while coding { happiness += 1 }

When I was in elementary school, my father bought me a Commodore 64.

Just having a computer in the house was unusual enough; most of my friends' families did not have one.  But this wasn't even the FAMILY computer - my father had a Coleco Adam of his own, and spent many a Saturday morning tinkering around on it in his bathrobe, painstakingly copying in lines of code from a computing magazine.  But the C64 belonged to me, and resided in my room.  My parents were not well-off; my father was simply fascinated by tech.  Being a kid with my own personal computer in the mid-eighties...it was unprecedented in my circle of friends.

He also bought me a book on programming in Commodore BASIC, and gave me lessons at the kitchen table.  I groaned at first - more school at home?! - but I grew to love it, and spent hours at my Commodore writing silly little scripts.  A little quiz program.  An ASCII figure that danced on the screen in an infinite loop.  A basic calculator program.  (I also spent hours upon hours playing text adventure games like Zork and Hitchhiker's Guide, to the point of being grounded for not doing homework, but that is another story).

As I grew older, my interest fell to the wayside.  By junior high, I had discovered theater and band and boys, and my last recollection of using that old C64 is when I used it to demonstrate basic programming for my 7th grade science fair project.  Over the years, I became a secretary, a stay-at-home mom, a lunchlady, a medical transcriptionist...it wasn't until my late thirties, with my son growing older and more independent, that I decided to enroll in community college and I rediscovered my lost love.

This story was intended to have a clearer arc to it, but alas, being hopelessly out of practice at writing prose and under severe time constraints, I must abandon the rest and leave it to just this: the story of how a middle-aged mom became a code monkey.  I've held back so far, but in all honesty, if I am to continue to think of things to write about, future musings may frequently involve coding humor/old video game references/etc.

So if you bump into me at a show, feel free to tell me a super dorky programming joke; I love them.  Just don't offer me a programming job unless you're prepared to offer me arrays.  (ARRAYS!  *snerk*  ....hello?)