Monthly Archives: February 2017

My first class @ Govt School

Savarayalu 8th Grade Class

20170217

1430hrs – 1610hrs

We started by sharing what they learned new from last class. Most of them said they had practiced the commands they learned in the previous class. A child said she was able to change backgrounds.

Then I started the class saying that we will be doing something interactive and that we will be learning the commands Sensing(ask, answer) and Operators(=) commands today. I showed the program I had created which asks two simple questions and asks the user to type in the answer. I explained the new commands. The children wrote down what they understood in the notebook. I asked them to create 10 different questions of their own.

The children sat in pairs and started to code. Some were confused when something unaccepted happened when they typed ‘answer’ instead of dragging it from the sensing part. A group had a problem when the strings did not match when they typed the answer. The Principal of the school had a program where she wanted to make two people walk. I spent some time with her also.

The children coded for almost an hour. Most of them did reasonably well. They also saved their work in a separate directory under the shared folder.

We concluded by sharing what we learned today. Some children said that they had learned about operators and sensing. I gave them a homework saying that ‘as an user if I type the wrong answer, the same question should be asked again until I give the correct one and not proceed to the next immediately’.

I would like to be more rigorous in involving more people during our group sharing.

2016 Reflections

In the beginning of 2016 I was assigned to a new project on Python called Cello (Graphical User Interface for a chip). Working on this project has improved my skill in Python and my style of thinking.

I was a beginner to Python language. I had spent quite a lot of time even with some small logic. Initially, I followed trial and error method to make my program work without much logical thinking. Indeed, I hoped for the best out it like a magic (Yes, it did work for quite a few sometimes).

Fortunately, I was able to make some small pieces of code (functions) to work. That gave me the confidence to strive to break down my program into smaller logical units. After sometime, suddenly, I realized I had started liking what I do and it seemed that I was very eager to make things work. However,  I was still a novice and I had only thought through things superficially and had no depth in it. Most of my programs were inefficient and had no comments for future reference.

After few months I completed the initial specifications project and thought I was done. It was then that I was asked to add few more features in it. It was only at that time I started to realize all my incorrect assumptions and mistakes. I think that experience was for my growth and how I did so consciously,  the capacity to deal with stress and ability to think about the big picture rather to be stuck with some of my assumptions particularly when I design something.

On the other hand, I played the role of Teacher in two schools (I’m a volunteer at two schools- IsaiAmbalam and Udavi). It was as much of a challenge as being a good programmer. I realized, it was easy for me to deliver a lecture to the class, but that did not give the result which I expected. I started having one to one conversations. I didn’t change the whole picture but few students had taken the responsibility of their own growth and started working towards it.

Later, rest of the students started noticing it and wanted to be like them. In other words, those few people inspired others simply by their action & outputs. Generally it’s hard to track each child, but this is what I’m doing and I’m happy too. I fell proud when a child teaches me something which I have no idea. I learned many things when I sit with a child (particularly problem solving skills, reasoning, aptitude and how to make myself light & happy).

Aura Auro had given me an opportunity to attend Vipassana also. That helped me to look at myself and find out what I really care for and what all are my biases. This was my biggest learning of 2016.