I keep staring at the page and it keeps staring back blankly.

It’s snowing. It looks pretty, but not as pretty as the ice looked two weeks ago.


I’m drinking hot tea with lemon and avoiding writing a networking paper that is due tomorrow. I’m still in the ‘incubation’ phase where I have to think about it and figure out how I’m going to put it together. The actual writing usually takes care of itself.

I’m happy to be writing papers again because it puts me back on terra firma. The last class I had was basic programming and I floundered so badly that I reconsidered my decision to pursue a degree in IT. Six weeks into the class, I realized that most of my problem was a poorly written book that was very difficult to follow. I worked and worked and I thought the best I could do was a C. And that was okay with me. When I got a B-, I jumped up and yelled, “Holy shit! I got a B!” I scared TFC with all the yelling.

Because I had such a hard time with basic programming (which was really more like pre-programming) I was scared to take Java, which I started on Monday. And it looks like it will be the hardest class I’ve had – including Algebra. On the other hand, the book is very thorough and easy to read, so I have some hope that I can get through it without losing it. Very often.

The first assignment was to write a little program that would print

Hi, my name is Capricorn Cringe
and I was born in a barn

I read the pertinent chapters – twice. I consulted the book with every keystroke. I tested the program. And it worked! I yelled, “Holy shit! I did it!” and scared TFC again.

This is the first time in a very long time that I have allowed myself to be challenged. It is frightening on one level and exhilarating on another level. When I was 18, I had enough confidence to try anything – I just didn’t care about anything. Now that I am … not 18 … I have to dig deep for the confidence. Now I care about everything – school, my family, work, my friends. I want to do things right and I genuinely want to learn.

If I’ve learned one thing in the last two years of school, it is that the effort actually counts for something. If I hadn’t tried so hard to “get it” with the programming class, I would have gotten that C. The instructor graded my final so generously because I made a real effort.

Forgive me in advance if I panic over the next 10 weeks – because I probably will. It’s what I do. I’m a Capricorn – I excel at doom and gloom. But as I get through each assignment and then each final and then each class, I realize that it’s brighter out there than I think.

I may need my shades soon. 8)