Day 516

Saturday | July 27th, 2013


I had a plan all put together for the day but it was like pulling teeth form an elephant compared to last week. So I wiped out Sunday’s material and probably some of next week’s material, but it all fell brilliantly flat. So I asked them, “What do you want to learn?” And they said programming.


It would be fun to teach programming. They wanted to learn C or C++, but I don’t know them. I thought about this on lunch, relaxing on a bench with my shoes off and wondering if I would be burnt again.


After lunch I taught them how to make a very basic HTML page and tied that back to English. It’s all rules (syntax), I said. Apply the rule, make good language—whether that language be one for a compiler, an engine, or a human. The only difference is a human is more tolerant of mistakes. Many humans can deduce what you’re getting at. Many Americans are downright forgiving for many English misdeeds. Markup (HTML) is much less forgiving, this is how we got quirks-mode. I covered that, too. We brushed on CSS and I tossed a line of Javascript in.


I had the students absorb the four basic structure tags (html, head, title, body) in relation to any old document, magazine, or newspaper sitting around. Then I had them hand write a short page telling me six things about themselves and banged it out in a text editor to pop open in a browser. To get this far, I had to cover hexadecimal values and binary, too.

I had so much fun that I am seriously questioning the worth of a Ph. D. in Education versus a B.S. in Computer Science. I like teaching this computer shit far more than I like teaching English conversation …

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