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Update on Life

I'm considering changing my major from math to Spanish. I've completed the math minor, plus differential equations, but there's a lot left, and it's pretty challenging. I should have been a Spanish major, having taken 300 level Spanish my freshman year. It would've been very simple and quick to graduate in only three years. It's frustrating to be realizing this now, but perhaps if I switch back to Spanish, I'll be able to graduate with a Spanish major and math minor, which is probably more useful in job hunting.

About three years ago, I began studying Haskell, a functional programming language. I bought the Haskell Book, by Chris and Julie, and I installed everything on my computer in my room. At one point, I had the Mac on top of my bed's headboard, and I was facing the wall, sitting on my mattress. I'm not sure what ended up being the best working conditions, but that computer is now downstairs in the laundry room. The first entry in my notebook dates to September 8, 2016. I made it to Chapter 5, ending my quest on December 22, 2016, in the section called Partial Application.

During that autumn, I was enrolled at Chemeketa Community College, taking accounting, business, and digital photography. I worked at a Safeway Starbucks, which I ended up quitting due to terrible working conditions and the greater importance of going to school. I would hang out & party with my friends at Linfield, and I took an edible for the first time in December, the night before finals at Chemeketa. If I remember correctly, it was a cookie about 15mg. It was a great time, but I showed up late to my final and felt groggy.

In the winter term, I only took accounting and film photography, having decided that business classes were fake science, and that digital photography wasn't very fun. "I hate computers" was something that I told myself, and a primary reason for insisting on being a math major. There are very few instances where a computer is required for majoring in math, at least at Linfield. The film class was really fun. I started with a Minolta XG-M, sporting a 28-70mm 3.5 Sigma lens, which evidently is quite nice. I adapted it to my Sony in the fall of 2018, and I got some great results while on a class field trip. Excellent colors.

The accounting class was pretty boring, and so in the spring, I only took four credits: portrait photography, taught by Kelly James, a professional photographer in Salem. Around this time, I took a job at the Linfield College Starbucks, because I was tired of living at home. I moved out at the end of March, 2017, and I worked through the end of May. Linfield's Starbucks closes the same day as commencement. It's the busiest day of the year, and then you have to shut down the store for the summer. I had to commute to Salem every Thursday, either borrowing a car or carpooling with a classmate. I missed a couple days, and work was very consuming. I would get off late, closing the store and not being done anywhere from 12-1am. This was before they shortened the operating hours. I ended up failing the course, and I decided that it didn't matter.

I started looking for roommates early that spring, around April, but I wasn't able to find anything. When the year ended, I had to leave Linfield and move back home. Had I been smarter, I would've found a local business to work for, and rented a room somewhere in town, rather than hoping to live with college friends. In mid June, I stayed at Willamette for a week, photographing Oregon Boys State. During that week, I ran into Professor Chuck Dunn, my calculus professor freshman year at Linfield from 2014. We talked briefly in Ford Hall, and I ended up deciding that I missed math, and I missed Linfield. The professors are excellent, and they are the only reason I considered coming back. Living at home got pretty boring, so I decided in late July to move to McMinnville. I took two red duffle-bags, and my mom dropped me off in front of Dillin Hall. I stayed with a couple friends for a few days while working IPNC that summer, which enabled me to get a job at The Barberry, thanks to Chef Jacob Way. I started as a dishwasher, and I also worked at a winery. I started working at the Linfield Starbucks again. I was very busy, bouncing around from place to place, before finally getting settled with some friends who lived near the college soccer fields, across the railroad tracks. I paid $300/month to live on their couch, and next to the couch, I had a small stack of clothing, and a plastic box they gave me for storage.

School was not my priority at this time. I was working, meeting new people, and not doing enough homework. I ended up wasting a lot of time and money. Looking back, it's been an interesting journey. There are other blog posts that cover those times. I started my blog sometime that fall in 2017, and I won't go over everything again. It took a while to start sharing personal things online, but I published my first 'Update on Life' on December 6, 2017.

Today, I have to decide between going to school, or taking the term off to work. I've taken a job at Bob's Red Mill, working as a server. The orientation is today, at 1pm. I'm shopping for a bike, hopefully one that's electric-assist, to make commuting more realistic.

Every time I've chosen work over school, it's been the wrong choice. It's been more expensive due to poor grades. But now, I'm not taking classes, and only working. I won't have to manage both. I'm thinning out my camera collection, selling them on eBay and maybe with Blue Moon's consignment program. The Kickstarter project is a nice idea, but I don't anticipate having the ability to pull it off. My life has changed significantly, and I am having a child soon.

Here I am, almost three years later, resuming the Haskell Book. I've purchased Haskell for Mac, a $25 app that should make it easier to work through the book's exercises. I'm sure it'd be cheaper to hire someone to build my ideas for me, but I hope the value of learning computer science will unlock some high-paying jobs down the road. I want to learn Haskell, Rust, and other excellent languages. I'm not interested in slaving away working on JavaScript or PHP web projects. I'm sure that a good education will inevitably lead to proficiency with these languages, but I want to use languages that remove entire classes of problems. Rust offers excellent performance and security. Why bother to learn C at this point, when something better exists? I'm not arguing for being illiterate in languages like C or Javascript, but I'd rather go deeply into other languages. So I'm starting back up with Haskell, hopeful that I can finish the book and continue this journey.

My life is beginning to go by very quickly. I need to start accomplishing more things, and it's alarming that three years have passed since I opened that book. On the other hand, I've started learning piano, and I'm getting better. I just need to be consistent and remain focused.