March 1, 2007

Guitar Hero

So, sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I've been sick and then have been trying to play catch up...not so fun!

My friends and I have discovered the wonderful world of Guitar Hero. For those of you who are out of the loop, Guitar Hero is a Playstation 2 game that has a plastic guitar and basically the guitar is your controller and you just go at it. I have upgraded to the Hard setting, after hours upon hours of practicing! My goal is to eventually get really good at the Expert setting. I was looking around on YouTube and found this video of an 8 year old playing the Expert setting on one of my favorite songs from the game...check it out!

This kid is freaking amazing! This is my goal by the end of the year!!!

January 29, 2007

Starting Fresh

The spring semester started about 2 weeks ago and I'm just getting time to sit and type out an entry. For the last couple of weeks, it's been kinda crazy. I'm trying to get in the transition of new classes, a new schedule, and new classmates and professors. Well...I really don't know what else to say at this time, but I'll be back in a couple of days!

December 13, 2006

Finals's half way through Finals week and I haven't started ripping my hair out yet. I've already finished my paper for one class, and took 2 exams. Lastly, I have my final project in Advanced 3D Graphics. We had to create a character model. You start with just a simple box and you mold the thing until it looks like a character. Once you have the character modeled, you create the bones inside the character. It gets really confusing at this part. You have to make sure that the bones are the right size, located at the right places, etc. The next step is to rig the bones. That is actually tougher than it sounds. You have to make sure that things are linked properly and that everything bends the right way and in the right direction. Lastly, you skin the character. What that means is like when you move your elbow, the back of your elbow stretches and the inside of your elbow shrinks. You skin the character so all the skin around the joints stretch and shrink in the right places. Once you have all that working correctly, you get to animate the character and make it do some interesting things. For our final project, we have to animate the character in a scene. My character walks across stage (which a walk cycle...not easy!!), sits down at a piano and plays twinkle twinkle little star. It was a challenge to get the fingers to actually play the right notes and the right time, but I managed. I don't have the final video rendered out yet, but the minute I do, I'll add it to my blog for you guys to see.

I can show you my final character model that I created tho. This is an elf that I created. It started off as a box, and you can kinda see where that was at. You change the box so that it has many faces and then you start pulling things out and reshaping things. The hardest thing about my creating my character was probably getting the nose to look right, the mouth, and the chin. Every time I would pull out the chin the mouth would get distorted and I would get discouraged; so I stopped tying to pull out the chin. I'm pretty satisfied with the results. It was actually one of the easier projects I've worked on.

I will add my final animation once I have it completed. Have a great Christmas break everyone!!!

December 5, 2006


There is an organization on campus called the Phonathon. It's an organization, but it's also a job. A group of students call alumni of Dakota State and raise scholarship money for the university. It takes a special person to work for this organization because you have to be able to handle rejection.
I've worked for the phonathon now for 4 years and absolutely love it. I started my first year at Dakota State as a caller. I won the Student Ambassador award my first semester and then the Top Fundraiser award my second semester, the next year I was the over-all Top Fundraiser again. My third year at the phonathon was a little different. I was promoted to Student Supervisor and have been in that position ever since. So needless to say, I've met a wide range of students. I got to work with students when I was calling and now I get to work with students as a supervisor.
This year, the group of students we have working at the phonathon are great! They have almost raised half of our goal ($100,000) in about 2 months calling time. We only work Sun-Thurs from 6:14-9pm. We play a ton of games, nightly, weekly, and semesterly! We have major incentives and prizes. You get paid to call. It's the best job I've found on campus and believe me, I've had my share of them! Another nice thing is that when there is no school, there is no phonathon...what beats that??

November 20, 2006

What a week!

Well, this week is a critical one in the lives of college students. Thanksgiving is on Thurday, which means that we only have a 3 day week. You should be excited, right? Well, I'm not so excited. I have 2 major tests, a portfolio due, and I have to decide what I want to do for my final project in one of my classes. It's a stressful week!! It's do or die time.
I've been in school for 6 years, which by the way, I don't recommend! I started off at South Dakota State University and then transferred to Dakota State my third year. I decided to switch majors a few times and took credits in the wrong disciplines, well because of that, I feel like I'm going to be a lifer here at DSU. Not that that is so bad. I know pretty much all the professors and faculty members, which can be a good thing. Unfortunately, I'm getting to the point where I don't know as many students anymore. All my friends, that I met my first year have graduated, then a new class came in and they graduated, and it continues every year and here I am...still chugging away.
So...going back to my original topic. This week is going to be an interesting one. I'm pretty sure that I will have to pull an all-nighter or two to make sure that I have everything done before I leave for Turkey Break. Get used to pulling all-nighters. Most college students will have quite a few of them...especially if you are like me and tend to put things off until the last minute. It's hard to create a 3D Animation in 5 hours...again, I don't recommend it, but it is completely doable!
Well...I hope everyone has a great week. Enjoy your time off over Thanksgiving because Hell Week and Finals are just around the corner...another great time to pull all-nighters!

October 18, 2006

I love Dakota State!

My grandma asked me the other day why I loved Dakota State. It is such a loaded question it took me a minute to answer it. I know that I will probably have multiple posts on just this subject, but I'll tell you a few reasons now. I love Dakota State because of the people. You can be in a huge lecture class of 80 some people and know half of the class or you can be in a lab of 25 and know the whole class. The professors know you by name and remember you year from year. They care!
I'm originally from a small town in Iowa and my whole family just assumed that I would go to school in Iowa. Iowa has the University of Iowa - the Big 10 school and Iowa State University - the Big 12 school. Both schools have a lot going for them. They have outstanding athletics, offer more majors, and have way more students. I have cousins that have gone there and think I'm crazy because I went to school in South Dakota. But, I can say that I'm not crazy because all I have to do is walk down campus and know that.
I know my university's president. I know him by his first name, although I don't think I would ever just call him Doug. I'm involved with an organization on campus that allows me to know major faculty members on campus. I've been to the president's house more than once. How many of my other cousins can say that? Granted, they have way more students on the University of Iowa and Iowa State University's campus...but that's not the point. Do they even know who there president is or is it just some person who gets interviewed time to time?

This is a picture of Ernest and Pauline Teagarden and Dr. Knowlton. They are alum of Dakota State. It is such a great picture. They came to campus to celebrate homecoming this year. This was actually taken at our annual brick ceremony. I can honestly say this is the reason why I love Dakota State. I love it because of the history of the school. I love it because of the excitement that lights up in the alums' eyes when they talk about the school. I love it because of the experiences I get to do because of this school. And I love it because it's my school. There is only one Dakota State and I'm going to be extremely proud when I can finally say that I graduated from that school!

October 9, 2006


Well, I'm sitting here in my apartment and I keep coming back to this page. I think I have revamped it about 30 times in the last day. I know there is a way, in Frontpage, to add a form or comment boxes, but I'm coming up empty-handed everywhere I look. I took Introduction to Computers (a required class) at South Dakota State University; they don't come close to teaching you anything like Dakota State does. I learned the basics, Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, and Powerpoint. Everything else, at SDSU, wasn't considered teachable material. Needless to say, I'm struggling now. This is my very first website ever created with Frontpage. I'm starting to understand a majority of it because I have taken multiple classes that deal with other programming languages. I might be switching to one of those other languages if I can't master this! If you have ANY tips with adding forms or comment boxes...please let me know! I would really appreciate it! Thanks!!