This is a picture of my Desktop. It’s a stack of textbooks on programming, algorithms, discrete mathematics, and four blue labeled folders which hold even more books.
As a kid, my favorite place to be was the library. This was before college, before high school, just around the time I started Junior High School. I would count up $1.25 from a jar full of loose change, get on the Q54 bus from the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Van Wyck, ask for a transfer from the bus driver, then ride to Merrick and Jamaica where the Queens Central Library sat across from the bus depot. Inside, the first place I went to was over to the Science and Mathematics section. What was I doing there? I was picking out the newest textbooks: Chemistry, Biology, University Physics, Calculus. I would stuff my book-bag–over the years, I had ripped a half a dozen of these book bags from stuffing them full of textbooks from the library–then take them back home.
At home, I would stack them, high one on top of the other, then maybe read the introductions of each of the textbooks. By then, my eyes would have been completely tired, and I would stack them up again on my desk, then crash into my bed. The next morning, back to reality, catching up on homework and or preparing for an exam, and those stacks of textbooks would stay where they were until days past their due dates. I remember once selling my junior high school lunch vouchers to have enough to pay the library fines I had racked up from collecting these giant textbooks.
When I think back to those habits, I wish I had someone to teach me how to study. Or, someone to help me understand how you had to go about reading a textbook. So, a lot later down the years, after I had messed up as an engineering student, completely had no chance of ever becoming a doctor, years after when I was at my lowest, I understood that one of the roads up was to study English Literature. Why did I think that? Because I saw myself as an eternal student who was missing a couple of critical tools: critical thinking and some basic writing skills.
Anyway, fast forward to now, after all the years of reading textbooks, novels, theoretical philosophical arguments, and of course tons of articles from the sports section, I realize I still repeating a bad habit: I hoard books out of a genuine desire to learn, but I end up not learning anything from them, because there aren’t enough hours in the day to read everything.
I need to be honest with myself and focus on just what I need.
So what does my Desktop look like now?