Week Two Day One of Labs at Lambda School

The morning started off with the wind whistling through the trees, rain beating relentlessly against the windows, and the lights at times flickering as my power struggled with all it’s might to stay strong as a spring thunderstorm sailed through the area with a vigor I have not witnessed in some time. The air seemed charged with a nervous energy, as if the world around me was quivering in anticipation for what the day would bring. After a relaxing weekend filled with reviewing the Redux instruction in the training kit for Lambda School, I was ready to begin a new week in labs!

Before I go any further. let me explain a little about my family. We are a homeschooling family of six — my husband and I, along with our amazing four children. They range in age from 15 to 3. Yep, we have kids about to start driving, and kids getting excited about learning the alphabet. It means that there is never a boring minute at our house. Whether it is my teenage son playing competitive video games, or my youngest son jumping with wild abandon on our indoor trampoline, the excitement never ends.

Being on the East Coast is nice because I can spend the morning hours focusing on home school with my children before Lambda School instruction begins at 11 am (8 am Pacific Standard time). I typically wake up at 3 am (I was born a morning person — which explains why my brain stops functioning after 8 pm), which gives me a good four hours of uninterrupted time to THINK. Ah, the beauty of using my brain without having five million things pull me away from focusing. It is those morning hours that I can feel confident that I have not lost the ability to reason and learn (sometimes as the day wears on I start to doubt that fact). I can sit down with a strong cup of coffee (followed by a few more) to wrestle with new programming concepts and code, or code that had eluded my understanding the day before.

From 7 am until 11 am all hell breaks loose. I mean that in a good way. My children are a wonderful blessing, and I thank God for them. However, God has given children (especially ones under school age) the amazing ability to wreak havoc on everything they touch. I spend the morning working with the older children while my youngest son does his best to destroy as much as he can in a short amount of time (his skills seem to be deteriorating as he gets older).

Then the clock strikes 11 am. Like Cinderella, I am off. No, I am not running away from Prince Charming. I am making a beeline to my bedroom, where I have my computer set up. It is there that I will get to focus on Lambda School for the next eight hours (except lunch time, where I get to play with the kids again).

So you might be wondering, how do you home school your children AND go to Lambda School full time? I admit, it was a challenge at first. There was a lot of panicking, getting angry, and frustration. The house would pretty much explode while I was working on my studies, as the kids had pulled out every dish in the house, left dirty clothes strewn in the hallway, and books littered across the living room floor. I would like to say it was structured chaos, but there really was no structure to it.

However, my kids and I learned over the months. We learned that mommy couldn’t do it all by herself. She needed help. LOTS of help. She needed the older kids to step up to the plate and help with cleaning. She needed everyone to take turns watching little brother. She needed everyone to understand that mom wasn’t going to be able to eat lunch and dinner with the family a majority of the time. Now my family is like a well-oiled machine. They know the routine, and step up to the plate to help out where help is needed.

My biggest fear in starting Lambda School was that I would have to stop home schooling. How could I do it all? I wouldn’t be able to give my children the attention they needed in their studies, because I would be too focused on my own. However, as I continued at Lambda, I realized the opposite was true. My kids saw how hard I was working, and it encouraged them to work with a zeal they had not shown before. They began to take initiative to get their work done independently, without me holding their hands along the way. We have all matured beyond what I thought possible during my time at Lambda.

Today, as I wind down day one of week two of labs, I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude towards my amazing instructors and team leaders at Lambda School. Gratitude towards my team members. Most of all, gratitude towards my husband and children, who are letting me pursue this dream of becoming a full stack developer. Thank you everyone!

software engineer| learning enthusiast | linkedin.com/in/mandihaase