I am now a degree-seeking student at UoPeople

I am now a degree-seeking student at UoPeople

In the Fall of 2019, I took 2 new courses at UoPoeple; Greek and Roman Civilization, and Programming Fundamentals. I completed these courses successfully to meet the requirements of the foundation evaluations. After that, I am now a degree-seeking student.

In this post, I am going to reflect on the 8 weeks I spent studying these two courses. This is the first time I am taking on 2 courses at the same time.

Programming Fundamentals:

This course taught us programming fundamentals with the Python programming language. Since I am a full stack developer with lots of JavaScript work, this course was easy for me. I liked the simplicity of the Python language. The language makes most of the difficult tasks easy for you. For example, this is the for loop:

for item in list:

And here’s how to do a similar operation with JavaScript:

for(let i = 0; i < list.length; i++) {

The course covered functions, lists, dictionaries, and files. It did not touch on objects or classes (these will be covered in the next courses). This course went from easy to hard very quickly. Many of the concepts taught in this course were very advanced, even for me. Some of my classmates admitted they had a hard time doing their assignments. I had a great time learning all these concepts and doing the coding assignments. As it’s a fundamentals course, I got to learn many new concepts that will help me in my day to day programming tasks.

Most of this class was programming related so it took me less time to complete the weekly assignments. In some weeks, I was able to do the entire week’s tasks within a day.

Greek and Roman Civilization:

This was the other course I was taking the last term that is part of the general education requirements. Prior to taking this course, I had no idea about Greek history other than the knowledge of Greek Mythology. In reality, the popular mythology, the Greek gods, Zeus, Athena, Hercules, and the entire universe is far away from the actual written history of the area and perhaps much more interesting. I was thinking to myself, “How come I don’t know about this stuff? Why it is not taught in our school?”

The history class was lots of reading, followed by lots of writing. I had to come up with 500-word papers every week; oftentimes it was twice a week. The difficulty was high, right from the beginning. After the first two weeks of writing, I was fed up but still managed to keep up the university work. I managed to do so because the subject was interesting.

I got to learn about Athens and Sparta. I thought ancient Greece was cool, then I learned about the mighty Roman Empire. I learned about the epic world war between Rome vs Carthage, and how Rome was almost defeated by the enemy. In one such battle, the battle of Cannae, Rome had a mighty army of 80,000 men while Carthage only had 40,000 men. But still, Carthage managed to slay over 70,000 of Roman soldiers and win the battle.

This course took the most time from me. On average it took me 3–4 days a week to finish all the assignments. As a result, I was on my toes all week and was unable to do other things.

It was not a time-waster at all. I learned many important life lessons by reading about ancient Greece. I learned more about democracy, the culture and how people lived in those times. I got heavily moved by the Roman spirit of not giving up.

Thoughts on my journey so far:

Before taking the first course, I was worried that I won’t be able to keep up with the studies, the schedule or both. I knew I had to finish the foundation courses before I can become a real degree-seeking student. I had no idea how the workload is gonna be and also didn’t know if I am going to be capable enough to take on the load. After finishing all of the lengthy weekly assignments in the Greek class, I realized this is college. College is the test of my endurance; can I keep up doing what I am doing? I think I can.

Results of this term

Up next:

Next term I am going to learn Java in Programming 1 and College Algebra. I think these two courses will be more practical in nature and have less writing. I am a bit worried about math, but how hard can it be? I’m sure I can figure it out eventually. Till then, have a great day!

P.S: I am going to write more often on my personal blog from now on and cut down my writing in Medium. If you are into software engineering, JavaScript and projects, feel free to check it out here: tamalweb.com/blog