The Apprentice

My post today is a repost of a blog post made night before last; it has turned out to draw a lot of traffic, so I thought it might be of value here. I’ll return with my “parables” posts when next I post; hopefully that week will be a little less busy.
“Always two there are, a Master and an Apprentice…”

My ten-year-old son told me over the weekend that he has a school project where to understand colonial life, they are supposed to find a master craftsman and learn a skill from that craftsman in the way that skills were passed on at that time. After mulling it over for about three, maybe four seconds, I offered to teach him a little bit of video game programming¹ if he’d be interested.

He thought about it and told me the next day that he thought that would be pretty cool, and he seems really excited about it. Tonight we sat down and filled out his apprenticeship contract.


¹His brother did this two years ago and learned how to cook a particular dish from his mother. I think the emphasis is on the master/apprentice relationship and not the historical appropriateness of the skill.
²I’m not convinced that Javascript is the best approach for him, but there are some features which make it nice and a constraint that makes it fairly convenient. First, it has a super quick iteration time, edit text and reload in browser, which I really like — there’s no compilation step. It also has the virtue of being web-friendly, and the web is something he already sort of understands and sort of uses. As for constraints, well, he won’t be working on things just at my house, so having an environment that I can throw on a thumb drive for him (or even email easily, should it come to that), is really nice.
³If it does, it releases Father’s Day. You heard it here first.
4Well, me and hundreds of others. :)