reminders of things I'd like to accomplish, things I want to perpetuate, an organizing exercise, of sorts. So, yeah. I'm off to enjoy my time of limbo!