Well, here it is, the end of the semester. The only thing left to do is this final blog and a final exam. It is with a mixture of sadness and happiness that I find myself here. I knew coming into this class that I would enjoy it. I had already accepted the fact that I was embracing my inner geek when I decided to come back to school and sure enough, I did. As I sit her listening to Enya and thinking about everything that has happened over the past semester, I can’t help but to smile.
I can’t say that I really knew what to expect coming into the class. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it or not to be honest. I had been out of school for many years and had almost forgotten what it was like to do school work. My memory was quickly refreshed. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the class for a variety of reasons. I guess the biggest reason was because I actually learned something and enjoyed the learning process. The homework was challenging to me. It may not have been challenging to some who have already been playing around in the computer field for a while have taken classes related to what we studied but they were to me.
I think my favorite parts of the class were the assembly language and scratch projects. The assembly language project gave me a basic knowledge of binary and how computers speak with that language. While I have absolutely no desire to ever become a programmer, this was fun. The scratch project was great. Once I got past the creative block I had and settled on what I wanted to do, the programming part was actually pretty cool. Wait, I just noticed that the two projects that I said I liked were related to the one thing I said I never want to do, programming. How odd.
The projects that I liked the least were the robot project and the blogs. I really hate to write because my brain doesn’t communicate with my fingers that well and I cannot seem to articulate my thoughts very well. I have always thought that blogs were kind of silly. People write about stuff that no one really wants to read, or so I thought. Ok, my thoughts about blogging have somewhat changed. I still don’t like writing but I do see how it can be a valuable tool. As much as I enjoyed the robots, I didn’t like the robot project. It was too limiting. You couldn’t really build a robot because you were worried about messing up something that another class was building. Plus it was a group project and you invariably get stuck with someone who doesn’t want to listen to ideas because they already know what they want to do. It’s like many people want to captain the ship but few people are content to be the force that moves it in the water. Such is life in a group project though. It all works out in the end though.
Regardless of what I liked or disliked, I learned a lot and realize that what I learned will be used somewhere down the road. I am not sure when or how but I have no doubt it will. God is funny that way. He will take what is the least valuable thing and use it to do something amazing. This is actually why I am in this class. My wife and I plan on moving to Africa at some point and being missionaries. For some reason I felt led to take network communications as a course of study. I have no idea how God will use this in Africa but I trust Him so I am content to follow His direction.
I also met some interesting people in the class. I think it’s my dry sense of humor but I always get a kick out of watching people try to one up the instructor and show their knowledge or lack of. It’s like they don’t have much self esteem so they try to show everyone what they know. We had the usual assortment of young people and older people and included those that couldn’t keep up and those that couldn’t care less. I must say that Dr. B handled it gracefully. That’s another thing I liked about the class. It’s cool to have an instructor who actually cares about what he is teaching and wants the students to learn. Ok, I am not sucking up, just giving credit where credit is due. This class could have really been boring but Dr. B made it interesting. Many instructors would not have put the time into doing that.
To sum it all up. I came in knowing little and left knowing much more than when I started and with a realization that I have a lot to learn. One of the biggest things that I learned was that Goat Weed is good for heart attacks. Who knew?!?!?
Thanks Dr. B. It was a cool journey.