Daniel Patrick Johnson (teknotus) wrote,
Daniel Patrick Johnson

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Cosine matrix

I haven't done much of an entry in a long time. There is so much of a tendency to think that if I can't update with the whole of everything I have done since my last entry that why bother writing at all. I managed the will to skip that a few times, only writing about what was on my mind at the moment, and now I want to do a little bit of a backlog, and a little bit of current.

My girlfriend was in town for a long time. I almost completely abandoned all of my regular routines while she was here. I found myself doing things I didn't used to think I could do on an almost daily basis. I found so much strength in having my ideas, and actions approved of instantly instead of using up so much time in self doubt.

When Catherine left I was very sad. She has made my life so much better. I have someone to share my feelings with. I can tell her things that I wouldn't admit to most people, and I feel better for it. I am more confident, and more alive just because I know her.

I had a distraction in the form of hard work for the first few days, and that kept me distracted from the feelings I was sure to have. A little later I felt motivated to use the new strength she gave to me to further my projects. I learned a significant amount of programming. Then I did something out of place for me. I went on a little adventure. I made a visit to Reed college, and took the tour. I have heard many good things about the school over the years. Also my one class visit to the nuclear reactor years ago where I got to look down at the glowing reactor core in the bottom of a pool of water has stuck in my mind not because of the campus, but because of the students, and how well my interaction was with a teacher there. I have been curious about the place ever since, and I wanted to see the rest of it. I liked what I saw, but I don't think I can make a decision until I really talk to some of the teachers there. Because of my visit I started getting mail from Reed, and I started thinking about reasons I might go there. I started writing about it, and I think I got up to 9 pages. I never quite formulated it into essay form. I decided I needed to answer some questions before I could finish it.

I thought about how maybe I should be going back to school in a serious way, but I wasn't ready to answer the question of weather I should be going to Reed, and classes had started there anyways. I thought I needed to go to community college because that was what I could get into. I thought I should take a class on writing because that is where I have the most difficulty, and I should take a class on math because that is what I am best at. The problem was that the test at PCC didn't even have questions on the level of math I had already taken, and so it could only test me into a significantly lower class than the level I felt I was at. It would both have hurt my pride too much, and bored me to death. So I called up the school, and found out that I could get into the class if I could convince a teacher of the class that I could handle it. I thought that I should do some review to get ready. I was taking too long to get through it, and I would feel so bad about taking too long that I was too depressed to start. It was a terrible feedback loop I got myself into. A loop that I know very well because it has plagued me much of my life. I have never been able to really do any mastery of math on my own for this same reason I think. I did plod on though. I my ability to keep coming back, and trying again keeps getting better. I figured something out in this process. I can get so much more done if I start out happy. For a while I would get myself happy by watching a movie, or something. Then I figured out I could be happy just by not thinking myself into sadness when I don't need to.

I ended not being done with review up to the point I meant to be at, and tried to get into a lower class than I set out to get into, and I didn't get into any class at all because by then everything was full.

Somewhere around then I did the labor thing again which distracted me a lot. It was helping a friend move. I think I picked up their germs, and I was sick for the next week. Now that I am finally feeling better I have picked up trying to learn something again.

It is much easier to start when I feel pretty good about myself. I think I can actually learn a great deal more than I used to be able to on my own. I think I can learn more than I would have in that math class all by myself. Today I had a shining example. I set out to understand why, and how a cosine matrix works on an intuitive level. I wanted to grok it. I think I understand finally. Instead of just being able to do the math I understand why it works. The next two things on my list are the cross product, and quaternion rotation.

Maybe I can actually start churning through the subjects like "Good Will Hunting" :-)
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