Ten minutes after I was born, my parents decided that I will be a mechanical engineer once I grow up. So, I indulged the idea into my brain that I have to become a mechanical engineer. I took every math class available and worked hard through that process. I was 9 years old when my dad bought me a second hand computer, running Windows 98. While my friends were interested in using the computers, I was interested in how they worked. Then GTA Vice City came into the streets of Lucknow and everyone began to play it. I too wanted to play it but unfortunately my computer could not run it. So, I opened up the CPU, replaced my hard drive and installed a Graphics Card. I was 13. It worked too, but after a while, itdestroyed my MotherBoard. My dad was happy because he thought I will now concentrate more on my studies and not on “all that crap”. When “all that crap” broke, I decided learn everything it takes to fix computers.
Fast-forwarding, 5 years later, I am in the USA. I still remember my guidance meeting over my first summer. I was put into all easy classes, including Intro to Computer Science. I was shocked. I used to be the smartest kid in my computer class back in India, but now I would have start all over. Right after 3 days of me in that class, my professor advised me to move up a level. Switching gears from a College Prep 1 (CP1) class to a Honors Class, I was now studying C++. The concept was easy to grasp, and after 5 days, I took my first test. I got a 100 and spent less than 15 minutes on it. My professor decided to give me a much harder exam, and I did really well. He then advised me to switch into AP Java. The class was hard, and interesting too. Yes, I learned a lot of new material, but I missed the fun I used to have with coding. Prior to this, if I would see a piece of code not working, I would divide it into parts and make them work, just like my computer. I wasn’t enjoying coding in AP Java. I was acting like a computer. I was passing tests rather than exploring my own interests.
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I wanted to do something more, which led me to enroll in Help Desk. Help Desk is a semester course and as the name itself suggests we help people with their technical difficulties. Help Desk was the best class I have ever been into. I loved it. We also went to various conferences, schools and EdCamps. I was gaining real life lessons. One of the most exciting things I did when I was enrolled in Help Desk was that I moderated a twitter chat. The chat was conducted with the hashtag #edtechchat. Teachers from all around the world joined this chat. We discussed how technology could help in making classrooms fun and teaching a lot more easier. I learned about how teachers view technology in their classroom which motivated me a lot.
At the beginning of my senior year, a huge setback for me was my inability to take the Help Desk course. It didn’t fit in my schedule. Still everyday, during what people call “Study”, I sit in Help Desk and try to help everyone I can. The feeling when I fix someone’s iPad is better than getting an A+ in a class. Problem solving is just like fixing a computer. One needs to take all the aspects of it and analyze it until it makes sense, put it back again in the problem. There is a huge difference in the problem now, it’s much easier.