[IAEP] Sugar Digest 2013-08-22

James Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Fri Aug 23 16:35:16 EDT 2013


Several points in your digest got my attention.  First, I like the Disreali
quote.  I have just finished writing a novel and I learned more from doing
that than from every literature class I ever took.  The funny thing is I
had been assigned to write short stories in high school, but my teachers
never told you how to go about it. I only learned the process from reading
books by Jack Woodford (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Woodford).  I
wish I had those books in high school. They explain everything. A lot of
well known authors learned how to make stories and novels from those books,
including Ray Bradbury.

Second, I am also an admirer of Flavio Danesse.  He has a website in
Spanish that is a great resource for a new Python programmer.  I agree that
IDEs are probably something to avoid when learning to program, at least the
more complex ones.  I learned C from Turbo C, which was not much more than
an editor with a compiler that let you click on a compile error and be
taken to the line in the editor that had the problem.  Something like that
is worthwhile.  Eric is pretty much just that for Python, plus syntax
highlighting.  If you mess up the indenting it will tell you.

I have a niece at Thomas Jefferson High School that I tutored in Java
programming.  Her books were written by her teachers and licensed using
Creative Commons, but apparently they weren't published anywhere.  They
didn't use IDEs either.  It was a tough class for some very bright kids.

Finally, the whole Spirituality For Kids thing.  I suppose people have
different ideas on what Spirituality is.  The website promotes astrology,
which I find kind of dubious.  I got all my ideas about Spirituality from
my wasted youth in the Hare Krishna movement, so I was hoping for something
more like my own education.  In the first lesson you'd learn how "You're
not that body!" and other lessons would include The Path Of Knowledge, The
Path Of Action, The Path Of Devotion, and so on.  After the final lesson
the child would be given a bag full of *Bhagavad Gitas* and sent to the
nearest airport.

James Simmons
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