I Hate My Computer Class.

“Oh by the way, I hate my computer class,” Dylan said after school one day. “I have no idea what I’m doing in there.”

Computer class. This is the first class of the IBCP program. This is the class for which I clawed and gnashed and struggled and fought the administration. This is the introductory class, the base for all future computer classes.

This is the class Dylan begged to take. “I’d much rather take computers,” he’d said.

But he started the class late – since there was no computer science IBCP pathway until two weeks after school started. So he has no basic understanding of what coding can accomplish.

“We just put like parentheses and underscores and words and stuff, and I have no idea why we are doing it,” Dylan said.

He doesn’t know that those lines of code can create a game or a story or a picture. They can make things happen on your screen, or in another room, or on another continent. They can invent something spectacularly new, or re-invent something dull and lifeless to add new life. Those lines of code can create fun and beauty and order and chaos. Those lines of code are instructions for … well, for the whole world.

But all he sees are lines on a screen. He doesn’t know yet what they mean.

He went through something similar in engineering, though. He wanted to be an engineer, so he took introductory engineering classes in middle school. He wanted to build things that could fly, drive, swim; he wanted to make things move.

But he didn’t want to map out his ideas on a piece of paper. He didn’t want to draw a design first, or do measurements. He just wanted to take raw material and create.

And now he wants to create on the computer – but he doesn’t want to learn how to do it. He doesn’t want to stop and take the time and find out how to create.

He has no patience for details. And yet, he has a mind like Einstein. Except Einstein had the patience to – if nothing else – teach himself how to create.

Einstein never did well in school. But I can’t help but wonder if Einstein would have dropped out of computer coding class.

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