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Spark Comic 60
May 14th, 2013
Spark Comic #60 - Yearly Challenge

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Spark Comics is now back and ready to Spark up your daily life, so you don't have to!

I recently finished my 3rd year of University and man what a year it was. It was definitely the hardest year yet, though I'm in no way complaining. I needed that challenge a lot. With the exception of my programming classes, I was pretty much blazing through most of my first and second year courses because even when it was a course I was looking forward to learning something new and unknown to me, it ended up consisting of content that I already knew most if not all of and if it required a project, I intentionally made things harder for myself to make it feel like a challenge (The First Day is a perfect example). Personally, that's just how I am, I don't like doing things the easy way. However, my first and second year lacked that inheirent challenge that I so desired, even though they were fulfilling and I've literally been having the happiest time of my life since I started University.

Third year was different. This year sneaked behind me, kicked me in the balls, and turned off the easy mode in many ways. This year gave me a real challenge and I dared to not only be up to that challenge, but try to surpass it. As such, I learned a lot this year and spent most of it making my already hard courses many times harder than was actually required of me (Because I'm an academic masochist) by always trying something insane with technology that was new and untested, as well as delve into things I would've otherwise never touched and I am incredibly thankful it did. In fact, I've posted the fruits of these crazy ideas online in the form of my Pong Drawing Machine, Novint Falcon Drawing and 3D Drawing projects, Kinect Experiments, 3D printing, and the creation of the soon to be released open-source Sparky Konga library, my first independent game project which was shown in Ryerson's end of year art gallery, that helps people interface with the Nintendo DK Bongos. Ways to do all of these projects weren't exactly taught to me in class. In fact, most of these required me to use a process or programming language I was either not very good at or had NEVER used before so I had to do A LOT of research and experimentation. I lost A LOT of time and sleep just trying to figure things out and learn new things. It was exciting and frustrating, but in the end, I do what I always do, and complete the task no matter how grueling, because I don't believe there isn't a challenge that can't be overcome and in the end that hard work paid off big time. Though, I must say, without my amazing professors and their eagerness to help, NONE of my projects would've been finished completely, and it was their infectious enthusiasm that inspired me to do any of these projects in the first place or even think they were possible, so kudos to all of them!

In addition, I also become a larger part of the Ryerson game development student group, the Game Maker's Union, as public relations representative and now External Vice President, both of which are EXTREMELY difficult jobs that I welcome the challenge to, even if it does continue make my life endlessly more complicated. Still, it's allowed me to make more friends and contacts than I can count this year that I would've never met otherwise and I am extremely grateful. I was also given opportunities to teach, conduct public relations and advertising, organize events, including a BIG event I orgnized by myself called Checkpoint that brought local game developers to talk to students at Ryerson that taught me alot about curation, administration, and also about myself and balancing many MANY different jobs along with my course work. Even though I had many moments of doubt as to whether or not I could get EVERYTHING done in time and uphold my responsibilities, I finished everything and didn't leave a single task unfinished.

It truly was one hell of a third year, making me both excited and scared for fourth year, but I can definitely say I'm up to the challenge. I've learned so much this year and I've already been preparing for my thesis, which I'll be attempting to work on throughout the summer. I'm very happy that this became the hardest year so far since it gave me the inspiration to push myself to limits beyond my limits and I had a lot of fun doing so. I've always finished my work and keep my word. Somehow, despite all the obstacles, stress, and extra responsibilities I've assigned to me over the years, I always find a way to get it done. To anyone reading this, if you're ever intimidated by a task, responsibility or a mountain of both, don't give up because if you have a dream and you have the ambition to see it happen, just give it your all and I guarantee you, you will make something great, learn something new, and emerge out of the experience a much more fulfilled person. The impossible is nothing. You have the resources. You have the touch. You have the power.

See you next comic! :)