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[personal profile] erda
Today when I was doing the laundry, the two year old wanted to help, which means, of course, that it takes three times as long to do the laundry as it would if he didn't help. There are many little side diversions we have to discuss as we do the laundry, as he looks around the basement and notices more things he wants to hear words about, so that he can learn about the world.



At one point he tried to throw my white shirt into the washer and it missed, falling onto the floor. The floor was slightly damp where it fell, and then he stepped on the shirt as he was trying to pick it up, so that by the time it got to the washer it was quite a lot dirtier than it had been in the hamper. It crossed my mind that the big dirty splotch in the middle of the shirt may never completely come out, and I really liked that white shirt.

So if my only goal is to get the laundry done in the quickest, most efficient way possible, and not ruin any clothing, then I should confine the two year old upstairs while I do my laundry. As we all do, at times.

But if I have more goals than just getting the laundry done-if raising a human being is right up there with my clean clothes goal-then I have to accept the occasional ruined shirt and the slower pace at which some tasks will be accomplished.

There are a lot of open source projects out in the big world, and they need volunteer programmers willing to put time and energy into them. Most of them are run by people who are so consumed with the next, fastest shiny that they have no time to consider raising up the next generation of programmers. It's not a goal of theirs.

I'm a volunteer with the AO3, and I come to the project a noob to programming, looking around the basement with my wide eyes and my millions of pesty, often beside the point questions, but unlike a lot of open source projects, the AO3 has dual goals -they want, of course, to make the best fanfiction archive ever- but they also care deeply about schooling up baby coders.

If you've ever thought about volunteering, but you're worried you might not have what it takes? I just wanted to say that I've dropped a number of white shirts, and the big grown up coders have picked up those shirts and dusted them off, handing me the next bit of clothing with a smile.

I don't even know how to verbalize how I feel about that, and how much it has meant to me.

Also, if you think you are not geeky enough to learn programming, I recommend reading this.

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April 2014

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