I’m with Annie. Trial and error has been part of my dissertation for a while, so there is no shattered heart at the prospect of chucking the first model. I pointed out on my previous post that one thing I’m getting tons of praxis on these days is working with the “unknown unknowns” hovering in the air. Throwing the first fork into the recycle bin doesn’t mean it has lost its use, though. Knowing that the first model was bound to be dropped from the beginning anyway, I’ve used it to teach myself Rails.
If the past couple of weeks have been marked by a lack of demonstrable results on the front of the stage, I vouch for the intense hustle and bustle on the backstage. I have defeated Rails for Zombies already, have seen many a YouTube video on Rails while doing chores around the house, and I’m half way through the highly recommended Ruby on Rails Tutorial. Even though I’ve mostly worked with the examples in those tutorials, I’ve kept a dirty fork of prism close at hand to prod and tweak and hit with a sledgehammer.
Most tutorials give you very doable exercises in a logical order, which makes it hard to screw them up, but also to remember. Having something to destroy and deform, though, can be the best learning tool sometimes. Of course, the world will never know what I’ve done to prism [macabre music plays in the background], but IT, the crooked, hunchbacked prism lurking in the shadows will probably stay there while the Dorian Gray prism goes on to live a youthful life.
While I praise and practice open-access and the public life of the mind in general, I write these few words in honour of the pedagogical freedom of the backstage.