The Noble Cat

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly. ”

~ Arnold Edinborough

A quiet room. Dust motes playing a slow game of tag in a ray of golden light.

An old tome. Opened to the middle.

Three cats, filling the room with the sweet rumble of contented purring.

And me, bent, brown eyes scanning left to right and back, left to right and back, down the crème white page.

The scene I described above is my ideal state because I absolutely love to learn. Acquiring new knowledge goes far beyond the practical for me. Yes, I learn to apply my knowledge to novel situations. Yes I learn to help solve relevant problems.

But I also learn just to know. I learn because I am deeply curious at a fundamental level.

In the end, I think that explains my participation in Codeup.

I was awake last night at 1:00am- the witching hour. What was I doing? Learning.

I was watching a tutorial on using Git from the command line on YouTube. I only have today and tomorrow left in my schedule to study git, so I am spending extra time on it. (You can find the schedule I am referring to in my post Tick. Tock. Tyranny.)

Technology evolves at the speed of light. Staying current requires one to constantly learn. This is what appeals to me the most about computer programming.

Today I would like to hear from you. What are you curious about? At the start of the New Year, did you set out to learn some new skill or master some new craft?

I would like to start a conversation centered on curiosity and learning. Share what you are learning about in this moment or something you hope to learn more about in the future.

Please share in the comment section or join the conversation on twitter. My handle is @SounJa. Use the #TheNobleCat.

The absolute best thing about blogging is the opportunity to learn from each other.


Tick. Tock. Tyranny.

“There’s a time for us,

Some day a time for us,

Time together with time to spare,

Time to learn, time to care,

Some day!”

Confession. I’ve never seen West Side Story, but when I hear the song Somewhere my heart swells to bursting just the same. Particularly it is the second verse, the one that I have quoted above that gets me, right in the soul, every time.

I am a slave bound to the clock. Each morning, my alarm persecutes me with its shrill, persistent voice at 5:45am. Then again at 6:30am to remind me to administer phenobarbital and Keppra to my epileptic cat MaryGold. Then again at 7:00am to insist that I get out the door and on my way to work at the local high school. Once I get to school, every 50-minute class is signaled by yet another bell, counting off even more seconds that slip through my grasp like sand culled from a fragrant beach. In the evening, I arrive home just in time for still another alarm, this one set for 6:30pm to remind me that it is time once again to administer MaryGold’s medicine. After 6:30pm I have 3 hours and 30 minutes before my 10pm alarm dictates that it is time to administer MaryGold’s Zoni, again for her epilepsy. From here I have a two-hour window before MaryGold’s final medicine administration at midnight. As you can see, my time is largely bracketed by work on the one hand and caring for MaryGold on the other. Continue Reading

Virgin Control

Glued by gravity to the surface of this kamikaze Earth, I spin without choice through space.

And time passes.

It is hard for me to digest that a little over two weeks ago I could not use the command line interface on my computer. At the start of this year, I would not even have been able to find it.

Today, one month into the new year, I can now effortlessly navigate on the command line using basic commands.

If you are a mac user and would like to join the CLI club, then I highly recommend the Command Line Basics series on YouTube. I am currently on video #4 out of I’m not sure how many.

I like these videos because it is very easy to pause, practice the command that was just introduced on your own computer, and then play the video to learn more. The commands evolve naturally through the short lessons and the videos go into more detail than your average command line crash course. This is a real ‘must do’ for people who want to learn how to use their computer without a mouse.

Since gaining confidence on the command line, I have moved on to my next frontier: Git and GitHub.

If you have no idea what these two things are, then you and I have at least that much in common.

One month ago, before I started any of this PreWork, I was reviewing the syllabus and I noticed that I was going to have to learn Git and GitHub. Those were the only two completely unfamiliar terms on the syllabus so I went to YouTube to find out more.

The first video I watched clearly stated that Git was a “virgin control system.” Perplexed, I stopped the video and replayed it to be sure I had heard correctly. Yep. Virgin Control. That is what Git is all about.

At this point I was understandably very confused. Why would anyone want to control virgins? More to the point, what does virginity have to do with computing?

So I selected a different video…. And there it was again. Git is a “virgin control system.”

In fact every video I watched started by saying that Git solved the complex problem of “virgin control.” I stopped each video after it said that.

“What?” I was wondering, trying to stop my imagination from running wild.

Finally I went to Google and typed in “What is Git?”

First I learned that in British informal English, a git is a contemptible, unpleasant person.

That didn’t help.

Wikipedia saved the day with the following definition: Git is a “distributed version control system.”

“Oh,” I said aloud. Git is all about version control, not virgin control.

At this point I laughed at myself until tears rolled down my face. It is so nice to cry tears of joy instead of that other kind that we all too often encounter.

I still didn’t know anything about Git or GitHub at that point, but I was glad to know that I would not be sacrificing virgins and offering their innocent blood to the computer gods.

However I did learn an important lesson. As I learn the unfamiliar skill set of a web developer, I am going to make mistakes and misunderstand. Sometimes this is going to happen A LOT.

I have to be comfortable with laughing at myself. If I am going to make it through this Bootcamp in one piece then every instance of “virgin control” cannot be the end of the world.

Rather these misunderstandings have to be invitations for me to learn more.

Comforted by my newfound knowledge that Git and GitHub have nothing to do with sexuality, I am ready to learn.

Lets “Git” on with it shall we?