it was all trial and error

staremperorasterius  asked:

Would legit hard mode in DR also force you to lie your butt off?

I’m more thinking that it would force you to fill in unknown quantities, listen to what other people are saying and evaluate it, solve some really difficult puzzles escape game style, stuff like that.

You could still have the traditional deduction rail shooter method as easy or normal, but then for hard mode you’d have an actual time limit on investigation, which would force you to prioritize certain testimony or clues over others, and then have to make up for what you didn’t get a chance to examine in detail during the trial based on what you do know.

It’s just that, honestly, DR games are not that hard. You can brute force your way through a trial using trial and error and the retry system, and you almost always have all the key pieces of evidence before it even begins which gives away huge clues.

Meanwhile, the DR escape the room games I’ve been to (which as of writing is like…five?) are much, much harder. They require a lot more thought and reasoning and as a result are way more rewarding to do, even if you don’t make it all the way to the end. (The True Solution is always something extremely convoluted and requires godlike attention to detail under a very strict time limit.)

Would be nice if there were a mode in the game that would let you bridge the gap a little.

7

BIG UPDATE!

I’ve finally finished my biological patches set! After many months of designing, editing, and trial and error, I’m proud to post up photos of the final products!

They are woven with bright, beautiful colors that will endure many washes and adventures to come. They’re only $8 in my store:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Monsternium



Here are the first five patches in my biological patch set. Once all ten are made, the rainbow of studies will be complete! Each one is illustrated, digitized, and embroidered by me. Stay tuned for more! Next up is herpetology ;)

4

Costlemark Tower Paths to Trap&Sealed Room and to Jabberwock&Royal Arms

#1 Start @ Upper Right [NorthEast] Panel (Green Path)

  • Enter
  • Floor
  • Floor (fight x3 Flan)
  • West (fight x2 Ershkigal)
    • ROUTE A (TRAP ROOM)
      • Floor (west)
      • Floor
      • Trap Room
  • ROUTE B (Return to MAIN ROOM)
  • Floor (north) (fight Yojimbo)
  • North (fight Shrapnel + x3 Flan)
  • West (fight x3 Ershkigal)
  • West (fight x4 Bussemand)
  • South
  • South (fight Yojimbo)
  • Floor
  • Floor

#2 Start @ Lower Right [SouthEast] Panel (Blue Path) TRAP ONLY

  • Enter
  • Floor (fight x3 Ershkigal)
  • North
  • West (fight Yojimbo)
  • Floor
  • North (fight x4 Flan)
  • Floor
  • Floor
  • Trap Room

#3 Start @ Upper Left [NorthWest] Panel (Orange Path)

  • Enter
  • Floor
    • ROUTE A (TRAP ROOM)
    • Floor (x3 Flan)
    • East (Shrapnel + x3 Flan)
    • East (Bussemand x6)
    • Floor
    • Floor
    • Trap Room
  • ROUTE B (Continues on to Jabberwock)
  • West (Ershkigal x3)
  • South (Bussemand x6)
  • East
  • South (x4 Flan)
  • East (x2 Bussemand)
  • South (Shrapnel + x3 Flan)
  • East
  • Floor (Yojimbo)
  • Floor (x3 Ershkigal)
  • East (Shrapnel + x3 Ershkigal)
  • Floor
  • Floor
  • PICK PATH BACK UP IN #4 (PINK) ROUTE B

#4 Start @ Lower Right [SouthWest] Panel (Pink Path)

  • Enter
  • Floor
  • South
  • South (x3 Bussemand)
  • East
  • East (x2 Bussemand)
  • Floor (x2 Ershkigal)
  • East
  • East (Shrapnel + x3 Flan)
    • ROUTE A (TRAP ROOM)
      • South
      • Floor
      • TRAP ROOM
  • ROUTE B (#3 Route B picks up here)
  • East
  • North (x6 Bussemand)
  • Floor
  • East
  • East (x3 Shrapnel + Yojimbo)
  • South
  • East
  • East (x4 Flan)
  • North
  • West (x3 Bussemand)
  • North
  • North (x3 Bussemand)
  • Floor
  • North (x2 Ershkigal)
  • Floor
  • Path to Jabberwock
Why you should watch Trial & Error

-it’s Parks & Rec meets courtroom drama
-it’s basically a giant parody of crime docs a la The Staircase
-fairly diverse cast considering it takes place in small town South Carolina
-LGBT representation-especially bisexual
-its funny as hell
-you like the trope of group of co-workers become a family? this is the show for you
-even though it’s sitcom you can treat it how y'all treat dramas and analyze the shit out of it for theories
-josh/carol anne is the love-hate on opposite sides otp I’ve seen in a million fanfics actually on screen
-dwayne/summer is kinda weird and won’t happen but it’s still hilarious to watch and it’s made clear when dwayne is being weird about it too instead of the show treating it as romantic
-the cast is fairly attractive if you’re into that
- not only is the main cast funny as hell-but every supporting and side character is equally hilarious and adds so much to the show
-it’s made clear that the Rich White Man is being offensive when he is
-like father/son dynamics like jake/holt? Oh boy this is your show
-Josh, dwayne, and anne is the golden trio if the golden trio had no idea what they were doing-so it’s just like Harry Potter i guess
-John lithgow is a national treasure

The entire thing is on nbc.com for free and it has great reviews, why aren’t you watching it???

Character Arcs Continued

Make sure you remember part one (x)

Please Note: This is absolutely not the only version of the character arc that you will ever see. There are certainly different versions where the points vary, but I chose to explain this one as it has points in common with many others and it is easy to follow.

Every important character should have an arc that carries alongside the plot. This adds a layer of complexity and shows growth in your character. Though roles and patterns are made to be broken, one of the most accepted structures for a character arc looks something like this. Let’s break it down.

Keep reading

Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready

“If you’re working on something important, you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of doing challenging work is that you’re pulled by excitement and pushed by confusion at the same time.” – James Clear

The Start-Up Guy is well underway. I have been working with several businesses, including a very exciting Johannesburg-based business which is launching in the next two months. I am so honoured that they used and continue to use my services.  

I’ve noticed a common trait amongst all the guys and girls I’ve been working with recently, and I thought it might be useful to share because I think many other people are experiencing the same thing.

Almost all entrepreneurs don’t know what they’re doing and it’s perfectly okay. In fact, I don’t know of a single one who, at the outset, knew exactly what they needed to do and when to do it. Before your mind does that thing where it jumps to conclusions, let me explain.

A start-up is an experiment, a matter of trial and error. No one can be fully certain about the route it will take. At best, one can have a firm idea of the intended outcome, but whether that transpires is all dependent on the market’s response to your idea (and who really knows what that’ll be? Right?).

Sir Richard Branson has one of the most interesting entrepreneurial stories, for me, because he started many of his companies largely by mistake. He dropped out of school to continue a magazine business he had no idea was going to sustain him. As a way to grow his magazine sales, he started distributing music records made by unknown artists to his readers, and so began the journey of Virgin Records. He started Virgin Airlines after he was delayed by his flight facing maintenance issues before take-off. This guy is the epitome of just getting on with it. This guy is also worth $5 Billion today!

As an entrepreneur and business owner you have to embrace the learning process and continuously learn (by doing). Learn your market, learn your business, and continuously adapt your learnings to suit your market as you go. The entrepreneurs who embrace the learning process and respond to unexpected events in real time are often the ones who do very well.

Without babbling on for too long, the moral of the story is that not knowing what to do is not a good enough reason to not start your business. Passion and a basic idea is enough. Even if you are physically incapable of carrying out certain tasks, outsourcing skills is a thing (like helluurrr, this is why people like me are here). It is no mistake that one of the single most important traits that investors look for in entrepreneurs is passion, especially in the very early stages of a start-up. Not “intelligence.” Not qualifications. Passion (synonymous with commitment/dedication in this regard). A founder who is not passionate about what they are doing will give up when they face the inevitable hurdles of starting a business. Passion is the fuel by which a project goes from start-up to a fully-fledged business.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you can go and start the next big business with the technical skills of a toddler. I am merely saying that, within reason, you can start a business without the technical know-how, as long as you have the dedication to follow through with the necessary steps. In doing so, be realistic, tread carefully and always consult a professional when you’re thinking about making an expensive decision.

If whilst reading this article you had a certain project or idea in mind, maybe it’s time to pursue it with everything you have. Why aren’t you? That was not a rhetorical question. Like Richard Branson famously said, “screw it. Just get on and do it.” If you are really struggling with how to conceptualise or begin your business, consult me and we can find a solution together. 

Once again, thank you for reading.

Tweet me @sazi08

OFF THE CUFF HOMESTUCK THOUGHTS #3: THE SELF PILE DOESN’T STOP FROM GETTING TALLER OR: THE PROBLEM OF DEAD MARIOS

DISCLAIMER

IMPORTANT THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

[CHECK THE TAG FOR MORE THOUGHTS]

So, a long-ass time ago, Rose and Dave had a conversation like this:

TT: After you go, what do you think will happen to me?
TT: Will I just cease to exist?
TG: i dont know
TG: i mean your whole timeline will
TG: maybe
TT: Maybe?
TT: Is there a chance it’ll continue to exist, and I’ll just be here alone forever?
TT: I’m not sure which outcome is more unsettling.
TG: the thing with time travel is
TG: you cant overthink it
TG: just roll with it and see what happens
TG: and above all try not to do anything retarded
TT: What do you think I should do?
TG: try going to sleep
TG: our dream selves kind of operate outside the normal time continuum i think
TG: so if part of you from this timelines going to persist thats probably the way to make it happen
TT: Ok.
TG: and hey you might even be able to help your past dream self wake up sooner without all that fuss you went through
TT: I think the true purpose of this game is to see how many qualifiers we can get to precede the word “self” and still understand what we’re talking about.

This is the most important sentence in Homestuck.

I am dead serious.

Well, OK, I mean, it’s pretty important for understanding some major Homestuck themes and shit or something like that.

Also, I totally should have said: Pre-Retcon Doomed Timeline Non-Dreamself Rose but ultimately about to become Dreamself Rose who semi-merged with Pre-Retcon Alpha Timeline Rose and Doomed Timeline Dave aka Davesprite AKA future Davepetasprite^2 or as we all call them around the office, Davepeta, had that conversation.

Maybe you begin to see what I’m going to talk about here.

One of the major frustrations a lot of people had with the retcon was that the characters we ended up with at the end weren’t the ones we’d come to love and know throughout the story. Was it even worth it, to lose the characters we loved to the tyranny of Game Over? The victorious kids, with the exception of John and Roxy, were other people, with other histories, other goals, and other choices.

Allow me to submit that that may be the whole point.

SBURB is cruel. We’ve known that for a long time. It’s cruel not as Caliborn is cruel, but as the cosmos is cruel, as a supernova is cruel. It wants what it wants, and doesn’t care about how that intersects with the needs of humanity. It wants to make universes through a complex game-playing method, and drags hapless, vulnerable adolescents along for the ride. And most of the time it doesn’t even succeed, leaving its champions to rot in a doomed timeline or similar! Skaia’s victory is an amoral creation myth where individual human beings are just the carved pieces on the chessboard. (I mean, the other ones. Not the carapacians.)

Again, let’s consider the theme of VIDEO GAMES vs. REAL LIFE.

Homestuck, let’s be real, is basically some postmodern horror timey-wimey Jumanji. For a generation way more familiar with pixels than cute little tokens It’s easy for teenagers and in fact, basically everyone, to fantasize about escaping their life and slipping into some game world forever, where they get to do awesome things and be a heroic person.

Homestuck makes that literal. Congratulations, everything you ever knew is dead. You will never see it again, except your internet friends, who turn out also to be your family and other important people. I mean, from a distance, SBURB sounds like an awesome game, right? You figure out who you are and get to wear a cool costume displaying that identity. You get to make anything you want and enjoy this hyperflexible mythology tailored to YOUR CHOICES. HS fans talk all the time about how cool it would be to play a real version of SBURB. That’s a big part of the appeal of SBURB fan adventures. They put you and your friends in the story. Or your favorite characters! It sounds like a fantasy come true.

The thing is, as fantastical as it is, it’s also really fucked up, and ultimately you and your friends are being used. By a giant frog to let it have its babies. By the universe. By a smug blue cloud thing that doesn’t care about you at all.

SBURB does not care about you at all.

The funny thing, SBURB features a mythology with so many layers and nuances and seemingly human motifs about growth and self that you might search for some grand ultimate meaning behind it, but it’s not even human enough to have a personality, to be something you can argue with or fight. It just is. It’s all the cruelty and power of a god without any of the dazzling personality. It’s empty. It just wants to make universes all day long, or fail trying. It is a great, weird tadpole-making machine that eats children.

One of the big ways it doesn’t care about you is its attitude toward the self. Humans and trolls and whatnot prefer not to be relentlessly duplicated. SBURB says, oh yeah, let’s make tons of copies of the player characters and use them for a lot of different purposes.

There’s the dreamself, an essential bifurcation of identity (you are now and were always the dream moon princex) that sometimes gets merged into god tier but sometimes doesn’t. There’s doomed timeline selves, who exist ultimately to augment an Alpha timeline whose Alphaness is decided very arbitrarily and frequently by Lord English. There’s the you who exists before a scratched session and the you who exists afterward, who are two different people but started as one baby in an act of ectobaby meteor duplication, your player self and your guardian self. Dead timeline yous fill up the dreambubbles made by the horrorterrors and get endlessly confused with each other. Any one of these could be the you experience being at any given moment, and which one it is entirely arbitrary. Don’t like being Dead Nepeta #47? Tough hoofbeast leavings, kiddo.

To top it all off, in Terezi: Remember, we learn that every single time we thought someone changed from one self to another, was resurrected or something like that, it was another act of duplication. For every time someone’s died, there’s another version of them waiting in the Dream Bubbles, surprised that they’re not the main character anymore. And we have no way of knowing which is which. Even John, good old everyman John, may or may not be the person who died three or four times. It’s really impossible to say whether we’ve been following the same person throughout our story, or just the illusion of the same person, like a horrifying cosmic flipbook.

The retcon is a return to this same theme. Ultimately, there’s very little new in the changes John makes to reality except that they drive the point home.

John’s friends all died. John and his friends won the game. These things are both true at the same time, except those things may not have happened to the same people. There was a happy ending. Hooray! For, um, some folks who may or may not be the ones we care about. In fact, it’s very confusing, because from Rose’s perspective, Roxy is dead but came back to life, and from Roxy’s perspective Rose is dead but came back to life, except also she came back to life as a weird tentacle catgirl of pure id and self –indulgence. So there’s that. Um. Which Rose are we rooting for again?

Or wait: is it none of them, because the first Rose died in a doomed timeline, hundreds of panels and a number of years ago?

There’s a tension here which one experiences between saying it’s okay because it’s still the same people, and saying it’s not okay, because it’s not the same people at all. This tension is exactly what we’re meant to wrestle with. To put it another way, Homestuck asks if identity can work in aggregate. Are all Johns John, all Roses Rose, and do they all share in what they accomplish? Or are the final victors only accidents created by the whims and needs of the frog baby machine?

What I’m saying, basically, is that the retcon, in the sense that it pointed out our confused relationship with these characters, was already here.

In interviews and questions put to him over the years, Hussie constantly compares HS and SBURB to other video games, particularly Mario, which he frequently returns to as a baseline of comparison that most of his readers will know. One answer, from a recent Hiveswap interview, is particularly revelatory. To the question of “Why do you kill off all your characters?” Hussie replies:

[…]HS is supposedly a story that is also a game. In games, the characters die all the time. How many times did you let Mario fall in the pit before he saved the princess? Who weeps for these Marios. In games your characters die, but you keep trying and trying and rebooting and resetting until finally they make it. When you play a game this process is all very impersonal. Once you finally win, when all is said and done those deaths didn’t “count”, only the linear path of the final victorious version of the character is considered “real”. Mario never actually died, did he? Except the omniscient player knows better. HS seems to combine all the meaningless deaths of a trial-and-error game journey with the way death is treated dramatically in other media, where unlike our oblivious Mario, the characters are aware and afraid of the many deaths they must experience before finally winning the game.

The big man hass the answer.

Homestuck is the story of those dead Marios.

Other works, like Undertale, have engaged with this topic as well. But one of the major differences between Undertale and Homestuck is that in Undertale, between “lives,” one’s consciousness is preserved. In Homestuck, it’s discontinuous, and the value of the overall trial-error process is called into question by the fact that you, the player, may not even get to experience the victory. What meaning does victory hold if that is the case?

So, to put it in a nice thesis format:

One of the central themes of Homestuck is the challenge of reconciling an arbitrary and destructive pattern of growth and victory with the death and suffering you experienced along the way. Homestuck asks: is victory worthwhile if you’re not you anymore? And would you be able to know?

What even is the self? Is there such a thing?

If you were left feeling somewhat disconcerted by our heroes’ tidy victory and departure to their cosmic prize, or by how which Rose gets the spotlight is so deeply, deeply arbitrary, there’s a good reason for that. You’re supposed to be.

The philosophical problem of Wacky Cat Rose is insignificant next to the bullshit of SBURB.

And don’t forget—John and Roxy’s denizens helped them achieve the retcon. Ultimately, the victory they achieved was mediated by the same amoral system of SBURB, and was a victory over an enemy, Caliborn, whose power was created, perpetuated, and ended by that same system.

Okay, so here’s where it gets contentious. There’s an argument to be made, which I’m not sure how I feel about, that some of the character development that could have been in post-retcon Act 6 was left out precisely to push this feeling and play up this tension. Note that this is not the same thing as saying that they were deliberately badly written, but that they’re deliberately written to make us uneasy.That Hussie deliberately played with the balance between making these retconned characters feel familiar and making them feel eerily different to leave us feeling uneasy with the result.

I’m not sure I like that idea. It smacks a little too much of that “everything is perfect” thinking that comes sometimes from the far Metastuck camp. Some of the differences may also be the result of flawed writing. (See: Jane and Jake’s character arcs, which I might talk about later.) And I want to be able to critique those flaws. Ultimately, I think we still needed more time and development to figure out who these new people were—even if our goal was ultimately to compare them to their earlier selves. And again, more conscious acknowledgement of the problem from our heroes—especially John, the linchpin in this last and biggest act of duplication—might have helped drive this theme home.

Still, I think the Problem of Dead Marios is one of the most fundamental questions of Homestuck, maybe THE biggest question. It’s essential to understand it to understand what Hussie’s doing—or attempting to do— in the retcon and the ending.

I don’t know that Homestuck offers us a clear answer to that question. There are some confusions around the issue, too. Where do merged selves fit in, exactly? Clearly they’re a big part of the discussion, because Hussie spends some time in Act 6, especially near the end bringing the identity-merging powers of the Sprites to the forefront. (See also: the identity-merged nightmare that is Lord English.)  Can we even come up with a clear answer to what it means when a dead Mario returns to life grotesquely fused with Toad? How does he beat the game? Does he tell himself that the princess is in another castle? Or what if he merges with Peach? Are they their own princess? How do they know if they’re in the right castle?

Um. Anyway—

Interestingly, it’s not all grotesque—spritesplosions suggest that personalities that are too different don’t stay together long, so a fusion might rely on some inherent compatibility between the two players. Erisol’s self-loathing, sure, but also Fefeta’s cheerfulness. Davepeta seems to be a way of bringing out the best in their players, a way of getting Davesprite past his angst and Nepeta past her fear. Honestly, I know a lot of people don’t like Davepeta as the ending of these two characters’ arcs, but I can’t help but love it. They’re the ultimate coolkid. Cool enough to know they don’t have to be cool. Regular Dave got there, too, of course. But was his retcon assist from John ultimately any different?

Then, of course, we come to Davepeta’s speech to Jade in one of the last few updates before Collide. Davepeta suggests that there is such a thing as an ultimate self beyond the many different selves one piles up throughout the cosmos. A set of principles that describes who you are that’s larger than any individual instance of you. Your inherent Mariohood. (Maybe this is comparable to your Classpect identity, which attempts to describe who you are?) Davepeta even tells Jade, strikingly, that one might learn to see beyond the barriers between selves. Be the ur-self, in practice, rather than theory. This would be incredible news for Jade, who wrestles with the issue of different selves perhaps more than any other character. (There’s a lot to say about Jade.)

Honestly, I wish this ur-self idea had been developed more, and I honestly expected it to be. It doesn’t fully come to fruition, I feel. (Same goes for Davepeta’s character. Ohhhh, ZING!) I’m not sure it entirely makes philosophical sense, especially with fusion—I mean, doesn’t Davepeta themself disprove it? Or at least complicate it? Like, are they part of the ur-Dave or the ur-Nepeta? They seem to imply they’re BOTH? Does that even work? Does that mean that Marieach is all the Peaches and Marios at once?

(In fact, Bowser/Peach/Mario are but the three manifestations of one eternal principle. Also, Bowser/Peach are the true power couple. Read my fanfiction plz.)

And what, say, of Dirk, who ultimately ends up rejecting aspects of his other selves? It feels like there’s a lot more you could say here, and I wonder if Hussie would have said more, if he’d had time. What’s weird is, none of our victorious kids never reach an ur-self (though to their descendants, they become archetypal to some degree), which one might have expected. They’re just individual selves who happened to get lucky. Does that make them representative of the whole? It feels like something’s missing here, or like something got dropped at the last minute.

Same goes for the idea of the Ultimate Riddle. You’d be forgiven for missing it, but there’s been this riddle in the background lore of SBURB that seems to have something to do with personal agency in this overwhelming, overarching system. Karkat called it predestination, saying something like “ANY HOPE YOU HAD OF DOING THINGS OTHERWISE WAS JUST A RUSE.” But others have interpreted it more positively. My favorite interpretation, from bladekindeyewear: the answer to the Riddle is that YOU shape the timeline through your existence, personality, and choices, even when it looks like it’s all predestination. Ultimately it’s your predestination, your set of events, based deeply on your nature, that you are creating. Someone like Caliborn can use his innate personality to achieve power; someone like John might be able to use it to achieve freedom.

I definitely expected something like that to be expressed more explicitly. Like, a big ah-ha moment that helps John or Jade or whoever understand how to escape Caliborn’s system. Something like that would have been very helpful for a lot of our heroes, actually, who’ve been pushed around by Skaia and SBURB together, in finding a cathartic ending.  Once again, I wonder if something was dropped or rushed because there wasn’t time to put it all in. There’s places where you can see hints of that Answer being implied, maybe? But it’s kind of ambiguous.

You can see how the Answer to the Ultimate Riddle ties into some of Davepeta’s ideas. If your personality, the rules of your behavior are a fundamental archetype that goes beyond each individual self, then the answer to whether it matters if one self of yours makes it through to victory is an emphatic YES. You are all of those people, and by winning one round with Skaia, you’ve won the whole game, despite all the arbitrary challenges and deaths it heaps upon you along the way.

This may strike some as too positive for Skaia’s brutality, or again, some way of excusing flaws in many characters’ arcs, or unfair things that happen to them. To be fair, I don’t know that Davepeta’s necessarily meant to be taken as authoritative or the voice of Hussie. They may simply be offering a purrspective.

Hussie not choosing to come right out and engage with the Ultimate Riddle leaves the question of Dead Marios and what they mean for the victorious versions of our cast very open. I like that in some ways—let the reader decide—but I can’t help but wish we had more to work with in making that decision. Plus, it might have brought the thematic messages of Homestuck all the way home to tie them more closely to our characters and their experiences—character development being one of the things most people found most lacking in the ending.

NEXT TIME: All that wacky gnostic stuff probably

Studying from a Textbook :: How to Get Started

Through trial and error across my academic career, I’ve developed a system of textbook studying that’s been very successful for me even in graduate school. This post outlines my basic procedure. Of course, different techniques work for different people, so be sure to pick and choose which ideas you add to your own strategies. Thanks in advance for reading!

Reading a textbook is a formidable task; after all, they contain a lot of information per page across a lot of pages. Therefore, it’s useful to divide the book into more manageable pieces. Most textbooks do a pretty good job of this by pre-dividing the material into sections (or even subsections). If there’s no pre-existing division (or if each division is fairly lengthy), I recommend focusing on about 10 pages at a time. However you choose to divide, my basic strategy amounts to this:

Tackle the textbook section-by-section, only moving onto a new section once you’re comfortable with the previous section.

If you’re under a time constraint, then I’d say make yourself as comfortable as you can within that constraint.

This begs the question: how do you become comfortable with a section? Well, you’ll need to read it more than once. Today I’m primarily discussing how to make your first reading as useful as possible, especially for future readings.

First off, I suggest reading through the section in its entirety on your first pass. There will be material you don’t understand, but that’s okay: spend a couple of minutes trying to understand it and then move on. During your first reading, you’re getting the lay of the land; you don’t have to understand everything perfectly (or even at all).

Along the way, I keep track of my understanding via sticky notes, flags, and index cards.

My Index Cards Strategy

I keep three types of index cards as I read, each with its own theme:

  1. Questions: This index card lists questions I think of while reading, usually organized by the page number on which I have the question. Questions include things like “What’s [specific terminology] mean?”,  or “Is this related to [some other topic]?”, or even as generic as “What is [this subsection] talking about?”
  2. Definitions: When a new word is introduced, I write it down on my definitions card. Beside each word I draw a bubble in one of three colors, with each color representing my current understanding of the word and related concepts: green means “fine as is”, orange means “could use attention”, and red means “absolutely needs attention.”
  3. Notations: Some textbooks use abbreviations or symbols that I don’t recognize, so I keep an index card of these notations for quick reference.

You can easily replace this system’s index cards with notebook pages or similar media. Whatever works best for you!

My Sticky Notes and Flags Strategy

Using sticky notes placed within the textbook, I summarize challenging paragraphs and recap important ideas. This process forces me to grapple with the text, ultimately resulting in nice one-sentence summaries. These summaries help concepts stick in my brain and are extremely useful on subsequent reads of the text. I also use sticky notes to write questions that I couldn’t fit on my questions card. For the most difficult passages, I use flags: a quick, wordless way of saying “What in the world is this author talking about???”

Post-Reading Analysis and Subsequent Reading

I love this system because it not only lets me know how I feel about the material, but also generates specific concrete tasks to better my understanding. The vague task that is “learn this subject” becomes the more manageable tasks of “answer these questions”, “learn these words”, and “summarize these topics.”

I try to do the first reading in a single study session (although it’s not imperative to do so). Then, in a separate study session, I look up topics and words that I struggled with. The internet is particularly useful for this! Once I’ve improved my understanding some, I begin reading through the section again, this time with a fine-toothed comb. I use the notes I made the first time as guidelines for where I should spend my time and energy.

It’s very likely that during my second (and subsequent) reads I’ll think of new questions or come up with new ways of recapping material; in that case, I record them just as I did during the first reading.

In this way, I keep revisiting material I don’t understand until I feel like I understand it; again, external resources can be very useful for this! I only consider the section completed once I have a solid understanding of the section’s terminology and big ideas. Chances are I’ll still have questions at that point, but that’s okay:

I aim to be comfortable with the material, which is not the same as understanding 100% of what’s written in the textbook.

So, yeah! That’s my method in a nutshell. I hope you find parts of it useful in your own studies!

Thanks for reading! I’m wishing you the best of luck!

Suga Kenta and Kimura Tatsunari
Livedoor Interview Translation

Translation continues under the Read More.  It’s important to note the actual interview took place about a month ago, it’s just this second part is now finally published.

Q: This will be my third interview with the two of you after the re-run “View from the Top,” and “Karasuno, Revival!” 

Kenta: Whoo! [applause] Thank you each and every time!
Tatsunari: That’s right, and for this particular production…
Kenta: Whoah whoah, no, too fast! [laughs] They haven’t asked us anything yet!

Keep reading

i live for isak calling even baby?? let’s talk about it more. 

  • the exasperated “baby” on the rare mornings when even doesn’t cook him breakfast because they’re both too exhausted by the night before (seriously, isak made even play fifa until 1am before he could admit that he sucks and no matter how many games they play, isak will always lose). even takes the last of isak’s cocoa puffs, and shit, isak had actually been looking forward to them?? but alas, he’d stepped out of the shower a minute after even, and his cereal stealing boyfriend had struck (even steals his clothes his heart and now his chocolatey cereal too?? isak has half a mind to break up with him). isak’s pouting at even, and even feels so bad for him that he offers isak some of the cereal. but even’s the kind of guy who pours his cereal into his milk and gulps it all down at once, and isak is very particular about only pouring a little bit of cereal into his milk at a time, so he just turns up his nose at even’s gross soggy abomination. 
  • isak hates hates hates waking up in the morning, and trying to figure out how to get isak up when they both have school is just trial and error. isak would appreciate it. it’s like a scientific experiment, except it’s one where the consequence would be an armful of grumpy boyfriend and no kisses until at least 10 o’clock. even has tried everything from blasting nas at full volume, to getting magnus in there to say something stupid because isak’s reflex is to drag him, but he’s found out that the most effective method is to pepper isak’s face with kisses until he blinks awake groggily, because he’ll pout, and he’ll say, “goddammit, baby,” like he’s actually annoyed, but he’s giggling so hard that even’s not buying it. 
  • the boys make fun of it so much!! the first time even laughs at him for dipping a chocolate chip cookie into nutella at lunch, isak says, “don’t fucking judge me baby you literally only make recipes with sour cream” magnus parrots “baby?? baBY??” jonas and mahdi are waggling their eyebrows so suggestively that isak blushes bright red. he tries to stutter out an excuse, like, “that’s not what i said. i said maybe?? KB?? bey bee?? haha i just like the concept of beyonce in the bee movie ok that’s totally what i meant.”
  • of course even ruins it all (because that’s all he’s good for) when the whole gang is getting kebab after school and isak can’t get his shit together because he didn’t really sleep last night and he’s spilling his food all over the table. even leans over with a pile of napkins and scoops it all up with a fond “baby” and a chaste kiss to the lips. the boys go fucking wild. 
  • they always leave each other with a peck on the cheek before separating for classes - and as much as isak wants to pull even closer until they’re intertwined, until they’re causing a scene for those fucking dance chicks he can tell are watching them - he knows he’s not ready for that yet. it’s soft and sweet, just a brush of his lips as he whispers, “bye, baby, see you after school.” it still gives isak a rush when he remembers that even will keep coming back to him, and no matter how long they’ll spend apart - whether it’s school cockblocking them, or when even has bad days  and refuses to let isak come over - they’ll always end up like this, safe in the circle of each other’s arms. 

also thanks to @strangetowns​ i can’t get even’s obsession with sour cream out of my head 

Shance Yoga Teacher au

Yes, friends, this au is 100% what you’re thinking. FLEXIBLE AF LANCE AND THIRSTY AF SHIRO

  • Starting with a bit of angst. Shiro is an ex marine (I will NEVER let go of this hc in my modern aus deal with it), who lost his hand (hand. not entire arm. just the hand) in battle. This au isn’t far in the future, so there are no fancy advanced prosthetics. The healing process was long and painful, not to mention extremely emotionally and mentally taxing.
  • Once he he’s actually healthy enough, both mentally and physically, to have enough energy for things other than treatment, the first thing he wants to do is to try and build more muscle mass, like he used to have. He liked being buff, and he still is, but less than he used to be. Both he and his therapist think it’ll be good for strengthening his positive body image, too.
  • Shiro asks his doctor (Allura) what form of exercise can she recommend at this stage, and she says Yoga. He’s skeptical at first, but what can he already lose if he goes to one session, right?
  • The hospital actually holds a class for patients, and Allura said the instructor is well experienced with amputees (amongst other conditions).
  • Shiro’s brain for the entire first minute upon meeting Lance: OH NO HE’S HOT THIS WAS A MISTAKE
  • No backing out tho he’s already been spotted and Lance is questioning him about his exact conditions so he can know best what he can safely instruct him to do and what he can’t.
  • Shiro’s brain continues to die the entire time, but he manages some answers anyway. Finally, Lance has enough, plus the rest of the group arrives and the session starts.
  • First, there’s breathing exercises. Easy enough, right?
  • WRONG
  • Lance tells them to close their eyes, but whenever Shiro does, he the only thing he has left to focus on is Lance’s voice (which is the point) and he gets super flustered because it’s so smooth? and pleasant? and kinda sexy?? and he can’t help but want that voice to whisper to him sensually and- NOPE, gotta open his eyes.
  • The rest of the class is a little harder, for two major reasons.
  • For once, the exercises are actually more demanding than he expected. He always thought he was pretty stretchy, but heavens, is a human body even supposed to bend this far?
  • Which brings us to the next difficulty. Lance’s body is more than capable of bending that far, and it’s driving him insane.
  • Despite how stressful it was trying not to stare at his ass too much and generally not turn into a tomato, the session was actually… really great. Shiro feels better when he walks out, more relaxed somehow, even though his heart still speeds up when he remembers Lance doing that one pose.
  • Lance asks him to hang back for a moment to talk to him and Shiro is all Oh No He Noticed Me Staring but nope. Lance just wanted to ask how he feels and if anything made his arm hurt really bad etc. He also excessively complimented his natural flexibility, saying he’ll be able to do “all sorts of things” soon enough. Shiro is really unsure, but it almost seems like Lance smirked while saying that? Nah, he must be just imagining things because of his developing crush.
  • The next few sessions aren’t very different. Supposedly, anyway. After basing his level and current capabilities, Lance decided that Shiro could use more personal guidance, including LOTS of touching to correct his pose. Lance, being a professional, always asks for permission to touch him first, which somehow only makes it that much worse, because Shiro wants Lance to touch him. So so bad. Shiro is literally dying. These pants are tight and they will not hide a boner. He’s suffering. Someone help him.
  • There’s no help, and Poor Shiro has to constantly deal with gentle touches and low purrs because god forbid anyone makes a loud noise in the middle of yoga class. It goes on for a couple of weeks until one day he gets a most peculiar text from Lance.
  • (They exchanged numbers because Shiro wanted to add a third yoga session to his weekly schedule but the hospital only held the classes twice a week, and Lance gives him his number in case he has any questions. Of course, barely any Yoga advice was exchanged. )
  • Lance’s text: Uggghhh I can’t do this anymore! Allura, I know he’s your patient and all and he’s “”“"healing”“”“ and stuff but I can’t hold back anymore I just can’t. He’s too hot. I know I promised to hold back BUT THIS IS IT I’M ASKING HIM OUT
  • Shaking, Shiro texts back, asking who Lance is talking about.
  • Lance doesn’t text back for like half an hour and Shiro starts seriously freaking out when he gets a long ass text from Lance, where he apologizes for being so unprofessional and confessing his crush etc.
  • Shiro could almost cry from relief, because a few minutes ago he thought he might’ve lost all chances with Lance but now… He has more than a slight chance. He calls Lance and confesses his own crush and they both laugh and maybe it’s a little awkward because what do you even say in a situation like this but eventually they manage to schedule a date.
  • They take it slow, let things develop naturally. Lance gives Shiro all the time and space he needs, since it’s the first time he’s tried dating since he lost his hand. Takes a little trial and error, but one day, a few months later, Shiro finds out just how far Lance can bend.
8

❄️ The Hero and the Fairy ❄️ ~ step-by-step process of >this< piece (^   v ^) <3 click through for minor captions!

as you click through these i’m sure you’ll notice that there’s some pretty big jumps in process~ (^   v ^);;; but i had to reduce it to eight frames, since that’s the tumblr limit. ALSO! wow! that initial sketch! HAHAHA!!! it sure came a long way for there! LOL! LOL! LOL! for those who didn’t see my comments on the initial post, i originally started this piece back in December! X3 so my work has changed a lot since then! five months is a pretty big time jump when you’re constantly drawing! lol lol lol~!!!!

i both loved and loathed the process of drawing all the crystals for this! <3 i really learned a lot through the trial and error of making them! (-^ ___^-) i didn’t push them very far in terms of the coloring i ended up using on them, but i hope to apply what i learned (and take it further) in an up coming BnHA piece! in the end, i am so happy that people seem to be enjoying this one, because i really felt too strongly about the design to let it waste away in my “to-do” file!

The Two Of Us || Min Yoongi

Originally posted by sugutie

Word Count: 2.3k

Genre: Angst


Happiness was something you couldn’t afford. It was something that only the lucky got and somehow you turned out to be just another unlucky fool. Happiness was overrated anyways. All it meant was that you got to live your life without trial and error, without pain, without hurt, and god you wanted that so badly. All you wanted was for a chance to be happy, and not feel the ache in your chest that you felt now.

There was the thought, that maybe you never would be happy. Maybe you were destined to live a life of loneliness and pain, and never overcome it despite how hard you tried. Maybe you were never supposed to make it over the mountain and just continue falling down like you had been your entire life.

You thought for a while, that there was finally an end to the pain, and you had found it in a man named Min Yoongi. Everything with him had been perfect. Nights and days were meaningless to both of you as you had each other. Everything you ever needed could be found in one another, and that was how the both of you lived during your relationship.

Keep reading

Anon: can you do an analysis on 2013-2014 ji/kook please? thank you!

Anon: Do you think there’s a relation between Jungkook’s change of behavior towards Jimin from when he was underage to when he finally turned 20??? I feel like after finally not being underage anymore, that’s when he really changed and got bolder, shy-less and stuff.. He wasn’t like this, and now he’s.. Well, basically killing us with everything he does.    

Anon: Do you think that Jimin’s fainting incident was a turning point for kook/min? I always thought that JK seemed to be a lot sweeter and softer with Jimin after that, but i could just be imagining things so I wanted a second opinion :) love you!!                    

Anon: you are my favourite kook/min blog!! kekekeke i was wondering what you think of tsundere!kook thinking that taking off his jacket for yoonji is cool when he did the same thing for jimin during their WoH shoot :))) 

That’s right: I’m going to answer all these questions and comments in one long essay. I’m not kidding. This is like.. really long. It’s Jungkook-centric and head canon-heavy. Bring your tinfoil hats.

Keep reading

The first time Phichit sees the bathroom of Seung-Gil’s new apartment, it’s on a phone screen. It’s the last room on Seung-Gil’s tour, and Phichit lets out a surprised peal of laughter at the mass assortment of bottles on the shelves.

“What is all that?” he asks.

Seung-Gil holds his phone facing the tub for a hesitant moment, then swivels it back to the shelves. “Um. Shampoo.”

Phichit sits up in bed, a smile pulling both corners of his mouth. “Sixty bottles of it? Why are they all shades of purple?”

“There aren’t sixty,” Seung-Gil says. “Maybe twenty.”

“But why?”

Seung-Gil hisses and says something to himself in Korean, sounding embarrassed, but approaching their sixth month together, Phichit will have none of that.

“Seung-Gil,” he croons. “Tell me why you have the world’s most unnecessary collection of hair soap.”

Seung-Gil flips the camera back to his face, and Phichit doesn’t think he’s imagining the dash of red he sees across Seung-Gil’s nose.

“Trial and error,” he says, flat. “Please don’t laugh at me.”

Phichit softens, tamping his smile down as much as he can. “I’m not laughing at you,” he says. “I think it’s cute.”

Seung-Gil’s eyebrows angle lower, a transparent shift into skepticism.

“I thought it was weird at first,” Phichit admits. “But now that I know the reason, it’s cute that you try new brands. I do that, too, but I usually wait until the bottles are empty first.”

Seung-Gil says, “I used the same brand for ten years. I…” He scrunches his nose. “Please don’t laugh at what I’m about to say. Or make any noises. Sounds. Please no reactions at all.”

Phichit nods quickly, his heart already squeezing with eager anticipation.

“I was trying to figure out which one you use,” Seung-Gil says, in a resigned tone of voice that only makes his confession more unbearable. Almost like he can’t stop himself, he mutters, “I just remember the bottle was purple.”

Phichit covers his mouth with both hands and only through the single most impressive show of self-restraint he’s ever exerted in his life does he not coo.

Apparently, even Phichit’s hidden joy is more embarrassment than Seung-Gil can take and Seung-Gil groans, flipping the camera to escape. This, fortunately, serendipitously, puts his reflection in the mirror on display.

“Seung-Gil! That’s my shirt!”

in “love”, men are very good at imitating the shape of a container but never its content, n this is at the crux of men’s near-literal emptiness

bc men think that the container is the content – stringing the right words together in the right order; performing the right gestures in the right contexts, n so on – n they can get really, really good at this! they can sound beautiful, enlightened, loving

but let me put it this way: U can train a dog to say “I love U” n it will be cute! every time he makes some yelping noise resembling it, U give him a treat – n maybe after a long while it’ll really sound like he is saying “I love U”, n U might even convince yrself that he knows what it means when he says it … or, at least, that he means it [that he loves U] n just doesn’t know he means it when he says it – but the fact is that he wants the fucking treat! n for all he knows that’s really the only pt of “saying” it – say the right thing the right way, get the treat – saying “I love U” has transactional value – I give U what U want, U give me what I want… n he doesn’t even have the beginning of an idea of what “I love U” means, or that it “means” anything at all!

so men view the value of these words, gestures, gifts, time spent n so on as currency to use in a transaction called love – n thru trial n error they learn from U which of these coin pieces are most valuable, n this is how they convince U that they love U n not just what they can get from U (which they conflate for themselves! they think they’re the same thing, n genuinely cannot tell the difference)

but men, hollowed out by masculinity, have relied on women (mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, lovers) to fill them up – they never learned what we had to learn as subjects of femininity: that the question of love is not “what can U do for me?” but ultimately, n endlessly “what can I do for U?” n that those gestures men bend n warp n hollow out to make into coins are actually meant to be expressions of that selflessness – are offerings

n when men are confronted w the truth abt love, abt its roots in sacrifice, in altruism, in martyrdom … that is, in femininity – they deny it, destroy it, or run as fast as they possibly can

anonymous asked:

Imagine the team leaving for a mission. Allura and Lance are alone. It's awkward. Then, Lance, the love child of the beauty, asks Allura if he can try one of her dresses on. Allura wanted to try wearing Lance's outfit since day zero. They include make-up and karaoke battle.

*soft gasp* Anon, I do believe you’ve earned yourself a small fic :3
———————————-
“We’ll be back soon. Try not to blow up the Castle while we’re gone.” Shiro chuckled as he clapped Lance on the shoulder, the other Paladins already heading for their ziplines. Lance rolled his eyes. “Blowing stuff up is Keith’s thing.” He blatantly ignored the Red Paladin’s indignant “No it isn’t!” and Pidge’s snickering in favor of grinning at his team leader. “I’ll be fine, besides, I’ve got Allura with me. I’m pretty sure that between us, the Castle will be just fine.”

Shiro nodded and headed off for his own zipline. Lance heard Blue’s pouty rumble in his mind as her sisters left without her. “I know, Beautiful. But that last battle damaged you pretty badly, so you need to stay in the Hangars to heal up.” He soothed his Lion mentally.

The mission was a supply run anyways, not a lot of action, and Coran was going with them in order to identify any possible poisons to avoid. So Lance offered to stay behind in favor of Shiro getting to go, as it was another space mall moon and he hadn’t been able to go last time.

Lance thought staying behind was worth it anyways, as he’d seen the excited sparkle in the Black Paladin’s eyes at the thought of exploring a swap moon. But now it was quiet, almost too quiet, and boredom filtered in quickly.

Allura cleared her throat awkwardly, and Lance turned to face her. “So, Lance… what shall we do while we wait for the others to return? The mice can show you some tricks if you’d like…” she trailed off a little, attempting to clear away the awkward silence left in the wake of the other Paladins departure.

Lance thought for a moment, before eyeing Allura’s dress thoughtfully, contemplating. “Lance?” Allura raised an eyebrow. Lance decided to hell with it and blurted out his current thought. “Could I try on one of your dresses?!?” Allura blinked, surprised. That was certainly not what she expected, but she rolled with it anyways. “Only if I may try on your Earth clothing. It looks like a very different fabric than any Altean clothing has. I’ve always wondered what it felt like!”

Lance grinned. “Deal.” A bright smile spread across Allura’s face. “To my wardrobe!” She declared, marching over to Lance and dragging him through the hallways to her separate closet room where all her outfits were stored. Lance laughed as he stumbled into the huge room full of cute dresses and long, flowing skirts.

He gasped in awe at all the pretty designs and patterns, trailing his fingers over the silky fabric of one gorgeous blue dress. Allura seemed to bounce on her heels almost excitedly as she rummaged around in a certain cabinet built at chest height in the wall, pulling out what looked like makeup containers. “If you are to dress like me, you should at least enhance your features as well, though I doubt I can fix your ears.” She stated, Lance merely smirking in return.

“I’ll be right back, I’ll just go grab my clothes from my room real quick!” He chirped as he bolted out of the closet and ran for his room.

Soon enough, within the hour Lance was sporting fake blue Altean markings and wearing a floor length silver, blue and white dress, a slit up the left side to display some leg and the sleeves barely attached and flowy, shoulders bared and with a plunging backline. A pretty dark silver sash tied it together at the waist, wrapping up in an “X” across this chest and along the backline cut. Allura had even accented his cheekbones and eyes with some dark blue eyeshadow and pale rose gold blush and highlights.

Lance twirled around in the mirror, awed at how pretty he looked, extending his left leg and smiling. The light colors really made his darker skin pop. Allura clapped her hands excitedly. “You look stunning, Lance!” He turned and shot her a pair of finger guns. “I’m always stunning, but in this outfit I’m positively radiant.” He said confidently, preening. Allura rolled her eyes playfully. After an entire year in space, the flirty nature of the Blue Paladin was now recognized as nothing but pure fun, a game to relieve tensions during the war.

“Your turn, Princess!” Lance said happily, handing her his casual clothes. “Don’t worry, I won’t look. Trust me, in my family, looking at a dressing girl is punished by La Chancla.” He seemed to shudder at the memory, causing Allura to giggle in amusement. Lance turned instead to go through the jewelry box, careful not to disturb the mice, looking for something to accent his neck and collarbone a little more while Allura dressed behind him.

“Alright! I believe I have it on correctly! Though this other shirt is confusing.” He turned and yep, she was holding up his jacket and eyeing it warily. Everything else was on correctly though. Laughing, Lance took his jacket from the bewildered Altean and motioned for her to turn around. He then proceeded to pull her arms through the sleeves, adjusting the jacket properly. “There! You look almost human! Except for the markings and ears…” he explained, gesturing Allura to look at the mirror.

Allura turned this way and that, smirking at her appearance. “The human part I can fix!” She declared, before concentrating and shifting her features into a plainer, Earthen face. She blinked open normal, blue gray eyes and stared at her reflection, Lance gaping in shock. “Oh my. That is… quite a difference… my ears are quite ugly, and I feel a tad bit strange without my markings. And are all human eyes this dull?” She muttered, poking at the smooth, tan skin where her markings used to be.

The mice squeaked in shock from their spot napping in the jewelry box, snapping Lance out of his stupor. “Oh my gosh you look like my older sister…” he whispered, pressing a palm to his mouth. Allura turned to face him. “Your older sister?” Lance nodded. “Yeah. Maria. She’s a flight attendant back on Earth. Though she seems kinda stern all the time, whenever she was home with the family, she always used to instigate karaoke competitions with the rest of us.” He said wistfully, eyes almost distant at the memory.

Allura hummed thoughtfully. “Ka-ree-oh-kee? What is that?” She asked, confused. Lance brightened almost instantaneously. “Oh! Karaoke is basically a game where you sing along to a song and try to hit all the right notes. It’s mostly done for fun, but in a competition the person who sings the best wins. We usually had a panel of judges made up out of the rest of the family who weren’t participating, it was a whole lot of fun. Hunk used to come over to my place and join in all the time, dude has the singing voice of an angel!” He explained excitedly, hands waving about as he talked to make his point.

Allura smiled at his enthusiasm. “I think we had a game like that on Altea. We called it Utakita, and it was the same concept as your karaohkay although you had to make up the song yourself instead of singing along to something already made. Whoever made the best music with what they had available was the winner. I do miss playing that game, my mother was quite exceptional at it.” She informed him, reaching over to gather the mice up in her hands.

Lance pondered for a moment, thinking. “What if we can still play? I brought my phone with me from Earth, it has all my music on it. We could have a sing off and the mice can be the judges!” He exclaimed, Allura gasping and clapping her hands together in jubilation. “Lance, that’s a brilliant idea! We can hold it in the main common room!” She trilled, face alight in excitement.

Both immediately dashed off to set up the game, Lance grabbing his phone and Allura finding a music enhancer to increase the volume of Lance’s music player. It took some trial and error, but eventually it was set to an acceptable volume to sing along too.

So imagine the team’s surprise (and amusement) when they walked in after the mission to the source of the loud music to find a dolled up Lance in a dress and a human Allura wearing the Blue Paladin’s clothes singing loudly into hairbrushes along to She Wolf by Shakira.
———————————————
//this….. got wayyyyy too long…. hope you enjoyed this Lance and Allura bonding time! :3
(Lance won btw. Have you even heard that boy’s singing voice? Jeremy Shada is an angel I swear👌🏻)