Q1 of 2012 down, and my list of completed ‘new somethings’ is looking quite impressive already: fitness boot camps, yoga classes, attending trendy launch parties, jewellery making, becoming an organ donor, even mentoring someone in running! Phew! It’s no wonder my posts have been getting few and far between; I’m too busy doing stuff to be writing about the stuff that I’m doing. Oops! Some balance is required in this respect I think… Anyway, it’s all been great fun and, without wanting to sound smug, not too taxing (although some of the yoga positions I’ve attempted defy gravity!). But all this was about to change. It was time to take things to a new level. It was time to engage my brain. That’s right people; I was gonna go geek.
I have the right genetic make-up to be a nerd. I’m whiter than Casper the Friendly Ghost. Dressed as a sheep. In a snowfall. Covered in talcum powder. And at the first hint of sunlight I burn redder than the sun. I can’t even sit under a 60 watt bulb without my factor 120 on. I’m as blind as a bat without my geek-chic specs on. And I was always hopeless at sport. Except running, which I’m quite good at. But that makes sense. Nerds should be adept at this, you know, from all the running away from bullies and stuff. Anyway, I digress.
I was apprehensive in the days leading up to this nerd-fest, being that my only attempts at anything vaguely like coding were the two frenetic weeks I spent teaching myself basic HTML and CSS last year, to get my website up and running. And this didn’t really give me an edge. It’d be like attending a course to learn Spanish and saying “well, I kinda know some French”. Yeah, really not very helpful. The ‘creative’ element – given top billing in the course title – was giving me the heebie-jeebies too, cos I’m about as creative as a stick. So the prospect of spending 2 days blinding tapping away at my hefty laptop, employing my patented ’nod-and-smile’ technique every time something was said that I didn’t understand (I anticipated having a major case of neck ache and face freeze by the end of the course!) and trying to cover up my lack of creative prowess by using the brightest colours I could code up, to cause temporary blindness, was a little unnerving. But as I’m always being told, particularly by said teacher of this course, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. Ok fine. I’ll feel the fear and do it anyway. Times 100! Bring it!
After we had these basic commands down, and we’d stopped sniggering at the slightly rude sounding terms we’d been learning all morning – ”Now remember, it’s really important that you stroke your Rects before you fill your Rects…” (snigger) – we were tasked with creating a little critter with wobbly bits and everything! Here’s my offering: click on the bunny then watch him wobble as you move your mouse across the canvas!
Kinda cute, right? And I almost understand how I put him together, which is pretty cool! The rest of the class made awesome creations too, from wobbly aliens to grinning faces to a hilariously rude body part. I won’t mention exactly what it was (where would be the fun in that), but will say that, when it came to Day 2 and particle systems, the owner of the anatomical graphic wasted no time in working on an eruption of particles to ‘finish off’ her work. Nuff said. Needless to say, immature as we quite clearly were, we all had to have a sneaky look at her laptop, laughed like naughty school kids and collaboratively decided that her offering won the entire course.
And that’s it, my first Creative JS course completed, and I’m actually feeling a little impressed with myself – yay! So am I now a fully fledged geek? Um, probably not. But this has definitely gotten me a few steps closer. And seeing as I’ve now become inseparable from my laptop, playing with the variables in my examples from dusk till dawn, I think it’d be acceptable to declare my status as nerd-in-training. I’m now the proud owner of a big orange book, which professes to be able to learn me in the ways of processing. Hmm. We’ll see… I’m still tweaking the stuff I created in class, and if any of my random changes result in something mind-blowingly gorgeous (it could happen, right?) I’ll definitely be posting them. But for now, it’s glasses on, curtains drawn, laptop launched, and brain engaged. All systems code!