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World of Keiko 06/22/2014


Its been a little over a week since my last update. The week has been an odd one. In spite of some concerns about workload, I have managed to juggle study, exercise, gaming, exercise, chores and quality time with hubby. Hubby and I also managed to get in a pen and paper RPG session yesterday on our 18th wedding anniversary.

As mentioned in the last update, hubby and I started playing WildStar. While he’s been pulling some all-nighters to level his toons, my gameplay has been a lot less in order to do other stuff. That being said, I now have a character high enough to play around with player housing and mounts. The player housing features are awesome, with many of the items also giving bonuses and/or allowing folks some other options, such as vendors, nodes, quests and whatnot. I won’t get into much more detail, but I am really liking the game.
In other gaming related news, the Summer Sale at Steam began a few days ago. Since then I’ve purchased a copy of Dynasty Warriors 8, Bioshock Triple Pack, some DLC for RPG Maker VX Ace, as well as Batman: Arkham Origins with Season Pass. A friend also gave me a copy of Dead Island: Epidemic but I haven’t been able to offer anything back as yet. I also purchased a copy of Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae for another person in my friendslist as it was cheap and on their wishlist. I doubt that many of the other games on my wishlist will reach that target 75% off, but I decided to purchase Dynasty Warriors 8 at 50% off because it was recently released and as such unlikely to be discounted further anytime soon.

I was sick a few days this past week, meaning that I missed a few intended exercise days. I was a little concerned, but I recovered and will be exercising again on Monday I have decided to leave exercise to weekdays, giving time on weekends for gaming, catching up on chores, study, pen and paper RPGs, etcetera… It should give my joints and muscles ample time to recover as well, but I seriously need to get my diet in check. I managed to begin the 5th installment of the Rogue Angel series during my last exercise session, and will likely finished it sometime in the next two days.

My studies are exceeding my expectations at present, allowing me to check a lot of coursework off of my list. I completed three courses this past week:

  • EDIVET: Do You Have What It Takes to be A Veterinarian? by The University of Edinburgh at Coursera
  • The Art and Architecture of Ancient Nubia by Emory University at Coursera
  • Start Writing Fiction by Open University at FutureLearn

I haven’t got around to reviewing these courses as yet, and hope to do do in the upcoming week. I will also be finishing up three more courses this upcoming week as well. This afternoon I will likely finish up the self-paced version of Stanford’s Child Nutrition and Cooking course at Coursera. I also noticed two more courses being made available in that same experimental format over at Coursera, which led to me signing up for them. One of them is Calculus One by The Ohio State University. It interests me given my inclination and necessity to improve upon my mathematics skills. That actually puts me up to
I am currently studying the following MOOCs:

  • History of Rock, Part One by University of Rochester at Coursera (7th and final week)
  • Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing) by Mt. San Jacinto College at Coursera (1st week of 5 week course)
  • Introduction to Ecosystems by The Open University at FutureLearn (6th and final week)
  • Archaeology of Portus by the University of Southampton at FutureLearn (6th and final week)
  • Forensic Psychology  by The Open University at FutureLearn (2nd week of 8 week course)
  • Literature of the English Country House by The University of Sheffield at FutureLearn (3rd week of 8 week course)
  • Sw12X: China by Harvard at EdX (3rd week of 6 week self-paced course)
  • Tangible Things Harvard at EdX (6th part of 10 part course)

Over the next few days, several other courses will begin, taking the place of those that have been recently completed:

  • English Common Law by University of London at Coursera (6 week course)
  • Programmed Cell Death by LMU (German University) at Coursera (6 week course)
  • The Addicted Brain by Emory University at Coursera (7 week course)
  • Good Brain, Bad Brain by University of Birmingham at FutureLearn (3 week course)

My plan for the spare time that completed courses free up is to work on self-paced materials, such as the courses at ALISON, Saylor Academy and the Spanish MOOC website. This will offer quite a bit of value. With the completion of the Sw12X: China course by Harvard at EdX, I intend to move through the next course in the 6-part series. This will tie in with my basic Chinese language course over at ALISON and vice versa. The first course in the series has been pretty neat so far and more than a history course. Students look at artefacts and listen to translations of texts in order to form their own opinion of the culture for the most part, with the course staff offering their own viewpoint.
One of the things that I have noticed throughout my studies is that it is becoming easier to connect various elements. I am making an effort to link coursework, but it is not always necessary. The brain naturally link like ideas, but proximity in time also allows for seemingly unlike ideas and concepts to connect one with each other.
On a related note, I finally decided to start using an iPad app for note-taking. It was a toss-up between the official Evernote app and TakeNote. Though TakeNote is rather pretty, it lacks some features that I believe are essential for my studies. I ended picking Evernote because it offers the features that I was looking for, I wanted to be able to sync my files and move them around as needed. I will download completed files to my computer and/or move them to Google Docs upon completion. I suppose that there is the possibility that I might fork out money for a paid subscription, but I’ll have to wait and see.

With the completion of the Start Writing Fiction MOOC and the beginning of Crafting an Effective Writer, I was inspired to look at some of my neglected projects yesterday morning. I found a gem in there that I had forgotten existed. Heaven started as a free-writing story about a young woman that is placed in an awkward position by the town cleric. With the realization that the clergy are corrupt and evil, she decides to take a chance by making a “pact” with an apparent Demon that actually turns out to be a bound Angel forcibly glamoured to hide his true nature. I ended up writing two chapters based off of that initial idea, which turned into some rather amazing prose on my part. Don’t get me wrong, they need some edits here and there, but the story is solid, the descriptive makes sense and the narrative rocks compared to some of my other work. If I didn’t know that I’d written it, I would have believed that somebody else had typed it. It has glimpses of Final Fantasy and a splash of Devil May Cry, so much so that I intend to start working on it again. This means that some other work will be put on hold, but I am good with that because my level of excitement means that it is a lot less of a chore. However, I will have to work on it whilst juggling other things in my life. Oh well… and yay!



Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

3 thoughts on “World of Keiko 06/22/2014

  1. A lot of people recommend Notability as a note-taking app that’s particularly good for study. I don’t study, but I downloaded it recently when it was free and I could see that it might be good for an iPad and for study, but on the iPhone I didn’t feel it had much to offer me. But definitely worth trying on iPad for study – if you can afford to blow the few dollars just to find out.

    • It was one of the apps on the initial list actually. An iPhone version wasn’t an option given how old mine is. Though price was a small consideration, what led me to dismissing it was the interface. I also have an existing account with Evernote that has notes from projects that started years ago and have since gathered dust. That’s the thing though, I wanted an app that allowed me to edit online files live. A lot of newer apps have syncing for Evernote and Dropbox, but why use a go-between when you use the official product? (unless that product really sucks, which has been the case for some other apps that I’ve used over the years.) Still, Notability is a good product with a solid customer base, which is a good sign for the product itself. It is always listed in lists for must-have apps posted online and for some zines.
      I will likely go back to using RTM (Remember the Milk) as well given how much paper notes I have around the place with reminders of the coursework for the week. I suppose that I could also use the base calender app for my iPad as well. Its quite easy to use and is already on the device. Adding all of the stuff that I am doing might get a little messy. 😀 Any method for cutting down the clutter and use of stationary is a good thing.

      • I’ve used a nice app called Awesome Notes for a few years now. I don’t think it’s probably good for taking study notes though. But it has a nice enough visual interface that suits me for just keeping track of all kinds of stuff, and it syncs to Evernote etc.

        Notability looked like it would be great after a bit of learning how to use it. And as I mentioned, especially on a pad.

        Editing online files live is nice – as long as there’s no latency and everything works fine if you happen to be offline. I’m often offline for various reasons so I couldn’t handle it if it didn’t also work offline, and smoothly.

        I’ve hated the iPhone built-in calendar forever and tried a number of alternatives, free and paid, but I’ve finally found the one that does EVERYTHING I want it to do. I can’t understand why the others don’t as they seem like obvious things to me! It’s called Calendars 5. I hate the way with the other ones, if you have an entry at, say, 7 am or 11 pm, you can’t see them as you scroll through the days. The worst problem with that is that you can think a day is empty when it isn’t. Grrr.

        And the month view is too small to be much use – you have to flick between views.

        With Calendars 5 the week view shows the days along a vertical scale, so to speak – Mon-Sun from top to bottom. And the appointments reach out to the right like a horizontal bar graph. And most importantly, they simply start at the earliest one and go to the latest, so that You can look at the week and, if a day looks empty, it really is.

        It also has a really nice way of scheduling reminders and repeats. Slightly different, but better, and easy to figure out. And you can get it to send text message reminders if you like.

        It’s just one of those apps that ticks all the boxes for me. I *think* it’s paid but I got it from the “App Of The Day” app when it was free for a day.

        have you tried Microsoft OneNote yet? I haven’t – I installed it on my iPhone but I was really short of space so I deleted it again as it was fairly hefty.

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