Week 11 Journal

I started off Monday by (having assumed they were homework) working through all of the Python exercises we looked at this week, and attempting all of them successfully except for the one involving counting positive numbers. As I suspected I would at the start of our class beginning to learn Python, I like doing this kind of work. As Montfort assumes, programming uses a very different kind of thinking than I usually use (abstract, analytical connection-making); as he might not suspect, this difference is something that feels refreshing and interesting. There’s definitely a very linear, coherent sense of accomplishment to completing simple exercises like the ones we’ve been doing, though obviously I’ve also experienced the frustrations of just not getting why something’s going wrong, and of being new to a syntax that I understand seems very simple to a lot of people.

We also turned in final project abstracts this week. I was between several options at the start of this week. I considered studying something stylistic about the works of Terry Pratchett as they developed over time, given that he’s an author I know well; I also considered returning to my curiosity about translations of Victor Hugo’s works into English, perhaps analyzing stylistic differences between translators. Neither of those ideas, however, seemed to focus on counting or tracking something particularly coherent; I didn’t want to over-rely on the abstractness of “count some stuff and see what happens” in either case, so I ended up settling on personal pronoun use in World War I novels.

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