So, it was Spring Quarter of last year. I'd been noding since October of the previous year. Not very well, mind you. Not to slight nate, but Everything 1 was a very different animal than E2. E1, which lacked in community and communication, tended to make the user node any old which way, and not care very much about the reputation of the nodes he made. It was also a pretty small fishpond. To give you some idea of how small, I actually made it onto the bottom of the EBU at one point. In any case, I'd been noding for a couple months and having fun doing so.

Unfortunately, I was also taking a course here at TESC called Data to Information. That year the course was taught by a woman named Sherri. (it's obvious you go to a hippie college when you refer to all of your professors by their first names) Now, Sherri is an excellent computer scientist. She'd been doing the CS thing since back in the day, even having worked on some of the coding for some of the Unixes, and having done some of the hard core coding AT&T did back then. Very Second Generation Geek.

For better or worse, Data to Information was taught with a very academic bent to Computer Science. The information that I took away from that course has proven valuable a thousand times over since then, but at the time, the incredibly removed, looking at your own navel way of learning to code made my brain hurt. In order to teach us programming, Sherri taught us Haskell. Her argument was that Haskell, as a functional programming language, was an excellent teaching tool because *EVERYTHING* you would normally have in a normal (read: object oriented or procedural) language had to be constructed before they could be used. (note: I realize that Haskell "libraries" do exist, but she didn't let us use them.) If you've ever had to teach a computer how to use arrays, you understand where I'm coming from.

This style of programming was quantifiably not what I wanted to do. I was learning a lot about programming, but at the same time, I was slowly being driven insane. By the time the third three month period of this rolled around, I was quickly on my way to burn-out. So I axed the other creative part of my life, that my coding abilities could be salvaged. I quit E1. I was very sad....but at that point all I was doing was hiding in my room, quivering in fear anyway, so I wouldn't have been a very good noder anyway.

Cut to the last month in the last summer. I'd spent the month doing a horrible, soul sucking temp job. I was hired on to do low level tech stuff for the Y2K people at a generator factory, but was actually used as an "Administrative Assistant". I bought people fucking sandwiches, okay? Needless to say, after that was over, I quit that temp agency and reported that company as people who misused their assets. (one of the "Temp Rules" was that I wasn't supposed to be used for off-site work.) Anyway, the only good part of the whole experience was that I had access to a T1 equipped computer network again. The connection at my family's home in Wisconsin is a pitiful 56k dial-in to the UW modem pool, so I didn't make it a habit of even keeping up with the online comics I try to follow. Well, in one of the numerous times they had me cooling my heels on that job, I was sitting before a the alter}computer, poised at the front page of Google, saying to myself "What do I want to look at?" I'd already read Salon two or three times that day, and /. as well. All of a sudden, I remembered Everything. I typed Everything into that sweet sweet search engine, and lo and behold, "Everything2" came up as the first hit. My first reaction, if I remember correctly, was something along the lines of "Whafuck?!"

So to this fine database I returned, and found, to my delight, an entirely new form of access to the information here, and a whole community which had built up since I'd left the site. I read like a rabid weasel for nearly two solid weeks, using the 56k connection from home when I stopped working at Crap, Inc. Finally, I felt like I was once again ready to add to the database. My tepid work from the past was forgotten as I got into the spirit of the new Everything, taking creative criticism from the noders who had come before me, and getting my creative juices out into the open once again.

It's almost been a year since I left E1 to save my sanity, and I have to say, I'm kind of glad I missed the half year or so that I did. The Dman "unpleasantness", the wars and the schisms, all happened between my leaving and returning. Not long after I returned, Dman was asked to leave. I've only known respectful helpfulness and keen-osity from the higher level noders.

So unlike many other noders here, I don't have great stories from the interesting events from last year. I never got to know Sensei all that well, despite the time he took to correct me now and again. I had no opinion on GTKY nodes vs. factual nodes. I was not here for the events surrounding BaronCarlos.
But Jesus on a Stick...I'm glad I came back.

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