Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finally Prepped

Mom walked by my room tonight and saw me all tucked into bed with my overhead light on and me just staring at my bookshelf. Mom questioned my stare and saw that I was looking at the shelf with all my engineering textbooks. Ah ha! She thought she had discovered the secret to my school success - I just stare at the books and absorb all the information! What does she imagine I do in all the hours I spend each week in the library? Wish finals could be just that easy - just stare at the textbooks and absorb all the information! Wish me luck!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blowing out the Candles

Mom thought she'd take a birthday video, so here it is!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


A lurker is a person who reads blogs without commenting. They lurk in the anonymity of silence. I am a lurker. I religiously read family blogs. I enjoy knowing what is going on. I laugh at the jokes. I discuss the shared items at the dinner table. However, I do not comment…unless Jocelyn goads me into it.

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Jocelyn has some tips for commenting:

- Don’t stress about having the perfect thing to say. Not all comments will win Pulitzer prizes. In fact, I don’t think any will. See this post for ideas about quantity leading to quality: Empowered Learners – Contributors

- Use a Thinking Routine and ask yourself questions like What do I see? What do I think about that? What does it make me wonder? More ideas about critical thinking and visible thinking are found at Infinite Thinking Machine.

- Jump in and join the community. Enjoy the conversations. Ask questions.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What happens when I write code

(Click on picture to see it larger.)

I have a C++ (computer language) project that I'm working on (I'm making an Uno game). I have found that I think about it non-stop while I am doing anything else.
Then when I get to sit down and code in the features that I've been thinking about, I say to myself "What was it that I was going to do?";

(Note - in C++ the semicolon indicates the end of a line of code. When you write a sentence of text to be printed you have to enclose it in quotes. I have learned that when I write a print statement in C++ that I should do both quotes and the end semicolon then go back and fill in the sentence. It is now apparent that I have been doing too much coding this last week. See last sentence of previous paragraph.)

I came across the second comic, funnily enough, while I was waiting for my IDE (program that makes what I type turn into stuff that the computer runs) to attempt to close after it had crashed.

And I just couldn't go without sharing this third comic. I think that this happens around me much more often than I realize.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Inquisitive Minds Want to Know

This week I had to give a 4-6 minute speech in my communication class on a personality trait of mine. I was to bring 3 objects which represent this trait in the past, present and future. I brought 3 books: "Discover How Things Work," Java and an Engineering textbook. Here's the rough copy of what mom typed up after I gave her my practice speech. You might see some of Mom's input with idioms. Maybe, I'll sit down sometime and correct the speech to what I actually gave, but this gives those interested an idea of one of my traits.

Curiosity Speech
Have any of you wondered how something works? Well, so do I, because I have a curious and inquisitive personality.
Well, I take things apart to discover how they work on the inside and then read about how they work and how to make things work other ways and how to build altogether new things.
I developed my inquisitive nature very young! When I was 9 months old, I learned how to climb out of my crib and started a life of exploring. When I was less than two years old, I would unscrew the light bulbs in my lamps; peel the layers apart to get to the filament. I wanted to know how that light bulb would glow. So, my concerned parents took out all of my lamps. I also was curious about the plugs that covered all the outlets in my room. I figured out how to pop the plugs out and started putting things into the outlets to see what would happen. When my mother saw me sticking a bobby pin into the outlet, my room was rearranged so all the furniture was placed over each outlet. Wow, my curiosity had put me in the dark!
My dad seeing my inquisitive nature began to read to me when I was 3 from the 26 volume set of the Children’s Encyclopedia. I can remember sitting unusually still and quiet while he read each page and we would then discuss each article. This further fueled my curiosity of life.
My mom bought me this great book, “Discover How Things Work,” hoping to satisfy my curiosity before the house was dismantled. What a great book. In this book I learned how things work that use electricity. I also learned how other things work such as an ________(flip open book). I was always known in school as the boy with lots of questions. I just wanted to know how it worked.
In high school I loved my physics, chemistry, math and Engineering Challenges classes. I would work on building the lightest and strongest balsa wood tower . I designed and built a tower that weighed less than 3 pieces of printer paper, was 7 ½ inches tall and held over 700 pounds. With this competition win I was able to go to the World finals in TN where I actually got to question a theoretical physicist. Wow, was that cool.
Now in college, I decided early on to major in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. I have taken many computer classes because I really want to know how computers work, what they can do and how they can do what I want. Currently I am taking a JAVA class and a C++ class where I’m learning these computer languages.
I intend to use my curiosity for life in my career. I am majoring in engineering so I can learn how things work, and how to make things work better. I know that engineering is really just applied curiosity.
Curiosity may have killed the cat and satisfaction brought him back. Fortunately, as a child, curiosity didn’t kill me and satisfaction was achieved in taking things apart, reading, learning and applying my knowledge. I find great satisfaction in applying my curiosity to the world around me. I hope I can develop this curiosity in my career to help make the world a better place.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I was observing how many people like to catch up on their blogging on Sunday and posted a tweet to that effect. Mom promptly informed me that I was now required to blog, ergo the following.

So the new semester started recently and I have several classes (ok, all of them) that decided to begin with a review of past material. I do not like to review material from previous classes at the beginning of new semesters or years and I have not liked it since I came home from first grade and told Mom that we wouldn't be learning anything new in first grade since we had already covered the material in kindergarten.

I feel that if material is a prerequisite for a class then all of the students should already be familiar with it, or be willing to review what they need to on their own. I feel that this will allow the class to progress at a more rapid rate and avoid wasting time covering something that all students should already know. For example, in my Digital Systems class (ENGE 240 - not even a freshman level course) we began our semester by learning about powers of 10 and SI prefixes. I believe that this is ridiculous because this is material that students should be learning in their middle school science classes, not their 200 level college courses and taking TWO class periods to cover that material is a waste of time. (I might be persuaded to admit that passing out the reference sheet would be OK.)

Other than the endless review that we are subjected to as students, my classes are going well. I am enjoying learning about logic gates and digital circuitry in my engineering classes, C++ and Java classes in my computer classes, and ways to interact constructively in my communications classes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two Peas in a Pod

I started my new semester this last Monday. I'm taking two engineering classes at City College and 2 communication classes and 2 computer classes and institute at Grossmont. Dad and I are taking Java (online class) and C++ together (it's on Monday nights).

When I got to my communications class yesterday, the teacher recognized me. I was surprised as I didn't know her! She asked if that was my dad I was walking with on campus Monday evening. I said, yes. She then told the class that while she was walking on campus on Monday she saw two students that looked definitely like a father and son walking on campus. She said she spent 5 minutes thinking while she was walking how cool that would be to take a class together with your father. So, that is why she recognized me. She then said that we are clones and asked if I had any of my mother in me! Ha.