Personal shame

I have about .03 seconds of free time these days. Between work, family, household chores, it’s near impossible to really buckle down and learn new things. The only reason I’ve been able to update Ansible is because I’ve needed to get up to speed on some technologies and it was a perfect test harness.

One thing that recently piqued my interest again was XNA development. I am a .Net developer, wholly in bed with Microsoft. Love it or hate it, there’s good money to be made in this arena. I own an Xbox 360 and it is kind of neat to write a bit of code, hit F5, and see the results pop up on my TV.

Sadly, these results aren’t games. Seeing Hello World flash by on a Cornflower Blue background is not fun for the kids nor anyone else. And I don’t have the time I’d like to devote to learning the ins and outs of XNA and thus probably doomed to be yet another ‘project I never complete’.

I made a basic Breakout & Pong game, following other people’s code to learn the basics, but then it hit me – For the life of me, I could not remember how to calculate simple things like angles, velocity, etc. I no longer remember the most basic of trig or geometry. I understand how ballistics work, but I don’t remember the formulas and couldn’t graph them if you threatened to shoot me from 800 yards away.

What happened to me? I used to be a math wiz. I never showed up for my (required) algebra classes in college because I didn’t need instruction; I’d show up, ace the tests, and go home.

After years of simply not utilizing any formulas in my life, they’ve all gone away.

How can I fix this? I don’t have time to grab trig books and study, and I would require studying because I’m already full trying to pick back up the guitar, manage the blog and my duties with Florida Carry, etc. I wish there was a way to sleep less, but unfortunately that’s not something my body will agree to. If I had an actual project that required me to relearn this stuff, that’d be great. But I doubt I can seriously apply the time I’d need to write a game of some sort that used those math skills.

It’s depressing, but that’s life. Maybe I’ll try to run a few courses of that Kahn Academy.

posted by by Robb Allen @
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