Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 19 & 20 - 100in1001

For all of my loyal readers, I'm sorry there was no update last week. To be honest, TIP has kept me rather busy since the start because of all the lesson planning I've been doing. That is really no excuse but that's all I got.

It's been a good couple of weeks though. I have met a lot of great people on staff and have been going out and having a fun time with them. The students show moments of brilliance right alongside displays of lack of wisdom and/or maturity. I definitely have a fun time teaching my class though and this term is no exception. One great moment is the students walked into class one morning and several were debating whether going into the past and killing your past self is suicide or homicide. This gave me a good laugh, but it got better when the "winner" emerged as homicide citing Dragonball Z's interpretation of time where each decision creates parallel universes as the evidence.

Using Python and PyGame have turned out well, though PyGame has presented some stumbling blocks. The worst thing I've come across so far is rotation is not handled well and the finicky screen setup and drawing that often leaves a blank screen reminds me a lot of my frustrations with OpenGL. Oh, and no built-in sprite animation, not even animated gifs, is a terrible oversight. Both the class and I have gotten a better grasp on it though so next semester should be much smoother. I've been developing a Sprite OO based API into PyGame that I'll probably post on my regular site's code section once it gets a bit more mature. Why am I doing this? Quite simply I think PyGame is a bit too functional for new programmers. sprite.rotate( 45 ) makes more sense than sprite = pygame.transform.rotate( 45 ).

Outside of teaching, I've played a lot of tennis and basketball. It's been great to get back into physically intensive sports after really only playing disc golf for quite some time. Tennis game is getting back in shape, all those rounds of racquetball with Jon screwed up my tennis stroke. Basketball has been similarly fun and my shot has definitely only starting to dust off, but I think I'm going to stop playing. I turned my right ankle a bit when someone (a much larger someone) bumped into me and it's obvious it hasn't fully recovered from the sprain this past spring. Unfortunately all the teaching and tennis have put my disc golf game behind a bit, only been getting out once or twice a week and my throw rebuild is kind of stagnating without the consistent practice.

Finally, I watched Casablanca so that was the beginning of the AFI 100 list. What can I really say about this movie? It's fantastic: great cinematography, lighting, mood, and dialog. I haven't been disappointed with a Bogart movie yet. While I can relate to the story, I feel that I'm a bit too far removed from the time period to fully feel the impact of the story. It is still a timeless story I would say, but it probably does lose just a little to a younger viewer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week 18 - 100in1001

What a waste of a week in terms of 100in1001. I spent it moving to Durham, settling in at Duke, and doing training and prep work for my Programming for Video Games class at Duke TIP. I did get a crossword in thanks to Katie, so hopefully I can start that up again since I have been slacking because of no Technicians from NCSU. Got a pull/chin-up bar for the dorm room and I'm going to grab a balance ball and resistance bands to start on the 300 workout type stuff and switch over to some more back-friendly exercises in the pilates routine. I've started really keeping track of what I'm eating on and my workouts. Now that I have been doing it for a couple weeks it's been really enlightening to examine my habits. I eat a *lot* of carbs and do not get enough protein while and I workout a moderate amount. The Wii Fit, trips, and "waiting to get to Duke" put my workout schedule out of whack so this week hopefully marks my return to the home gym.

On the positive side, it's great being back on Duke West for TIP and meeting all the great new staff and catching up with the returners. The kids aren't even that bad ;) Each summer at TIP reminds me why I like teaching so much, it's really making me think hard about whether I want to be looking back to grad school or taking a job this fall.

Tomorrow will be the first night for James Joyce trivia, which I'm excited for, I hope planning for class won't keep me from making it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week 17 - 100in1001

Another slow week. More and more things are coming to my attention that I need to change on my list with very few ideas coming in to fill them. The latest interest is that crunches and the like are apparently bad for your back, which puts a real crimp in my pilates plans. Many of the exercises require this sort of "flex" motion while laying on your back and I'm now wary of doing it too much. I think I'm going to continue to do pilates, but cut out some of the exercises that fit into this category. One the other hand, I found a some videos of 300 workouts that look good, so I may add those on as a challenge since they look like great training. Modified pilates, yoga, and 300 training seems like a good combo... at least that's what I'm hoping.

Other than that, I drove to Duke today and am now back in the Triangle region to corrupt the minds of the youth. Seems like I took sooo much stuff with me, but it doesn't look too bad now that it's all unpacked. Back to dorm life though *sigh*.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Week 16 - 100in1001

Again not much to report. I've gotten a lot of disc golf as well as Wii Fit in, along with my normal exercises. One Hundred Push-ups is going to be rebooted once I start at Duke because I fell off of it while in Baltimore/DC and I had seemed to be stalling a bit anyway. Bought a jump rope but have yet to start on that challenge and I unfortunately haven't really made progress on any new ones. The only thing is I'm mostly through an investing book (The Motley Fool Investment Guide) and have a couple more on the way that will knock off that item.

I keep saying it, but my big project really needs to be to update my list because so many things are just not applicable at this point. That leads to the other problem of finding more items to round out the 100 things :)

On a side note: temporary moves suck. I tried to pack my things well and label the boxes, but the inevitable mixing occurred when trying to appropriately fill boxes. I currently cannot seem to locate my newest pair of gym shoes! It will be nice to figure out my future post-summer, get a place, and unpack all my stuff again (and hopefully purge some more stuff on top of what I did when I packed it up!).