it always begins auspiciously. fueled by more than a little coffee & my own enthusiam, i attack the task at hand. since i have only just recently determined what i want to be when i grow up, & not being in a position to learn in an environment where i would be taught, i have to learn by working. this is perilous, when i accept assignments based on my belief i’ll be able to learn a new language or two in the context of actually performing productive (i.e. billable) work. some have been easier by far than others, but whether i take over a site that’s broken or make one from scratch, the stresses are pretty much the same.
anyway, back to the beginning, the auspicious energy. i wonder where it goes when i open those books, or start an online tutorial. the effect is instantaneos — my mind fogs up. my eyelids get heavy. i feel that leaden, half-numb drowsiness, & all i can think is how nice curling up on the couch with a blankie & a pillow & drifting off…
it’s like my mind just vapor-locks. nothing makes sense. i stare, rather than read. i shake my head to clear it, i get up & walk briskly to the soda machine for a mountain dew. i take a break & surf some blogs. i come back refreshed, only to fall into that semi-hypnotic trance as soon as i get back to work.
finally i give up trying to learn & just start plugging things in where they seem like they should go. when they don’t work, i rearrange them a little. i do this until they do work. then i want to add to or change them, & in doing so, i break them again. then, or soon thereafter, as i’m figuring out what went wrong, things begin dawning on me. the stuff i read rings bells as i get to aha! & it starts making sense.
at almost every point in the process up to the aha! part i feel aimless, brainless, & inept. then all of a sudden i remember why i do it the way i do, & realise it’s probably ok. i do love what i do, though i’m not sure i love having to struggle with it this way.
i learn stuff all the time, by doing it or sometimes by writing about it. for instance, writing this gave me a great idea. the next time i’m suffering from insomnia, i’ll just break out this ASP book… problem solved.