I got the Insults program done. No big deal other than digging through the multiple Python methods that might make the string management easier. The split method makes getting the single words out of the comma separated lines trivial. This little program seems to be a great example of using the right language for the task. Doing this in Small Basic would be a real bugger. Loops looking through the line for commas and building the word as it goes. I am not even sure it could be done in SB. At a quick glance I go not even see any string handling methods. Using a language like Python designed for string manipulation with a large number of methods that would seem to handle almost any string handling situation is almost anti-climactic. This is going to be one of those situations where I am just going to have to restrain myself from giving too many clues as to a solution to the program.
I am considering that once they complete this in Python they do it in Visual Basic. Might be fun. Of course the minor detail that they have never worked in VB makes me hesitate a little but I hesitated jumping out of that perfectly good airplane the first time and still ended up going out. (Alright, I got pushed but I still went out!)
I am somewhat convinced giving kids assignments without an extensive lecture ends up with more retention on the kid’s part. There is undoubtedly some nifty research out there that proves this one way or the other. I do this in my math class fairly regularly. The kids hate it. “I have to read the book!?” “Can’t you just tell me?” The drawback is that the kids that try to learn by osmosis (sit, listen and hope) are going to go down in flames. In my programming classes the technique works pretty well. Math classes not so much. Programming classes usually get a certain type of kid; a bit more ambitious, a bit more investigative and willing to do some above average head scratching. Math kids are there because they have to be and most are not big fans of math. Getting them to learn on their own is a constant struggle. Maybe more like a war.
Back to the VB thing. Hmmm. Got to go tinker.