Data Science Contact Week 1 Day 1

Today was my first proper learning week with the University since enrolling on the apprenticeship.

I was terrified yesterday because I hadn’t been preparing enough according to the web portal and I thought I would be way behind everyone else.

Nah, today there was chaos and disorganisation almost all round. Some people didn’t even have access rights on their laptops, so in some ways I was even ahead.

Today was a lot of fun actually. We did some python coding challenges in the morning and worked on building a basic battleships clone. There was a lot of complicated thinking around that but we could all hear people having trouble on other tables, which was reassuring.

When you’re in a classroom environment where everybody wants to learn, noisiness is actually encouraging, for me anyway.

In the afternoon it was more about how we could apply Data Science to daily life. There were some more questions about the virus paper we worked on and some challenges around maths and programming to figure certain problems. A couple were silly, but you could see other real applications.

I was definitely anxious this morning on the way, but last night was my worst time. With the first day only hours away, I had to admit that I hadn’t really studied like I should have, instead distracting myself with games and work. That’s no way to pass a degree whilst also working a full time job!

My wife gave me the greatest analogy that I immediately put down on my notice board.

I had allowed my brain to get fat and lazy, that’s why things seemed so difficult. The brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the better it gets. If you allow it to metaphorically sit on the sofa and eat junk food (social media, NetFlix, videogames), then it’s going to get fat and have no energy.

My fat lazy brain needs to train.

All that scary learning ahead of me suddenly became a lot less scary. There are lots of things I don’t get now, but a lazy person doesn’t get off the sofa and run a marathon.

So I’m off now to do some training, because I need to get a mental jog in if I’m going to beat the marathon! Sayonara!

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