Post 158: April 29th-May 26th – Final Post

Well, it’s been an interesting school year. I’ve covered a ton of different subjects, from Oceanography to English, to Economics and Game Design, From Algebra to art history. It’s been a wild ride, but all rides must come to an end. I’ve completed my essay/research paper, and it will be at the bottom of this post, along with all sources. Be aware that it is mostly unedited, so things may not flow as well as they might otherwise. But hey, it was fun to write. I’m glad I did the research and learned about this stuff, because while it may not be practical knowledge, it was at least enjoyable knowledge.

 

So, yeah. This was an interesting year, my first and last time doing “proper” home school. I had a lot of control over my own education, and I think it worked out. I do believe that I’m smarter than I was at the start of the year, and have some more perspective on myself before I go to college.

 

This blog was fun, but all good things have to come to an end, right? So to everyone that read this blog, all 3 of you, good luck with your own learning, and I say, Farewell.

Continue reading “Post 158: April 29th-May 26th – Final Post”

Post 35: September 30th, 2016

Today, I did something very important. Planning. Since I am pretty keen on going to Georgia College, I’ve taken the first steps towards getting the required classes that I need. So, I’ll be starting on economics, another programming class, and getting some textbooks for marine biology and algebra.

So, on to what I did in terms of lessons. Art history, before I put it on the back burner. Greek architecture, and the Olympics.

First, architecture. 3 styles of architecture, or more specifically columns, were prevalent. First was the Doric, a rather simple, plain, and bulky style, but it had room for carving or painting. It was, however, very effective in the main purpose of a column. Said purpose being making sure stuff doesn’t fall on your head.

Next, the Ionic style. It was thinner and fancier than the Doric style, and including a base at the bottom of the pillar. They also had a single frieze along the buildings for carvings.

Lastly, the Corinthian style. Out of the 3 styles, it was by far the fanciest, and most distinctive by way of it’s capital. In other words, the top part of the pillar where it stopped being cylindrical but wasn’t the roof yet. A Corinthian capital is highly decorated and stylized, far more than the Doric style.

The Corinthian style was also very popular with the Romans, so, there’s that.

Next, the Olympics. Similar in some ways to the modern day Olympics, but also very different. For one, records weren’t a thing. All that mattered was what had happened that day in the Olympics, and people didn’t care about money either. For them, it was all about the fame and respect. And the ability to put up a statue of yourself if you did exceptionally well. There’s a lot of art of the Olympics, and the artists had to present the motion of horse racing, sprinting, long jumping, boxing wrestling, all that fun stuff.

 

Next, Don Quixote. Yes, we’re properly back to English! Anyways, what happens in Don Quixote… well, I don’t know yet, because the book’s translation notes, poems inspired by the book, and the author’s foreword take up a lot of space. But some of it is pretty interesting, like how a lot of the early translations tried to inject and change some of the humor and wit of the book towards English sensibilities, instead of remaining faithful to the original.

The author also had some interesting thoughts on his own book at first, feeling that it was very much generic and unintelligent, and feared what the public’s reaction might be. Especially considering that he had been out of the limelight for a couple years at that point. Everything worked out in the end though, considering how well known the book is these days.

Post 33: September 28th, 2016

Started as usual with Art History. I’ve finished with Aegean art, which had a very section on golden masks, and moved on to Greek art. I have to say, there are some interesting things that they did with Greek art. For example, idealized images of male beauty were sculpted in the nude, and used as grave markers. Additionally, after Alexander the great forewent a beard, a ton of people had themselves depicted without a beard.

 

Next up, Game Design. I finally have it set up so that it will conditionally loop the game, if you say you want to play again. There’s still no real gameplay, but you can keep guessing what nothing is forever, if you say yes, Yes, or anything beginning with a capital or lowercase Y. I’ve also learned some about classes, and I’ve done a bit more blueprinting for what I want to game to be able to do.

 

Lastly, Sociology. I’ve started on chapter 5 of the textbook, which talks about how Sociologists do research. The 8 steps of research are, in order;

Selecting a topic.

Defining the problem (what you want to learn).

Reviewing the literature (looking at previous research done).

Formulating a hypothesis.

Choosing your research method.

Collecting data

Analyzing the results

Sharing your results.

 

The chapter also covers the different methods of collecting data, and how to do it properly. For example, surveys. You can’t be biased, and need to select from the entirety of the group your looking for. If you want to find out what TV shows people 50+ years old are watching, you can’t just sit in the grocery store every Sunday asking people, because it’s not a sample of 50+ year olds, it’s a sample of 50+ year olds that are going to the grocery store on a Sunday.

 

You also have to avoid biasing questions. “Do you like potato bread or wheat bread more?” is a relatively fair question. “Do you like clean potato bread or moldy stale wheat bread” is very biased.

 

It can be hard to tell, I know.

Post 32: September 27th, 2016

First up, art history. I started on the Aegean art section, and did the part on the Cycladic isles, which had some very interesting sculptures that look very odd by today’s standards. Apart from the shape, the face is gone except for the nose, because while the nose was sculpted the face was just painted on.

 

I didn’t end up getting too much work done today, but I did take a very long trip out of the house for some tasks that will make life a lot easier, including getting a library card. Checked out a couple of books, they have a really big selection there.

 

I also did some research on doing a proper college essay, with the help of this website. As I am at the point in my life where I’m looking at colleges and probably going to be applying to them soon, and knowing what I should do for a college essay and what to expect is important. I need to be able to say who I am, what I’m looking for, and do it in an interesting way so that colleges can get more information on my. The website is a big help, I recommend at least skimming it.

Post 31: September 26th, 2016

First off, Art history as usual. And I am happy to say, I have finished the section on Egypt! Finishing with something very, very important, the Rosetta stone. For those of you that only know about the language learning software, here’s what the Rosetta stone is in a nutshell.

It’s basically a really big stone depicting a line of hieroglyphs, and under that, a line of different hieroglyphs, but under that… Greek. The great thing about the Rosetta stone is that before it’s discovery, hieroglyphs were dead. Nobody could read them, nobody knew what the meant. But what people could understand was Greek. The ancient Egyptians translated hieroglyphs into Greek, and we were able to reverse translate them to find out what they meant. Pretty useful.

 

Next up, game design. Due to a weird glitch I haven’t seen again, I was a little delayed in actually working. But, I did learn something very important. I learned about loops already, but now I can do conditional loops. In other words, I can make it so that if you get a game over, the game asks you if you want to play again. Type yes, or anything starting with a y, and I’ll be able to run it again.

 

Last up, sociology. Finished chapter 4, and I learned about the ever important ethnomethodology. A bit of a mouthful, but it means “the study of how people do things.”

To further explain it, it is the common sense that smooths things out in society, and how we look at the world. An example in the book boils down to this: You go to the doctor for a normal visit, and the doctor tells you that your hair is long and starts giving you a haircut. Weird, because we don’t expect society to work that way. A doctor is a doctor, and doctors do not give haircuts.

There are also social constructs of reality, which change the way we look at the world. Say, for example, a crime. While a christian might view such an action primarily in terms of eternal damnation, an atheist might instead be thinking about prison time. Our social constructs change how we interpret reality, and morality. What’s right or wrong. Democrat or republican, that kind of thing.

Post 30: September 23rd, 2016 – Mega Post

It’s been a while since my last post, and for good reason. I took a trip to Philadelphia with my dad to look at colleges. I never really had time to write blog posts, and my computer was having issues with the hotel’s wifi. But hey, I can do a post now. So, to summarize!

Took a look at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Interesting school, and I got to see some cool stuff, like the school’s big band rehearsing. The campus is spread out a fair bit too, and all the dorms are converted from apartments and stuff like that. I still have a lot of colleges to consider, but I certainly didn’t dislike the University of the Arts.

I also went on a tour at Drexel, also in Philadelphia. It’s a very big campus, lots of walking on the tour, and I also had a meeting with a teacher in the screenwriting and playwriting program. It was really helpful, and I think that some of the advice and insight he gave me will be valuable even if I don’t go there.

I also took a visit to the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, and I have to say, the exhibits there are amazing. My favorite, however, would definitely have to be the painting “Chinese Wall at Broad Street Station”, by Frederick R. Wagner. Oil on Canvas.

The painting really is just incredible, and the contrast is amazing. It creates a very clear divide with color and lines, with the foreground being a dull grey city, with some bits of yellow in the background to show traffic lights. However, the upper half on the painting and the background is shown where the wall ends, and it is full of bright colors, tall buildings, and fantastic imagery. However, it seems a bit too fantastic, but in a good way. One of the giant buildings looks almost like a castle, and right next to it there’s a rainbow visible. It has this amazing contrast not just with color, but with tone. The closer, darker setting is much more recognizable, and realistic. Beyond the wall is something much more visually appealing, but perhaps too unrealistic and out of reach.

 

So, on to what I did today, being back from my trip.

Art history, and more Egyptian stuff! Woohoo. First off, Queen Tiye, Mother of Akhenaten. Akhenaten was the king that did the big banning of every god except Aten. However, he did love his mother. After the death of his father, Tiye was essentially going to be demoted from queen to queen-mother, which basically meant “You mothered the current king, thanks and bye”. However, Akhenaten held a great deal of respect for her, and had her depicted as a goddess in art.

The other really interesting thing that I found from today in art history was Hunefer, a well respected scribe that had his journey to the afterlife detailed in art. After his death, one of the gods weighed his heart against the feather of a goddess, and finding it to be lighter than the feather, by virtue of Hunefer living a virtuous and pure life, allows him into the after life and introduces him to some of the other gods.

 

Lastly, sociology. Today, the big thing that stuck out to me was the idea of dramaturgy, which is essentially the thought that we are actors in our social lives. As the book says “We have ideas about how we want others to think of us, and we use our roles in everyday life to communicate these ideas.” It also mentions front stages and back stages, in other words places where you act, and places which are private, and where a person generally does not act.

Within our roles, there are also strains and conflicts. Conflicts mean that, in occupying multiple roles, the expected behavior of those roles conflict with each other. For example, as a student you are expected to study for an exam, but as a worker, you are expected to come in and assist. Strains are when the expected behavior of a role conflicts with itself.

For example, take a rock star. You’re expected to go out and party all night long, but you’re also expected to be in a good enough shape to put on a show the next day. So, what do you do?

 

Obviously, you should go out and party. Because, hey, upholding obligations and giving people a good show that they already bought tickets for is way, way less entertaining than seeing how much beer you can chug.

Post 29: September 19th, 2016

First thing today was art history, as usual. Learned something interesting about Nebamun. After his death, many years later, a new king took over. He established a different religion, in which there was one true god, and aside from ushering in a style of art, he had some… ideas about previous monuments. On Nebamun’s signed works, half of his name was scratched out. Why? Well, Amun is one of the egyptian gods, and wasn’t the “true” god, Aten. The king at the time ordered that the name of all other gods be struck from monuments, and because Amun was the last half of Nebamun, Nebamun was then known simply as Neb.

 

Next, game design. The course is still good, and I learned about loops! Loops, how fun, how much fun. Better than just repeating functions, and can be controlled with an integer. I also cleaned up my code quite a bit, spacing things out to my liking and style, and got rid of side effects in the code. Overall, it looks a lot nicer now than it did.

 

Lastly, Sociology. Learned about roles, and how they relate to statuses. Simply, a status is what you are, a role is what you do. You are a rock star, and you are expected to perform at concerts, that kind of thing. Another important thing is the difference between functionalist and conflict perspectives.

Here’s my understanding of it. Functionalist perspective is: The primary goal of society is to survive, so social institutions and groups are established for that purpose, and related purposes. Conflict theory is similar, however, they believe that instead of working together, groups control institutions for their own personal gain, instead of the good of society as a whole.

 

Sounds a little conspiracy theory-ish.

Post 26: September 14th, 2016

First off, Art history. Today, I mainly learned about the Great Pyramids of Giza. Let’s start art with the first of the 3, the Pyramid of Khufu. For one, it’s very big, and very heavy. Back when it was made, it would have been a lot fancier, but due to degradation over time only the outside stone is left. The inside, however, is a bit more impressive. The king’s chamber is made from red granite, and above it are a series of chambers meant to distribute the weight of the top of the pyramid, so it doesn’t just cave in and crush the king. Khufu’s pyramid also had boats near it, in order to sail him across the afterlife.

Next is the Pyramid of one of Khufu’s sons, Khafre. It’s a little smaller than Khufu’s, but appears bigger because it’s placed slightly higher than Khufu’s pyramid was. The big defining feature of the temple, however, is probably the Sphinx near the pyramid. The sphinx is basically a lion with the head of a king, and it even contributed to the building process. The king’s valley temple was partly made using stone taken from the sphinx.

Lastly, Menkaure’s pyramid. His was the smallest of the three, but notable because of how complex the insides are. They were lined with art and sculptures, and even his sarcophagus was fancy. Unfortunately, it was lost at sea while being transported to England.

 

Next up, Game Design! Learned some interesting stuff today, including how to let the person playing your game input their own string. Probably the biggest thing though… functions.

Functions allow you to make your code readable, easily understandable, and my favorite part, infinite! You see, if you take some of your code, put it in a function, and do things properly, you can basically just tell the system to run that function whenever you want, however many times you want. Take a string of code, name it as a function say, Code1, get it to run properly, you can just copy and paste Code1 in the right spot, and make it repeat. Tons of fun!

 

Lastly, Sociology. Learned about some interesting stuff, like Macro-sociology and Micro-sociology.

Macro-sociology is Sociology on a large, system wide scale. The interactions and relationships among different classes of people, for example. Micro-sociology is day to day life and face to face interactions. The smaller things, and how the people belonging to a group personally interact with each other and people outside their group. Both of these are important.

Another thing I learned of is social status, and status sets. Statuses are the positions and roles that we have. All of your status are called status sets. A person’s status set could be described as, for example, Father, brother, son, banker, white, American. Which leads nicely into ascribed and achieved statuses. Ascribed is something you get naturally, like a status relating to your age or ethnicity. Achieved statuses are things that you have to work for, like becoming a teacher, or a friend, or a burglar.

There are also master statuses, which take precedent over other status in social circles. Gender is a big master status, as is race, and wealth.

Post 25: September 13th, 2016

First order of business, as usual, was art history. Started learning about the Pre-Dynastic and Old Kingdom of Egypt. Starting with the period before the Old Kingdom, with King Narmer. The name is a bit silly, but he was a rather intimidating fellow. We know about him from an item called a palette that was buried in a temple meant for the Egyptian God Horus, and the things depicted on the palette are a bit scary. One side of it shows King Narmer about to smash in the skull of a defeated enemy, while the other side shows many of his enemies, decapitated and castrated. It even shows a bull smashing a city, and some modern day historians believe that the bull might represent the king.

 

Next up, Game design! Still doing the course on Udemy, and I’ve started really making the game cows and bulls. At least, the frame work of the game. I have the text that displays when you start the game up, and I have a constant expression set up so that I can change the text that displays in multiple areas of the game by editing one line of code.

 

Lastly, more Monkey! Wait, what? Thought we were done with this, did you? Incredibly close, now we’re looking at some of the cultural/religious aspects of monkey. Using This very helpful PDF. To give a brief summary, it talks about how the story of “a journey to the west” was based on real events partly, and folklore. Many characters of the book were plucked from mythology, and the main character is based on a real monk named Xuanzang that traveled to India in search of scriptures, studied there, and returned, a trip that took 17 years in total.

The book also depicts the deities and spirits of 3 religions, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism living in harmony together, mirroring the origins of the religions.┬áThere’s a lot of overlap, because the 3 religions sprung from similar sources, all of them complementary practices. Being a holy man in ancient china might have been less a sign of what you believed in, but instead which part of the big organization you were working for.

The PDF also points out that the journey to India is very much a spiritual one. Monkey can probably get to India and back in only a few leaps, but as the saying goes, it’s about the journey, and not the destination. The characters learn to trust each other and grow as people, becoming less attached to the world and losing their own vices. Even Pigsy, very much a glutton, passes on some food after he reaches enlightenment.

Post 24: September 12th, 2016

Another week, another section of art history. I started learning about Egypt today, and I found out some interesting things. For one, the Egyptians based their time scale off of cycles. They divided the seasons into 3 different sections based on how the Nile River was at that time, and that system actually forms the basis for what we use today.

Art was also very meaningful among the Egyptians. They did rituals in order to honor and assist the dead, and had artistic representations made of those rituals. Accuracy was key in these depictions, as it was believed that what was left out of the art was also left out of the after life. If you depicted a ritual involving bread and didn’t draw the bread, the dead wouldn’t get it. As an extension of this, Egyptian art looks very static from one time period to another, and they prided themselves on that fact.

 

Next up, Marine Biology. My goal for the course is, at the moment, to make a list of marine organisms, and then create a page for each of them. I have a feeling that the World Register of Marine Species might help me a bit with that. It’s going to be a long list, and here are a few of the creatures I have on it.

Pistol Shrimp: I just think it’s cool, and I want to research and know more about them.

Mantis Shrimp: Ditto.

Coral: for the sake of coverage, and being such an important part of the environment

Sea Cucumber: Their main form of self defense is expelling their guts from their butt. What’s not to love?

Abyssal Grenadier: I like the name.

Algae: Again, more coverage, and being pretty important.

Whale: Not sure what kind, maybe a sperm whale or a blue whale.

Krill: Food source for whales, seem to be overlooked a lot in my opinion.

 

Lastly, sociology. I’ve finished with chapter 3 of the book, and I’ve learned some interesting stuff today. For example, Re-socialization. If normal socialization is learning the rules and customs of your society, Re-socialization is learning new rules and customs to match new things. For example, the military re-socializes you. Also, I learned about how we change throughout our life, in terms of socialization. We have different periods in our life, going through a bunch of different phases and sub-phases from childhood to old age. The things we do in each life phase are affected by multiple things, including our background, society’s view of us, and our own self. We also incorporate parts of our life into our self image. If you’re a doctor, when describing yourself you would mention that you’re a doctor.