Saturday, October 24, 2015

Teaching Myself Excel

The nature of interviews, at least for the state of California, seems to be changing.

I've been to several interviews now, and due to the self-testing process offered for many of the state lists, there is a new component that many departments are adding to their interview process - a test. Typically, this test includes some knowledge of a program called Excel.

I remember when the state was going by a different standard. That standard, required by nearly every interview I'd gone to, was 10-key typing. Well, I have a little finger on my right hand that is abnormally shaped, due to an old injury. But sure enough, I signed up for 10-key, and, by some miracle, got my 10-key typing certificate. I believe that this certificate did help me to land my first job with the state.

But now the standard has changed to Excel, and computer courses are costly and (I imagine) hard to come by if you have little free time, like myself.

Well, I took internet courses for my M.A. degree, and having had the self-discipline to finish these and make it through the program with my degree in-hand, I thought to myself, "You know, this might all be a lot easier if I can teach myself Excel, somehow."

Only, I had no guideline to work from. Well, I went down to the thrift store and bought a book on 97 Excel. Having been through so many college courses, I know that texts tend to change very little from one edition to the next. I have found that to be the case with Excel as well. A few things have changed slightly with the program, but mostly all for the aesthetics of it. The bulk of the program remains the same as it was in 97.

And so I am tackling one section at a time, and this old book has given me a guideline for how to go about teaching myself the program. I hope to be finished soon, and able to show others my new-found knowledge.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ophelia - The World That Kills Innocence

The image above is a painting of Shakespeare's character Ophelia, from the play Hamlet. She drowns herself, out of lovesickness and because of the crazyness around her that results in the bloodlust in her lover Hamlet, the death of her father Polonius, and the bloodlust of her brother Laertes. Ophelia is symbolic of the death of innocence at the hands of a cruel and uncaring, deranged world.

Well I happened to watch Paramore's music video, "Monster" and couldn't help but see the similarities between it and the traditional images of Ophelia. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoTEnaAI9Fo

Ophelia goes crazy just before her death, handing out flowers that are symbolic of ideas she holds dear and wants to preserve, but that the world no longer has a use for.

Ophelia: There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,
Love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts.

LAERTES
A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.

OPHELIA
There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue
For you; and here's some for me: we may call it
Herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
A difference. There's a daisy: I would give you
Some violets, but they withered all when my father
Died: they say he made a good end,--

See the dead flowers in the Paramore video? They're like Ophelia's flowers that she hands out, but they've "withered all", along with her hope.