Perl class had to be held in an alternate classroom yesterday. This required checking out a laptop and projector for showing the PowerPoint slides. Usually my co-teacher handles that but he is off this week.
So I check out the laptop and the projector and go down to the classroom an hour early to make sure I have time to set everything up. Ah, Optimism! What a high flight and what a hard fall.
First I couldn't sign on to the laptop with any id/password I tried. Then I found out that, no stupid, it is not a wireless setup. So I connect it to the wall outlet. Still didn't work. Finally after some consultation I signed in as a workstation.
That meant I had to return to my desk and download the presentation to a floppy and carry it back to the classroom. That took trying two different disks before I got a copy. Then I go back to the classroom and try it. It works. Rah!
On to the projector which, of course, did not work as expected either. The font size on screen kept changing. I finally had to get help on that. Then, at last, all was ready.
This was the smallest attendance at a class yet. Everyone, it seemed, was on vacation or in another class or "just couldn't make it". The teaching part went well enough, except that my voice kept trying to give out. I had been too busy to go and get a glass of water. You would have thought the class was being given by a rusty gate from the sound. At least now we have finished Regular Expressions.
Sitting, waiting for my wife to bring lunch. I was supposed to go work out in the gym today with the guy in the next cube. But he came around and told me he was going to run outside which I am not in shape enough to do yet. So I got a bit miffed and decided that I would stay inside and do nothing. That'll show him.
I have to teach another class tomorrow. I am calling this one Guerilla Regex, because I am not really sure about what I will be telling the class. Most of what is in the slides came straight from one book or another but sometimes it might as well be in a foreign language for all the understanding I have. The only thing I am sure of is that I know more than the people in the class and that will have to do. The only thing I can do is not lie and tell them when I don't know something.
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Except that I didn't have to teach this time. My co-teacher wanted to go over a template program so the class would know what all this Perl was about. So I sat and watched while he did that. Easiest class yet..
No class next week because so many people will be gone for various reasons. I will be holding a 'Q&A' class on Friday for those that want specific questions answered.
Due to my masterful ability to copy text from books to PowerPoint slides and put them on a screen I am gaining an entirely spurious reputation as being knowledgeable in Perl. But even simple copy takes a lot of time. And even more time to make sure the result looks reasonably coherent and understandable
This is why I never wanted to be a teacher. It is a lot of work and you have to stay after school. Plus I knew that one dark day I would get a version of me in one of my classes. Brrrrrr.
My co-teacher is out-of-town and I had planned to teach the class alone today. But the people in class last Friday (I was out) requested that we skip today because so many people were going to be gone this week and they didn't want to miss two classes in a row.
I guess that means that we have made the class frightening enough that the class feels they can't afford to miss much. Either that or they are expressing their horror of the idea of me teaching the class by myself. Either is possible.
This week a colleague and I will begin teaching Perl to our department. This is on the basis of a 3-day course by a knowledgeable but non-expert teacher. I will not be required to teach programming, as all of them are very good programmers, just Perl.
The aforementioned course is not (quite) all I know about Perl. I have read the Llama Book, a fair amount of the Camel Book and several other tomes of Perl wisdom. Not formal training, but a certain familiarity with the language.
Of course, I will get a lot more out of these classes than the attendees. I will have to know what I am talking about (a daunting concept) and anticipate their questions and be able to answer the more reasonable ones. I am being forced to study, which is always good for me and get what knowledge I have organized to put in lesson plans.
I estimate that by the time we have taught the last class I will know at least three to five times as much Perl as I do now. I will still not be anywhere near an expert but I hope to have a solid foundation of Perl knowledge. I should be able to measure my progress by what my 'students' learn. If they learn a little, I should have learned a lot.
So I will certainly get the most out of the classes and I can only hope that my departmental colleagues might learn a little as well.
In my last entry I hit the save key by mistake so the format is incorrect. Here it is again with better formatting and, hopefully, more readability:
As a nation, this probably affects us more than it does any other nation or people on the planet. Not that any first world country is immune, but I am sure the curse hits us the hardest.
What am I talking about? Succintly put, moving our junk to a new place. Americans have to have more junk than any people on earth. I am no exception, I am a pack rat extraordinaire, expecially concerning books.
I just got through moving to a new, bigger house with a new, bigger basement. I threw away literally a ton of stuff. Pickup truck-loads and trailer-loads of worthless crap. I stored boxes and boxes of books. And finally we are all moved in.
So why do I have more than I started with? The new, bigger basement is an obstacle course, mostly of boxes, but also unpacked gear. My wife complains about not having cabinet space in the kitchen (but, Honey, you said this kitchen was bigger!).
Heracles' labors in the Augean Stables were a quick sweep-up compared to this move. And it is nothing special. I am sure that most or all of you have done the same. Stood looking at the packed boxes to be muled to the truck or car and thought to yourself, 'Where did all this crap come from?'
It came from years of saving stuff you couldn't use but just knew would come in handy someday. It came from the things your realtives left you or gave you. It came from stuff friends dumped on you that maybe you could use but they didn't need. It came from all those things you bought and now think 'Why the hell did I buy that?'
My universal remedy is...don't do that. Don't buy it, don't keep it, don't let others lay it on you. Be hard, be stern, be cold, and most of all, don't be like me because I haven't done any of it.
Another night without enough sleep. Tomorrow I'll struggle all day to stay awake and get something done. Then tomorrow night I'll have a tough time getting to sleep again.
At least staying up I got to see the first episode of Witch Hunter Robin on Adult Swim. More action would have been good but I suppose they have to introduce the characters, set the scene, etc.
I think I'll get something to eat and try sleeping again. Either that or watch more cartoons on television.
I mean he must have one right? He is an author with a hot book, so it follows he makes lots of money, right? So I am helping him fuel his yatch.
That is, I just bought a copy of Learning Perl(3rd ed.) . I am on chapter 6 now and enjoying the experience so far. What I am reading is helping to solidify things I picked up elsewhere and didn't quite understand.
As little as I remember of the 2nd edition, this version seems clearer. Granted I have been studying since then and granted my memory is a bit hazy, this version seems better laid out and talks about things I need to know.
Anyway, if, like me, you are floundering in Perl waters, this ia good...uh, yatch.
The Karma Fairy sneaked up and whapped me with her wand again. And, as before, I have no idea why. Could it be the (ahem) quality of the writing? Spelling? Punctuation? Good Grammar? The position of the stars? Sweet Fanny Adams?
I feel like a blindfold man in a darkened house at midnight, stumbling from place to place. Suddenly someone hands me a cookie. A paper cookie but a cookie. Better than nothing but what's it for? Did I do something or did I refrain from doing something?