Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday After Thanksgiving updates

Not a whole heck of a lot. I've had a week off from school for the holiday and no homework. Finals are coming up, but I've been going through tutorial stuff mostly.

I finally finished Code School's Try Query free course. I took a bunch of notes on it. I learned some new things, like basic traversing. That is going to come in handy for finding elements on a page.

I uploaded my first new bit of code to Github in a while. It was on the multiple to do list problem. I had gotten stuck at getting the name of the list from one part of the page to another. I'd click and nothing happened. I decided to focus on school so I wouldn't fall behind, because I was looking at it too long and scratching my head.

I just (in the last 10 minutes or so just) figured out what I had done wrong. My event handler was a separate event when it should have been nested inside the submit section. I'm kicking myself. I had to look at other people's code before I saw what I was doing. I had the same stuff typed as them, but they had it in a different place from mine. Location, location, location. Man.

Now I can get on with the rest of it and try to make it actually work. After I take my finals. The final for database class isn't posted, unless I have to find it myself. I'm like huh? Maybe I'll get lucky and there isn't a final.


It's time to get in bed.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nothing much this past week but low bandwidth issues and putting off homework to watch instructional videos while they started and stopped mysteriously. I also wondered how I used 4GB os bandwidth in as many days when I wasn't watching videos. I don't know if Free Code Camp's chat room ate it up or what, because that's all I did before midnight.  I hate Exede and hope they go out of business so I can find another option. Hope it burns in a fire.

Let's do this rundown.

My last database assignment included one tricky question. Tricky to me. That was the first time I've been sort of confused by something in that course. I wrote my "real world" answer and left it there. The instructor is always good with sending along the solution sheet, so I can see what Oracle was actually asking for.

I looked at next semester's schedule and the pickings were slim. I'm only taking one course, the next database class. The Web Tech list was thin, and there was a class I could take with a $144 book attached to it. I looked at the table of contents. Aside from the responsive design part (which I'm learning), it's mostly the HTML class I took years ago with some CSS thrown in. There was a design principles section, but cynical me wondered how much attention would even get paid to that part. Same lackluster teacher. So no.

A couple of weeks after I sent along my Github account to the teacher and the internship that almost was, my instructor writes me back. The letter read like she didn't pay attention to what I wrote her at all.

She just says "you should do an internship." YES. WE DISCUSSED THIS, REMEMBER?

I wrote back telling her I'd talked to the woman at the career office about my situation and without revealing too much of my business, I said I can't do this right now and that I will let her know when I can manage it. At that point, I'm hope I'm getting experience from somewhere else or attending a different school, but she doesn't need to know that.

She responds with a "Very well." I could hear the dismissive sigh on the other end. This bitch that "teaches" a web server class that consists of feeding students the manual in chunks and nothing involving an actual web server.

What should I do? Tell her I've been massively depressed, live in a remote area, drive a car without working windows that I can't afford to fix if the long drive to the next town messes with its delicate constitution. I don't have a job. I have no support system to speak of.  My connectivity to the outside world is shit and I can't do anything for it. Every day I wonder what the hell I'm doing and if I'm doing it right.

I don't want sympathy. I just want understanding. She's like the jerk who told me to "just" move. I have a real problem with people that tell people to "just" anything, like it's the most obvious thing. Maybe in your Pollyanna world, but it's not that easy for others. Know that, and don't assume a person isn't trying.

That's what went on this past week. Not a lot, mild rage induced. The semester is almost over, and soon I can devote more time to working through Treehouse and the other online instruction that's available.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's cold out there!

It feels like a century since I've blogged; it's only been a couple of weeks but it feels like forever. Ugh.

Anyhow, school happened. I took my database midterm and it went pretty well. Easier than I thought. I missed a web server quiz and didn't care that much. Don't give me two weeks without homework assignments because I just go wild! I was mostly doing mturk tasks and getting really bogged down by the cramps. This week I got cramps after the fact (yay!) and part of a head cold. 

The time was peppered with high anxiety and low energy. That's why it felt longer than two weeks.

I saw a tweet about a new online boot camp called Free Code Camp and it caught my eye. The program focuses on JavaScript and teaches the MEAN web stack. Once you learn the tech, you work in teams to create software for nonprofits.So you get curated learning with other people, a portfolio project and help grooming yourself for potential employers. And it's free and you don't have to pack up and move to the coasts where the rent is too damn high.


I read the Free Code Camp blog and learned more about their philosophy, then I sat on it while other issues occupied my time.

Even though this looked exciting and I was shocked by the generosity of the founders (they were former startup folks and decided to go all Prometheus and give fire to the little people), I can barely deal with regular namby-pamby school at the moment and I was nervous about trying to talk shop with other people. If you can't tell, my daily social interactions have been limited since I moved here. On top of that, I'm mostly introverted, a quality that's only increased since I've been stuck in Purgatory. To put it plainly: I don't know how to talk to people any more. 

I was also suffering from the "I don't want to look stupid in front of others" syndrome. The same thing that seemed to plague my networking class earlier in the year. Hardly anyone asked questions, I felt like a dumbass because I started struggling with it halfway through the semester, then after the final everyone I talk to says "I think I failed it" and I'm like "Really? It wasn't that bad!" and wondered why I was so intimidated by some of these ankle biters. After I've already determined I'm too old for this shit and ain't got time for it, it hits me again like it never really left. 

Once I stopped feeling so ill, I signed up before I could think too hard about it. It's similar to the Epicodus site, with videos and instructions, but the program is only about halfway written out at the moment (the advanced challenges are not available yet). In the back of my head I'm screaming "THIS IS SCARY!" but I kept typing and looking and signing up and looking at resources I didn't know existed, and I was in the chat room. Like most chat rooms, people weren't really talking. New Kid Syndrome hit. Lots of syndromes affecting me lately.

People were more friendly, though not too much (can't get hopes up too high) and I threw my two cents into a light tech conversation. I felt like I was in confession; like I was sharing too much. Because I'm a hermit. 

It was just nice to be around other learners. It was just nice to not feel alone. I don't know what everyone's level is, but it feels okay. I am hoping that once I become less self conscious I can do some collabs and maybe share some knowledge while learning from others.

And somehow, someway, I just got a free Treehouse account just now. If my eyes weren't so itchy and watery already, I would cry. I didn't think good things could happen to me any more. It also feels like a big hint from the universe to keep going, no matter how long it takes. I hope this all helps. 

I'm here to learn all the skills, as people say.