Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bully Pulpit

In high school, I was on the school newspaper. I realized after the first issue that the very best position was that of editor, so I started hanging out during the production stage, and learning how to use photoshop. Oddly, my mad photoshop skills come in really handy as a researcher. Who knew making figures was such an important part of the job? My second year I got to be news editor, and it was then that I realized the only better position I could have was that of a columnist. Columnists got to have 750 words dedicated to their own special thoughts and they got to use the word I, which is a big no-no in the newspaper business.

Why did I want to be a columnist? I really liked the idea of the bully pulpit. There were many things that bothered me in high school. I didn't like the social norms for women, or how people treated each other, or the lack of imagination, or the complacency of my peers and how no one wanted to be challenged. So I would get all hot and bothered, and I would write 750 words, and maybe someone read it. Frankly this blog is my new bully pulpit. I hadn't realized it when I started, but the voice I developed in high school, to complain about my lot in the world, and suggest how to change it, is mostly the voice I use here.

There might have been some engineering school related atrophy of my communications skills, but if you spend six and a half years exclusively hanging out with people who feel writing is hard, you start believing it actually is more challenging than before, and start using significantly shorter words. If I got a dollar for every time someone requested I use English in undergrad . . . That aside, I haven't changed that much. Every so often I get hot and bothered about something, and then I would complain about it to the dear sweet lovable one, or just let it stew in my mind. Let me tell you, writing it out is hands down the best way to get me to stop thinking about it.

Writing organizes thoughts, and once those thoughts are arranged neatly in paragraphs and publicly posted, I can let it go. Writing is a process of refining, my mind wanders a lot, and if I want to make a point, I need to decide what is important, and get my examples to follow the direction I want to go. And finally writing takes time, so you only write about things you feel are important, in the hopes that someone else feels they are important too. I was so glad start getting comments on my blog, because at least to me it means I hit on a topic that someone else found interesting too.

 The thing I actually intended to write about today is really far from being coherent. It isn't worth complaining about something until I have some solutions. I thought I had worked it out, but being frustrated is not the same as having a point to make. I have also been writing to procrastinate, because what I need to do is absolutely the opposite of what I want to do. It isn't worth the time to figure out right now.

I am finishing the last thesis corrections, then I have the remaining time to document code. Whee!

So what's happening with me? I'm making things, and perhaps this weekend there was a creative explosion. I read books, cover to cover in one go, which meant I needed to write, and I had free time so I knit something in a day, and I made tons of fractals.

My computer can not keep up with all the rendering I want to do. It looks like I will have time to start another one on my work computer. I came up with a cool idea where I used a variation called separation, in combination with linear, to fill the flame with copies of pieces of the inside. When there is symmetry this does a good job of adding elements related to the main event, without distracting.
Fractal explosion!

Knitting Explosion!

There is actually more knitting done that this, but I haven't had camera time.

That's all for now, take care

Molly : )

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