30 October 2010

The loop

It appears even in my rather frantic and neurotic state due to the stress that is writing an Honours thesis... I just can't bare to see my blog lay dormant.  Oh, also, this just occurred to me... I am sure everyone is sick of hearing about my Honours thesis by now ha! You know, my Honours thesis... as part of Honours for my University degree... that I have been doing since the start of the year... ok I will stop =P

Anyway in my sudden realization that the last few weeks has been dominated by talks of... you know what, in honesty it can't be helped.  I have my first official rough draft due this Tuesday, with the final published copy due by November 29.  That is not a lot of time at all.

Besides, I have always written this blog purely for myself (never in an attempt to gain followers), and I would like to document this journey to hopefully some day (in the relatively close future I would hope) be able to look back on this, and be proud of what I have accomplished.

Thus I would like to keep everyone (and myself) up to date.

With the typical me moment on Tuesday, resulting in (somehow) writing an awesome 1100 words on Wednesday, I started today (Saturday) with 4100 words in total. I had planned to spend the whole day with the objective of 500 words at minimum.... note to self: do not try and do Thesis work at my parents house.  There is just far too many distractions, food to eat, parents to argue with, lack of adequate work space... it has been a struggle just to sit down for 30 minutes without some kind of interuption. Sigh.

Oh well, I have another 2 hours before I have to head out (meeting a group of friends for dinner which should be awesome)... let's hope I can get that 500 words after all.

27 October 2010

This is how you write a thesis!

On my continued quest to finish my Honours thesis by its deadline I am dedicating a few days of my week solely to its completion.  Yesterday's attempt... was a little unorthodox I admit, but highly effective!

Yesterday (Tuesday) marks a week since I really started writing my thesis.  At the start of the day I had around a meager 1000 words or so... the goal of the day was to not leave until 1000 words had been written.  Doable! (I thought).

It appears however, and this is easily backed up by many of my previous posts, is that I suffer from a severe case of procrastinitis (that word even made it into the urban dictionary, thus proving it is a very real disease =P). I even produced a documentary series of my struggle with the disease about a month ago when trying to write a report.

So, the goal was 1000 words... after sleeping in, getting to Uni late, chatting to Sophie for 2 hours, wandering around Uni, surfing the net, returning to Sophie's office again to chat some more, I had accomplished 200 words before heading home (booyah?). Upon arriving at home I figured I should have a relaxing night.  I made an awesome meal, sat down and had a beer... or two... or three. 

Four beers later I am buzzing immensely haha! I know, let's sit down and write my thesis!


I wake up the next day, not really sure what I got up to the night before...

Sigh, I wonder what damage I've managed to do in my drunken blur.  I open up my thesis, not sure what to expect... hmm, I actually have words written?  300 extra words!? Awesome!  Hang on, what's this part?.. they appear to be... song lyrics? Ha ha! Ok so 300 words minus the chorus of "Meatloaf - For Crying Out Loud" and it appears I actually managed to get a decent paragraph or two. 

A tad short of my 1000 word goal but words nonetheless.

I get to Uni, sit at my PC, hoping desperately that the day doesn't become a repeat to the previous.  By this stage I am looking at 2500 words in total... I need at minimum 5000 by the weeks end, preferably somewhere over 6000.  I check my emails before I begin the day.

What's this, two emails from myself? I vaguely remember sending them ha.  I open them up, they are links to published papers. Ok.. interesting... let's see if they at least have some kind of relevance to my research at least ha.  Interestingly enough, they do!  So much so in fact that that they are actually two of the most beneficial papers I have in my possession!

Wow, I can really use this stuff!

Long story short (after procrastinating until about 3pm), I left home at around 7pm with an impressive 1100 words written, bringing my total to a much more admirable 3500 words.

Now that's how you write a thesis!

26 October 2010


Sigh, I keep receiving fines lately... I received one for parking at my Uni without a parking ticket ($72) which I am still meaning to contest, I received the one I explain about below from my local council ($72), and just the other day I received a fine for not returning a book back to my Uni library in time ($110)... that is a lot of money for doing nothing ha.

Anyways, I am attempting to contest them all, starting with the one from my council. Basically a few weeks ago I received an official warning to remove my car from the nature strip, as I usually laeve it parked there which apparently is not allowed.  I then moved my car off the nature strip and onto the road... however I was lazy and parked on the road facing the opposite direction of the flow of traffic... thus receiving a $72 fine for that...

Here is what I wrote to them, I am quite proud of it actually and thought you readers might get a laugh out of it ha ha.

"On the 21/09/2010 I received an 'Official Warning' to remove my car from the nature strip of my house.  I wasn't aware that that was a law here in Geelong, so with no intentions to receive further fines nor disobey the law I promptly moved my car from the nature strip onto the road by simply reversing off the nature strip then onto the road.  My car then sat there idle as I went away for a conference. 

A few days later I then receive another infringement (the infringement in question) upon returning home!  I just think it is a little ridiculous that I was happy to obey the first infringement (once I was aware that I was disobeying the law) but then get slapped with a whopping $72 fine for an equally innocent offense. 

I am a Uni student, I try and drive my car as little as possible (opting to take the bus) as I struggle to work part time, pay rent and support myself financially.  To put simply I can't pay this fine easily.  On top of that, I fail to see how councils are to falsify their public image of 'revenue mongers' when they opt to charge their citizens with any fee they can.

Surely there are more pressing matters the council can concern themselves with.

The links are articles from our local newspaper, linking to problems in our area that the council could instead be spending more time on ha ha! I thought it was a nice touch if I say so myself =)

Hopefully it gets me off the hook!

24 October 2010

Cave dweller

It is an awesome sunny day today!  Sun is out, not too hot but not too cold, the gentlest of breezes, you couldn't ask for anything better on a Sunday, sweet!

Shame that I am stuck inside all day ha...

Surprisingly I have disciplined myself enough today to sit down and do some work on my Honours thesis... at the sacrifice of having to sit inside while the best day taunts me from my window.  I haven't achieved much to be honest, it is currently 4.16pm and thus far since waking up at 11.30am I have played 2 hours of Call of Duty, had breakfast, listened to music on YouTube for an hour, watched half a movie, and only managed to so far write 200 words.  Ha!

But, I am not annoyed nor disappointed with myself, because that is 200 words less to do, written on a day that I could of easily done other things.  As I blogged a few days ago I have changed my mentality in regards to writing my thesis, instead breaking it down into little daily 'word goals' to try to achieve. 

Today's goal was 400 words, I am confident that can be done =)

I have my first rough draft due November 2nd, that is only one week away.  After that my final copy is due November 29th... a little under 5 weeks.  That when you think about it is a very short amount of time... but I remain confident if I can continue to work on it constantly and consistently.

It pains me to see a nice day such as today drift by... but one month of suffering will be worth it in the long run I know.

19 October 2010

Simple words

SMS received 8.50pm from Sophie: "How's the literature review going? ;). Good work on sorting your thesis structure out I look forward to reading it. Really do."

SMS sent 9.05pm from me: "hey hey, going good I reached my 1000 word goal, just left Uni then lol.  thanks so much for encouragement, means a lot to me =)"

SMS received 9.13pm from Sophie: "Good work! Yay. Well I believe you can be a published author with this work ;). Keep it up."

Simple words, completely out of the blue, can mean the world to someone.

And these words certainly did.

Thesis writing time

Today, thus far, has been a great although unproductive day.  It is currently 3.37pm Tuesday, I have been here (at Uni) since about midday with the intentions to spend the entire day writing my thesis.

Well, as I am sure you can guess from my terrible track record, I am yet to touch it lol.  I spent the last 3 hours chatting to an awesome new friend of mine Angel, one of my mates girlfriends.  She is really awesome, actually uses her brain for thinking, I find I can have great conversations about any topic, the more controversial or complicated the better. 

I really wish there were more people like that in the world.

Anyways, getting back to my topic in question... my thesis.  The process of my thesis has been going on for quite some time now, starting around March this year.  You can follow its process in its entirety here.  I myself refrain from reading it, as with only 4 weeks before my thesis is due, reading my past progress annoys me as I see all the countless, countless, hours I wasted over the months.  In essence I could of had it all finished by now and could be out enjoying full time work and guilt free weekends.

Instead, I am still here.  With all my assignments finished for the year this is the only thing holding me back.  It is my lazyness that forces me to still be here. 

My problem however has been an utter and complete lack of motivation to sit down and write it.  It is strange, because in all other aspects I have excelled.  I can, and gladly, do the researching, the surveys, the interviews, the presentations... it is just the act of sitting down and writing it that seems to get me stumped day after day.

Which is rather ironic as I seem to have no qualms writing pages upon pages on this blog haha.

Today, however, I think I might of cracked my problem.  The answer is untested as of yet, I will try it immediately after posting this.  I think my problem all this time is that I am great at small tasks, but terrible at large ones.  Solution?  Break it down!  With this new revelation in mind, I am going to put it to the test right this minute. 

As of 3.47pm, Tuesday, 19th of October, I have 395 words written.  I vow to have 1000 words before I head home tonight.  Could this be the answer I have been looking for?

Wish me luck!

15 October 2010

Living the dream - Take two!

As I have expressed numerous times throughout my blogs life time, I have the desire to some day live in a city for a while.  I am not really sure of my exact reasons, in summary I guess I just enjoy the atmosphere that only a city can conjure.  The busy streets, the variety of people, the life style, who knows really.

Back in May I was lucky enough to stay in the city for two nights for a workshop with the Apple University Consortium (Mac OS development) as part of my Honours research and found the experience to be quite enlightening to how life in the city may really be like in reality.

Luckily I again had the chance to stay in the city, this time for a conference, again allowing me to experience the city life once more =D

This conference was similar to the workshop back in May, focusing heavily on the new developments for iPhone/iPad's (it was an Apple sponsored event), which links directly with my Honours research as well as what is fast becoming a rather enticing interest of mine.  I would also like to mention that this all happened 3 weeks ago, thus showing how ridiculously busy I am these days for it to take me this long ha ha.

The conference itself was amazing, we heard some amazing talks from industry professionals and iOS developers from a huge range of backgrounds covering all sorts of topics from in-depth talks about memory management using Cocoa, to some absolutely incredible (and well presented) presentations on user interface designs, game control theory and small business/freelance testimonies.

One of my favourite talks was from a guy called Andre Pang who currently works for Pixar.  He told us his amazing story of where he originally started to how he ended up working for Pixar, as well as some great stories about his experiences at Pixar and the things he had learned along the way (keeping in mind this guy is only around 26 years old, he has gone a long way at such a young age).  Andre gave some irreplaceable pieces of advice, my favourite quote from him that I actually try to live by ever since was:

"Be interested, not interesting"

Basically what that means is, everybody loves to talk about themselves.  Which when you think about it is so true. Heck, me writing these posts every week proves that I like talking about myself, much like every other blogger out there.  Which don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad thing by any means (within moderation of course).  Andre's point was, in life you should try to have a very open, enthusiastic and outgoing view in life, to be interested in things (sports, music, hobbies), so when you meet someone and they are talking about something, if you are interested in what they are talking about, that person obviously gets to talk more about it, and it is a win win for both sides.

Anyways that was a rather bad tangent but I hope you get the point.  I thought it was wise words at least =)

All in all it was a great couple of days.  I met this super awesome guy from Perth (he is 23, Australian, but has taught himself fluent Japanese, how cool is that!), made an awesome contact at another University who has offered to help with my Honours research, and our table at the quiz night somehow managed to actually win the quiz ha ha (won a $25 iTunes gift card, sweet!). To top it off, I went to the conference with my super awesome Honours supervisor Sophie, who I always love spending time with so it was awesome to hang out for two whole days =)

I have another conference planned for early December, it goes for 3 days but this time will be in Sydney for an entire week!  Then, next year? Who knows, but there are some big plans on the horizon let me say that much.

10 October 2010


I would like to write this small post to bring this insanely hectic week to a closure... =)

I am rather numb today... it is currently 1.20pm Sunday and I sit at the dining room table at my parents house (came home for the weekend, Mum's home cooked meals are the best!), and as I look outside on this nice sunny day, and take humour from the fact that I only got out of bed about 30 minutes ago and am yet to have breakfast...  I take comfort in the fact that I have no more assignments to complete =)


Which is to say, to continue on from yesterdays post, that I did indeed manage to complete the presentation that was required.  Although it was ridiculously painful to do so haha.  From the day before I didn't get to bed till 4am, slept till 12.30pm Saturday, then spent roughly 2pm to 9pm finishing the presentation... ouch.

Hope and morale were pretty stretched over the last few days, I seriously was concerned that I may not be able to complete this last remaining assignment (as you can read here), and while I did manage to persevere and finish it, it was admittedly not my best work ha.  But oh well, I tried. 

I can now smile at the fact that I could spend the whole day doing absolutely nothing (which I fully intend to do), and not have guilt at the back of my mind from knowing I should be spending my time working on a piece of work from a looming deadline.  A deadline I am most likely ill prepared for haha.

It has been a long year, but it is not quite over.  My thesis is due in about 5 weeks, something I have been struggling to write all year now (I am sure you are noticing a pattern by now, me and time management aren't very good friends haha).

I think I might spend some time today researching for my plans for next year.  Something I have been doing throughout the year, but at least this time I won't feel guilty for doing so =)

09 October 2010

The doom is...

Over! Nearly! Kind of..! Well about 80% complete! Kind of! More like %65!

It is currently 1.22am on Saturday morning... I am still at my University and have been since roughly 10am... that's 15 hours! The reason? An assignment of course.

A few days ago I posted with what appeared to be a rather bleak outlook in regards to this last ever University assignment I had left, standing between me and my graduation from Honours.  You can read about it here.  The outcome?  I completed it... should I celebrate?  Not really ha ha.

In all honesty the report was rubbish, 4,288 words of... who knows really ha ha.  Whenever I finish a big report such as this I refuse to re-read it after I have submitted it, because in doing so I know I will find mistakes, which will form regrets, that will cause me to stress. So, once something is complete I understand there is nothing I can do to change anything so I am content to just walk away and wait until a mark is released =)

Why however did I say that I am not quite complete?  Well annoyingly so the report wasn't the only criteria... I also have to prepare a 15 minute presentation, highlighting the steps I went through, what I discovered, my results... yeah crap like that.  Sigh!

Oh well, I will do it tomorrow... waaaay too tired to think clearly right now.  The end is near!

05 October 2010

Offically doomed

I can't do it.  It pains me to say it, but it is in all likeliness the truth... I just cannot complete this last assignment that stands between me and graduation from my Honours degree.


For the entire year now I have embarked on quite the challenge, after successfully graduating from my degree last year (Information Technology, majoring in Games Design and Development) with great marks I decided that one more year of study was needed for numerous reasons, and decided to stay for a postgraduate degree (Honours). 

Thus far it has been going great, last semester I got HD's (High Distinctions, a grade of 80% or higher) across the board for every assignment, report, literature review... so yay for that =)  It seems however that that trend of high achievement may go out the window due to a failure of concentration on my part... 

You see, back at the start of the year I was able to choose 3 Masters classes as part of my Honours year.  Awesome I thought, who knows what cool things I can learn!  What's this, a subject called 'Recent Developments in I.T'?  How cool of a class does that sound! Oh, it is only offered in the second semester and it is highly recommended you complete all your classes in the first semester so you have the second semester completely free to work on your Thesis?  Aww but, but, but with a class title as cool as that I just HAVE to take it!  Done!  I am going to ignore all advice from people much wiser then I and leave the class until second semester anyway.  Brilliant idea!  How could I ever come to regret that...

Well, turns out in my naive haste I didn't read the fine print of what this apparently 'coolest class of them all' that was 'Recent Developments in IT' was really about... and didn't realize the whole semester is spent on the extremely tedious and boring subject of Data Mining... ouch. 

It has turned into one of my most complex, demanding classes I have ever taken in my life.

So here we come to the final week of the semester, I have the final assignment for this class (coupled with a 15 minute presentation) due this Friday... and I have absolutely no idea what I am meant to do.  I feel completely lost, with no one to turn to.  It scares me to think that my perfect record of never failing not one piece of work in my entire schooling to fail on the very last one!  And even if I somehow manage to pass, it will completely ruin my HD streak for this year, something I have strived for with great intensity since before I even began.

The possibility to graduate not just 'Information Technology with Honours'... but instead 'Information Technology with First class Honours'!

About 5 weeks ago the first assignment for this class was due, and we all know how ridiculous that turned out... yet I somehow (as you can read in the linked post) managed to throw together a report in one of my biggest efforts ever, achieving an acceptable 73% grade.  I have 3 days until this second assignment is due... can I repeat my previous feat?

I have doubts...

One thing that I pride myself on is the ability to somehow stand up victorious when the odds are incredibly against me.  I have managed this many times before, with this assignment being by far my toughest ever.  I am about to go home now as I am terribly tired from being here all day, I will be here first thing tomorrow morning, I have come too far to let this go to waste. 

It is going to be a long 3 days!