Post 36: October 3rd, 2016

New week, new lesson plan, let’s do this!

First up, Don Quixote! What a crazy old guy. Delusional, violent, and very much a romantic. Here’s the gist of the first three chapters: Don Quixote wasn’t always known as that, and instead was a more or less normal old guy that was obsessed with stories of knights and knaves, dragons and princesses. So he assembled a suit of armor, a lance, and set out to go be a knight, considering a pretty girl in a nearby town his princess that he would fight evil in the name of.

He comes across an Inn that he sees as a palace, sees the women outside as lovely maidens, and the owner, humoring Don Quixote and wanting him to go away after he attacks 2 townspeople, makes him a knight and sends him away.

It’s interesting to read, if a little difficult in parts due to the flowery language and the translation. Admittedly, some of it is meant to be hard to understand, like our heroes speeches about… anything really, as he’s attempting to imitate what he’s read in books. Which is really hard to understand.

 

I also figured out what I’ll need to be doing to better fit college requirements, so as of right now, sociology and art history are on the back burner. The line up is now: Marine Biology, Language Arts, Programming/Game Design, and Algebra.

 

Anyways, Game design! I made a header file, and I’m using another file that my program is accessing as well. The point of those files is to make everything a little more neat and tidy, and all in all easier to read, understand, and make adjustments too. I also replaced instances in the code without “std::” before certain commands, and I made it so that the program no longer uses the standard (std) category automatically.

I also made it so that it’s in the beginning stages of counting how many times you’ve guessed, and the plan is to have it so that it only increases guesses based on if you made a valid guess. If you’re trying to guess a 4 letter word, and you guess “bridge” it shouldn’t count.

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 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 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 23: September 9th, 2016

Like usual, I started off with Art History. Finished off looking at the ancient near east civilizations with… the Persians!

First of all, they had a big empire. Really, really big, and they actually did something interesting with the people they conquered. They didn’t try to change them. They let them keep their culture, language, writing, etc, and even allowed them to keep official records in their own language, not the Persian’s. The Persians did however require tribute, but the tribute was up to the people giving it, allowing Persia to have resources from all over the empire, including stuff for making art.

 

Next up, Game Design. Today, I moved on to the next section of the course, creating a game called Bull and Cow. It’s basically a word guessing game, wherein you enter letters, and the system will tell you if you got a correct letter in the right space, or a correct letter in the wrong space. The core of what I learned today, however, was setting things up. Namely, projects and solutions. Projects are contained inside solutions, and projects themselves contain different files and sub-folders. It’s a bit complicated, and took me a couple of tries to set up properly.

 

Lastly, I am proud to say that I have finished reading Monkey. The end can be summarized as follows: Tripitaka and the group go back to china, share the scrolls, and are brought up to heaven. Monkey and Tripitaka are made in Buddhas, Sandy is made into an Arhat, the horse is made into one of the heavenly dragons, and Pigsy… is appointed altar cleaner. It’s better than what he was doing before.

I’ve gotta say, it was really interesting to read. I think that the story was good, although the writing style was a little odd by modern standards. Some of the morals and examples of good behavior are a little odd by current standards. For example, Pigsy and Sandy. Both of them were banished to earth after once living in heaven, and for different reasons. Pigsy got drunk at a banquet and slept with a fairy girl, while Sandy… broke a glass dish. Monkey had a pretty good reason for his banishment and imprisonment, in that he was incredibly powerful and tried to rebel against heaven.

I recommend reading it, if you’re ever in the mood for a long book about going westward with a bunch of animals.

Post 21: September 7th, 2016

Art history was the first thing I did today. The main thing that stuck with me was Hammurabi, and a Stele in which is his law code was inscribed. Also on the stele was an image on Hammurabi receiving symbols of authority from one of the gods, in order to show that his rule was divine. Apparently, he was also a notorious micro-manager, which isn’t too important but I think it’s a cool little bit of information.

 

Next up, game design. I learned about Unreal engine a bit, and learned how to change a project so that a level will always show up when you open the program, instead of having to load it up when you click on the project. Pretty useful to have. I also did the most important thing… download more updates! Joy…

 

Lastly, Sociology. Today, I looked at the meaning of gender in society, agents of socialization, and how the world around us affects our development.

First, Gender socialization. Basically, learning the role of a gender in society, with the help of agents of socialization. Basically, anything that teaches or reinforces a gender role. Friends, family, mass media, and everything.

Then, development. People tend to be influenced in different ways depending on how they were raised, like how people will raise their children in a way that would suit them for the parent’s career, like working class parents raising their children to follow orders.

Post 19: September 2nd, 2016

Well, Today wasn’t really that eventful. In art history, I learned about the hierarchy in very early societies, and some of their art. Like a piece of art that had different rows, with more important subjects being placed at the top.

 

And then… there was game design. Yes, I’ve decided to start a game design course on Udemy. Link is Here.

It’s pretty good so far, although it does have a lot of downloading that needs to be done. Multiple hours worth of stuff, including installing and restarting your computer. I also went through the first real programming task, making a computer program that says “Hello World”. It took me a very long time, because apparently I was using C# instead of C++, which are close to each other in the menu. My thought process was “C-something, let’s go!”

That took up a lot of my day, but I am excited to continue with the course.