A Lesson From High School


One of my most beloved writing teachers from high school, Edie Johnson, taught all of her students the imortance of reflective writing. Just like breakfast is the single most important meal of the day for the body, doing a small amount of reflective writing is daily breakfast for the mind. Before embarking on anything that is going to be mentally challenging, I take the time to sit down and compose on a random topic or how I am feeling. Getting thoughts to paper puts the mind in gear and makes it more productive on the tasks to follow.

Edie was right in so many respects and her insistence on all of her students to keep a journal or a daily log of some sort was, and still is, fantastic. In her words, the journal should never be concerned with grammar or style. The purpose of writing a journal is a continuous stream of thoughts to paper. Since I am a computer guy, it is analagous to the UDP protocol. For the uninitiated, the UDP protocol is basically a stream of data with no error checking. It just fires out data to whatever device and does not care whether that device gets the data or not. That’s the best form of reflective writing.

I write in my darkest moods and I write in my more optimistic moods. But my dear teacher was so correct in so many ways. Today I am picking up on my journey to learn C again I tried it in high school and college and did not succeed. Well this time is different because I am doing it for pure enjoyment of the subject matter at hand. There is no better cause for learning than doing it for the love and curiosity of a subject matter.


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