A Not So Brief Update - Confession 50

2015.02.22 22:00:16

header It's been a while since I've made a blog about my personal life, even though I recall promising that I would. So, I suppose it can't hurt to quickly summarise what's been going on, and what will most likely be going on in the near future.

Since late December 2014 and until a week ago I was on semester holiday break. The intended plan for that was to go over the individual subjects of the Fall semester again and potentially write summaries. Otherwise I wanted to just continue on working on my projects as usual.

However, neither of these things really happened. Well, to be accurate the lecture revisits did happen to an extent. I couldn't get myself to go over Analysis again, but I did at least do some things for the rest of the subjects. Still, I did way too little in order for me to consider it a success.

The situation regarding my projects was, and to an extent still is, much more complicated. With drawing I've been in a difficult situation ever since I started to explore a different style. I began with that in late October 2014. I'm still not done now, four months later. During the progression of this I've had a lot of very frustrating experiences, often to the point where I wouldn't be able to get myself to finish any drawing at all.

I seem to have been able to recover from these problems somewhat and I'm drawing more regularly again, although I'm still having issues with motivating myself for it and finding the necessary inspiration for things to draw. Hopefully that'll return to me in due time. I've managed to figure out a couple of things about my new style direction, so most of it is settled by now, but there still remain a few things that I'm not sure about quite yet. I suppose there isn't any use to trying to push myself any harder at this point and I'll just let it come naturally to me, focusing more on simply making drawings.

With the rest of my projects – mainly coding related – I've been in a slouch ever since December. I frankly have no idea why. I haven't had any positive feeling of success when completing tasks or solving problems. I just didn't really feel like writing code. Even now I still don't have the same desire to write code as I did before.

Again, I don't know why this is the case. I have a lot of things that I could be working on; should be working on. Just to count a few off the top of my head, there's the Markless specification, Radiance specification, the Radiance TimeTable module, Parasol, etc. Usually when I have a bunch to work on but can't get myself to it's because the tasks at hand are boring and tedious. But that isn't the case here either. There's a bunch of interesting challenges to solve.

I think the crux of the problem lies with the lack of gratification I get at the moment. For example, I solved a couple of difficult and important problems for Radiance, during the break, but I didn't really feel like it was a big thing. So, since I don't feel accomplished from getting things done that would of course explain why I don't feel like doing anything further. But, I still don't know why this change in attitude happened, why I don't take note of achievements anymore.

The only thing I can currently do is hope that this subsides again. While one may think that this is good as it shifts my focus away from projects and would therefore create more time for me to spend on university and studying, it just isn't so. The only thing it does produce is wasted time and a foul mood. The lack of achievement goes for any other kind of task as well. I essentially turn into a state of not feeling like doing much at all except maybe play video games or watch videos all day.

Now, this sounds scarily close to a for real depression. Fortunately, it's all not quite as bad as I make it out to be here. I have been doing things, and as such usually my mood doesn't dip into a destructive or completely unresponsive mindset. I still have my relatively strong sense of duty and need to do things, which have been keeping me afloat. But, I don't know how far that will get me in the end. This is a serious problem that needs to get fixed. Soon.

Currently I'm hoping that the start of the semester and the return of university studies will mix things up again enough and provide me with enough time spent in places I don't want to be to push myself back onto the productive pipeline.

Speaking of University, the classes this semester are as follows: Analysis II, Physics, Digital Circuits, Datastructures and Algorithms, Parallel Programming. I initially thought that I had all of those classes except for Parallel Programming last year. But, it turns out that Physics and Digital Circuits for CS students are radically different than the lectures I've had before. This is a very good thing indeed.

Physics is a lecture I'm really desperately hoping will be good. The last one was a disaster, which was particularly hurting to me as I quite enjoy physics otherwise. We seem to at least be touching on more topics that interest me than last time, so it's looking good. But, with only a single week under my belt I can't really say much yet. Digital Circuits is almost completely different. Apparently they'll be focusing on more higher-level things, such as processor architecture and assembly. At the end of the class we're supposed to have constructed our own MIPS processor. This might turn out to be interesting. And finally, Parallel Programming might turn out to be really interesting in the later parts, as they'll touch on lock-free parallelism and GPGPU programming, two topics I've been intending on taking a look at myself for a while now.

So, this semester is showing a lot of promise. Now it just has to hold up to it, and I have to keep my end of the bargain and convince myself to do all the exercises and properly study for the exams at the end of the term.

Tangential to studying, I might mention that I completed all the Pimsleur Japanese courses (1-3) in early January. I've since tried to repeat a couple of the courses scattered around, to refresh my memory on all the things I've forgotten. Sadly, I stopped doing that as well and haven't been studying for way too long now. I really need to get back to this and maybe also pick Genki back up once I feel done with the audio books. As a final conclusion I'd say that the Pimsleur courses have been well worth my time. It has been quite a challenge at times and there were a couple of things I think could be improved on, but otherwise I've really enjoyed this type of studying and am sad that there aren't any more courses.

Now that I've been rambling on and on and on about all sorts of things this article has gotten quite lengthy. I suppose I shall cut it off here for now and be glad that I actually managed to draw and write something today, even though I wasted a huge amount of time with watching videos instead of solving exercise sheets and finishing work on Qtools.

Thank you very much for reading if you did indeed manage to keep yourself awake enough to get here.

Written by shinmera