Web Wise Women

Monday, November 01, 2004

Computers, Law, and Math!

So why these three subjects?
Well, I suppose they don't seem to go together.
I mention these things because I have interests in all of them... and in History, Art, Psychology, Science... well, you name it, and I am probably at least curious. I'm one of those pitiful sorts who would dearly love to attend school for the rest of my natural life. Yes, some think I'm absolutely insane. Get the degree, get a good job, and start really earning the cash, some say. But for me, education has never been a means to an end. It's the endless journey, the broadening influence, the unfolding of endless vistas of unexplored territory to which I bring my own unique experience. I have never met a class I truly didn't like.
So again, why Computers, Law and Math?
Well, I have been interested in computers as tools, and mighty useful ones at that, for about 24 years. But for some reason, I never got "into" computers the way some do - learning how to make the best possible use of them. I am now studying programming and discovering that I really like it. It'll be a while before I can call myself a "programmer," but that's ok with me. I am enjoying the journey.
I also am of a generally strict mentality with regard to laws and rules. Either they're good, and you follow them, or they're bad, and you change them... but generally you don't break them. That's the way I learned them, and I guess it makes the most sense. Of course, as you grow up and become aware of the myriad shades of grey that exist between "right" and "wrong," you discover that rules are generally inadequate. Yet the study of them is fascinating. It's logic, it's emotion, it's diplomacy and persuasion and influence... it's as riveting as any reality show, if you look in the right places. I'm studying Constitutional law now, and I'm stunned at how little-informed many of the pundits are about the Constitution to which they so often make reference. I've decided to memorize the document (it's short, really), and to begin to hunt up a copy of the Federalist Papers for my own little library.
And math. Why did it have to be math? I don't honestly know. Early in my life, I had a math teacher who, for the subject, was probably average. As far as his actual ability to teach sensitively and make the most of his students, I have to say I would give him a failing grade. Something he did that year scarred me, and drove me from math. I was convinced that I wanted nothing to do with numbers in any form except on a paycheck. Well, most of you know how long that can last. I had to take math courses in college, and I passed, but not with any flying colors... till now.
Upon returning to college many years after starting (and not deciding on) my degree, I have discovered that I have wasted years. I have a reasonable talent for math! I've worked my way through calculus and am now in a combinatorics class and enjoying it. Who would have thought?! I've reached the point where I think math is "enjoyable" - but this is not the same as "loving" math. I may not get to that point in this lifetime, but at least the fear is gone, and the anxiety. I know that I can learn any math, if I put my mind to it!

~my first blog~


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