After I finished my last online course, Learn to Program on Coursera, I had decided to take a break from it all. With life starting to change and the limited free time I did have, I didn't want to hammer myself into a red paste by forcing more weight on my shoulders.
I've done this before a few times in the past, taking a break I mean. So I knew what it entailed and how I'd respond to it. Depending on how thorough the last course whipped my ass, I would be back in a few days or a few weeks. I'd just stop looking at what courses I wanted to try next, and even just stop reading blogs and watching vid/pod casts. You know, just to clear out my mind. Or, according to Sam, "you need to un-mush your mind". Looking at that statement, I can't disagree with it.
I find myself looking for answers to the questions. I find myself thinking about should I use an IF statement or a FOR loop. I really like that feeling.
Time for some self doubt
Every time I would sit down, I would question myself about spending time on me and not the other things. I'd feel selfish. And that would cause me to not be able to concentrate and learn. Spinning my proverbial wheels, if you will.
So anyway, I'm on another break from online courses. Taking some me time. But keeping mind on not getting to comfortable with doing nothing. Sitting on my ass gets me no where in life, I know this. Besides, I want to know how to program. I want to understand how it works. A curiosity of a closed mind thats desperately trying to kick open the door of learning.
Kick back, but dont get too comfortable
The trick is, take some time for me but not let that become a habit. Its easy to come home after work and do nothing. Whats difficult is making the habit of working, taking care of your personal business, and then find time set aside for just yourself. But getting into that habit is just the beginning.
To get myself back into the swing of things, I'll start listening some podcasts on my phone (I use an iPhone like all the cool kids do) on the train on my way to work. I'll listen to the podcast while browsing some tech blogs, focused on letting my mind adapt back to this specific type world of technology.
I'll do this for a bit, and soon I'll find myself yearning for more. So I'll find a ton of blog posts & I'll read through them. I find myself looking for answers to their questions. I begin thinking about should I use an
IF statement or a
FOR loop. I really like this feeling. Kind of like my mind is finding its legs again. Like an infant learning colors (colours for our Canadian/British friends) and shapes.
The other day I found a site that had beginner questions for Java and Python (I think it was CodingBat). I went to the warm up section for Python, question 1. I worked through it in my mind, step by step. I felt good about it. In my head I'm like "Ok...if with a few elif's...easy". But the answer wasn't as difficult as I'd made it. You could do it 2 lines normally, or 1 line if you're good. Just looking at these questions got my mental juices going. So now I can feel myself wanting to jump back into a new course.
The fun of it all
I really love that feeling of the light bulb going on. Getting it. It makes me want more. But I also want a course that works for my learning style, plus I need to find an outlet for questions besides the old "please leave a message below and someone might get back to you...maybe". But which one?
In the past I've started a course at Udacity for Intro into Computer Science CS101, I feel comfortable with how the site works, and the flow of things there. So my plan is jump back into the CS101 course. I'll start back at the beginning for my benefit, instead of where I left off. But there's a connection there.
I'm still looking for that one course that pulls me in completely and engulfs my mind. Like how Counter Strike did back when it first came out....and I was much younger.
If you have suggestions please leave a comment below or email me.