Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
This is by far the easiest question to answer, but first, a little back story. In junior high, I discovered the internet. I quickly became fascinated with website design. The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can learn just about anything you wanted on it. Knowledge from all around the world is at your finger tips! I decided I wanted to make my own websites so I combed the internet for information on how to do it. So, in eighth grade at the age of thirteen, I taught myself HTML and then later CSS. Soon after, I learned about Adobe Photoshop and started perusing the internet for tutorials to create various effects using Photoshop. Not to toot my own horn, but I got pretty darn good at creating websites using HTML, CSS, and graphics I created with Adobe Photoshop. I was far from expert level, but it was definitely at an advanced level. I learned the language and the software all by myself. It was one of the few things I was extremely proud of myself for. I would spend countless hours at the computer testing out coding and playing around with different effects just to quench my curiosity. I was always so very curious!
So in my senior year of high school, after taking two years of computer science, I wanted to try out CISCO Networking. It was a new program that was being offered to us. There was only one class among two high schools, so space was limited. You had to apply. So when I got accepted, I was thrilled! I knew my future career would involve computers at that point and I was excited! Little did I know the horrors I would encounter while taking this class.
I don’t remember the teacher’s name and I vaguely remember the class. All I remember was the terror and panic I constantly felt while being in that class. I didn’t understand anything I was being taught. Actually, I take that back. I wasn’t taught anything. We fiddled around with things and were told to read pages blah blah to blah blah and then finish the questions at the end. As much as I welcomed the opportunity to be self-taught, this crap was confusing and I didn’t get it. The textbook wasn’t explaining it well enough and the teach didn’t bother to explain anything. Each time I raised my hand or went up to the teacher’s desk, I always ended up regretting it. He, my teacher, would always find ways to humiliate me, “This is basic stuff. I don’t understand where you are getting confused.” He made me feel inferior and I did not appreciate it.
Some of the other guys in the class came into the class with prior knowledge and were able to figure things out, but for me, networking was completely new and foreign. My future felt grim. I started to ask classmates for help, and they did a great job, but most of the others were just as confused as me. So the few who knew what they were doing, over time got tired of having to explain everything to us. I stopped asking for help at that point. The class was a total nightmare.
So after five years slaving over the computer and spending ten plus hours on it at a time, I ran as far away from a computer as I possibly could as soon as I graduated (yes, I somehow managed to pass the class… bell curve I believe). Ok, that’s an obvious exaggeration. I HAD to use a computer while in college, but I only used it when it was necessary. I wrote out my notes the old fashion way, went to the library and checked out books as necessary, and watched TV on an actual TV. If I didn’t have to be on the computer, I wasn’t.
All I know is that Mr. CISCO Networking Teaching from high school definitely had an impact on my life and it was not a positive one.