Observations of struggle…

Posted on October 14, 2014

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The latest humor in the room is the student who has updated her Facebook status to indicate that she is “in a relationship” with ALEKS, since she spends so much time with “him.”   They had some arguments today…

Another student has a pretty good grasp of things … but still looks at word problems … but if she can ask me to confirm her steps, she nails things down.   She maintains that if she were at home, she would be confused and distressed.

I sort of feel this way about my adventures with Java and my Android app… feeling like things would zip on through if I had somebody to suggest/confirm things.   However, I also have a few years (decades) of being able to Figure Things Out, and confidence in my foundation, at least in logic… and I’ve gotten reasonably good at knowing where to look for errors, except when I’m not (which is when it’s time to go for a bike ride).   Leaving me to “struggle through” usually teaches me stuff.

It’s a Mathew effect thing:   if the student doesn’t have the foundation, then the “struggle” undermines what confidence there was. *I* know to look for misconceptions and figure out the next higher “thing” — and spend some time rehearsing in my beady little brain just why that misconception is a misconception, lest I am lured into its trap again.  When I’m on the struggle bus without a driver, though, when what I thought were perfectly good concepts turn out not to work… then I think *nothing* will ever make sense and I look for whatever arbitrary shortcut will get me through this day.

Then there’s this young man who enjoys ascertaining that 7 / 0.5 is 140, mentally… and even that 7 / 0.2 is 35 … but consistently struggles with simplifying 6/1  and figuring out 1/2 + 1/2  … what’s 2/2?

So… I went through long chunks of the lynda.com course that included shared preferences. It didn’t have the right stuff. Stack Overflow had a nice summary, though, which informed me that it is the little snippet about “sharing” between activities that is what’s crashing things.

Except, sadly, I can’t clear the shared prefs from another activity the way it’s set up.

Good news is I know which little lines of code have the issue. Time to ride on home and try some more there.

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