Summer is here and it will not be a break

Today is the last day of kids in school.  The kids are happy of course.  Me, not so much.  I like kids and teaching.  Oh well, there is next year.  I will still be at school through the summer.  As the IT guy I have an eleven month contract.  Time to fix all the problems I did not have time to deal with during the school year.  This would not be a big deal if the building was air-conditioned.  It is not, it gets hot, especially on the second and third floors.  As in 100+ degrees hot.  Windows closed, no fans blowing, oikes.  That is why I make the big bucks.

Summer is also when I revamp my courses.  Nothing original there, I imagine every teacher in the US does something like that in the summer.  I have got to do something with my Stats course.  It is putting me to sleep so you can imagine what it is doing to the kids.  I have got to get Excel or Google Sheets more involved and less TI-84.  Computer access is an issue but I will figure something out.  My game making course needs to be altered a bit.  I am doing too much software and not enough philosophy and psychology of games.  You know, what defines a good game.  Why Flappy Bird was such a hit, why Tetras is still popular and why the Fortnite craze.

I have quite a few kids signed up for my dual-credit Python course.  I have it pretty well lined out but I need to expand it a bit.  Most of the kids signed up have done Python already so that sort of kills the first month of the course.  Maybe it is time for me to learn how classes work in Python.  So you think “He does not know how classes work in Python?  What a moron!”.  Well when I started programming there were no classes.  And in the many years since that beginning I have had no classes on classes.  (Sorry, I had to do that, it was there.)  I can spell OOP and I know the idea, I just do not do OOP.  Reading books and watching videos on classes and OOP just does not do the trick.  I need a class on classes with a real teacher.  And I need the time to take said class.  The local university is offering a course on Python this summer.  I just have to figure a way of working and sitting in on the course.  This is one of the big problems with learning programming on-the-job and on-the-fly, there are just so many knowledge gaps.  Kind of like 90% of the CS/programming teachers in the US right now.

I am signed up for a weeklong Mobile APCSP course in Butte.  I am really not taking the course for the material, it is the interaction with other programming teachers that I look forward to.  The course uses App Inventor which I am not a big fan of but it should still prove interesting.  The fact the class is offered at Butte is a big plus.  Some of the best mountain bike trails in the US are right out of Butte.  The town also has three breweries.  Yup, I like Butte.

For summer recreation I am heading to Oregon August 5th until August something else to go mountain biking and maybe hit the coast.  I have to be back by the morning of the 13th.  I am giving a First Lego League programming minicamp.  This will be the first year we have done a FLL team.  “Interesting” is one word that come to mind.  I said I would NOT be the coach.  We found a parent who has done it before.  He is a CS teacher at the university and has a 7th grade son who will be on the team.  Everything worked out well.

As usual the summer will not be boring.  Lots to do and lots to try to figure out.  Oh, I almost forgot, I am signed up to do a 25 mile mountain bike race at the end of July.  Right now my conditioning is zilch.  Something else to work on.  Somewhere in here I am doing some overnight backpacking trips.  I want to fish some of the high lakes in the Bitterroots.  More training required.


One Response to “Summer is here and it will not be a break”

  1. Mike Zamansky Says:

    The problem with taking a Python class is that there’s no guarantee they’ll teach OOP well.

    This is true with colleges across the nation who might teach a language but not the programming paradigm in a sensible way. I’ve seen tons of C++ programmers who are really C programmers using classes instead of structs and Java code to match (albeit you have to use classes all the time in Java).

    I rarely use classes in Python just because other paradigms (imperative / functional) seem to solve my problems in cleaner ways.

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