Friday, February 04, 2011

the old man and the c

i had the idea to write in my journal as a "jeff on jeff" interview and i think i'm going to do that here, too.

jeff: how is your c programming class coming this year?

jeff: i just handed in my first assignment tonight.

jeff: and?

jeff: and it's about the same as last year: this stuff seems to slide right off me.  nothing seems to stick.  i was usually really good in school and remember seeing other kids in class who just didn't get it.  that's me, now.

jeff: you're the idiot?

jeff: i'm the kid who trying really hard and just not getting it.  like bart simpson in the season premiere of the second season, when he tries really, really hard to pass his test and he still fails.

jeff: (idiot...)

jeff: jerk.

jeff: i know you are but what am i?

jeff: either juvenile or existential.

jeff: cute. anyway, what's the problem with the class?

jeff: i don't know.  like i said, i sit there every class, trying to follow what's going on and it's like the class is in a different language.

jeff: i suppose that, technically, it is a different language...

jeff: yeah, it's occurred to me to pray for the gift of tongues....  what surprises me is how many other people seem to get it.  naturally i'm sure there are some other kids who are confused, too, but a surprising number seem to follow all this mess about structs and pointers and malloc and arrays.

jeff: sounds like you know something.

jeff: i'd hardly call that "knowing something."  i've got some good friends who are very patient and helpful with me, but it's increasingly embarrassing/frustrating when they'll guide me along and then ask, "what would you do next?" and i stare completely blank, not having the foggiest clue as to what comes next.  literally, not an inkling.  they don't give me then answers, and i appreciate that, because i don't want to just pass the class, i want to actually understand this stuff.  it's a 200-level undergrad class for crying out loud....

jeff: dang.  so, what are you doing?  you passed the class last semester, right?

jeff: yeah, and i actually got a better grade than i think i deserved.  i mean, according to the breakdown of the grading scale i earned it, but i don't feel like i know as much as my grade shows.  the teacher was very helpful with me, taking time to meet with me outside of class, but i'm trying this semester to be much more up on everything.  hasn't really worked yet, and it looks like it's only uphill from here.
the flip side to it is that, on those few moments when i do understand how a function works, it's actually really cool.  kind of exciting, actually, like cracking a math problem.

jeff: in a way, it's exactly like cracking a math problem....

jeff: you know, you really aren't any better at this than i am.

jeff: granted.  so, what else is on your mind?

jeff: tons.  but do you mind if we talk somewhere else?

jeff: oh. sure.


Jaime said...

THAT, was entertaining.

different. i liked it.

The Former 786 said...

Very fun to read! I often do this kind of thing out loud, but I never thought to do it in written form.

My favorite moment?
"jeff: (idiot...)

jeff: jerk."