Lisa Lately

Random musings about life, family, and crochet

My Photo
Name: Lisa
Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a perfectionist. What more do you need to know?

Monday, April 24, 2006


Okay, those of you who came here looking for crochet stuff today: Sorry! All nerdy programming stuff instead.

I've been slowly making my way through a couple of teach-yourself C++ books, trying to learn the language. I haven't done any serious programming for almost twenty years, and I'm finding that my programming muscles are a bit rusty. But it's coming back, slowly but surely.

Object-oriented programming (OOP) was just being invented when I graduated from college — or rather, it was just entering the mainstream at that time. In any case, they weren't teaching it at most universities yet. I learned BASIC, Fortran, and COBOL, then I learned top-down structured programming, using Pascal and C. I really liked the top-down structured approach. It just clicked with how my brain seemed to work.

I worked as a C programmer for a while after graduation, then eventually dropped out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom. Around the time I was having Brigid, OOP was really taking off, but I never had the opportunity to learn it.

So now, in learning C++, I'm making all sorts of baby programs, simple things like converting degrees from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and finding areas of rectangles, and printing cute grids of X's. Playing around with recursions and iterations, if...else statements, for loops, do...while loops, and so on. Simple stuff, but still fun to do.

I still haven't gotten to the OOP part yet though, and I must admit I'm a bit apprehensive about this part. Will I be able to break out of the top-down structured programming mold and embrace objects and polymorphism and encapsulation and inheritance? Oh, well, no matter. I'm having fun trying, and that's the important part right now.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

Long overdue for an update here, I see. Well, life intrudes and the blog gets forgotten. Sorry!

First, my voice: I have had great improvement over the past few weeks. My voice is not completely back to normal, but it is so much better than it was. If this is as good as it gets, I'll be happy. Most of the time I sound pretty decent. I know it's not exactly my old voice, but most people wouldn't really notice anything weird about it. Occasionally, when I'm tired, my voice gets a bit grumbly sounding, but again, it's not been too bad and anyone who notices it thinks I'm just getting a bit hoarse. I did speech therapy exercises for one whole week, and my voice was improving so much that I didn't see much need to continue with the exercises. If my voice should get worse, I can always restart the exercises. The main improvement is in volume level. I'm able to speak at a normal volume, so I'm no longer competing with ambient noise. Overall, I'm extremely happy about my voice. Yay!

Next, work life: I have been taking a break from copyediting for the past few months. I edited for ten years, and although I absolutely loved it when I started, the work over the past year or three has gotten less enjoyable. When I took the break, I started doing some volunteer work at a couple of nonprofit agencies here in town. I have really enjoyed doing something worthwhile, which I expected, but the unexpected part was learning how much I had missed working with real live actual people, not just disembodied voices on the phone or, worse, inanimate e-mail messages. It has slowly occurred to me that I have spent the past ten years holed up in my dungeon office in the basement, alone far too long! My job was perfect for a stay-at-home mom of a school-age child. I was able to set my own schedule, work while she was at school, take off when she needed me to, and still bring in a bit of money. But now that I've had a taste of the real world again, I can see that I'm way overdue to rejoin the land of the working stiffs, following someone else's rules and schedules, trudging in the corporate cesspool, . . . Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be excited about this.

Yeah, I'm going to get a REAL job. Of course, Brigid still has one more year of school before she's off to college, plus I still want to continue my volunteer work for a while longer, so I'm trying to find a part-time job.

What do I want to do? Well, I'm starting out looking for an office job, clerical work of some sort. But I'm also relearning C++. Yes, I used to be a programmer way back in the Stone Age, and I hope to eventually return to a career in programming. We'll see how it goes. For now, I'll be happy if I can find someone who wants a Monday-Tuesday-Friday office worker!

And, yes, I actually am excited about this.