The struggle is real

Almost two months have passed since I’ve been enrolled in a university. The pace is fast, like I expected, but maybe not this fast. There is a lot of math I’ve never seen before, so I got to catch up a lot to understand some concepts in both statistics and linear algebra. From experience I know I’m a slow learner, but once I grab the hold of the basics I’m generally ok. The question is how long will it take, and will I ever get to that point?

I feel like Forest Gump, in all of its meaning. I have to keep on running without an end in sight. Eventually I’ll know how much I can take, how much the working memory, insight and mental arithmetic can be trained or improved. In my you can learn anything post, there are multiple sources stating your mind is like a muscle, which will grow when used. Similarly it’s only after months or over a year once you notice significant improvements. For now, time is on my side. All things considered, I haven’t had any regrets yet. In barely two months I’ve learned and understood more about math than I have ever before. Don’t misunderstand, I’m behind, so all I am talking about is high school math which I never comprehended as I do now. Nevertheless, little progress is still progress. The following passage from I Origins puts it perfectly:

Ian: “You know we could be looking forever and find nothing.”
Karen: “Turning over rocks and finding nothing is progress.”

Or Yoda, of course:

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Aside from university. My first MOOC on natural disasters is coming to an end. There is only one test left. It was a amazing experience to learn from professors over the internet; knowing they are in Canada and you’re in Belgium. I’m convinced the new era of education is on the right track. For the human species to advance it’s of paramount importance to make learning accessible and fun to everyone. And that’s what MOOCs are doing. This one example show a guy who landed a job at microsoft because of it.

“When asked if I knew about cloud computing I told them about the courses I had taken and that I was also a TA in the edX course. They were highly impressed with this. They were so impressed that while other candidates got grilled for hours with technical questions, my interviews were short and mostly HR based because of all the courses I took at edX.” —Akshay Kulkarni: From edX courses to a job a Microsoft

Those who are interested in reading my mini case study for the course, you can do so here: Case study – Pukkelpop Natural Disaster – Angelino Desmet

It’s about what happens when you combine the storm depicted below to a music festival.



PS The two largest MOOC platforms are edX and Coursera. Respectively hosting courses provided by:



and much more.


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