better living through python

An adventure in programming and recovery.

about me

In February of 2011 I put in my resignation letter. I had just spent the past 6 months doing my utmost for a company and supervisor who didn't seem to respect me. It had gotten so bad that I was put on a form of probation for something that was not my fault. I could prove that it wasn't. I tried to argue my case. I also attempted to address the bullying I felt I was experiencing from my current supervisor. Nothing came of it. In fact, two days after I put in my two weeks notice I was given my last paycheck and escorted off the premises.

I had never experienced something like this before. The stress inhibited almost all of my normal activities for 2 months. I was appalled and embarrassed, and I didn't know what to do. It didn't take long for me to realize that I had to find another focus, something that would bring back the joy in my life. Something that would regrow my bushwhacked pride. A place where I could draw myself out of my insecurities and learn something valuable, better living through python.

Programming was not my strong suit, actually it wasn't a suit I wore at all. My education had been language and historical in nature, definitely not a good launch pad for a foray into programming. Sure I'd played computer games and I could browse websites and create Excel spreadsheets. But that did not prepare me to learn programming. Which in some ways was the point, I needed something that wouldn't come easily. A challenge that would prove to myself that I could learn. I wanted to feel good about myself again, proud of myself even. I wanted to recover from my experiences, but get something out of it at the same time.

I could have taken a couple of weeks off and simply found a new job. But I didn't. I had always enjoyed writing. It's a fairly cathartic process for me, and I figured it would work well in helping me to process my emotions and aid in recovery. I needed a challenge so I started learning how to program. Using an MIT Opencourseware course as a guide, and my blog to keep track of my progress, I began.