Old Dog, New Tricks

So let me be clear here: I’m not saying I’m an actual old dog. Mentally, I still feel like a youngin’. But during my first week at The Iron Yard Orlando, the same brain I’ve had since actually being a youngin’ was feeling a little stretched out.

Week one was about as stressful as I could’ve imagined, and then some. I constantly felt lost, then frustrated, then lost, before I mentally curled up in the fetal position. There were so many things being thrown at me at once. HTML and CSS are two different coding languages being taught at the same time. Imagine learning French and Japanese from the same teacher, alternating between the two every 20 minutes.

So, what are my new tricks? Well, I managed to learn both HTML and CSS in a way that I can work with them. I’m nowhere near able to comprehend the “why,” but I can sort of get the “how.”

Week two has started out in a different way. This week, we take the two existing languages and kind of lay them aside to learn Javascript. I’ll rely heavily on those other two languages, but start to figure out their relationship with this new one. If I were assigning this language to another “worldly” language, it might be English. Why? Because I see a standard way of using it, but thousands of ways to make it work, sort of like how we use there/they’re/their.

This is no easy task. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you can devote all of your time and emotional endurance to the rollercoaster of ups and downs that happen almost as quickly as it takes to read this sentence.

Learning in this environment likens itself to working in a kitchen. You can prepare for the worst-case scenario, but you don’t actually know how hard it is until you’re in the weeds. Then, and only then, can you truly understand how to lift yourself out of it.

So, this dog may be learning a few tricks, but I am also drawing on my old experience to push me to the next level.

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