3 posts tagged distance
Tell us about an experience that inspired your interest in the computer science field, or a specific aspect of it. Any inspiration is fair game!
I spent the first 17 years of my life avoiding computer science. But a friend inspired my interest in it anyway. He is now avoiding me.
To be sure, I’ve always thought computers and programming languages were cool. I may not have known much, but what I saw seemed like magic, as lines of a mysterious foreign language transformed into something greater. But my older sister studied CS, and this was a big enough minus that I didn’t seriously consider the subject until the summer before college, when my friend, the guitarist, taught me Java.
It began with my plans to brush up on my questionable knowledge of programming. The guitarist immediately took up the task of teaching me the basics, in his way: “Say you had the class Person.java. A subclass for Person for example would be a Warrior Princess. A Warrior Princess is a Person with a name and an age, but she also has a special attack, armor, and other things a normal Person doesn’t have. Ya know?”
And thus began my intro to computer science. Full of irreverent jokes and perhaps not yet “real” CS, my informal summer lessons sparked my interest enough that I took two CS courses the following fall. We even almost got to the real computer science. “I want to teach you about pointers,” the guitarist said once. “If you can understand pointers, then you can major in computer science.” The guitarist is fond of oversimplification and underestimates many challenges.
Challenges like the combination of distance, hesitation, doubt, and chance that tore us apart enough that the last thing I’ve heard from him is, “Anyways, please don’t try to contact me anymore. We’ve had our run together and it’s run its course. You have another running buddy now and I need to go find mine. Sorry. See ya.” The guitarist loves weird metaphors and turns of speech.
And I have found other people, other ideas to inspire me to run further, indeed to run head first into the world he introduced me to. The guitarist left my life, but I still remember my non-traditional intro to CS. And maybe someday, even if it takes the 17 years I took to find CS, he will remember me again. For now though, I’m just working on becoming a Warrior Princess of computing. After all, I’ve already passed the big test. I understand pointers.