you live, you learn

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.

9 thoughts on “you live, you learn

  1. I think what you just described is the typical process of learning without a teacher. I?m on vacation and I gotta learn a lot of stuff for my final exams. I got enough time, sometimes I?m even bored. But as soon as I want to learn… You know how it goes. Nothing goes! I could surf the net for hours without getting tired but I can?t concentrate on anything important. If you discover a cure for that, lemme know about it!

  2. asp = as soon as possible? as in, ms is working on that little bug and will fix it.. asp. oops.. asp s/b asap.. darn, another bug!

    didn’t cleopatra meet her demise that way?.. bitten by….an asp.

    oh well, it’s more manly sounding than perl, and certainly easier to work into conversation than php which one cannot pronounce without sounding like fffffffffp! not socially acceptable.

    i’d better get some coffee….and move along now.

  3. shoot, i hit the wrong button. on second thought, i was afraid that posting to my thoughts might be tacky on kd’s site! apologies for the mis-mouse. 🙁

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