It has been nearly a year since I last opened Xcode, Apple’s development environment for iOS and watchOS. One day, when I was rushing to an early morning class, I subconsciously patted my left pocket and realized that I had left my phone in my dorm room. I also took notice that I was wearing my Apple Watch, the device that I frequently use to ping my iPhone when I misplace it. While the watch does help me find my phone by allowing me to play a ringing sound on my phone, it doesn’t do so proactively. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an app on my Apple Watch that notifies me when the iPhone is out of range, I thought.
Linking Non-Financial Metrics to Financial Performance
In accounting analytics, most of the predictions and calculations are done with numbers that come directly out of a financial statistic that the company gives, or a financial prediction that a company forecasts. However, in certain situations when making key managerial decisions at a company, one has to utilize non-financial metrics to the maximum due to three reasons: 1. Cash flow can be forecasted from the company’s investments in intangible assets. 2. Projects should be chosen based on which has the highest expected payback rate, and non-financial metrics are very useful for that. 3. Financial metrics are not the only factors that go into considering and evaluating managerial and/or business performance. Continue reading
This week, I primarily spent time working on some character development for the story’s main antagonist. I actually had to go back to the first 20 pages of the story to do this, as that’s when the character is introduced. Here’s the challenge. The antagonist isn’t pure evil or just a horrible person, at least to begin with. He’s a person who has some differences with my protagonist, spars with him within their group, and is eventually completely set against him by the machinations of the plot. Why? Because my antagonist is a bit of a coward and a liar, and that stands at complete odds with my protagonist (who isn’t perfect by any means either). Here’s how I attempted to establish his character:
I watched Moonlight several months ago and finally decided to write about it. I thought I would just share my complete review for this week’s blog.
Moonlight is definitely one of the most beautiful, most elegantly executed film I’ve ever seen. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, and based on Tarell Alvin McCarney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, it is a coming-of-age story about a young black man from the hardscrabble streets of Miami. In correspondence to the different stages of the main character’s life and consequently the different names he identifies with, the film is divided into three parts – “Little,” “Chiron,” and “Black.” Chiron has a remarkably high tolerance for pain incompatible with his age. His mother, Paula, is a drug addict. The closest thing he has to a father figure is Juan, a drug dealer whose all-time favorite customer is ironically Chiron’s mother. Kevin, the only person from Chiron’s school who has ever showed him any kindness, beats him up the day after they share an intimate moment on the beach. Yet somehow, as he grows up, Chiron finds it in himself to love the people who never showed him any love when he needed it the most.
I wrote a couple of pages. An excerpt from them is below. I also talked to my editor more about the direction of my story and some of the characters. We decided to make my main antagonist more nefarious and cruel, while making my protagonist more idealistic and brave in contrast. Anywho, here’s a brief sampling of last week’s work:
“Alright, time for some chow! Cooks got it back at the meeting place,” I called to them.
They both turned and looked at me confusedly.
“You heard me! Go get it! I’m here to watch the position for you while you eat.” I nudged my pack into the shadows behind me and walked forward. The two warriors looked at each other, shrugged, and began to make their way to the meeting place where Warriors converged at the start and end of the day. I walked over to the ditch in which they had been standing and pretended to be on guard. I waited a minute until I knew they were well on their way and then I darted back and grabbed my pack. I clipped my rifle into a pouch on the side of my pack and swung it onto my back. I ran forward, bounded over the ditch, and hurried through an opening in the wooden barricade Fara had pieced together around the perimeter. I kept on running through the woods, not stopping until I knew I could no longer see or hear the camp. When I had finally put enough distance between the camp and myself, I knelt and took off my pack.
I reached deep into my bag and pulled out my compass. I knew that Thane’s mission had headed southwest from the camp and that their path would be a roughly straight line. I turned and oriented myself to the southwest and tucked my compass in my back pocket. I continued forward at a light jog down the decline, knowing full well that the others would soon know that I was missing. I doubted that the Alphas would send anyone after me due to the risk of it, but I wanted to put more distance between me and them just to be safe. The trees and underbrush thankfully weren’t too thick, elsewise I’d be traveling a whole lot slower. I knew that the terrain would open up as I got closer to Thane’s objective, but until then, the woods were what I had to deal with. It was no problem. The woods are home for me. A place to run, hide, get lost, and be found. Despite the trees and ravines, I never lost sight of the path I had set out on. I knew where I was headed, and the trees weren’t so thick as to limit my view of the stars when I needed direction.
The Pack had been encamped on a small plateau. The mountainside I traveled down as I ventured away from the Pack wasn’t terribly steep, but it was long. At the bottom, the terrain switched to some gently rolling muddy hills. It was there that I picked up the tracks in the dark. Six sets of them. I had been trudging through the mud and almost immediately recognized the other depressions in it. I trained my eyes in on their shapes, their patterns, the echo of the rhythm of the steps of Thane, Garrett, Jon, Shane, Summer, and Cooper. I burned the shapes of their prints into my mind and followed them forward. I’d find them. I wouldn’t lose them now.
Following tracks at night, however, is no small task. It requires immense focus. You not only have to keep your eyes trained on the ground in front of you and the tracks you’re following, but you have to stay wary of what’s happening around you. You have to heighten your awareness of all things. Breaking branches, falling leaves, tumbling twigs, you have to know where they are and what caused them. Us warriors had done this kind of night tracking countless times on hunts and in combat, and though we excelled at it, it was slow, tedious work, especially alone. I got lucky that night, as there were few clouds and a bright moon, but I was still in a wooded area when I first began following the tracks, and the moonlight was often smothered by the brush. As I followed the tracks through those hills, I could hear the animals scamper away at my approach. I caught sight of small herds of deer in the dark, my first instinct always telling me to swing my rifle off my back, raise it to my shoulder, get some sustenance. But I never did. Of course I had food in my pack, but I sure as shit didn’t want to give away my position to anyone else out there that night, members of the Pack or others. I kept my eyes on the tracks. They were my lifeline. I’d follow them back to the camp if need be when I found them. Not if I found them, when.
Thanks for reading and here’s a book I just started: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
This week, I mostly wrote new content, some of which is below in it’s raw, unedited form. Aside from that, I planned and mapped out a slightly different story arc than what I had originally created. This was because in my last conference with my editor, we figured out that some of the plot points and their relationships to specific characters just didn’t really mesh. So, I created a different chain of events and even deleted a character or two and created a new, and hopefully better, storyline. More on that another time though. Instead, here’s some of this past week’s work: Continue reading
After a long 4-week break, I sort of had to force myself to get back into the rhythm of studying finance, because I practised experiential entrepreneurship for my senior project. It wasn’t an entirely separate topic, but was very different in the method of learning that I had to actually experience the situations rather than learn it through videos online. Anyways, this week’s topic was Earnings Management. Continue reading
According to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva a famous sociologist, there are four major ways in which accusations of racism are dismissed today. The first one is called abstract liberalism. This idea links the other three and is the most important. It is not liberalism as in liberal vs. conservative. It’s using liberal ideas of meritocracy and equality to justify racist social outcomes. For example, people will say that affirmative action is not a good idea because it creates an unequal footing giving people of color an unfair advantage. This opinion blatantly ignores the history of the united states. Throughout every aspect of American history, people of color have been the objects of the unjust enrichment of white lives, most notably, slavery, Jim Crow, purposeful systemic exclusion from government programs including but not only The New Deal. Today we see housing discrimination, hyper-incarceration, job discrimination, unequal segregated schools, unequal pay, to name a few systems of oppression. The abstract liberalist view, in order to function, needs to wholly ignore this American history. Rather decreeing that white on people of color oppression ended with the civil rights movement. This is most certainly not the case. Racism has morphed to fit our times. What is clear is justice rather than equality is needed to end racism.
I have not updated this blog in over two weeks, and in that time, a couple of things have happened. I can break them down into three main parts: 1) My mentor, T. Tim, gave me a lot of interesting information regarding birds around the lake and which ones I should specifically be on the lookout for in my catalog; 2) I met with T. Ted Lutkus who, as one of the previous heads of the science department and a former biology teacher, would take students to the North Woods and analyze one meter “bio-plots,” and; 3) I went down to the lake and had an awesome interaction with a big red-tailed hawk.
I am incredibly passionate about many things, however the current state of Pennsylvania’s sex education is particularly troubling.
Over the past year, I’ve been developing a plan to research, organize, and build my non-profit, named Keystone CASE (Coalition for Advancing Sex Education). It’s tasked with spreading awareness for comprehensive sex education and lobbying PA politicians to enact this legislation.
America is a nation that glorifies sex — sometimes too much. In a country that seemingly holds sexuality on a pedestal, it would seem natural to equip our youth with a toolbox full of ways to understand such a society. However, in many states, including Pennsylvania, this is not the case.
From my previous posts, you’d know how lacking PA sex education is. If you’ve missed them, get updated here: I have attached an in depth look at Pennsylvania’s requirements so you can see for yourself!
Keystone CASE is the solution. I am committed to enacting bipartisan legislation that advances sex education in Pennsylvania. But, I need all the help I can get.
Building a nonprofit costs money. Beyond legal expenses, Articles of Incorporation, and other start-up costs, I would like to also build a website and have a professional logo. I first set a bare bones goal of $1,500.00 to get this non-profit started and what happened next blew my mind.
Last Friday, I purchased $25 dollars worth of supplies (Notebooks, Envelopes, ect.) at OfficeMax. I was afraid that I may not raise enough to cover the cost of just those supplies. I should not have been worried.
Tons of my friends and family (and even strangers!) rushed to my GoFundMe and donated. In less then twenty-four hours, I blew past my initial goal. Since, I’ve raised my goal to $3000 dollars by March 25th hoping to improve the quality of my startup.
I am committed to transparency, so I released the financial breakdown of my goal. This can be viewed here! In addition to the breakdown, I am making a promise that all of my financial records regarding Keystone CASE will be quarterly uploaded onto my upcoming website in initiative to create total transparency.
I asked people to support this non-profit because I firmly believe that CASE will help educate adolescents to make informed decisions. As an incentive, all initial donors will receive early access to materials and legislation before anyone else, and will also be invited to a monthly conference call with updates.
To readers interested in supporting my venture, you can access my GoFundMe with this link:
Featured Photo citation: “#069 – Progress (Essentialism Pt 19) [Podcast].” First Things, firstthingsproductivity.com/progress/.