## Calculus Fog

Put in the time. Work at it. Dissipate the fog.

Yeah, yeah .. I know. I know.

Calculus is difficult. With Algebra, Trig and all the Pre-Calculus stuff I’ve done so far – even my ‘methods of proof’ class – the math came easily enough that practicing it a few times a week was good enough to get straight A’s. I’m starting to realize that Calculus is different.

I’m done with the section on Limits, about half way through the section on Derivatives, and I poked my head into the Integrals section. Yikes, it’s been months… I mean months and months. I have plenty of excuses for drawing it out so long, working full-time, working on other projects, moving, covid, etc. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got to finish Calculus and take the final exam like… yesterday.

#### Calculus is my Obstacle. Calculus is the Way.

So I’ve been thinking about that a lot this morning. I read another 25 pages (90-117) in The Obstacle Is The Way, which went through being focused on following your process and returning to that process when you find yourself distracted. Then it went into detail about finding the best process. It described the importance of doing your work right even if it’s thankless. You can’t act as if you think your work is beneath you, or you’ll always come up short. That led to the description of what right should really mean, especially when you’re in a bind. What right means is more carefully defined as doing what works. Using what you have available and discarding the notion of how you prefer things to be, forgetting the ‘perfect world’, and instead, planning/acting in the REAL world. Instead of trying to use direct brute force to solve a problem or do work, it’s often necessary to think strategically. Use your problem’s force against itself by pushing through its negative aspects to make them positive.

So here, with Calculus, my process obviously needs work. I need to practice more often and “*do the work*“, that’s a given, but I also need to find ways to apply my studies and explore them. That’s easy with the math disciplines I’ve mastered so far, but Calculus is dynamic. It changes and calculates those changes. Then calculates those changes when changing situations are applied to your changing situation. It’s enough to tie your brain in a knot if you’re used to static unchanging math. **Fog**, it’s the mist that floats in the air.. but it’s also the notation for putting one function into another function … as in **f(g(x))**. That’s called a composite function. Your process when working to solve a problem is a big composite function.

You find the derivative of a composite function using the Chain Rule. If the composite function is f(g(x)) … You take the derivative of function F, with function G passed into it, and multiply it with the derivative of function G. f'(g(x))g(x).

It’s the untangling of functions. It’s taking one big function, identifying it’s parts, and organizing them in a way to find how they change when their inputs change. You do this repeatedly, with other derivative rules, breaking down the problem until you reach either a constant or the x variable. Finding the limits of those brings you to a final determination of what the derivative is.

That’s what I’m doing with my process to finally conquer Calculus and ace my final. Decomposition of derivatives to see how well the parts of my process help my results. Use the logic of Calculus to create the best process to work on Calculus…

## Daily Task Tracking on Todoist.com

Here on my second day of using Todoist.com, I found that some of the daily tasks and sub-tasks I set up yesterday weren’t set up as recurring daily tasks the way I expected. The only way I could find on the app to mark a task as a daily repeating task is by typing “daily” into its name. That makes a “daily” tag with a little icon and orange/red background like this…

I forgot to do that with some of my tasks, so I had to go back in and set them correctly. I’m making note of this because on Levelz.app I want to make sure to make it easier to mark a task as repeating/recurring. I do really like the idea of typing tags into the title in order to modify how they work, or how they’re scheduled.

That’s brilliant. It does away with the requirement of having a UI component that modifies the task or changes its type. It *IS* rather obscure though. If I hadn’t happened to type the word daily into the name and noticed what it did… I would have never known that it can do that without reading some tutorials or something. There must be a balance there, inform the user of what tags they can add to a task by typing so they’re aware of the functionality… but once they know or have used it, don’t keep informing them – that’d get annoying.

## Other stuff

I found another cool youtube channel about video game development after catching one of his videos…

For the game I’m working on after I add the game framework I’ve been studying FXGL, I’m going to dig into this guy’s videos for ideas and inspiration. He’s good.

I’ve also added the Witcher book series to my Amazon cart, shopped around a little, did some FreeCodeCamp exercises and wrote some of my first Node.js code

Ok, I’m getting back to work here – finishing my Todo list. Going to see about filming a video and starting to post Youtube videos of me practicing skateboarding out in the backyard or something. Stay tuned.