Computer Programming + Comedy!

Last night I had my first INFM 743: Developing Internet Applications class. I've been terrified of this class since I dropped INFM 718N: Web Enabled Databases during summer school. But I really wanted to take it because I think it will help me to better understand how Digital Humanities/Digital History works. I've also really enjoyed the web programming (coding? which is it?) that I've learned and want to learn more. Expectations and concerns aside, I'm looking forward to this class more now than I was yesterday morning.

¿Why do I have high hopes for this class?
First of all, I appreciate the instructor's slow approach to delivering material and forcing people to ask questions (though this could become a problem for me - see below). I felt like I learned a lot and understood more about how programing languages work by the end of class. I really appreciated that because most CIS instructors seem to just insist "Do it because this is the way it works!" but my brain needs "Why?!?" before information really sinks in. Second, I'm thinking I might be able to apply what I learn in this class the pattern database that I began for INFM 718N. I really want to finish that database and create the web interface for it, so this class should serve as an incentive to do that. (I know! I know! Ms. DTM [doing too much] strikes again. :/ ) Finally, class was fun! The instructor was totally ADHD (sounds familiar) and kept going off on silly tangents which served great as brain breaks and were frequently quite hilarious.

¿Then why am I still concerned?
Most of all because so much of tonight's lecture seemed like a giant word problem. Math is my nemesis. I've really enjoyed web coding because it has increased my tech confidence. But that's because its all verbal and logic. PERL and more traditional programming seems to be a return to numbers (I need a picture of me hiding under a desk and chewing on my hair here). I get that strings are alphabetical and that programing doesn't have to be numbers it just seems like most examples are word problems for math and my limited experience has trouble coming up with other applications, urgh!

Additional concerns are entirely personal.

  • The instructor's insistence on people sharing what they've said quietly in class means that I can't keep up my steady stream of snarky/sarcastic comments and helpful answers without becoming even more annoying than I already am as a student (or beloved, depending on the instructor's personality).
  • The interspersion of Spanish throughout the class was great but frequently led to me practicing Spanish in my head for a few moments afterwards and losing track of the lecture (hablo espanol un poco y muy mal). MUST CONCENTRATE!
  • All the talk about cheesecake was very distracting and made me want to give up my diet/exercising. (Bad idea, I know)
  • The instructor prefers Superman to Batman! I realize this is a matter of personal taste, but seriously Batman is way more awesome than Superman.

Ultimately, it was a good class and I'm hopeful that it will remain so if I maintain the "little engine that could's" mantra ( "I think I can...."). I've set a programming problem for myself to learn by the end of the semester:
If (name) cries from (time) to (time) every (day) then how many kleenex will he use in (time)?
Someday soon I will present this blog with the Perl expression necessary to execute the above statement (forgive my poor tech vocabulary and please don't give me the answer - yet!).

Have a great day and keep smiling! :)


ambarish said…
I was looking forward to this blog and finally see it up now :)

Well, After the class me and Scott were so hungry for good food that we went to BeltsVille and ate a lot.

My previous experience with the INFM718N (PHP MYSQL) was good and I hope to create a better application in Perl because its a full regular semester and we can work in groups.

Batman is better than Superman.

confession: I hate online classes cause we have to post post and post. But this is fun :) :)
laura said…
You didn't invite me to get yummy food with you'all? Not cool!

I too hate the discussion board portion of online classes. I appreciated that none of that was expected in INFM 718N. I have high hopes for this class and part of the reason I felt comfortable with dropping INFM 718N was that I was registered for this course and thought I would be better able to keep up in a regular semester class. I would love to see what you did for your INFM 718N project (if its accessible via the web somewhere).
ambarish said…
I will show that to you in an hour :)
I developed a sports league database and a web portal. I am sure you will like it :)