Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Post to End all Posts

It's the last blog post of the year.  Tedx was yesterday, June 7th, and I am in disbelief at how fast the year has gone by.  It seems like just yesterday I was panicking about having enough to write about in my earliest blog posts, and now I'm writing a closing blog post to answer some questions about this project.  It's funny that when I think about this past year I have changed so much, and probably even more than I even realize.  There's just been so much that happened this year, a lot of which I never ever expected to happen, but that's the beauty of life, sometimes it surprises you in the best and worst ways.  This year I went through the best and the worst, from losing a great mentor and person, to making friends to last a life time.  Sorry Mr. P, that doesn't have to do with the questions, but I felt I needed to write that. One last thing before I answer the required questions, CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE WHO SPOKE ON SATURDAY YOU WERE ALL GREAT!!!

On to the questions.

1. Based on my experience with 20 time, it has been an overall positive experience to have.  It allowed me to flex my 'muscles'  a bit.  It's allowed me to change and form MY own opinions throughout the school year,  and allowed me to realize that the pressures placed upon me by society are sometimes necessary, but that I do not by any means have to form opinions based on what society says.  20 time was a beautiful thing to have at such a confusing time in everyone's lives (high school).

2. I am awful at offering changes and different ideas unless I absolutely hated something, which I did not hate this project.  I did enjoy this project it was something different, it took me out of the standard rut that most teenagers are in during high school.  Honestly, if anything, make 20 time more involved during the school day and school week.  Because if students are not willing to put time into it outside of school, or they just do not have the time to, then they are not going to get much out of it.  I feel that if 20 time was more involved during class periods it would allow students to get rolling and become more passionate towards their projects. Maybe have other students provide advice towards other students projects.

3. The liberty, make sure students still have all the liberty that they did this year. I know that some didn't get their ideal projects, but it was usually for good reasons.  Definitely have the talk at the end of the year too, it allows students to make their own opinions which is really priceless during high school, because of all the social pressures.

4. Definitely.  I'd almost be concerned if other schools didn't participate in 20 time. It teaches invaluable lessons, there's so many possible lessons a student could learn from 20 time that I was going to put a list here, but now I'm not because it would make this blog post 10000 words longer.  If other schools participate in 20 time they open up so many opportunities for: organizations, clubs, charities, inventions, and so much more. Not to mention that it helps to create a much more creative mind in students.

5. Pick something huge, pick something so huge that it terrifies you and excites you at the same time, pick something you're passionate about, and put the time in.  If it's something you truly, truly, enjoy, then it won't be hard to really sink your teeth into that project.  Honestly I really wish I had tried to do something based on ideas proposed by Nikola Tesla. Like generate wireless electricity, but the math and physics behind it terrified me, they really did, but Nikola Tesla is one of my favorite people of all time and he's someone I would've loved to have furthered the research of, I should've gone for something like generate practical wireless electricity but I panicked and said "naw".  So, overall pick something you love doing no matter how scary, because if I had a do-over then I would've picked generate practical wireless electricity instead of making a video game.

Well, that's all, this is my last blog post, it's been fun everyone, maybe I'll post something here over the summer, I'm feeling a bit of inspiration to try and generate some wireless electricity.

-Ethan

Monday, May 26, 2014

Laughter Post 22

Well, hello to everyone, the year is coming to a close and so is everyone's 20 time projects, I believe there is one more post after this one, but this is the last free response post that I have. Anyway, I got up in front of my class and gave my talk on Thursday. And it wasn't as awful as any of us five really expected it to be I don't think.  I honestly don't really remember the middle pieces of my talk very well, which might be bad, so I can't really judge how well I did except for what people tell me, but who's going to say "yeah you kinda sucked" to anyone that talked.  I honestly have no idea what I left out that I may have wanted to say, so I kind of want to watch the video of me speaking just so I know how well I did in comparison to everyone else who spoke.

Overall, I think everyone who spoke on Thursday did a fantastic job, regardless of stupid errors or time. Congrats to everyone who spoke, because we don't have to stress about it any longer, unless any of us are picked to speak at the TEDx event.  Either way, I took this weekend to myself and played a lot of frisbee to get rid of some of the stress that built up because of this talk.  That's all for this week's post.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Laughter post 21

This week I've been thinking about the talk more. And the other day while I was watching some TV I saw a Dove commercial that was about armpits essentially, I believe women's armpits to be specific. I don't remember the entire commercial, but I believe it's general message was something about how the armpit is just as beautiful as every other part of your body. (I just found the commercial on YouTube here's the link: http://youtu.be/rHgVL3h8BKs ) and if you do decide to watch the video, you by no means have to because I'm going to talk about it and probably describe it pretty well, in the video they talk about how the armpit is hot waxed and shaved and so on.  I was borderline mad when I heard this. The commercial actually kind of got me upset, and here's why. My almost immediate thought was: "Why aren't they using those exact words for their real beauty campaign?!?!?!"  I mean somewhere there had to be someone who works for dove and thought "oh maybe we could apply this commercial in our real beauty campaign nicely". The actresses sound so disgusted with the shaving and hot waxing of the armpit, but they don't even mention legs or anything like that being shaved or hot waxed, it's like they're angry about the armpit being mistreated and pressured into things when really society and media pressure women into things, not just their armpits. They also say in the video that people don't treat armpits like skin. They could have legitamately said the same thing about women, there are people in the world who don't treat women like people and it's dumb.

Anyways, dove just made me a bit aggravated for kind of dropping the ball on something they could've pulled off really well. I mean I get that they're probably trying to advertise for that armpit cream or whatever it is, but if you just change a few words around that commercial could have applied very well in their real beauty campaign. One last message before I end this post for this week, if I come off at all sexist in this post, or if it seems like I'm comparing women to armpits that's not what I'm trying to say. To phrase what I'm trying to say in a sentence is tough but I'll give it a go. I'm trying to say that just like dove thinks about the armpit, before society will treat women better, women need to treat themselves better. That's probably not the best way to say it, but I've never been the best with words, or conveying a complicated opinion into words, it sounds right in my head, but always seems like I'm missing something when I write it down or I'm saying it.

Well that's all I've got for this week really, if someone could leave feedback in the comments on if I sound like a sexist idiot or not, because I don't think I do, but I'm a dumb teenager and I don't want to accidentally offend anyone. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Laughter Post 20

I spent my week (Spring Break) looking more into my TED talk, prepping, making slides, etc. etc. etc.  I want to have mainly visuals on my slides, but the only problem is, I'm not 100 percent sure what visuals I can put that will relate to my speech topic and my project.  I'm thinking about recording myself work on my project and then finding the pictures where I look the most upset with Garry's mod, I think those could add some comedy to the presentation, keep people interested.  I also want to include a quote or two from my blog, and or other sources, because I think some of the things I've said previously, or that others have said could convey my point very clearly.

I didn't do all that much work on the game this week because of TED talk preparations (and relaxation), so I don't real have any updates on that except for the fact that it frustrates me a lot that Garry's Mod is such a mess sometimes.  I still have no idea what I was doing wrong with the whole snap tool thing, so I think I'm going to move to other things, because I need to find something that I can do correctly or I am going to go insane. I'm considering beginning work on lighting and ambience, including background and decoration stuff. I think I might work on music and sounds too, but at this time it feels like I'm fighting for a lost cause.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Laughter post 19

Today I'm going to be talking about my speech and my plans for it. As I said before I'm going to talk about how society is good for some things and bad for others. In this post I'm going to offer my solution. And I'm going to word it like this: Stop telling everyone that society is a horrible monster, it's something that can be fixed, something that we can learn from, not something we want to throw away. We need societal expectations, we need the competition, we need the rules, we need the goals to meet, the standards to expect, we need manners and systems, we need cliques and communities, these are necessities of life, this is how humans have evolved, and we would've died off a long time ago if these were all wrong. Don't throw away society, don't be a "hipster" and say "I'm gonna go live in the forest away from society #yolo". Don't abandon the rest of us, because you can't fix what you abandon. Stay in society and help fix it, or atleast go down with the ship. Everything I've listed above has been a part of human life for as long as history has been recorded. Society provides motivation, it gives us the drive to move on in life, it lights the fire inside of each of us that says "I want to be the best singer" or the best piano player, or football quarterback. Society is motivation, and we need motivation to survive. 

Society can be fixed, and you could argue it isn't even broken, a little excessive definitely, but not broken yet. Society's standards have definitely gone up, especially with the media which is what everyone is getting all worked up about. But everyone's reaction seems to be "condemn society and live like a natural man, naked in the woods with an iPhone", but that's not the reaction we should be having. Many companies are figuring it out, like dove's real beauty campaign, but not enough. Society is fixable, bullying, media pressures, phone obsession, people thinking that the key to life is living in the woods with their laptops, all of that is fixable. My solution to society's problems is simple, DON'T GIVE UP if everyone was to band together and say "I don't like this, this, and this about society" things would change, and that can happen. If we put the time in, if people really want to fix society as much as they claim, then we can fix it, it's just going to take more than complaining about it on twitter. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Laughter post 18

Ok, this week my project legitamately induced great amounts of teenage angst in me. For the first half, I struggled placing props into my map. Every time I tried to place one, I just could not find it, each time you save a prop it saves in a different location in an in-game folder. And for the life of me I could not find a couple of them. I don't know if they didn't install properly or I just could not find them. But at this point I was extremely stressed out, I probably said "oh my god" out of frustration 50 times throughout my work. My "raging teenage horomones" as some people like to say, were quite stressed out.

After I gave up on props from sheer frustration I figured that I would build some building hollows for things like the mirror maze and haunted house. I wanted this to look nice and neat, but just the regular game make that pretty difficult to do, almost impossible really.  So to solve this I downloaded a tool called auto snap which was supposed to be extremely helpful in connecting the building blocks together. Once again I could not figure this out, I tried almost everything and I just could not get it to work, I could tell that the tool was working, but I just couldn't get it to do what I wanted. At this moment when I was about to give up, all of the game's physics decided to hate me and many of the blocks I was working with went launching across the map. I proceeded to get up walk away and count to ten, and when that didn't work I screamed into a pillow until I felt better, and no I don't have anger management issues. So I do not plan to work on it anymore for now, but I'm going to talk to my mentor and see if I can get some help, because I definitely need it. 

Also, to top all of that off I just recently accidentally deleted this entire blog post, and rewrote the whole thing, and I'm sure it's not as good as it was the first time around. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Laughter post 17

This week I didn't get too much done because I had a huge amount of homework. This was my fault really because of a combination of poor planning and procrastination.  But because we're switching to an every other week blogging system, I should have a lot to report next time. My plan for next post is either finish the map, or get pretty close to it, I think that I'm going to try and pick up the pace a bit on the game. I've come to this realization after a caffeine fueled afternoon of homework, stress, and exhaustion.

I'll have pictures next time too, unless something terrible happens like something is corrupted, or I can't figure something out, but I don't foresee that occurring.  I also think I'm going to try and download some programs that let me edit the in-game NPC's so that way I can try to begin and make my monster. Anyways that's it for now, stay tuned.