The New Guy

In one of our final programming classes last semester, while waiting for Prof. X, a strange face wandered into the classroom. It belonged to a younger middle-aged guy who looked confused, and, since I sat in the back, he asked me a few questions. Turned out that he was planning a return to college for the Spring semester, and hope to major in Discovery Informatics. Quelle surprise! A fellow traveller……..why should I consider my story so unique?

We chatted after the class, exchanged contact info, and went our separate ways. With exams looming, I quickly forgot about the encounter and focused slaying the Dominion of Darkness (Calculus).

Lo and behold, who should I spy upon arrival in my campus hideaway, aka the computer science lab, the other day……..none other than the New Guy. Looking somewhat apprehensive, not quite sure how to act or where to sit, listening to the banter but not yet able to participate, his presence instantly transported me back in time, to those days, just a year ago, when I walked in his shoes.

We re-acquainted ourselves and I sat down to start working. In a minute, sure enough, he leaned over and asked a question. I responded, there was another question, and then we moved closer together and began to discuss his first attempt at writing code in Python. With the wisdom of my one semester on the subject, I was able to help him with some basic setup issues and even suggested an alternative to his initial logic. Then he asked about algebra…..

In an instant, I realized how far I have come in this adventure. I can write basic code. I can explain/help with Algebra. My latest programming assignment was submitted yesterday, TWO days ahead of the deadline…..a first for me. I’m in more classes than ever, and the load is not (yet) unmanageable.

I think I’m turning into a fully realized, actuated student.


1 Response to “The New Guy”

  1. 1 Dan January 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    This is because, you’re, uh, what’s the word?

    Oh yeah: Smart.

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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