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Cole Rau
Cole Rau

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In the Pursuit of Happiness: Why I Enrolled at Flatiron School

A few days after I moved to Seattle, Washington, my brother sent me a text reading, "The next 10 months of your life will determine your life for the next 60 years. No pressure." And he was right. As a current Module 2 student at Flatiron School, I can either graduate to obtain a life I'll love or fail out and resume an unsatisfactory existence. This post is a reminder to my future self about why I'm here and why I shouldn't give up on this school.

There is no difference between a customer service job and an abandoned banana peel decomposing in the summer's heat. 

The first reason I took up web development is because I loathe customer service jobs. The ubiquity of the customer service job has led me to believe that if I don't learn a technical skill like coding, I will be doomed to force a smile on my face at a department store for the rest of my life. In the past, I worked at Target, provided over-the-phone customer service to the eternally upset Frontier Airlines passenger, and served food to hungry college students at Colorado State University. This morning, I walked by a Target employee smoking outside, bearing the company's cheery name tag on his shirt. Not to be melodramatic, but the mere sight of that red and white badge triggered memories that made me shudder.

I don't want to go back to that life. Please don't make me go back to that life.

Code ❤️

I am motivated to continue studying in this program because of both positive and negative reinforcement. In the field of Behavioral Psychology, someone is acting under the influence of negative reinforcement when they act based off of fear. Part of the reason I'm learning about RESTful routes and CRUD and ActiveRecord and objects and hashes and enumerators is because I fear what my life would be like without them.

But in Behavioral Psychology, there exists an antithesis to negative reinforcement - positive reinforcement, which describes someone who acts for a reward. While coding my Module 1 project at Flatiron School, I got plenty of warm, tingly feelings inside. I was proud to complete a command-line application with a database and options for the user to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations. I was so happy working on the project that I knew I would be OK coding for a living.

In short, I am a student at Flatiron School because I want a happy life as a web developer. The next step is to graduate. No pressure.

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