Abrianna's Blog

Abrianna's Blog: Or how Abrianna the rookie apprentice survives at Shodor!

Greetings Reader!

The end


This will be the last blog I will write as a Shodor apprentice. It's crazy thinking about how I have been with Shodor for eight months, and I am extremely happy that I was chosen to be in this program. However, I have to actually write how my last day went before I spend the whole time writing about how grateful I am. This morning was relaxed for me as I didn't have to present today because I wasn't finished with the projects yet, but I still wanted to get some work done so when I come back next week to just work my own hours before classes start for me August 10th at university I will have most of my projects done. This morning I spent catching up on my blogs since I was working so much I always pushed writing a blog back until the next day. Once I finished writing the blogs, I went over to the database project and started to work. However, there was a big problem at the start of the day. The server was not working at Shodor, so none of us could do any work until the server went back on. I knew that I would only be able to work on one project since presentations were at 1pm and the servers didn't come back until 10:00 or 10:30. The entire morning was spent trying to edit the database project, but then I made a mistake on one of the tables and had to go back to try and fix it, but we were released for lunch at that point. The rest of the day was filled with presentations in which I thought everyone who presented did an amazing job and I was very excited to see what they had done with their projects. I'd like to end this blog by thanking the Shodor staff and my fellow apprentices for making the past 8 months so wonderful and enriching at the same time. When I was going through tough times and I felt I wasn't good enough for the program, everyone was very supportive and encouraged me to keep going. I will never forget Shodor and all they have done for me, so hopefully this isn't the last you will read from me as I definitely will try and come back as an intern! Thank you for reading.

The final countdown


Tomorrow is the final day I am expected to show up to Shodor. Obviously with my extension I still have to work on the projects and present, but I can work on my own time on those certain projects. We had a meeting with Levi about internships scheduled for 11 am and I needed to have my mentor meeting with Aaron right after before Sharonda was expected to present at 1pm! So, this morning I finally decided to look at the resume video so I could get it done and have my focus be on the other projects that take a lot more time to do. The video was insightful as I learned tips on what to put on a resume, and what not to put on a resume. I've written around 2 resumes in my life, so I am no expert at writing them, so I found it very helpful that we had access to this resource for future references. I was not expecting for the resume video to take almost the whole time until 11am when Levi was supposed to meet with us, but it did. The meeting with Levi was insightful also about what to expect when applying to a Shodor internship, or any internship in general while also giving tips on interviews and the application process. The meeting took around 34 minutes to complete, so after the meeting was done I messaged Aaron on hangouts for our July meeting. The meeting with Aaron was really good as we just discussed projects and the extension before heading off to lunch. After lunch I worked on the database project since I had a pretty good idea of what to do until I messed up. I made a table on Adminer using MySQL and put a little too much info on the exDice table that I might have to fix it. Then at 1pm Sharonda presented and it was really good considering how many people were there to watch, but I enjoyed her presentation!

Two more days until the end (maybe)


This morning we received the news that the resume workshop wasn't happening as schedules were getting packed on their end, but we were given the link to the youtube video that Krista did for the previous apprentice group. I didn't want to do the resume just yet as I felt it would only take me a couple of hours to finish since the video was almost 90 minutes long. I also knew I needed to try and get the database project and render the pages for block 2 completed as soon as possible since presentations are very soon. First Ernie contacted me in the morning asking how I was doing with the projects. I had to accept the extension as after careful consideration I knew that unless I stayed up extremely late getting these projects done I would not be able to complete the projects and have my final portfolio website on the public html. I knew staying up late wasn't good for my health, so I opted into the two week extension. However, I start college on August 10th which is 4 days before my presentation, so Ernie and I tried to do an alternative date, but because of my schedule I had to opt in for August 14th to present. After the discussion with Ernie, I started to work again on the database project since after thinking for a moment I realized that the database project was almost exactly like the database demo we had, but with dice being rolled and not a coin being flipped. The rest of the day was just me debugging errors in my head so I could come up with a game plan for tomorrow since tomorrow Levi is going to discuss with us internships and Sharonda is presenting her projects!

A regular workday


Today was a regular work day since there are no more live demos expected. We were still wondering if we were going to get a resume workshop since the person who was usually in charge of it hasn't informed Ernie yet whether or not we could continue with the workshop. I made a to-do list once the announcements were over and I saw a strategy online when it came to to-do lists that I thought would be good to implement. It was a video saying that if someone piles too many things to do on their to do list, the person will then feel worse if they see that they didn't get everything done on the to-do list which is a problem with me all the time. So, the solution was to make the big 3 which is a method of writing down the 3 biggest things you want to get done for the day so therefore the user feels a little better if they get 1 or 2 things done on their to do list depending on how much time the task takes. I started to work on rendering my block 2 pages as those were the only tasks I had to do regarding block 2 besides uploading them onto the portfolio. I was able to finish rendering Krista's projects and moved on to the form demo pages, only to make a grave mistake. I wanted to put all the 3 forms together from the demo so I'm not linking 3 separate forms. However, once that was completed I got a lot of errors and had no idea what was wrong. So, I moved on to the coin flip form, but that had errors also until I inputted data.

After lunch and for the rest of the day I decided that it would be best I save that for another day. Already defeated, I went on to the database project only to have no idea what to do. Hopefully by tomorrow I start to figure out the errors and what I can do about the database project, but I may have to accept the two week extension that Ernie automatically gives all the apprentices.

The actual beginning of the end


Today is Monday and it is (probably) my final week as a Shodor apprentice. It's crazy how the summer seemed to go by so fast as I can remember working on block 1 projects like it was yesterday. I even remember orientation like that was yesterday, and that was in October! This week may be a little stressful for me as I need to prepare a presentation by Friday in order to document my 5 or 6 favorite projects, and I haven't finished all of them. So, we had a meeting first thing in the morning as Ernie wanted to discuss where block 3 and block 2 people should be at this point. Ernie also informed us that the resume writing would have to be over a video since no one was able to demo resume writing for us live. The resume writing shouldn't be a problem for me as I have written resumes before for internships and college, but I could use some touching up on skills on what exactly to put on a resume for future career purposes. After the meeting was over, I planned out my day accordingly on Google Keep and started to try and figure out how to complete step 1 for the dice statistics db project. I think the demo we did with coin flips should be helpful now that I think about it as I feel that now I'm just making it tough in my head. Long story short, I have to go back and figure out how to do this project as I still find it a little difficult to do, but hopefully I should be able to figure it out soon!

End of Week 1 for Block 3


Today was the final day of week 1 of block 3 which means my time as a Shodor apprentice is almost over. Block 3 projects I felt were purposefully shorter than all the other blocks since for some it is our last block and presentations are on Friday. Right now, I am not sure if I will be able to present next Friday as I have to drop things off for college tomorrow and prepare for the start of the fall semester. Today mainly was another final portfolio day for me as I wanted to make sure it would be ready hopefully by next Friday's presentation day. The blog page took a lot longer than I expected it to be, but it was mainly because I had more to implement into the blog page than I did in the previous portfolio design. The blog is now extremely long after almost eight months documenting my weeks and days at Shodor, so I had a lot to convert. After a little while however, I was able to easily copy and paste the respected blog entries into their columns and was able to finish at around 3:30. Since it is the end of the week and near the end of my time at Shodor, Ernie went around asking how projects were going. I decided to be honest with him. I felt a sense of imposter syndrom this week and felt I was behind on everything. The conversation with Ernie made me feel a little better as he offered to help me with any projects I needed help on. So, we scheduled a meeting for Sunday and hopefully the meeting goes well so that I can finish the projects, but also upload my best work.

Connect to Database Demo


Today was the second day I started using to-do lists. I kept the to-do list I made yesterday since I didn't finish everything on that to-do list that needed to be done. I figured it would be a good time to work on the home page of the portfolio as I found a look that I thought would look nice for mine. The home page took longer than I thought mainly because I was very critical on how the page looked as far as aesthetics went and played around with the CSS to make the home page look more appealing. There was a meeting at 1pm I had to go to however, so I tried to get Dice Statistics part 1 to work with no avail, so I went back to doing the portfolio. Once lunch ended it was 1pm and I was at the demo for connecting PHP to a MySQL database. The demo wasn't too hard to understand as it just required a couple of files and creating variables. However, a lot of people ran into a lot of errors that were difficult to grasp why they got the errors. Almost an entire hour was dedicated to Ernie trying to fix people's errors which made the demo end at 3:30. The day went by super quickly and I spent most of it doing the home page for the portfolio which wasn't finished until 2:30 in the morning, and the demo. Thank god it's almost Friday.

First Day using To-Do Lists


Today was the first day I started using Google Keep. Google Keep is one of the Google applications that allows users to make To-Do lists and notes in general to help users see what they had to do. Once I started making the to do list this morning after having a brief morning meeting with Ernie, I found that there wasn't too much that needed to be done, but I knew some would take longer than others. Once the morning meeting was over in which we were introduced to the dice statistics php prep project I went ahead and got to work. Using the To-Do list actually helped me get a project done that I was stuck on for a couple days which was the MySql syntax guide. Knowing just what I needed to get done helped me to focus on the task on my to-do list and I was making good progress. Until I got to the project we were assigned to today. I was trying to finish part 1 and part 2 today so tomorrow I just needed to follow along with the demo and get the project close to finished, but part 1 decided to be tough on me. Once I finished creating the forms, nothing showed up which may indicate that the system is not finding the file. After multiple attempts to fix it I just went ahead and wrote up my plan for the final portfolio before researching on how I want the portfolio to look. Once I finished that it was basically the end of the day so I will be using To-Do lists from now on in order to document what I need to get done.

Time for a Change


I realize I have to make a change to how I'm handling tasks as I sit here writing my blog 30 minutes until midnight. Today was an off day for me as I found myself not getting a lot done in regards to catching up on block two projects. Block three is still fresh and not a lot of projects have been assigned, but I still find myself at times getting unsure on what to do. Today we had a demo that mainly focused on foreign keys and how to handle those. The tutorial went quite smoothly for me as I was able to figure out how to do the sql commands after it. The assignment that was given after the demo I was able to finish in about 15-20 minutes after I started it since I realized it wasn't tough at all. I had to help a fellow apprentice on it also and was able to help that apprentice get back on track. By the end of the day however, I felt a little unsure what to do or unmotivated to do anything as I found it hard to focus on the MySQL Syntax guide after a while. What I have to start implementing again I see is that I need to make to do lists again so I know what I want or need to accomplish that day and stick to that list. I have started to do lists tonight and have found myself getting more progress than I did without to do lists. Let's hope that adding to do lists can help with my motivation and get more work done.

The Start of Block 3


Today marks the beginning of the end of my time as a Shodor apprentice. I find it hard to believe I've actually almost finished the apprenticeship program. Has it been tough? Of course it has, but what isn't when you're learning a new topic and now also have to adapt to a virtual setting in a global crisis. Now on to the actual day. Today was like the start of any other block with the occasional hello and the Google Meet. During the Google Meet we had a brief introduction of what to expect for block 3. From what I've gathered, it's a lot about databases and preparing for our final presentations at the end of the two weeks. After the brief meeting we were assigned to watch a 40 minute video on the introduction to databases since Ernie's throat was still a little sore. The video was easy to follow along and it was nice to be able to rewind in order for me to catch something if I didn't quite understand what Ernie meant. Once the 40 minute video was over I started to go back to my block 2 projects to try and fix them as I haven't been able to render pages and upload them to my site lately. I ended up getting a good portion of the rendering and portfolio plan done, I just need to do the graphics as soon as possible so I can actually start making my final portfolio page.

Once lunch was over we had an afternoon meeting scheduled to go over Adminer which isn't very safe from what I've heard and how to get our files working in our newdev directory and start the databases demo. The demo wasn't hard at all as it was a quick follow along however, I did encounter an error towards the end of the demo, but got some help once I notified the chat of what was going on. We were then assigned the MySql syntax guide before being let loose to get started. The document is a lot shorter than the previous research project so I am extremely grateful for that. Hopefully my final block goes well and I get to showcase all that I have learned in these final two weeks.

The End of Block 2


Today did not go how I planned. The plan for today was to allott time for each project to be uploaded to the website since all that was needed to be done was render the pages for Krista's projects and the demos. However, there was a little issue with that. I had no clue how to render the page to match my summer portfolio CSS. I spent hours trying to figure it out and I was able to get one to partly work, but the CSS looked awful and none of the files I wanted to load were loading. I was getting extremely stressed out as today was the due date so I had no idea how I was supposed to upload any of my projects. It seemed like almost everyone else was having the same issue so I'm not sure what's going to happen. I felt a little defeated after today as I worked so hard to try and get the projects uploaded since a lot of late nights went into finishing the projects only for them to not be rendered correctly. I hope sooner or later I can figure out how to render the page as right now I am really disappointed in myself. Hopefully since block 3 is my final block I can end the program on a good note as sadly I did not end block 2 on a good note by a long shot.

The Final Countdown


Today is the final day before the projects we have been working on need to be uploaded to our summer portfolio. I'm a little nervous about it as I am not entirely sure how I am going to be able to get the forms rendered so that they match the css of my website. The day was a little hectic as I still needed to finish background selector and start the image creation for my final portfolio plan. I started the morning off with first applying the fixes needed for the dynamic render page which took almost the entire morning. The reason for that is a form wasn't showing up on the countWForm section and me and a fellow apprentice figured out that we misspelled the word that needed capitalization. The rest of the day was spent me trying to figure out how to do background selector as I didn't know how cookies really worked. By the end of the day I knew I would need some help after the allotted time so it may require me to be up a little late due to the due date being tomorrow.

The Day of Help


Today was a little bit better than yesterday. We got a few announcements from Ernie regarding times he would be away so it was encouraged to ask for help as soon as possible before he had to leave or to just ask someone else. I rushed to ask Ernie for help as soon as he finished talking to all of the apprentices so I could figure out how to do step 11. It turns out a lot of fixes needed to be made to my code most of them being deleting insignificant code or duplications. I actually ended up getting help almost until 2:30 this afternoon so there were a lot of fixes that needed to be made to my code apparently. I was relieved that the code was finally working since I spent days not knowing what to do. I only wish I would've asked for help sooner so that the fixes would've already been applied by now. Once the changes were made, I went and started to try and figure out Dane Joe or Background Selector since those were the two that still needed work. By the end of the day however, I still needed help so I contacted a fellow apprentice who needed help with the Dynamic Rendering Project and she agreed to help me with Dane Joe. I hope by tomorrow everything will be ready to put into the public html so Friday is just putting them in my summer block 2 portfolio.

Fixing the mistakes


Today felt like a slow day to me as usually my workflow allows me to be more efficient, but today was not one of those days. Ernie still wasn't feeling well, so us apprentices received a document that outlined the fixes that needed to be made to the dynamic rendering demo. I still needed to finish Krista's projects however, because I stayed up with a fellow apprentice until 2 am since we needed to both help each other with different projects. I was quite tired from last night, so my workflow was already a little off from not getting a lot of sleep. I tried to get Dane Joe to work with the name being able to be outputted with no issue, but the hard part was switching the first letter of the first and last name. I looked at the document at least 20 times before slowly giving up and moving on to the fixes document. I realized however, that I couldn't see any of the fixes because something was probable wrong with my code and I didn't complete step 11. By the end of the day I felt a little defeated because I couldn't figure anything out on my own and by the time it was 3:30 I emotionally clocked out at that point. Hopefully tomorrow is better as I will need to ask for help regarding some projects as I really need to get these projects done on time.

Beginning of the end of block 2


Today was a really off day for me. It seemed like it was an off day for everybody else too. Ernie was feeling a bit under the weather as his voice sounded strained, so instead of the usual tutorial where Ernie would talk us through how to do the entire page, we had to look at the instructions and try to figure them out on our own or just follow along with Ernie without hearing his voice. The first couple of steps weren't too bad as they were topics I've seen before that wouldn't take the longest time to do, so I thought everything would go along just fine. Until it didn't. Once I got to step 6 of the project, I got lost on what to do since my friend had to clock out early due to her being sick. I agreed to call her later today to help her with what she's missed, so I needed to get the demo done today so I could help out. I needed a lot of help, so I asked questions and they were answered, but to be honest I wasn't quite proud of how the day went today. I had planned out to get one of Krista's projects done as I feel extremely behind now after what happened today. I sort of got a little bit stressed out and I started to doubt myself a little as I didn't feel the best about not being done with a lot of the projects as I was just confused and then today when I couldn't figure a lot of stuff out just got me a little down today. I'll work later on tonight and hope that I can catch up since maybe today was just off for me, but I sort of feel disappointed in myself today. Hopefully tomorrow is better and I hope Ernie and the other apprentice get better soon.

Dynamic Web Pages Demo


It feels like this second block is going by extremely fast. I feel like just yesterday we were introduced to the projects, and now we have an entire week to finish them. Today was actually almost identical to Thursday for me. We had a tutorial today on one of Krista's projects called 'Dynamic Pages' and I was relieved that we would do one of the projects together as some of Krista's projects are really difficult for me. I go to the demo and everything was going great, until it wasn't. It seemed like some apprentices connections weren't working which caused them to have to leave the call, and there would sometimes be errors which took a long time to debug because of a small detail in the code. This is why debugging sometimes frustrates me a lot. The tutorial took around 2 and a half hours and then we were let loose to do the projects we had to still complete. In regards to this week, Krista's projects is actually a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I like a challenge like anyone else would, it just makes me feel behind when I can't do something in a split second. Luckily, we actually got an early lunch break and it had me think about how to move forward with the projects. I have a goal to finish the remaining Krista's projects in one weekday so by Wednesday of next week I'll be finished with almost all of the projects.

Forms Demo


Today was a day that was almost strictly for the demo the first half of the day. While I was following along in the demo, I realized a little bit that the demos don't really take 2-3 hours to do because of the lesson plan, but mainly because of some technical difficulties. It seemed a lot of people were losing connection or sometimes the code just acted a little strangely. One of the strange things that happened while I was working on the demo was that I didn't get an error during the demo when I was supposed to. I at first was relieved as it wasn't an error, so I was happy, but knew it was still not really good when something that wasn't supposed to work did. It was quickly explained to us that the apprentices who didn't get errors probably already inputed values when they first saved the code, and I definitely did that. The forms demo was a little bit tougher than the other demos as there had to be HTML inside the PHP document, and my brain was going a little bit back and forth between figuring out what was going on and why some parts needed to be implemented. After the demo, Ernie assigned us a revision of sorts to the coin flip model created yesterday by copying the coin flip model and putting a form inside of it. I was a little nervous as I didn't quite understand forms, but knew it should be simple enough to figure out. I was very wrong.

The cursed stomachache was coming back from yesterday and it didn't help that I was getting a little frustrated with the coin flip model. I tried so many methods to get the desired outcome for the site as I wasn't having problems creating the form as that part was simple. It was actually getting the input to actually matter and show up when the coin was flipped that was hard. I didn't know why when I put a number into the form it would show up on the form, but then the number of coins flipped would always be 10. It took me an hour and a half to two hours to figure out what the problem was and felt a wave of relief when the coin flip model finally started working. I had a little bit of a late night last night due to the research project still not being done and I really needed it to be done in order to do some of Krista's projects like the dice roll. I hope I don't have to stay up late for the research project again, but I don't feel behind since I think I'm moving at a pretty decent pace. Tomorrow we have another 2-3 hour demo on dynamic pages and I'm looking forward to it, and it's also Friday tomorrow so there's another plus.

Krista's Projects


If you're reading this blog, you may laugh at me a couple of times in this entry. It was quite an eventful day. Today started like every other day during the summer with me going to the Google Meet to prepare for the 1-2 hour demo. The demo took about an hour and fifteen minutes at the most and involved us touching on some skills from the research project to create a very simple coin flip model. Did I run into some mistakes? You bet I did as towards the end when percentages of the coin being heads or tails when it was "flipped" showed up multiple times with periods in between them. I had no clue what I did wrong until Sharonda let me compare our codes together before she saw my mistake. Turns out I made a mistake in regards to only calling a variable and not doing the thing that I did. Once the coin flip model was done, Ernie introduced us to Krista's projects which was also typed in PHP style which I thought was very clever. There were about 5 projects to do for Krista's projects, but I still didn't finish the research project and knew once I saw that document I had to finish it. So the research project was coming along as since I was having too much trouble figuring out what was going on with the JavaScript switch statement, I just moved on! I was doing well and getting all the research done. Everything was going smoothly, until it hit lunchtime

This is the part where you'll probably laugh at me from your screens. I am lactose intolerant. This is important as to what I am about to tell you since it affected my work. Earlier while I was working I got a little hungry and I had some eggs which has dairy in it. During lunch I had leftover pasta from last night which meant even more dairy. If you are lactose intolerant like me, you can't eat a lot of dairy or your stomach starts to feel like you've been punched in the gut with needles. The thing is I sometimes forget I am lactose intolerant as I ate pasta last night and was completely fine. I was not fine after lunch. While I was doing the research project, my stomach decided to punch me in the gut with needles and I was doubled over in pain while trying to type. My mom got a little concerned and tried to make me take pepto bismol. I was trying to get the research project done and the medicine tastes like chalk, so I politely declined. I ended up having to take the medicine anyway and drink some Ginger Ale as I couldn't get any work done from the amount of pain I was in. By the end of the day, I was at a reasonable place in my research project and did the random hex generator for Kirsta's Projects! If you were curious if I ever figured out the problem with the switch statement, I did, and it was all because I put addHTML in the wrong spot. However, JavaScript decided to betray me a little bit. When I was doing more programming addHTML was suddenly not defined anymore for when I got to string functions. I have no idea why addHTML suddenly stopped working, so I had to go to document.write in order to display my string functions code to the website. I cannot wait until tomorrow and hopefully I get everything I need to get done done.

A Research Workday


Today was entirely a work day. The research project that was assigned yesterday was the primary focus for today since the document was quite lengthy, and I definitely couldn't finish the research project in one day. However, we still did have a meeting to go to first thing in the morning. The meeting was very brief as Ernie only wanted to remind us that we should be researching not just to finish the project and be done with it, but to actually learn from the research we've conducted and make it an actual cheat sheet for us to refer back to whenever we need help on other projects that involve JavaScript and PHP. After the meeting I headed straight into work as I was still on the arrays portion of the research project. I wasn't freaking out as I understood I hadn't coded in JavaScript in a couple of months and I have never even seen PHP before, so the research took a little more time since it involved me reading what each key I was typing actually meant. Luckily I was moving along quite alright with this method, but I was having a hard time figuring out how to make the completion of the document go faster. I found myself going back and forth between researching, going to edit it in BBEdit, testing the code, going back to BBEdit, then copying and pasting my code into the document. I tried many different methods, but found that each one took some time in their own way

The rest of the day after lunch was me trying to get as much of the research project done as I could because there was a 1-2 hour demo tomorrow which means there would be no more workdays for the research project. Then I got stuck. Something very strange happened towards the end of the day that got me really frustrated. You see, the beauty of programming is that it can do so much, but it also can frustrate you so much you feel your head start to hurt from all the options you have to think of as to why the code isn't working the way you want it to. I was in that predicament. I was doing just fine until I got to switch statements. I don't know what it is about addHTML where the code decides to stop working. My switch statement code worked in the console once I tested it out, but when I added addHTML, it didn't show up on the website. I thought of reasons why, but couldn't get it to work before four o clock. So, I let it go and asked a fellow apprentice for help on it as I had no clue what to do at this point and I was getting a little frustrated. Tomorrow there is a demo and I am a little worried that I couldn't get the research project done before Wednesday, but I have to understand that I have different experiences than some of the other apprentices and me taking a little more time just helps me learn it.

The First Day of Block 2


Today was the first day of second block! We all had a week off in order to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, and now it was back to work. I went to Google Hangouts and said the usual "hello" in order to show I was here before I realized we had a Google Meet this morning. The Google Meet was a 3-4 hour demonstration of Javascript and PHP which led to our first project. The best part for me was it involved research since I highly enjoy research in my spare time anyway. It was also a good learning experience to learn new computational topics since Javascript is a programming language I still have to get used to. The first thing we did before the demonstration was look over the second block document to see our projects and we were given a brief reminder that if some block 1 projects weren't done, they needed to be done as soon as possible. The demo started out a little slow as some problems arose from the other apprentices, but it was mainly downloading the zip file for Javascript and creating the appropriate folders for Cyberduck before we went into some programming. The programming was mainly figuring out what some functions meant for those who never saw it before before implementing it into our code. I also learned about newdev which is practically a playground of sorts for developers to test their code.

Once lunch was over, it was time to go into PHP after being let go to start our Javascript research portion of the project. PHP is a language I never heard of, so it was a relatively new program to look at. However, it was quite awesome as PHP lets programmers implement HTMl into it and it was almost like Javascript in a way. Once the demo was over, I strived to get as much done as I can so I don't have to repeat mistakes I made in block one regarding me barely sleeping to finish projects. I was doing well until I got to the concatenate portion. Javascript was not an issue at all since W3 helped out a lot with that, but PHP was a different story. I tried three different methods for the desired output to show only to see the orange error message almost every time. I then realized I missed a semicolon on one of the variables and I learned that you don't want to forget semicolons in PHP. Overall, today wasn't stressful as I got to a good point. I just have to figure out the arrays portion as I don't quite understand what to do with that part, but I'll look into it. I look forward to seeing what's coming up as today was pretty great in my opinion.

The Final Day of Block 1


The day has finally arrived where the end of block 1 is today. I was excited that all the work I have done over the past week is now going to be showcased in the portfolio, but it took a lot of hard work to be able to get the projects done. The first thing I did in the morning was I started to create the html files for my projects to be displayed in a separate webpage in my portfolio, but I ran into some problems. For my intro to graphics project my images weren't loading, so I had to look back at previous files to see what the issue was. It took me a while to find the issue, but I finally found out and got the images to load as well as have the images link to their appropriate files. Once I got the first webpage finished, it was just more and more putting my files into Cyberduck and making webpages for the projects to be displayed in the portfolio. It took a lot of time to do mainly because I had to transfer files to Cyberduck, make sure I was typing the correct file names, and sometimes change the file extensions when pictures weren't from the same program. Overall, the entire day was spent putting my projects into my portfolio, and once the day was over I immediately wanted to know what was coming for block 2. I'm very excited for block 2 to start, and I hope to learn more as I complete these blocks!

The Day Before the Final Day of Block 1


I can't believe first block will already be over tomorrow. I feel like I was at orientation just yesterday. Today was one of the most relaxed days I've had so far in the first block surprisingly. I thought I would be frantically trying to get projects done, but I ended up being finished with all of the projects a little bit after lunch. The morning first started with me getting my two Inkscape logos I had to finish since my initials and name logo was constantly being redone due to me not liking how they looked. Luckily, I was able to create logos that I am proud of and was officially finished with the creation of the Inkscape projects. The next thing I had to do and finish was the messing with Aaron and Ernie project. It took me a while to brainstorm how exactly to mess with Aaron and Ernie while also keeping it appropriate, but I found a picture from the movie "IT" that instantly made me want to mess with them that way. The project took about an hour to do as I had to go through layers and finding the right pictures for the Gimp project, but I also was able to finish that project with a couple of laughs too once it was done.

The second half of the day was me sending my graphics in to have them reviewed by Ernie and fixing some minor issues in the agent model as well as the responsive web design tutorial. The agent cube took me a really long time to finish as I had to remember how to use the counter tool as well as make the model realistic with the percentages going towards the agents shapes. By the end of the day, I got my graphics approved to be put on the website and I had finished my two models for the modeling project, so I would say it was a good day today. What's better is I finished all I needed to finish by 4pm today, so I do not have to stay up late tonight to finish projects. Hopefully tomorrow I can be finished with planning my portfolio website and maybe also having everything on the website.

The Home Stretch


Today marks the day that the home stretch is upon us. We officially have two more days before the block one projects are due. I had to still finish my agent model for the modeling project and my remaning graphics projects. I'm a mix between excited and nervous as I'm excited that I'm almost finished the first block's projects, but I'm also nervous about not finishing or having to lower my expectations on how I want the projects to look in order to submit something. I knew both options weren't what I wanted to happen as I want to be able to submit my best work, but I'm also realizing that I'm risking my health by doing the projects since this is the second night in a row where I've stayed up extremely late. I may even have to stay up late tonight to try and get almost everything done. I feel that I can finish the projects since I'm already pretty close to finishing them all. Most of the day I spent working on the agent model with the help of Sharonda since I had some issues with my agents not moving once they changed shapes. It turned out to be an easy fix though once we both figured out what had happened.

The afternoon was Ernie's check in on how everyone was doing with the projects and I was first on the list to be checked on. During lunch, I had a meeting with my mentor where I mentioned my late nights and I was met with concern. I have to work on not letting my perfectionist tendencies get in the way of my physical/mental health as staying up late working on these projects is probably not good for me. I feel like I'm so close to finishing though that I don't really mind staying up late since I can get some more rest after Friday. I don't want it to seem like I just gave up as I'm trying my best, and I want to show that I tried my best by submitting everything and making it look good. I'm hoping I can finish everything by Thursday evening so Friday is just putting my projects on the website, but we will see how that goes.

Back to Modeling


Tuesday was a little better. There are no more demos to go through and all of the projects have been assigned, so the rest of the week are workdays! I had done some graphics work as well as the web tutorial until very late in the evening last night, so I had free time to work on my modeling project. I needed to start the system model as I hadn't gotten to that portion of the model last week, but first I had to plan it out. I have to admit, it took me a while to figure out how I was going to model my topic using Vensim as it can get quite difficult, but luckily I was soon able to figure out a system. By the time I was finished planning the system model my notebook paper was filled with notes and equations so I started on implementing my plan into version one of the model. I worked on the system model for another 2 hours before I was at a good stopping point. I need to add a little more variables to the model, but after that it'll be completed!

The second half of the day was unexpectedly spent on graphics as Ernie informed us that if we didn't manipulate the text or if we just used the calligraphy tool to write our name out, we would have to revise it. I was guilty by making a scenery, but then only using the calligraphy tool to write my name. I set out to make my name logo better and found a tool that could change the background to a grid where I then managed to make pixel letters in 3D. Let me tell you the pixel letters took a lot longer than I thought as I was trying to make them look as 3D pixelated as possible, but didn't want to spend all my time on it. In the end I was able to revise one of the name logos, but still have 3 name logos I have to revise/create in order to be finished with my Inkscape projects. It may be another late night for me, but I don't mind again as long as it is my best work and I can complete the tasks on time.

Start of Week 2


Monday's have not always been my best days. Today was no different. Today was the start of the final week of block one before all of our projects needed to be finished and uploaded to the website. I was at a pretty good spot as most of my graphics were finished and was waiting to be uploaded to my summer portfolio. I thought all was well until we got to the Gimp demo. I was following along pretty well, but I noticed Anna's message about her needing help because her second image wouldn't load onto Gimp. I waited a couple of minutes to see if she would be helped, and then I realized that Ernie's chat window doesn't work all the time so I decided to help Anna after seeing she still needed help. I didn't fall too far behind as the tutorial was still in its beginning stages so by the time I finished catching Anna up, I was still caught up.

Things started going wrong around the middle of the tutorial. I didn't have a split screen on my computer, so I was constantly going back and forth between the two applications and once we got to editing the levels of the colors I was lost. I didn't know where the tool was and from there everything messed up. I kept pretending I was caught up as everyone was already pretty far ahead, and I don't like slowing people down especially when the tutorial was already reaching its third hour. I felt bad by the end of the tutorial as I couldn't finish the last part of the tutorial and have to wait on the recording to be uploaded to get caught back up. After lunch, I was feeling a little down from what happened during the tutorial, but knew I needed to get stuff done still so I started working feverishly on the Inkscape name logo as it took me a moment to get back into my creative side.

By the end of the day, I had planned out a time where I would work after hours to finish the graphics as I wanted to use Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as modeling project work days so I could make them the best I could. I hope I can be able to leave block one proud of what I have done as I want to make sure the work I put on the portfolio is the best I could put on it. Today will be a late night of me working on the projects, but as long as the work is done and is the best I can do, I'm okay with losing some sleep.

End of Week 1 of the First Summer Block


Today was a little stressful. This morning I was almost faced with the worst thing that could happen to me. My agentcubes wouldn't load. I was freaking out and contacted Ernie to see if he knew what was going on. After about 10-15 minutes trying to fix the problem, I almost had to start the agent model completely over. However, Sharonda came to the rescue. She figured out a method to avoid having to completely start over a project by downloading the zip file and re-uploading. I was ecstatic. It was a miracle that Sharonda came up with the solution as I don't know where I'd be if I had to start over.

The rest of the morning was spent starting the responsive web tutorial and also starting my name logos. Agentcubes had caused me to shy away from the software for a moment due to the scare I had just an hour ago. Around the time lunch rolled around, I was finished with some more graphics projects. By the afternoon my work got a little slower as I had to come up with creative ideas for the name logos since my handwriting is not the best, and I cut my finger during lunch. Around the end of the day I was getting a little stressed out. My modeling project was getting really stressful at this point because of the topic's complexity, but I am planning on working step by step over the weekend to try and get as much of the modeling project done so I can get ready for the end of block one.



Today was a workday today, so we didn't have our usual Google Meets meeting because our Gimp demo wasn't prepared yet. That was a good thing because that made today an official work day since I needed to get some projects done in order to be comfortable. At around 9:15, I headed straight to AgentCubes as I was working on the model last night and I needed help, so I asked Ernie for help after 30 minutes of working on the agent model myself. Ernie was able to help me with creating a bank account of sorts for my female agents, and was able to simplify it enough that I think I can add my other planned elements into the model!

I didn't take a break until lunch time because I had to work on my graphics projects that are actually quite fun if you ask me. I got to play around a lot on Inkscape and learn to make some patterns which helped me create my two abstract pieces and a rubiks cube for the second graphics project. I mainly did graphics for the rest of the day because I got caught up with Inkscape that I forgot about AgentCubes for a moment, but I am planning on working on the agent model tonight to get more of it done. I can't believe tomorrow is Friday, but I know with the schedule I implemented today I can get the projects done on time.

Inkscape Tutorial Day


Today was a little different than other days during the summer block so far. The Google Meet lasted longer than they did in other days, but that was mostly because Ernie was teaching us Inkscape. Inkscape seemed daunting to me at first since I haven't had much experience with graphic design, but Ernie made the software seem quite simple. Ernie taught us many things about Inkscape. I learned how to fill in squares and circles. I learned how to add colors to the borders of shapes I was able to create. I also learned how to mess around with the shapes by playing with their nodes. Then we received another project.

The Inkscape projects involved us creating logos and designs based off of the 7 things we wrote down this morning when Ernie asked us to. The project doesn't seem too difficult as it's using the tools on Inkscape to create our own creative designs. The only thing I'm worried about is the timing of these projects. As I was working on my agent model for the modeling project, I realized that the modeling project will require the most time and effort since it's the one we actually present. I have decided to start blocking out certain times for the projects that were assigned and also assigned time outside of Shodor to get a little bit ahead or back on track. I have hope I can finish the projects in time, it's just about how I manage my time.

Introduction to Gimp


The second day of summer block started off with the usual "hello" in the Google Hangouts chat before I went over to Time Clock and checked myself in. I was about five minutes early so the Google Meet was silent for a while before we went ahead and got started with the day. The other apprentices and I were assigned a mini graphics project that involved using GIMP. I was a little excited, but worried because I still had to finish my plan that I was working on yesterday since I wanted to get plenty of time to build the models. I made a plan to finish the plan by noon and work on the Gimp projects in the afternoon.

The morning went by a lot quicker than I thought it would, but luckily I did end up finishing my plan by around 11:30 and had another apprentice proofread it while I started working on Gimp. I was a little confused by the terminology the Gimp tutorial gave me, but I was able to figure out how to do the steps once I asked Ernie. By the time I asked Ernie about the first part of the project, my plan was already proofread by another apprentice and I asked our intern for the summer to proofread my plan as well. He had suggestions for me to make to my plan since I had a hard time being specific in some questions my model was supposed to answer as I made the grave mistake of asking questions that could easily be answered by common knowledge or a Google search. I made the fixes to the documents based on the interns suggestions and kept working on Gimp. Overall, the day was a lot of back and forth between Gimp and the project plan so it was quite hectic, but I am still excited to learn more and hope to get farther in my projects since the Gimp project is almost finished.

Guess who's back..back again or the first day of summer block 1.


Today is the first day of summer block. The pandemic is still not contained, so for our own safety, Ernie and Aaron decided block 1 should be conducted virtually. The first thing I did today was log on and say "hello" to the group chat as that is the unofficial way of the mentors to take attendance before joining the Google Meet. For about 30 minutes, Ernie told us about the expectations and guidelines on how to approach the summer block. For one, we had a new software that was made specifically for clocking in and out of work named Time Clock. We then were introduced to an intern who was assigned to help us with the first block projects, and his name is Akash. We were tasked as apprentices during this first block a modeling project, but this time there were no groups, so we had to do an agent and systems model all by ourselves with some help of course. I was a little nervous as I was used to working with someone else, but I knew I should be able to handle it as it provides a learning experience for me and I can always ask for help if I need it. I probably will need help. I took some time after the meeting was over to brainstorm topics that I would want to do. I had topics ranging from media's effect on social justice initiatives to period poverty and period poverty won by a landslide compared to some of the other crazy ideas I had. However, it did take me from 10:00am to basically noon to be able to brainstorm and send the approval email to Ernie so it wasn't such a great use of my time.

After lunch I went straight into research on period poverty as it is a topic I have recently learned about, and I became very passionate about it once learning what period poverty actually is. Nothing much happened for the rest of the work day as I was so intrigued with the topic that I spent the rest of the day researching topics and watching mini documentary films about period poverty. A lesson I learned today was that I should plan my time out better as it wasn't a great start to spend all day on a project that is due in two weeks to research all day with no updates to the story or actually planning out the model. I will work on that and focus more on getting the planning document done faster, but still paying attention to detail and effort.

All by my...Putty..don't wanna be..The puns have to be making somebody smile at this point! I have more puns coming too.


I'm going to be honest here. I drank two more bottles of coffee for this meeting too, as well as a Sprite. I'm probably really dehydrated, but COVID hasn't really given me a lot of motivation to stay fit for this. Shodor is what I need to talk about though! Today I came in really tired, hence why I had the coffee as AP exams were looming and boy Statistics and Bio are something else right now! Anyways, I started the day with the normal Hello or Good morning in the Google Hangouts chat to show that I am still here and not sitting in my bed with all my thoughts while running off of 4 hours of sleep. I had the software and everything installed and tested for the meeting so I was ready until I saw Anna needed some help. I contacted her and tried to help her and I think my sleep deprived brain really influenced me not being able to solve the problem as I didn't know what happened and thus Ernie came to save the day for Anna. Last meeting we finished our workbooks so it was straight to Putty! Putty is sort of my old friend/foe as I've seen Putty before in my cybersecurity class and sometimes Putty got on my last nerves. I was prepared though, and we got started with learning about commands like ls and cd which allowed the user to view contents and change the directory as only being in the home directory was boring and I wanted to see some files! We didn't open files except for a model and also had a Putty session pulled up that showed everyone's names and if their Putty was working based on outputs shown on said window. Everything was going well for me and I was understanding..Until Putty decided to be my enemy towards the end of the meeting. Putty knows how to push my buttons and grind my gears so when I saw my session wasn't working because of an illegal -l value I was stumped. I needed help badly and Aaron tried his best and led me on the right path until I saw it. I left a space where it wasn't supposed to be which is a prime example of a debug that made me feel stupid. I also felt bad as Ernie was ready to help me and I..already figured it out so I felt bad having to type out the words that I already finished as I always appreciate help. It was our last spring meeting though until the summer so for now I have to tackle some AP enemies as..it'll be a doozy but I'm excited for summer shodor!

It's a new day it's a new concept for me..and I'm feeling good. Are the puns working for you yet?


Lord today was..a day. I came into Shodor (in spirit) virtually that day as COVID-19 is sadly still among us and might be for a while since I highly believe school is canceled for the rest of the year so I had to say goodbye to high school in my own way somehow. I had two cups of coffee at the table as my sleep schedule isn't the best right now due to waves of emotion and work hitting me at the same time, which doesn't combine well to be prepared for a 5 1/2 hour Saturday meeting. We started of course with the usual "Hello" in Google Hangouts to show that everyone was here for the day before getting right to it. Aaron started by bringing back the Google Spreadsheets that listed the activities we were doing for the meeting and the very helpful dropdown menu which could indicate if anyone needed help (which I came in knowing I might need a lot of help) before getting started with having us watch a video of him teaching the apprentices that came before me an intro to parallel computing. I have to say I was fascinated for the amount of time we had to watch the video. The models really did it for me as it amazed me that a model of various sizes of various topics could be modeled because of parallel computing and I needed to know more. I also had gone through my first bottle of coffee so I was certainly hyper for the day. The rest of the day was us doing mini activities to understand the concept of parallel computing with worker analogies and other activites with science which I enjoyed. Surprisingly, I was able to get through the activites rather quickly as with the video and reading the instructions we weren't coordinating Mars Rover or anything so it could be easily handled. All in all today was interesting and I finished 2 bottles of coffee so that may kick in later, but I'm excited to learn more!

Dun Dun Dun! Or Presentation Day


Today was the day. It was presentation day and it meant business. We had to first start with testing Google Meet for our presentations to make sure screens could be shared and seen and people could be heard. There were some technical difficulties, but we had to finish our project as it was still just a healthy sick model with references to COVID-19. Me and my partner got down to business and made sure our about page was finished as we were so focused on the model that we neglected the about page which was simply empty and wanted some company. So me and my partner typed up the questions and answers about the model and before we knew it, it was almost 11! Our lunch was 30 minutes earlier so instead of having an hour to finish the model, we had 30 minutes! We were freaking out and decided we needed help as soon as possible. Ernie came to help us and we asked him a little late since it was almost nine minutes until we had to eat lunch and we were asking how to have a particle change color after a certain amount of time. The part we were trying to do was very difficult to complete in nine minutes and Aaron came and joined the call as well and helped us because it was lunch time and we had to eat. However, I didn't eat at all because I was too nervous and also we had to finish the model! Luckily it was done and my grumbling stomach was just going to have to be dealt with later. Presentations started and me and my partner were second so I was running the presentation through my head while listening to the first groups. Then it was our turn and even after I encouraged my partner that ours would go great I completely blanked and my partner had to call out to me to say my part which was bad on my part. Other then that difficulty the presentation went really well and was so proud of my partner and I for conquering the group project and everyone else's presentations were great.

Never Gonna Give You Up! Going to do this Project! AKA The second day of the group project


Today was the second and last day to fully work on the group project before it was time for presentations. The messages before we could get started weren't as long as the first as it was just reminders to keep up with blogs and reflections and work on the portfolio. After the morning check up, me and my partner Anna went ahead and started working on the project. This day was certainly more difficult than the last time we worked on the project as both me and my partner had novice skills in programming in JavaScript since I had only spent a couple of days on JavaScript prior to coming to Shodor. After constant research and trying to figure out how to get the particles to interact with each other and change color, we finally asked for help. Ernie this time came to help and I was typing the code for the day, but Anna still helped when I seemed to be confused until we got the colors to change. Then we had another issue. We were trying to have percentages of people who were in contact with a sick individual to change color, but we weren't sure exactly how to do that so then Aaron came to help! In the end, we got what we wanted but realized we would really have to work hard in order for our project to be finished on time for presentations since we would only have half a day until presentations started. I believe in us though, and I think our model will turn out great.

The Empire Strikes Back: Or the Second Group Project


Today was the first day everyone had to meet online because of the COVID-19 virus getting worse across the country and schools shutting down as a result of it. We started the online meeting by saying "hello" in order to show the mentors that we were in attendance. After the attendance was done being taken I read the project requirements document that outlined what me and my partner needed to do in order to successfully complete the project. Me and my partner talked prior to the meeting so we already had a story set and a model that we wanted to do which is ironically COVID-19 related. Me and my partner spent the first hour and a half getting the particles to change color as we have different colors for the different types of people in school, whether it be healthy, infected with no symptoms, infected with mild symptoms or a cold, and infected with severe symptoms such as loss of breath in order to simulate schools shutting down because of the spread of the virus or media related panic of the virus and to have one particle be a different color than the other. The second half of the day was then spent trying to have the particles interact with each other in some way by bouncing off of each other and me and my partner had to get a lot of help on that, but soon got it to work. The virtual experience was different, but we still got a lot of work done and I'm confident me and my partner will finish by the allotted time we have for the project.

The Final Countdown/Last Day of Programming Concepts


Today we started off with a conversation about the plans for the Corona Virus and the precautions we will take in order to be as safe as we can. After that conversation, Aaron and Ernie talked about the importance of keeping up with blogs and reflections or else face the consequence of having our stipends deducted or if enough is not done, receive no stipend. They are good lessons because in college I will be responsible for getting what I need to get done on time as well as take initiative to contacting my mentor in order to build a network and a support system. After the conversation, Aaron started the lesson with uploading our files from the 15th of February before deciding to create a button to have the step button occur repeatedly without clicking it again and again using setInterval. We then learned what setInterval was which calls on a function and does the function for an interval of time. After the play button worked, we decided to create a button that can stop the play button by using stopInterval.

After using stopInterval, we then programmed how to have the circle bounce off the left and right wall to simulate a bouncing particle. After lunch, we decided we also wanted the particle to go up and down. To do that, we created variables velocity_x and velocity_y in from past code to make it two dimensional. However, we were violating the DRY principle because we were repeating two lines of code to achieve the purpose of bouncing the wall, so we used || to create an OR statement in order to not repeat ourselves. Finally, we put multiple circles around the screen to simulate as much of the model as we could.

Let's get JavaScript, JavaScript! Not funny? I'll go home.


Today we kicked off with going straight into where we left off with the beautifully drawn circle that was able to be created at the end of the session last week. However, we weren't close to what we actually wanted to model as what were we missing? More circles! The circle on my screen was starting to look a little lonely, so I followed along as Aaron taught us apprentices how to have multiple circles pop up, but then they got a little too close to each other and we had to set some boundaries between them as well as model actual movement. Once the circles were able to be drawn we spent the second half creating buttons called Set and Reset and by the end we were able to have the step button actually work as well as the reset button when we reloaded the page. It was a great day to learn as usual!

The First Day Back: Here we go again


Today was the first day back after not being at Shodor for over a month. We had a brief ten minute introduction by Dr.Panoff about why learning programming concepts was important as well as explain why in programming it's not enough to just know programming, but how to think like a programmer. After the introduction we were led by Aaron in which we had a very hands on type lecture, which was different from what I experienced in my regular classrooms at school. We first started with taking notes on different programming concepts, tools, and many important names we needed in order to complete the task we had at hand which was to make a model using JavaScript.

Aaron taught us really the importance about not thinking that working for a tech company is all about what language you know, since if we follow the guidelines like planning, taking notes, adding comments, and then writing code learning a new language won't even be hard and the boring part would take a lot less time than if I went ahead and just started to code. When we actually got to code we learned how to build a canvas and make shapes using both HTML and JavaScript. I frankly learned a lot in this lesson today and can't wait to learn more!

The Group Project Part Three: The Show Stopping Conclusion


Today was the day that the presentations were happening. There was mostly silence when I walked into Shodor as everyone was waiting for their partners as was I. We had no time to waste. Once my partner got to Shodor we immediately started working on the finishing touches of our project since we agreed to wait until today to work on the website. I had a little bit of trouble creating the same website for the group 1 project, so I decided to make sure the agentcubes model was still working since we had to get ready for our presentation as soon as possible

Me and my partner crunched out the entire morning making the website and practicing what we were going to say for our presentation. After lunch it was showtime. Everyone's presentation was nothing short of amazing as there was a variety of topics discussed and modeled before us that I had never thought of before. I was simply blown away. Me and my partner presented last and I'm proud of the work we did. The Vensim wasn't working as far as displaying a table, but we quickly just picked back up and went on with our presentation. I am very grateful for my partner and thoroughly enjoyed the work we did together.

The Group Project Part Two: The Climate Change Partners Strike Back


Today at Shodor my partner for the group project came in after taking her SAT last week. Instantly right after announcements we started to work on the two models we had to complete. I was hard at work with the agent model after finding out my mistake with having the agents change and fixed that mistake almost immediately. Me and my partner were so focused on completing the modeling portion of the project that we didn't take a ten minute break when break time was called because we were having issues with the VenSim model working. When lunch was called, we were stressed out. The agent model was working just fine and was completed, but we couldn't get the VenSim model to have the same pattern we predicted on the graph. For the rest of the afternoon we asked Aaron for help and he was able to help my partner to an extent that we could finish the project! Now all we have to do is survive the presentation since I believe we are going first, but I'm sure we got this!

The Group Project: The lone partner


Today I had to walk into Shodor with a good mindset today. There was a big group project assigned last week and my partner and I already chose our topic, but she was unable to come to Shodor today. I had to get started on the project by myself. I come in and Aaron goes over the stipend rules and talks about the projects that are due before letting us work about half an hour later. I thought it was best to go ahead and write the plan down on the notebook as it's not a good idea at all to just dive into things. I was writing as much as I could and did a lot of research to make the model more realistic as that's one of the main goals of the model besides work.

By the first half of the day I had spent a lot of time writing in my notebook the plan. It was now time to get started on at least one model. I chose Agentcube thinking I would be done the quickest, but boy was I wrong! I'm having trouble getting agents to change into other agents even after they're touching each other. I will try and do it at home and if that doesn't work I'll contact my partner to arrange a time to work on the project.

Agent Modeling: The Tool where Shapes can Model anything


When I walked into Shodor today Dr.Panoff was back from his workshop at NCSSM and we went right into lectures. We first went over what Aaron taught us last week with Systems Modeling just to clarify that all of us still understood the tools. The review went by pretty smoothly and I found myself being able to remember how to use the tools of System Modeling and was quite relieved about that. After the review, Dr. Panoff went into the basics of Agent Modeling and the importance of analyzing stories and finding important key words to modeling the correct variables. The tutorial for Agent Modeling was easier in my opinion than Systems Modeling as the tool we used for Agent Modeling reminded me of a software called Scratch that I used in my AP Computer Science Principles class.

After lunch we made some more Agent Models before the day was over and we were introduced to our first Group Project! I got teamed up with Doriz and was quite pleased about that as I know Doriz already and it seems like we work well together. Aaron and Ernie told us about the project and what is expected of us throughout the completion of the project. The project seemed daunting at first because the document was quite lengthy, but I realized that it was only making System and Agent Models based on the topic me and Doriz came up with. By the end of the day, Doriz and I agreed to model climate change since we were both really passionate about it and there seems to be a lot of variables that go into climate change in reference to modeling before we left Shodor today.

System Dynamics: The Day of Mini Projects


Today when I walked into Shodor I found out that since Dr. Panoff was at NCSSM to teach physics teachers computational modeling like he taught us, Aaron was in charge of teaching Systems Dynamics! Aaron's teaching style was a lot different than Dr. Panoff's mostly because Aaron actually encouraged us to do the work by ourselves, but if we needed help or just gave up we could do so. The first mini project we did regarded the Durham population and that was the hardest mini project, frankly because I forgot how Vensim worked and needed to get some help regarding equations. I realized there was a lot of math going into making the models, but very easy math at that point since it was just rearranging variables and assigning numbers to those variables. We did many other mini projects such as modeling decay in temperature and fermium-252 decay as well until we got to Rabbits giving birth. Like fermium-252, rabbits giving birth was no longer constant and was a little tough, but luckily I got through it with Aaron and Sharonda Daniels helping me.

Computational Modeling: A whole new world


Today was the day I no longer saw computer science, but the world of computational science. Me and my colleagues went over some more coding in Excel with Dr. Panoff today, which allowed us to model the simulation of flipping a coin, and dominant and recessive genes, but not without first talking about what a model was. We discussed how models could be scientific, mathematical, mental, and many other types of models out there (and never mentioning a super model of course). Before the morning ended, Dr. Panoff taught us how to model temperature change regarding if an A.C. reaches every person in the room, although I had a lot of difficulty with that, but I got help from Dr. Panoff. After lunch, Dr. Panoff led us into the rabbit population model with more excel, but then was introduced to Vensim which helped us actually model the bunnies with many factors on their population.

The Secrets of Excel


Today was the day I learned some secrets about Microsoft Excel, but first we had to go over the Ethic codes assignment first! I had questions awaiting on the projector screen and that was quite an experience, especially when we got into the discussion about where on the code of conduct did they mention freedom of speech. Overall, it was a very intriguing conversation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then we went on another discussion on How do you Know led by the great Dr. Panoff. It was a lot of math involved and we discussed different ways of solving problems and also easier ways to solve problems, and also were introduced to many games Shodor made. I also got to witness cool card tricks again before lunch, although one of the tricks had to be attempted again because it messed up.

Then we got to the secrets. Dr. Panoff had us create Excel spreadsheets as well as Google Sheets to compare the two applications which involved some coding! (Cue in the TV applause) after we messed around with Excel a bit, I realized Microsoft seems to keep a lot of things a secret from us, but I never realised they would keep from us if a number is zero or not zero because like in A Few Good Men "you can't handle the truth!" was very apparent here. Overall, I had a pretty fun experience and am ready for the next time we meet!

Let's learn ethics!


Today when I walked into the workspace, me and my colleagues discussed the article Dr. Panoff gave us last week on ten essential skills needed for the future workforce. It was a very engaging discussion and I learned a lot on what skills I should work on since I will be using them in the near future. Then we got to the fun part of the day. Our presenter who had a good fashion sense, but wasn't dressed professionally for work and certainly sounded like he would've rather been at the state fair than at work stormed off and left without even talking about ethics. Then a more professional man and overall better presenter Ron came in and gave us this amazing presentation on office ethics. I definitely learned a lot about how to act in the office and that ethics isn't just being on time and quiet while in the office, but a lot of other factors such as relationships, approaching staff, and other tips.

For the second part of the day Dr. Panoff presented again today with a how do you know and by the end of it, I started to question if Google's search engine was really as reliable as I thought it was and also confirmed to me that magic wasn't real after Dr. Panoff showed me and my colleagues the math and physics behind card tricks. Overall, the day was more eventful than last week and I am excited to start another day next week!

Orientation Day!


Today was the first day of the Shodor Apprenticeship Program! I was so excited that I woke up at seven in the morning, even though I live nine minutes away from Shodor. When I arrived, I listened to a lecture from Dr. Panoff and learned three important things: Expectation, Observation, and Reflection. He provided very insightful advice and I really enjoyed the lecture. Then Ernie came in. It was my first time meeting Ernie outside of a computer screen and boy he was a lot taller than I expected. We went through the apprentice handbook which was kind of boring, but I enjoyed Ernie talking about it being boring and his MySpace joke which I do know what MySpace is.

After the handbook reading, we went on the tour of the facility before being released for lunch! Lunch was very nice, although I was the only one heating up food and it was really loud. I witnessed a game of Mafia going on and it was really fun to watch. Right now I just learned how to create this blog post so hopefully I learn how to make it nice and pretty instead of just a white canvas with black text. I'm excited for the program and to make more blog posts! Oh, and Aaron is awesome, even though he was away with a bad cold, so I hope he feels better!