The Years All Askew, The Year In Review

Tagged as Personal
Written on 2008-12-21 05:23:11
It's been a big year. Of course, it's not over yet but I'm already anticipating the year to come. I'll be back in school after my out of school "experiment". Whether or not it was successful or not is a difficult question. I have a better take on the pros and cons of being in and out of school and am perhaps less naive about the "real world". I think I'm a bit more responsible and prepared for full time work and bills. I can cook. My experiment was also mostly successful. I know a lot more about computers and programming than I did going into this and I think the "play with obscure languages like lisp" bug is mostly out of my system. I'll at least be able to tolerate the Java classes better.

That said, there were mistakes along the way and things I could've handled better. My curriculum was a bit too ambitious, especially in the face of full time work. It would've been better to start with HTDP than SICP in all likelihood given my level of programming experience. I could've done better (i.e. tolerated) hanging on to my job in spite of the recession though it's probable I wouldn't have re-enrolled in school if I'd followed that route. Perhaps most importantly, I think I could've thrown myself into a real programming opportunity with my friend Will more than I did. I maintain that a lot of that stuff was way over my head but I probably could've managed if I'd just tried hard enough. So I'll keep trying harder.

I've been meaning to write a post for almost two months now called almost mistakes. I'm not sure if it's failed to materialize because I don't know what I want to say, don't know how to say it or some other reason. The original inspiration came from a night of conversation about education over at Oglethorpe and from me looking back on the last few years. A lot of times I feel like an idiot for following my heart. Leaving Oglethorpe to play with computers, leaving SPSU to study Lisp\CS, mentally checking out from TVS because I found it soul-sucking whether that was my own fault or not. The last few years are a blur. So much has changed and I remember it all so differently. It seems like a discontiuous function in which the line disappears between -2 and 2. I know there are good reasons but sometimes I think I should've just buckled, hunkered down, procured a degree and moved on. I'd at least be making decent money now, right? Not relying on student loans and such. I'm not sure when that post will materialize, or if, but it's been on my mind a lot.

Other than that there's plenty of interesting news afoot so I'll try to talk about that a bit tomorrow. I've been trying to do at least something with myself lately though it's been very hard these last two months. I had a pretty good structure September-October. I was unemployed but productive. It got harder late October to present. Granted I re-enrolled in school, went through financial aid for the first time and got loans sorted out (what a mess) but I really haven't flourished otherwise. Motivation is tricky when the future is uncertain, I suppose. I'm enrolled but it still hasn't picked up. Enough for now.
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