It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about politics. It’s also been a while since something has made me so angry that I needed to write about it. (Not that I haven’t been annoyed by something, I just haven’t felt like writing about it.) Last week, while I was minding my own business doing my homework from my programming course on Coursera.org, I took a break and glanced through Twitter to catch up on some news and whatnot. The first tweet I saw was:

My first thought was, “WTF?! Are you fucking kidding me?!” Of course a retweet followed. Then, in a move reserved only for extreme circumstances of gross government interference, I emailed my representative, Mr. Bob Barrett (I haven’t heard back yet, that was 3 days ago).

Now, I realize there’s nothing Bob can do about it right now, but I feel like he and everyone else who has any godforsaken power in this stupid state, should probably realize that this is the dumbest thing Minnesota could be focusing their energy on right now.

Aren’t there 3rd graders who can’t read? Or 11th graders who can’t find South Dakota on a map? Of course, they’re not as big of a priority as making sure an unemployed 29-again-year-old woman can’t learn something new. Give me a break!!

Do I hate python with all of my being right now? Yes. Do I think this could lead to more job opportunities? Potentially. Am I busting my ass every single freaking day to learn this stupid evil language? Why yes, yes I am. But that doesn’t mean the State of Stupid Minnesota needs to say, “No Candice, we didn’t receive payment from M.I.T. and the University of Toronto to teach you and without that payment we can’t be sure that M.I.T. would provide you with a quality education for free. So, you’re out of luck. Sorry sweetie.” (I feel like The State is really condescending like that.)

The thing with this law is, and everyone under the sun has written about it (links below), it’s old as shit! Also, it’s intention is to make sure Minnesota students/residents aren’t paying thousands of dollars for some horseshit degree (University of Phoenix comes to mind here.). I GET IT! The state is just protecting me from learning stuff for free from excellent institutions. Thanks, Minnesota. I’m so glad you know what’s best for me. I don’t know where I’d be with you, Da– I mean, State.

Two things here:

1) Coursera.org/Edx.org are FREE!! I don’t pay anything. I don’t even need to wear pants if I don’t want to. I can sit on my couch, drink coffee and watch a lecture from my teacher from M.I.T. The only thing it costs me is an internet connection, and since it’s 2012 and I don’t live in a fucking cave, I already had that!

2) Coursera.org/Edx.org do not offer degrees. I will not earn any sort of college credit from any university offering courses on those sites. A few courses offer a certificate of completion, but that’s basically just helpful to say, “Yes Mr. Future employer, I was taught python by two professors at the University of Toronto. See, it says so right here.” That doesn’t mean shit, really.

Now, on Coursera’s Terms of Service page it has a special message for Minnesota students:

Notice for Minnesota Users

Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.

Bottom line is this: Minnesota is stupid when it comes to “education.” Apparently gathering up money, AKA: “authorization”, from quality institutions matters more than the fact that Minnesota residents can learn anything they want for free!

Seeing as though I live close to Wisconsin (< 10 miles away), I can always cross the dreaded river and set up shop in a coffee shop and do my work (I don't even think there's a Starbucks or Caribou in Wisconsin, definitely not in St. Croix. I don't even think they have wi-fi yet. True story.) but then these classes are costing me money and that totally negates that whole "free" thing. Or I just use a proxy and and learn from Japan.

Or:

I continue to learn from my couch. This is The U.S. of A. I can learn whatever the hell I want, wherever the hell I want.

SUCK IT, MINNESOTA!!

Story links:

Huffington Post
The Business Journals
TechCrunch
Slate
Reason
The Chronicle of Higher Education

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I’m stuck in a loop!

October 16, 2012

I know that seems like a nice metaphor for my life, but it’s not. Ok. Just get that out of your head right now, mister/miss! (I have my mom sweats on today, so… sorry about that.)

So, yesterday I spent all day working with Python code. My first assignment went well, it was almost easy. Then I hit the second (writing a code to figure out the lowest, static, monthly payment that would pay off a credit card in a year, it’s #2 of 3 assignments that are due today, YAY!!.) and I thought I was doing well until I got caught in an infinite loop. Not just once, but like… aaaaaaall day.

I didn’t actually start my assignment until about noon because I had a few lectures to watch first. At noon I stood up, went into the kitchen, grabbed a banana, a coke and pretzels. Then plopped my ass in the la-z-boy and didn’t move, but once, until after 5pm. That whole time, I was literally stuck in an infinite loop for 95% of the time. I’d get it stop, by trial and error mostly, because I”m really bad at loops. I don’t know why, but on paper, they make total sense, but in my code, I’m totally lost. I need a damn loop road map. I had a few things to do in the evening, then sat back down trying to figure out this damn code (I’m also bad a nesting & using indentation properly) while trying to watch Monday Night Football.

Ohhh, and then I was stuck, for a long while, trying to figure out if a while loop was better than a for loop, but in a reality I probably have to use both, but if I have to use both, why couldn’t I use two while loops or two for loops? And why do while/for loops keep changing the answers of my damn test?!?!?!? UGH!!!

Theeeeen, I accidentally wrote over my code with a different code that I hijacked to see how it was working, so I lost everything and just about had a nervous breakdown. (Half-joking.)

So, thankfully the deadline was pushed back, due technical problems, to today at whatever time 22:00 is on the east coast, then convert that to central, or something. Whatever. I hate maths.

Today I’m going to have some kid teach me about loops. I found him on YouTube, he sounds slightly British, so that’s gonna get annoying, but he kinda makes sense.

You guys, I’m in desperate need of a python bitch.

Y’know, someone to explain to me, in real people language, how shit works. Not in computer speak, because I clearly do not understand the native language yet. So… if you want to be my python bitch, you can follow me on twitter @Candice_Jo, and send me a tweet.

As far as qualifications go, you’re gonna have to probably be bald or not like your hair so much, cuz I’ll probably make you rip it out (seriously, you’re gonna be all, “OMG!! How is she even breathing on her own?! This chick is amazingly awesome but a total idiot.”), you’re probably going to want to quit your job because I’m going to need you to be available 24-7 for the next 7 weeks. Now, I won’t need you that much, but I just need you to be available just in case something comes up and I get stuck. Oh and one more thing, you need to constantly tell me, “Candice, you’re totally not a moron. You’ll get it, just keep going.” At which point, I’ll probably want to punch you in the face. On the bright side, you can be responsible for me learning something totally new and dumb (seriously, what the hell was I thinking?! SMH…).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to work on my homework again…all…day…long.

F.M.L.

PS: In a totally unrelated note, I HATE AARON RODGERS!! I was in a close fantasy football match-up when all of a sudden A-Rodge is raining TD’s all over the place. I was down by over 50. Theeeeen, MNF. MotherTruckin’ Privers. Maaaaaaannn…. who drafts THAT guy?! Ugh! Ok, so, I had Privers and Decker playing last night. Decker had a great game, and so did Privers until he started throwing interceptions and fumbling like he just got new hands. I thought I was going to legitimately have a stroke (not really, but I could have won… AHHHHH!!!!). I’m now 3-3. I feel like my chances of total league domination are slipping away every week. *fakesobbing* So, for this week, I hate the hell out of A-Rodge. But mostly Privers, but mostly A-Rodge since I’m bound by the MN state constitution to hate the Packers (not really, but sometimes I wonder…).