As most of you have noticed, I've been quiet lately, and hard to get a hold of. You probably also know that this is partly because I've started a new course.
It probably isn't hard to guess that it's an IT course and that Linux is a major component of it so far (it will likely become less important over time however). That kick-started my interest in trying out new operating systems, and it's been a lot of fun!
Though my social life and work is obviously a factor too, the main reason I've been so absent recently is because of this course. I'm actually trying for once, and that's something I'll come back to later.
Because we're coming up on some major assessments/exams, I've been devoting most of my free time to finishing work, research and so on. Even the two days (that's all?! Wow!) that I didn't bother to turn up for class for, I actually still signed in to the college website and did my work - more than the people who actually turned up, for that matter.
Just, I got to do it while at home, taking breaks to play PAYDAY. Bwahaha!
So, obviously, with the exams coming up and me actually giving a shit for once, I wasn't around much online. I recently finished one unit, and the exam result was... phenomenal, actually. I'm not used to doing well in a classroom. I even used to say to myself: "If I'm ever confident in an exam, it means I failed."
Instead, I topped the class with my result. Wow.
But the problem is, it didn't really surprise me... and that surprised me, that I saw it coming a mile off.
I don't usually post detailed information like this, but as some of you know, I had a rough time in high school. Yes, a lot of it was absolutely caused by fuck-skull teachers.
I actually cracked and dropped out, asking for a year to regroup. I still don't know how I didn't punch my "year counselor" out; I regret NOT doing so, she was a huge factor in my breakdown.
But, as I was still a minor, my mother idiotically pushed me into a second high school within a month.
It was a way better school, I was much happier, but the wounds were still too fresh. I was, as they say, "burned out" and I had no interest in anything school-related. Forget study, ever since I was eight years old, I'd go home, hurl my schoolbag away and do everything I could to forget school existed. (Ten-year-old me: "Look, 'home' and 'work' are two separate things in the phonebook, okay?!" xD)
This apathetic dissociation persisted on into university, and I had all kinds of problems there.
After having that long-awaited year to myself, just some time to regroup and refocus (and work, yes), I dove into this IT course. The college in question accepts all tertiary-age students, so there're folks my age, much older, and some younger.
Didn't take me long to realize myself and most of the teenagers had a massively different approach to the units, and that only pisses me off. I even pulled some of the kids up and told them: "This isn't high school. You're paying to be here, the teachers cannot and should not be telling you what to do, you're their client and this should be what you want. If you dick around, you're the only one who suffers for wasting your own time."
I did get through to some of them (that said, honestly, some of them are just awesome and mature anyway), but it's clear the others are just doing what I was once doing: buying time, reeling from 10+ years of institutionalized schooling that's blunted their ability to direct or feel pride in their own learning. I pretty much just shrugged and did my best to help them out.
It's abso-fucking-lutely different. Something's just snapped, and I know it's not as simple as "I'm more mature" or whatnot. I was stuck in that funk at university for years, then it suddenly vanished; and I see the how and why of it all.
I've gone from a high-school drop-out/under-achiever to top of a class, not only doing his work but helping others too. Cool with staff, the older students and the young'uns too. What the flying fuck!?
It seriously is amazing how you can change when you break away from the "forced schooling" mentality for a time, people. Get a bit of confidence and focus.
That said, I also suspect much of it is due to the fact this course is more oriented to my "learning-style." You gotta know yer learning-style. Some people excel with one-to-one instruction. Some prefer to observe and copy. A rare, rare lucky few can thrive under the scattergun, useless environment of mass schooling.
Personally, I actually figured out a year or so ago that I learn through playing. No kidding. Undirected experimentation with just a framework and resources (cough-unschooling?-cough). Preferably in my own time and at the environment of my choosing - and I tend to learn far quicker when I get the chance to do things this way. This was how I started writing, and people seem to think I'm okay at that.
Learning to drive has cemented this idea in my mind. I seemed to suck no matter what when an instructor was telling me what to do. Then I'd suddenly make a breakthrough when experimenting by myself or freely practicing instead of being managed by an instructor. Just, pow.
Yeah, "press the clutch a little bit" doesn't actually tell me the exact point of the quantum singularity at which my instructor's car's friction point (seriously, that clutch is a bitch) exists. Shuddup and let me work it out...
Well, regardless of all that, its hows and whys, that's why I've been so quiet of late. Exams and assignments, so had to devote more energy than I had to at first. I've been a VERY busy kitsune of late, I know.
Expect things to improve soon. Major apologies for the slowness of updates, etc.