2016: What a ride!

2016 is coming to a close very soon, and I'm glad we've all made it this far. This was a particularly important year, for both the world and me.

Through the span of the entire year, I've climbed yet another steep learning curve. The curve never seems to flatten out, and that's a good thing. My thirst for knowledge is far from quenched, and I hope it stays that way.

Now that I look back on the entire year, I feel that it's been perhaps the most valuable year ever, filled with amazing journeys and experiences. Here's a few interesting things I did this year (in no particular order):

Building Faceclash

This one was a very good learning experience for me, I learnt a great deal from it. Faceclash was actually inspired by Facemash, which was made by founder of dorm room project to billion-dollar company Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. But there would be one significant difference: photos would be submitted by users, and would not be stolen from anyone. I did something I haven't done before, which was using a MySQL database to store data. I also wanted continuing to tinker with AJAX, so decided to make a small, nice feature that made the game work like a single-page web application. I spent nearly a month working on it, and in that time, learned more than I had in the last six months. I did not only gain more knowledge about programming from building Faceclash, I also learned quite a few things about people at my school. The most valuable piece of knowledge I got from their reactions were that when people are really pissed off at you, they can say some really nasty things.

I was actually surprised not everyone got how the game worked, considering the fact that there was a big blinking button with the word Submit in it. I got into some hot water for it (not enough to get me expelled, which is a good thing), but all that was worth it. Knowledge comes at a price sometimes.

Swimming pool underwater

Joining the swim team

Swim season was three months (which was shorter than usual), but I definitely felt a lot better about my body during that time. I wasn't the most active member, but I finally learned how to swim properly. Technically, everyone on the team is in junior varsity, unless the coach explicitly tells you you're in varsity. I was able to learn how to swim almost properly (those swim lessons from when I was a kid didn't help much, I never made it past the first level). My form improved with the help of my friends and coaches. Of the seven swim meets I had, I only attended one (now that I look back, that's pretty bad). At that one meet, I had popped my shoulder during the 100 meter medley, doing the butterfly stroke. I couldn't swim for a week after that, my coach insisted that I stay out of the pool and allow time for my shoulder to heal. Many new friends were made during the season, I would consider joining again next year when swim season comes again.

Node.js

Start learning Node.js

I've been running from this one since February. Homework prevented me from having a comfortable amount of time to settle down and start. I read a few articles here and there, but wasn't able to grasp anything I've ready from them, but this changed in November. I was finally able to truly start over my Thanksgiving break. Initially I decided to start off by making a chat application, but that didn't work out. After looking through many websites about Node.js, I settled on making a URL shortener, which came to be called Oca. You can read about how development went on my other post Adventures with Oca and Node.js. All I can say is, it was another ladder climbed.

Starting a computer club

I've been wanting to start a computer club at my high school since the first year I was there. From what I've done for the club so far, it's easy to start a club, but it's more difficult to find people that are interested in the subject the club is about, which in this case, is Computer Science. I wasn't well prepared on the day of our first meeting (which pulled in about twenty people), and I regret not being so. I have a lot to work on, if I want to make my club a successful one. My mind tends to get too far ahead, and sometimes, I'm not able to catch up with it. The club has its flaws, but they will be fixed in time. I have my flaws as a leader as well. I need to fix them also. Being a leader is everything but easy, but I'm glad I laid the groundwork for a computer club. I truly hope I can improve my leadership skills, and make this club thrive by the time I graduate.

These were four of the things that pretty much defined the year for me. Those are the things I'll remember when I look back many years later. But the past is seldom looked into. People look to the future, and I do too. And that is why I wonder: What am I going to do in 2017? That is for us to find out next year.

2016: What a ride!
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