Monday, February 18, 2008

The REAL Geeks!

Just like there are many types of cowboys, there are various levels of geekdom. Right now, you are probably thinking, "Thanks, Captain Obvious". Nothing new in that statement, but I don't really think we appreciate the necessity of these various levels and stages of geekdom.

For instance, there are many people who really think I am a geek. HAH! In another life, I WAS really a geek, but I can't say that in this life. I consider myself a bridge, someone who understands the basics of various aspects of geekdom and explains to those who would like to know. What that means is that I am not an expert geek, but I am a teacher. To be honest, I do consider myself to be an expert expert in pedagogy and trends in education.

There are many real geeks out there, and they would most likely refer to themselves as programmers. These programmers are so numerous one would think that it would be obvious to the world. It isn't obvious. Mainly because they are "outstanding in their field". HaHa! Sorry! Couldn't avoid the farmer humor. They are working. They are busy, so you won't find them unless you are looking.

These geeks are like the cowboys who lived in their saddles and slept with the cattle... always on the move... always working to improve their craft.

Just as with die-hard cowboys, die-hard geeks can look down their nose at wanna-bees, but they can also be very generous with people who really want to learn about the craft of programming. Lately, I have become acquainted with people that I consider to be real geeks...real programmers...deep in the service of the craft. They are very interesting people, and I think other teachers would be happy to know that they are often teachers also....they have interests that they share in their groups and with the general public at various times. Many of them write books, make podcasts, present at conferences and provide information.

While I can't really call them my friends or colleagues, yet! I guess that I would call them contacts...more than acquaintances. Currently, I am learning Squeak. I was first introduced to it by a TappedIn colleague.

Later, I learned about Scratch. When I first mentioned this on Jaiku, one of my contacts told me more about Squeak and the relationship to Smalltalk. There are also the related languages of Croquet and Seaside, as well as others that I haven't mentioned. I have always been attracted to object oriented programming, so it stands to reason that I would like these languages.

I am learning faster because hard core programmers will help someone like me...just because, so I would like to remind everyone....HUMILITY PAYS! Be authentic, and people will respond to your true self. Don't pretend to know something you don't.

One thing, I have learned over my many lifetimes: I never know where learning will arrive, so I always want to be open to possibilities. That is why I believe that respect and appreciation for real geeks will be returned to me by those who are also open to quality life-long learning opportunities.

Incredulously, you may be saying, "What can they learn from you?" OOooh! The same things we learn from our students. Every teacher learns from the student..."where one teaches, two learn".

1 comment:

Michael Davies said...

Hi Sam,

I'm glad to see that you're finding Squeak interesting and fun!

Given that you're coming to Squeak with an educational perspective there's a few blogs that may be of interest to you: - opinions on Squeak and other open source software in the US education system. - accounts of using the XO and Squeak with Nepalese children. - Bert Freudenberg on "Croquet, Tweak, Squeak, Etoys, OLPC, and more".

Cheers, and happy Squeaking!