badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
We just visited Moomin's friend, Neutrino, in the hospital. His appendix burst last week. They played ipod missile command, galcon, strategery, and then I taught Neutrino some very beginning lessons in Python. he's been asking me questions about programming all year and in fact today greeted me with, "If you drive us to camp next week in the car pool, would you teach me C++?" LOLLLLL I said no, but I will teach him Python or php and some Unix which he'll need to know. So, fired up a python interpreter, and he was excited just to type 2+2 into it and see it say 4. awesome! he instantly understood assigning a value to a variable, printing that variable, changing and printing it again. We made some while loops. i saw his head totally explode with happiness as our "countdown" program started at 100 and then *didn't stop at zero*. "We didn't tell it to stop." "I GET IT! WE DIDN'T TELL IT!!!!" he was super excited!

He picked up some unix commands and mastered making a file with pico, saving it, making it executable with chmod (which I didn't explain but will do later) and then running it. What a pleasure to see his face - i swear - especially with the pathos of him being on morphine and kind of skinny and weak and spaced out. so to see him concentrating fiercely and typing everything out - totally not discouraged when the programs didn't work - That was just great. He thought very logically and procedurally. He also approaches a machine or an idea the way he approaches people, which is by badgering it relentlessly with seemingly unconnected questions until it does something --- very annoying to people but exactly the way to learn how to use a computer or a piece of software or in fact, how to write code.

Moomin was only interested when it came time to run the programs and watch numbers or "NEUTRINO RULES!!!!" scroll by. When his mom got back, she told me that Neutrino's dad thought he should learn more math before learning "computer science" and she would be incredibly happy if he actually learned something but how to start? Zond-7 suggests pygame and i bet by the end of the year he'll be ahead of me as a programmer...well, at least before he turns 11.

Date: 2009-06-29 03:57 am (UTC)
rivenwanderer: D20 showing a 20: WIN (win)
From: [personal profile] rivenwanderer
That is so awesome!

Date: 2009-06-29 05:23 am (UTC)
serene: mailbox (Default)
From: [personal profile] serene
You rock so hard.

Date: 2009-06-30 08:33 am (UTC)
hypatia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hypatia
http://thinkpython.com/ ftw for teaching python. even has a turtle-based teaching environment :)

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