An Old Dog, New Tricks

My self-esteem has been pretty low for the past month or two. It started when I decided to rebuild this blog in WordPress. Having used the crutch of MS FrontPage since I made my first website in 1998, I never really even learned HTML; only the little bit it takes to insert images or links in forums and such. I’d just gotten a little of that down when the web started going to css, and I learned a little of that by helping my friends with their Blogdrive accounts. I liked it better, but I didn’t think I would be using it myself because I always had good old FrontPage to keep me warm, despite all of the garbage code it generates. Then php came along and I recognized that before too long I was going to have to change my methods of building web pages. Besides, I liked the look of css pages; the drop shadows, the seamless graphics…It’s like comparing a high definition television to a regular old tube job–not absolutely necessary to change, but wow! what a difference.

So Deni and I began working on this blog. I found a template I liked and she tweaked it according to what I envisioned. She worked really hard at it, in fact, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before I was going to have to assume responsibility and learn this new language for myself. I downloaded tutorials, but they didn’t help. I’m not that kind of learner. I learn by doing and by making mistakes, not by reading or by being instructed, and whenever I just thought about learning css, I felt overwhelmed and stupid. I’ve always been an autodidact and I could always teach myself anything, but this time I thought I’d finally encountered that One Thing that I couldn’t learn. That’s not easy on my self-esteem.

Yesterday morning I decided to rebuild my professional website and I thought that maybe I’d try to use a css template I’d downloaded a week ago. “What the heck? If I Mess it up,” I thought, “no one will ever know.” So I opened up the template and got busy at trying to learn. Fortunately, I didn’t run into any problems for a long while, so my confidence built up pretty fast, and by the time I did hit a snag, I had enough idea of what I was doing to figure it out. By noon, the space above my head was glowing with light bulbs and I had a new look for that site, and man, am I proud! Now I want to learn databases so that I can rebuild Nettl’s and my large content sites! Now I really have to get back to figuring out the database for the big project site I’ve been working on… Meantime,

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