Intro to Python’s Flying Circus
I may be an English major now, but that doesn’t mean I never studied anything remotely related to STEM fields (“science, technology, engineering, and mathematics”–I’m just trying to use a trendy acronym, okay?). I bought into the whole “AP Classes Rule the World!” thing back in high school like many impressionable young students, and, consequently, took a handful of high-level courses outside of my beloved major.
(Incidentally, my life’s dream is to create a CollegeBoard rival and drive those despots out of the education market. Your future children will someday take the KSAT–beware!)
The bitter truth is, however, that scoring a 5 on the AP Calc exam is absolutely useless to a Cornell Arts & Sciences student who’s not interested in continuing mathematics courses throughout college: even with that score, I still need to fulfill my “distribution requirements” in science and math. Over the past few semesters, I’ve tried taking a few of the courses targeted at “non-majors”–specifically “Evolution” and “The Art of Secret Writing”–and was thoroughly unimpressed by both of them.
Enter Intro to Python.
I added this course not out of sheer spite or a desire to escape another inane class designed for those completely uninterested in math or science, but because (surprise, surprise!) I’m actually interested in programming. In the early days of my nerdy youth, I was convinced that learning a programming language would absolutely ensure my eventual world domination. Luckily for the world, though, I never had the time to take AP Comp Sci during high school, and that casual interest remained unexplored. Until now.
Intro to Python recently replaced Cornell’s dreaded Intro to Java course. Why did the language switch cause the class enrollment to increase so much that we had to get a bigger lecture hall? Well, besides the fact that Python is allegedly easier and more “fun” to use, the class is now taught by an engaging professor who has truly mastered the art of vocal projection in a gigantic room (trust me, there’s nothing worse than learning tricky material from a mumbler).
And even though some people voiced their doubts when I first mentioned my course choice (e.g. “You’re an English major! How will you keep up?”/”You should think about this. It’s going to take up WAY too much of your time.”), I’m just going to come out and say it–I really enjoy Python.
That’s not to say, of course, that the class doesn’t challenge me (and, honestly, it’s nice to find a class that’s actually difficult for once). I’ve just found myself so fascinated by Python itself that I’m writing code as a hobby, inventing programs that fulfill extremely useful functions (such as creating a “shipper name” when given the names of two characters and converting normal text into the poorly-spelled language of various Internet memes) in my spare time. In the future, I’m looking forward to experimenting with text-based games, story generators, and–
What is this? Am I…having fun with the course material?
That’s certainly never happened in a distribution-requirement-fulfilling class before.
|Print article||This entry was posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on October 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
No trackbacks yet.
about 2 months ago - 4 comments
I thought I knew college-student desperation. Listening to Emerson, Lake, & Palmer’s Pictures at an Exhibition at 3 in the morning to drown out the drunken debauchery going on outside your walls–that’s desperation. Or getting to the library at 7:30AM because that’s the only way to guarantee a free printer. But now, after a stressful week of More >
about 2 months ago - No comments
Though we’re no Han and Leia, the UK academic system and I certainly have a love/hate relationship. There are some subjects–like the notion that students should be self-directed, independent thinkers who don’t need busywork to force them to learn–upon which we agree. In the end, though, I think essays might be the theoretical carbonite that More >
about 3 months ago - No comments
Happy February 10th! (Or 10 February, if I want to be correct by Scottish standards.) Sure, today’s the first day of the Year of the Snake, but it also marks the monthiversary of my life in Edinburgh. Eerily enough, I’m just about to begin Week Five of classes, which means I’m nearly halfway done with my courses More >
about 6 months ago - No comments
To the commercial world, November means one thing: Christmas is on its way! To the less ridiculous members of society, November may conjure up images of pumpkin pie, turkey, and the last bright days before final exams start taking over the Earth. To the many participants in a certain write-a-book-in-a-month program, however, the eleventh month More >
about 1 year ago - No comments
I know the internet, and the internet works quickly. Therefore, I’m pretty sure that everyone has heard of Kristen Bell’s sloth meltdown by now. (If you haven’t, here it is.) For those who have no time for such Youtube frivolity, I’ll summarize: essentially, the star of Veronica Mars recalls how her boyfriend’s surprise birthday gift (bringing a More >
about 1 year ago - No comments
There’s no denying that Cornell’s academic environment can be a bit…well, competitive. English and art history classes generally don’t involve curved tests or other methods of examination that encourage intense hostilities among grade-hungry students, though, so I haven’t really experienced the thrill of battling for, say, one of ten distributed As in a course. Since I’ve More >
about 1 year ago - 1 comment
I am quite certain that “course-enroll” and “PeopleSoft” are the two most despised compound words on campus. Cornellians bemoan the fact that it takes whole hours to get past the PeopleSoft “Sorry, your session timed out (even though you just logged in half a second ago, ha!)” page and successfully register for classes. Of course, More >
about 1 year ago - 3 comments
As of twenty minutes ago*, I am officially done with prelims.** Because this was the first time I’d ever had a prelim in every subject (hey, scantron exams just don’t happen in Major Poets or Introduction to Acting), I’ve been a little overwhelmed, and I now certainly have a great deal of appreciation for all More >