OHC105 / 30 Day Meme – 13, 14, 15, 16 / CS107 / Jammix

Wow, lots and lots to blog about.  Not sure if I can hit them all, but I’ll certainly try.  I’ll start with OHC, since that’s the easiest.

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http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC105

Todays theme is “Journey to the center of the Earth.”

A short theme description this week, but they gave us two pictures too, so that was nice, haha.

I wasn’t sure at first about what exactly I wanted to do with this theme.  I had already found some neat sounds that I wanted to try and use, but was by no means holding myself to using them.  Instead I started off with ambient environmental noise in different settings–this is generated by a neat VST plugin called tb_field.  I think it was…interesting having multiple instances of them going and automating.  FL got a bit sluggish/choppy at one point so i was worried about the final render.

I eventually pass the environmental noise through an audio mangler plugin and come in with some ominous long pads.  Then comes some metallic sounds…there’s just the right amount of dissonance here to still make some sort of musical sense, but while feeling very creepy.  Then some halftime drums come in (I’m starting to really like these types of beats), with some sparse but very tasteful glitching from dblue.  Afterwards we get into some UNTS.  It’s slightly uninspired UNTS but that’s mostly because I didn’t have quite enough time.  I was also using some presets on my FM synth, so that was cool.

Overall a nice entry yet again, and passing the 4 minute mark yet again!  This is my most “experimental” and atmospheric weird-sounding entry yet.  It’s always fun to push boundaries!  And of course, I always like making these dark and brooding songs.  Hehe.

A nice week too–some hilarious spoken word entries this week, among other things.

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And now onto the meme…

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 5 interesting facts about you.
Day 02- The meaning behind your LiveJournal name.
Day 03- A picture of you and your friends.
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have.
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 06- Favorite super hero and why.
Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.
Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why.
Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days.
Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad.
Day 11- Another picture of you and your friends.
Day 12- How you found out about LJ and why you made one.
Day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Day 14- A picture of you and your family.
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play.
Day 16- Another picture of yourself.
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why.
Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have.
Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them.
Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/ being with in the future.
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy.
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else.
Day 23- Something you crave for a lot.
Day 24- A letter to your parents.
Day 25- What I would find in your bag.
Day 26- What you think about your friends.
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge.
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned.
Day 30- Who are you?

13)

This one’s hard.  I’m really not sure who to write to.  There aren’t really people who have hurt me very recently.  I guess, I’m going to cheat slightly and merge this with another topic I was going to write about.

Dear annoying, obnoxious, rowdy drunk peoples,

I really hate you guys.  You bother people like Janice who are trying to sleep because they have important things to do in the morning, and you would bother people like me who are just trying to go about their own business, but I avoid you specifically for this reason.  I don’t really understand you people.  I guess one could say that it’s just the way that people are when they’re drunk, but…there is a part of me that doesn’t seem to believe that for example, I would be the same way if I were drunk.  Even if I were -really- drunk.  I’d probably act bad in some other ways, but I really doubt I’d be loud and rowdy and obnoxious and disrespectful.  Because you see, I don’t -want- to do any of these things in the first place.  It’s not like I’m being inhibited by my self-consciousness, or by social standards, or anything like that.  I just wouldn’t ever do that.  Anyways, you people are stupid.  And the scary thing is that some of you are like this even when you’re -not- drunk.  Ugh!

I think one of the differences between me and Juliann is that I feel like she probably (?) that there is a reason to love everybody.  Well, maybe not everybody, but at least most people.  And you just have to get to know them in the right way in order to discover that they’re wonderful.  I don’t really believe that.  Well, I sort of do in a way, I guess–I believe that probably most people are such that some part of them is admirable in some way to some people.  But I don’t think it’s possible for -me- to get to like most people.  In fact, I think that a very large portion of people whom I meet are stupid/annoying/etc.  There’s also a large portion of people whom I think are okay, but the segment of people whom I really admire is smaller.  But, I still believe in respecting even the people who are stupid and annoying.  Because that’s the way I am–I don’t believe in being mean to people, even if they really deserve it.  Something like that.  But anyways, I only choose to really meet a very few certain people, so the way that I meet and get to know people is very different from the way that Juliann meets and gets to know people.  And there’s nothing really wrong with that.  I think she would probably do just fine if she switched over to doing things my way, but she would probably feel unsatisfied in a way, because her life wouldn’t have enough for her in it.  On the other hand, if I tried to do things the way that she does, it would have terrible results for me.  I’m wayyyyy too introverted for that.

14)

Tempted to put a Kimball staff picture up to show that they’re a family of sorts ^^;

But here:

15)

Gonna actually use the iPod mini for this one.  Was thinking of just using the desktop music library but that has too many noninteresting nondescript songs on it.  So here goes:

Mr. Pit – Shana (Duderstadt Progressive Dub Mix)
InvisibleObserver – Away Again
Sambomaster – Seishun Kyosokyoko (TV Size)
Dhsu, Mustin – Chrono Trigger B.A.M.F. (Radio Edit) OC ReMix
Big Giant Circles – Street Fighter II Fiddlesticks OC ReMix
William Ngo – Impromptu no. 7
Key Sounds Label – Shining in the Sky [Sora ni Hikaru]
(Kanon) – 19-omen
Yokoyama Chisa – Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy (New Version)
Nitrous Oxide – Frozen Dreams (Original Mix)

16)

I’m being WAY too liberal with what I post here.  Oh well; screw it.  It’s just like when I go out with Andrea’s bear earmuffs, or carrying my Hello Kitty shoulder bag, or whatever–yeah, I get stares and the occasional comment/etc., but in my mind I’m just thinking, hey–this is nothing compared to when I crossplay or whatever.  And I chuckle to myself.

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Phew!  Two more things, I think.

CS107 was one of the best and most interesting classes I’ve taken at Stanford.  I say one of the best because there are some other courses that are on par with it.  Namely, Japanese (?), and Social Dance (yep).  All of the other CS courses I’ve taken, though…pale in comparison to how I was interested in CS107.  All of them.  Even parallel computing, which was a very interesting topic.  Even CS140, which was grueling and rigorous, and deadly.  Even CS148, which dealt with graphics, which is something that’s super super cool to me (and my specialization!).  Okay, maybe CS148 doesn’t pale -quite- as much as the other courses do.  But it’s still a ways off.  And when I sit in my CS lectures nowadays (or more often, watch them at home), I wonder, what went wrong here?  What changed?

Well, there’s two sides to that question.  First is figuring out why CS107 was so goddamn interesting and great.  Second is figuring out what’s wrong with everything else.

I took CS107 with Jerry Cain.  To me, he was an amazing lecturer.  Now, I’m not usually as harsh on college professors as I am on high school teachers, because generally (not always!?), stanford professors do actually know their stuff (it’s just a matter of them sucking in other ways, like putting everyone to sleep).  But still, when I watched Jerry Cain’s lectures, I could tell…damn, this guy knows his stuff.  The way he explained things; the way that he answered questions–I could tell he knew all of those little details under the surface, and knew just the right way to handle them when they came into view–whether that meant showing us a glimpse of them, or hiding them and telling us to just believe.  And I say “watched Jerry Cain’s lectures” because despite this being one of my best classes at Stanford, I didn’t actually go to it.  Which is somewhat regrettable in a way, but also somewhat not regrettable, because I distinctly remember when he was talking about memory layout details, I played certain part of the lecture over and over as I really thought about things in my head.

Why was the material so god-darned interesting?  I think part of the reason is because it deals with the itty-gritty-nitty details of C and memory usage in C.  And I’ve always been a C and C++ coder at heart (well, okay; before that I was a Pascal coder, and TI-Basic fits into the equation somewhat humorously).  So when we learned about the layout of how structs are handled in memory, and just what the hell is meant by the stack and the heap, it was all really, really exciting and enlightening.  Finally I really understood the core of what was actually going on inside C programs!  And the assignments were good too–I don’t really remember them much, but it was cool to put all that low-level memory-management stuff to use.

Then there was also the other programming languages.  We learned Scheme and Python…not sure if we actually covered anything else.  Scheme was wonderful, since it’s a functional programming language, and learning how to program in a functional programming language is a really really exciting adventure in getting your brain to think a different way.

So what went wrong with all of the other classes?

One is the professors just weren’t as…good.  Either they talk in a boring way that makes you fall asleep, or they don’t say the right things–too many details, or too many stupid things, etc.  Which makes you fall asleep too.  Then there’s the fact that unfortunately, despite all of these things “seeming” interesting, they’re really not nearly as interesting as learning about the innards of C, and how to program in a functional programming language.  There have been some things in my other CS classes that were pretty cool–like profiling and optimizing my program in CS110.  But really, it wasn’t the same–I didn’t spend my time rewatching sections of the lecture to parse all of it.  I just learned and got through.

Part of it is also probably because the material is more complicated and more advanced, so it’s easier to let things fly over your head at some points, as opposed to really trying to engage in everything fully.  Then there’s also the assignments–there’s much less handholding in the more advanced CS classes, to the point where it’s almost painful trying to figure out where to begin.  It’s a good thing because it practices some skills of how to approach a large problem, and also the issue of working with existing code…but it’s a bad thing because it makes things really hard.

Yeah.  That’s about it.  Mmmmmm getting sleepy.

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Went to my first Jammix tonight.  Was pretty awesome.  Some different things:

-Sometimes when I’m sitting on the sidelines because I don’t want to dance whatever’s being played or because I don’t have a partner, some song with a good moveable beat will come on and I’ll just do liquid/popping on the side.  Pretty great way to enjoy myself.  On a few occasions it’s even superior to partner dancing!

-I’m starting to master the art of leading figures that I don’t know.  I’ve never really done it much before up until now.  Probably because most of the time I’ve just been in class, so it’s always just either teaching you a new step, or letting you practice the new steps you’ve been learning.  So there’s not much time to just go and be creative and do random stuff that might or might not work.  I think that’s the secret–I know there are some good follows out there (though it’s really hard to tell with the follows how much they know, because they’re just doing whatever figures they’re being led into), so when that happens I just lead things randomly and ambiguously and see what they come up with.  It’s not always the smoothest thing but it’s interesting, heheh.  I’ve also noticed that I can only do this for certain dances.  Waltz and Swing, namely–probably because we’ve practiced them enough so that the basics are second-nature and the vocabulary is large enough that you kind of get the feel for what kinds of weird things might work.  So it’s nice to be up to that level where you can start experimenting.  Because man, we do not not not learn enough different moves in class.

-OMG can’t wait to take social 1 as a follow.  Wish I could hurry up and take it now; I wanna be a follow!  gyahhhhh

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phew.  okay, definitely sleeping now.  Finally finally finally get to sleep in.  I’m not setting an alarm tonight.  WHEE!

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