Chris J Powell

What to Do When you Flunk???

I would not call myself a failure and for the most part I have been relatively successful in everything that I have ever done but when it came to entering back into the world of learning 20 years after graduating from College…well lets just say…diving into an advanced Analytics Course as my first iteration of learning may have been a mistake.  I have big Brass Balls when it comes to taking on new tasks but this one…it was just too much too fast.


Big Data and Analytics are two things that I am very much interested in, but as the course that I was in progressed I found myself profoundly unprepared for the weekly work load as I was having to side step and dive into additional “training” like learning how to program in Python and take a foundation course in Statistics so I dropped out.  I don’t quit on things…it is just not in my nature but in this case…it was quit or fall even further behind.

So what is a guy supposed to do that desperately wants to upgrade his skills…well as I was taking on the “extras” for the course…I started to find that I was getting better and better at those particular skills so I will take the next several months to hone those particular skills, building a repository of knowledge and experience as I prepare to dive back into more advanced programs.

The biggest issue that I have is time.  With weekly assignments, a Full Time Job, my “Pedestrian Commute” and finding time to eat, sleep and be a Dad…I was finding it very difficult to fit in the 8-10 hours per week that I would need for the course let a lone the additional 5 hours for upgrading skills that I either didn’t have or found that my skill level was grossly inadequate for the task at hand.

So I don’t really take it as a failure…more as a course correction.  The end game is still in play and my future will be in that field.  One course was not going to change my life anyways…so I take this as a road bump and now I am ready to move forward.

As for how I am going to increase my skills…well I found that the recommendations of leveraging the Library a great resource but I also enrolled in a couple of general interest courses so that I can start to budget my time better.  It is going to take discipline to be an adult student…so now I will become ever more focused on building a time schedule into my life.  Just like writing this blog…it was a challenge to commit an hour+ each day to it…but now it is just how I wake up and let things flow…so the same will come from my continuing education…and heck…I might even head off to a brick and mortar school this fall to take a course or two!



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