Skipping School

I stayed home from school today. I thought all my classes would be cancelled because of a teacher’s strike, but it turns out that my teachers have no objection to crossing picket lines, and classes went on as usual. However, by the time I found out, I was already lost in a coding haze.

When you have a good flow going, it is very difficult to stop. As per a couple of facebook posts that some friends of mine may have seen, I am trying to start developing Android apps. This requires installing an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and a plugin for that program, to emulate an Android phone on my laptop.

This was not an easy process. At first the emulator worked fine, and I was able to run a simple tutorial application, but then everything seemed to stop working, and I couldn’t figure out whether the problem was my code, or the tools I downloaded. I’m still not sure, to be honest. But after several days of constant googling about it, I got the emulator to work. Several hours after that, I got my code to work.

Some people are familiar with the “flow” state, where you spend hours working on something and get totally lost in it. At best, days pass unnoticed, and you end up with some minor success. I hope some of you can share my feeling of relief when my code finally worked. For the others, I hope I can encourage you to spend time doing the things you love, and get lost in them.

Sometimes you have to shut up the voices that tell you the things you’re doing are a waste of time, and that you should do homework, or chores or exercise or whatever. Ignore those voices. A good flow is never a waste of time, it is a reward on its own.

If you’re curious,  the app in question is a simple calculator for determining what size of carburetor to mount on an engine, given the size of the engine and the maximum RPM of the motor. It’s pretty crude, but you can have my code if you want. Leave your name and email.

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Published by

Shannon Graham

Shannon has been writing brief essays and occasional how-to articles at Rocketships, Unaffiliated (.ca) whenever inspiration strikes, since 2012.

She is interested in your opinion.

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