Waffles, exams and renewed determination to memorise poetry

After a somewhat cruisy bout of pre-exam melancholy, today’s exam was blissful. Advanced Informatics: the subject you learn by doing what you’re already doing. Unix, Python, Python, XML, SQL, Python… all wrapped up in two hours of this-counts-for-50%. Brilliant. I was somewhat assisted by the fact that I’m currently employed to mess around with Python and web services; at least three questions had come up recently in conversations with my boss or friends also doing IT. I love the people one finds in the School of IT; I swear I learn almost as much from them as I do from lectures…

Today was vastly improved by discovering, amidst conversations about video games and terrible music, three friends with an affinity for poetry of which I was previously oblivious. (The waffles from Corelli’s probably contributed a little bit as well.) A few months ago I told myself I should start memorising poetry again, and decided I should allow myself a week per poem; it started well, but lapsed when I moved to Newtown and didn’t have the walk from the station to immerse myself in the poem of the week. Talking with people about something I love made me realise how much I missed having poetry around me so often, and how few people I regularly talk to have any interest in poetry. ‘Twas a brilliant find.

Now, time to strategically pick a semester two elective that leaves my Friday off alone…


A foray into iOS

For the last six months or so, I’ve been meaning to get into developing iOS applications. I somehow managed to miss the beautiful opportunity presented by the entire post-HSC pre-uni break, and recently I’ve been saying that I’ll get into when I have less uni work, fewer assignments, when I’m less tired, etc. You know, practical things like that.

Last night, I decided to forgo all that (I just learnt the difference between forgo and forego), and gave up revising maths; I started programming around 1am, went to sleep at 6am, woke up three hours late for uni and elected to stay home.

So it goes.

You know those alarm clocks that require the user to solve a puzzle before the alarm will turn off? I NEED ONE OF THOSE. My inclination to properly wake up is inversely proportional to how warm my bed is; I need something to actually get my brain working, something that requires actual cognitive function. Something like a phone call I need to concentrate on, a physical action like having a shower (ruled out by my inability to get out of bed) or, say, solving some maths problems.

The only problem here is that the ones that exist are either really lame, über expensive or make it too easy to dismiss the alarm. I need no mercy in these situations! Some have been built from scratch, which is really cool, but are projects for which I’d need more time and/or motivation.

Anyway, as such, I’ve decided to make an iPhone app for this purpose. Some exist, but they’re really clunky and far too overloaded with features for me.

Watch me procrastinate.

Xcode 4 not only costs money now, but has the worst error handling I’ve ever seen in an Apple product.

And Sleep will not lie down, but walks

Wild-eyed and cries to Time.

Five days into uni holidays, and I’ve already failed in my decision to sleep during more rational hours. I think this was prompted by my appalling eight hours asleep vs. seventy-six awake that occurred in the middle of Death by Assessments week, and yet Portal 2 has stolen a lot of my nap time regardless; clearly I prefer to have abuse hurled at me by a passive-aggressive robot rather than sleep.

It’s incredibly good to be on break, though. It came at exactly the right time, I think; I was at that tipping point where I felt like my head would explode if I tried to cram in anything else. Assignments, assessments, catching up maths lectures— uh, I mean, going to maths lectures… One would think that living twenty minutes’ walk from uni instead of an hour and a half’s commute would mean I would make it to 8am maths, but I have found that not to be the case. I’m determined to make it to every single one in the next half of the semester, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m skeptical of my own determination. I’m looking forward to that glorious day at the end of semester when ENGG1805 is no more, and I can go back to being as unprofessional in my balsa bridge building as I so desire. Bliss.

Meanwhile I’ll have to tough it out on vanilla malt milkshakes and buckets of chai latte. How unfortunate.

Speaking of unprofessional, today I discovered that Facebook is victim to the Y2K38 bug. Fantastic. How do I know this? I wanted to create an event for the nuclear holocaust as depicted in the Fallout series. Totally reasonable, right? Not if your event occurs in 2077, apparently. Tom, Jack, Josh and I plan to meet up on October 23rd, 2077, sit on the verandah and reminisce about video games from our youth. I will be eighty-four years old! So far my main reason for wishing to live that long is not for enjoying longevity of life, but for the express purpose of making that appointment.

Now that I’ve entertained myself and created a blog, I think I’ll sleep.
Approximately 65 days until Pete comes home.

P.S. “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” — go read it.