Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My aplogies...

...To most instructors/teachers/profs who have had to deal with me. In some things, I am just fast. You're not doing anyhthing wrong.

This week, I'm taking the first of several web design classes. Kind of for work. Kind of for the fun of it. But this first one is an intro class. It's pretty basic. I could have arranged something so that I could claim prior experience and just skip the class, but that takes coordination (phone calls, alternate scheduling, hassle). I'm hassled enough at the moment. How bad could it be to sit through a few hours of review of basic HTML?

The answer: not bad. For me. I think I'm bugging the teacher, though. He gives an assignment such as produce a web page with a simple nested list. I'm done in about 30 seconds. He allowed 15 minutes for the exercise. Have I mentioned that I'm a fast typer? Lightning fingers. I'm not bragging. I'm sure my high school typing teacher would be proud (though I make ample use of the backspace button--a huge no-no in high school typing class).

I'm also always always always one of the very first ones done with a test. Its not that I'm smarter than everyone around me. Heaven knows that at Wash U that was far from the truth. More that I don't re-visit answers. I've found from experience that my fist guesses are usually right. If I don't know something right away, I skip it and come back. No getting stuck. And if I spend a lot of time checking things, then I second guess myself and end up doing worse.

Nope, I just do the work, give a quick check and turn it in. Sometimes, this habit does cause trouble (have I ever mentioned that I'm a horrible proofreader?)

Teachers think they're boring me. In a class like this one, where the instructor spends three minutes explaining how to open a file with TextPad in excrutiating detail, they're sometimes correct. And yet, sometimes taking a class is the best way for me to learn. I have to get out of my regular environment in order to concentrate on something new. If I just picked up a book and tried to read it at home, I'd spend my time doing laundry and playing with the kids, and reading all my fun fiction books. Therefore, I'm here. And other students ask questions that don't occur to me, but from which I learn things. Group classes are good.

The next few classes get into more detailed stuff that I haven't hacked at previously, and should keep me a bit busier. I hope.

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