Update: I thought I knew more than I did

I did not expect this class to be this way at all. I’m not sure what I expecting, but it was not this. I had never done any sort of coding before or even understood the complex inner-workings of things as simple as a website. In my first blog post, I said that I thought I understood computers pretty well. I realize now how wrong I was.

I recognize that we are barely scratching the surface of computing and that amazes me. Personally, Markdown is very simple compared to HTML. I love having the knowledge to work in Markdown. I find it difficult to remember all of the specific codes for HTML, while Markdown seems to be much more introductory. I find it very similar to when I learned Spanish. Learning basic Spanish was pretty simple, but once I learned all the tenses and conditionals and when to use them is where I got lost. For me, Markdown is basic Spanish, while HTML is all the added parts.

Something I struggle with in this class is recording what I am learning. My computer works slowly with Virtual Box, so I cannot bounce between it and Atom to record exactly what we are doing when working in Virtual Box whether it regards Python or WordPress. Because the computer language is so precise, I forget the specifics when I try to document how we did what we did later. Recording in the moment causes me to fall behind the class and miss things. I am going to start taking photos of my screen using my phone or screen-capture to try to record what I am learning more efficiently.

I have learned a lot though in the class, but my lack of records makes it difficult to recreate. What I found most valuable from this class is using Virtual Box and Python. There are so many things that you can do in Virtual Box, Python, and even Jupyter. I think it is fascinating to analyze texts using these programs. There are so many things you can learn from language-processors and these programs that recognize patterns. I am excited to be in the Thoreau Data group, because I think we can learn so much more about Thoreau through this. I have previously taken the Thoreau Harding Project Class with Dr. Gillin and will be working on the cabin this summer as well. Being able to use this technology will definitely help me understand Thoreau more.

Another thing that this class will eventually help me with is computing for children when I am a teacher. There are children’s games and apps which incorporate coding and teach them HTML. Honestly, I bet if I downloaded the games it would help me in this class. Having even the basic HTML knowledge I have gotten can help me support my future students. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a future coding-genius in one of my classes!

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