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"Hey y'all!" -- Greetings from a Self-Starter

  1. Dec 8, 2014 #1
    Hello. I'm John, and I'm 25.

    Until recently, I was a part-time college student, and now I'm not. The degree I was going for, Computer Technology with a programming emphasis, was something I seemed to be proficient at, but it was also something that I have pretty much zero passion about. I didn't dislike it, per se, but I have not an ounce of drive for programming.

    I'm almost glad that I couldn't go through with it, because this has given me time to self-learn what I really want to: physics and math (neither of which they have much incentive to have degrees in what basically amounts to a glorified technical college.)

    I've long loved consuming popular and semi-popular information about science, physics specifically--I used to carry as many books from the public library on physics and astrophysics as I could and read them all. Now, the handwaving is nowhere near enough for me--I want to learn how physics really works, and that requires a whole set of skills revolving around something that, until I was an adult, I never knew I possessed the ability to acquire: mathematics.

    See, when I was growing up, I was really turned-off by certain aspects of the way math was taught. That, combined with a few other, more personal, factors resulted in me shutting down and pretty much refusing to learn it on-pace. Thus, by the time I was in high school, I was pretty much behind (I was in honors classes for much of my tenure in everything except math.) By then, I thought I incapable of "getting it."

    But, I found out differently, when I studied math (not even cramming, really) for only three days and then got an the military entrance exam score over twenty points higher than one I got when I took the same test late in high school, a higher score affected directly from me studying math, because the verbal part was maxed out both times. That's when I realized I could learn math, if I did so on my own.

    So, yeah, it's going to be a good while before I can go back to college. I've always gotten back up after being knocked down as concerns academics, (and I've been knocked down a lot.) I will do so again, but in the meantime I fully intend to teach myself as much as I can. And, when I go back next time, it's darned well going to be for I ACTUALLY want to study. I'm not going to settle for something I don't care about, just to say I've earned a degree. For one thing, I face so many problems anyway, that I wouldn't have the willpower to face them if it's all for studying a subject I don't really care about to begin with.

    If you've read to this point, I commend and appreciate your patience. Thank you, and I'm glad to be here.

    John M. Carr
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!
  4. Dec 8, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps you could combine your passion with what you know and explore computer simulations of physical systems as a self-learning exercise.

    THere's a website called www.compadre.org/osp that provides the Open Source Physics collection of classes to do various kinds of simulations. There's also many examples that you can check out too.
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