In 7th grade, I had a math teacher who told the class homework should be done in complete silence. That meant no TVs on in the background, no headphones in our ears, and no friends to talk to nearby.
So I took his advice, and began to sit down at my desk trying to work as if I was in a monastery. This was the beginning of a struggle and dislike of math that lasted for the next three years, and only ended when I began to relax my extremely harsh “no distractions” rule.
Starting this past Sunday, a day hasn’t passed where I haven’t gotten down on my knees to thank whichever deity is in charge making sure your muscles and bones heal after you’ve overused them. (Most people call that deity science or nature, but believing in some kind of magic is far more fun.
This May, I will be graduating. I will be twenty years old, and have completed my degree in just three years.
When people ask me about how I did this so quickly, I think that they often assume it’s because I’m somehow smarter than other people in my field. This is absolutely not true. I just mapped out my degree plan very effectively, and found alternative ways to earn some of my credits.
Motivation can be hard to come by. If you were to aggregate my motivation from all facets of life and plot it as a function of time, the recent past would likely be a local minimum in the curve. I’m currently investigating why.
This semester, instead of a full complement of CS or math classes, I’m taking a few liberal arts classes in government and philosophy. One of the classes I’m taking, Constitutional Interpretation (which is really constitutional law), is considered one of the most—if not the most—challenging classes offered by the government department. The professor usually teaches in the law school, but occasionally teaches undergraduate classes; when he does, he usually teaches them the same way he teaches them in law school.
“I feel like I don’t get excited about computer science stuff anymore.”
A friend of mine mentioned that in a group chat during winter break. My knee-jerk reaction, “Go read cool articles!” was rather hypocritical. I don’t read as many tech articles as I should. However, I still felt the burning need to defend computer science. Computer science was not just “exciting!” but “EXCITING!!!” - 24/7, 365 days of the year.
My grandma is someone I really look up to. When she was about my age, she was operating telephone switchboards for Ford Motor Company, braving harsh Michigan winters, and probably making lots of people feel crazy for thinking they could beat her at Euchre.
The summer before I started my computer science degree, I set the goal of making an app and getting it on the Apple app store. I’m graduating in May, and so far it still hasn’t happened
My Facebook news feed has recently been peppered with a string of ridiculous and delightful events that perfectly sum up my feelings as the semesters draws to a close.
I’m not a certified doctor, but I’m pretty sure I got glasses from reading too much (I’m also pretty sure I almost burned down my childhood home from reading too much - but that’s a different story). Third grade was the year I got glasses (I spent hours in the store on a personal quest trying to find the most Harry-Potter-like glasses), and that was also the year I started reading novels way past my bed time by the dim light of my desk lamp.