It all starts somewhere......

It all starts somewhere with something.... 

I was in standard 6 (1991) and I got my first desktop PC. A 268 with 16MB of ram, and something very WOW for those days a VGA colour screen. In our school library Mrs  ‘Antonietes’ our librarian (please forgive the spelling), which I came to admire and had a great deal of respect for , showed me the a book, on computer programming.  And there it all started I was hooked, the book was filled with pictures (I always learn much better form pictures than form just text) and small examples. The schools computer studies teacher was also my math teacher and he also encouraged me a lot.  I was not one of the high flyer kids at school in those days due to various reasons, but still I enjoyed the book and another book which was also in our library. Only a selected few got chosen in Std 7 to continue with Computer Studies (CS) in St 8 to matric. Of course I also applied, and was duly rejected. Only the best can do CS, and you are not good enough. (In other words…. To dumb).  After lots of tears prayers, and even considering other schools, Mr Kemp gave me a chance.  And the rest is history. I have never considered myself the best, never but know I am good at something, everybody is, and for me it is teaching programming.

A few days back I told this story to a set of teachers who asked how and what tool could they use to select learners for IT… and I said…. ‘None! Nothing measures motivation and the will, not to be the best; but to succeed. ‘This I learned from someone I respect dearly i.e. Mrs HG Erasmus.   I told my story, and it is always one which makes me very emotional… And in the audience I noticed two teachers laughing and joking…

I am not the best programmer, nor am I the best teacher. In fact I am an average teacher, with average programming skills compared to many other out there, but I know have a heart and passion. And this I learned from other great people in my life like my once lecturer Mrs Correlie Pretorius and now colleague whom I still consider as the best programming teacher examples ever. She is till my lecturer but not in programming as in life.

I often base my own lectures on the way that she teaches, including the subtle jokes and nuances. And that; I admire.

I have a passion for teaching and teaching programming. Not only for the kids who do have the potential to be the next best winners at the computer science Olympiad, but also for the kid from a rural township who drives 300 kilometers to attend a workshop. As well as the kids who attempts IT at a school without a teacher, because their hearts want to.

I am also passionate about programming and logical skill development. I strongly support the notion that; a country with citizens with a little more logic will have a lot more prosperity. 

Yesterday one of my best friends in school (which is a year older than me and still one of my best friends), who was also one of my friends with the same teachers I had, bought me a present from their church basaar book table, and low and behold… It is the book that started everything which honed my career and passion 21 years later.  :-)  Thanks Henk-Jan :-)



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