Wednesday, 18 January 2017

HTML Has Turned Me Into a Baboon

Day 2 of the great experiment is now in the books or as I have taken to calling it "How to Make Dawn Feel Like a  Knuckle-Dragging Cretin in 10 Easy Steps."

I had forgotten how humiliating it was to lack comprehension at a glance. I had totally blocked those feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, timidity, and vulnerability I used to have when even though my concentration level was at its peak, my understanding was at its valley. That, in a nutshell, is how I define my progress on Day 2 of this ridiculous experiment The Husband has laid out for me.

In any relationship, there is a division of duties that seem to fall naturally to one partner or the other. In ours, for example, The Husband has easily fallen into the role of money manager and tech-geek, while it has usually fallen to me to be the teacher. The exception to this rule was the aforementioned "teaching of our children to drive experience" in which I refused to partake for two simple reasons. One...I am a self-proclaimed coward behind the wheel and I knew that my anxiety (and my constant blood-curdling screams of potential death) would be detrimental to the learning process and two...I was totally convinced that I would put a gaping hole in the passenger-side floor boards from continually pressing on the imaginary brake that I so wanted to be there. (The Husband, still to this day, describes the experience as the only teachable moment in a child's life you can literally die while doing.) Taking on The Husband as my tutor for this endeavour required a great leap of faith on my part. I needed him to fully understand that I needed a logical progression in our lessons and I also required a project that made sense. I told him from the outset that he needed to explain things as if he were teaching a baboon because that's kind of how I feel when I am venturing out of my comfort zone; a clumsy and completely moronic being that without proper and careful training might end up using the computer as a cutting board. He said he understood, promised he wouldn't call me stupid,(although we have already skirted the edges of this vow) and then tried to pep-talk me with platitudes like I am one of the smartest people he knew and that I could learn anything. Does anybody else think that this is the strangest mating dance, EVER??

We decided that we would use these lessons to complete an assignment. Together we would attempt to design a new website for DawnPonders. Of course, I have visions of Ferraris and Lamborghinis dancing off of my fully interactive and elegantly designed screen, while The Husband is instead trying to show me how to build a Lada and drive standard with the hope that we manage to spell DawnPonders correctly, but I will take my successes wherever I can get them.

And so we began.

Today's lesson consisted mainly of me trying to create a header. I was ready to simply type the title of the page into our programming box and be done with it but of course, nothing in computers is that easy. We have now taken to communicating with each other through jargon. That's the techy word for bullshit. He uses words like bits, bytes, hexadecimal, and binary. He had me talking tags and attributes and modifiers. Is anybody else out there suffering from the vapours? Are you hot yet? He kept side-glancing me to make sure that I wasn't upset and when he saw that my eyes were crossed and my skin had considerably paled, he asked me if I was about to have a meltdown. Meltdown?? I was so evaporated my shoe size had shrunk. Forty-five minutes into the process we had created this.
Looks impressive, doesn't it?

But in reality, all we really managed to get accomplished was this.
I hope you like the colours because those fuckers took me forever to understand.

We had a chat with Younger Son and His B'shert last night after all of this was done. My beautiful boy is a computer whiz just like his dad and has taken it on as his calling and as his profession. Many a day has passed where both my daughter-in-law and I have exchanged glazed over expressions as our men devolve into Java-spouting cyborgs, lost in a conversation that has no discernible meaning on this planet unless you too happen to be a Java-spouting cyborg. After assuring my son that if this experiment with The Husband should fail that I wouldn't be calling on him to rescue me from this soul-sucking experience, he proceeded to tell me that this wasn't really programming but rather it was merely design work and that the real labour was still in the offing. Thanks, Son. With your positive encouragement skills I know you'll make a great dad someday.

At around midnight last night, I roused The Husband from his early REM cycle to ask him to explain the hexadecimal system to me again. (This actually does matter in the context of our programming because of a discussion we had involving colour choices using HTML.) We had previously engaged in this conversation last year while watching the movie The Martian. Remember the scene when Matt Damon is trying to converse with NASA and he needs a system that works better than simple yes/no? Of course, my fifty-something brain can't retain shit like this any longer, so I needed a refresher and for some reason, I needed it at midnight last night. He mumbled something about finding me serious medical treatment before he drifted back off to sleep. This morning, he re-engaged this baboon like it was her first time with computations. He asked me what I remembered from third grade. I can't even recall who my teacher was in third grade, let alone math from that mesozoic era. He used house diagrams (remember those?) to demonstrate to me the difference between base ten and base sixteen. Is there such a thing as a dyslexic in math. He had me multiplying 10x1 vs 16x1. Seriously. He did. I swear the baboon would have mastered it faster. And then I watched him calculate and convert an RGB (red, green, blue) number into his head!! Me? I'm still back on 10x1.

In the words of that great sage Scarlett O'Hara..."Tomorrow is another day."

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