Workshop revival

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Apparently, the workshop isn't going smoothly. This is an attempt to analyze why this is so, and how to improve the situation. Feedback from mentors and all students is welcome. First of all, all members please report their status in this thread: Student Status. The thread lists all members, as extracted from the registration thread. Even if you're still reading the preface, say so. Now, I think the inactivity can be mainly attributed to one of 2 reasons: 1) People are not motivated enough. SICP is most definitely not an easy read, and studying functional programming with Scheme is not comparable to learning Yet Another Imperative OO Language in terms of mental investment. This is understandable. If you fall into this category, please say so in the status thread--just so we know who's in and who's out. 2) People don't have enough time. There are 2 things we can do about this. Either we extend the time allotted for each Chapter, or we turn it into a self-paced workshop. I think that changing the time per chapter isn't such a bright idea. People have different schedules, so a one-size-fits-all time would leave many unsatisfied. So, I prefer the self-paced style. We can maintain the status thread such that students update it regularly. That way, the mentors know what's going on. What do you think?

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I love this workshop. It has motivated me far beyond what I was doing by myself, even with the video lectures. Before, I'd watch the video lectures, then download the next and watch it. Now, I read the book, watch the lectures, and (most important) do the exercises. I am learning this so much better this time. And I now have a place to ask the random questions that you get when learning a new language. The help I have received here has been excellent. Not only have they explained concepts well, but they have provided me with alternative assignments when the one in the book didn't work for me for some reason.

Other than giving out cookies, I doubt that there is much we can do to motivate people. I agree with you that self-pacing it may help. Surely some people will be very busy one month, while others will have plenty of time that month, only to have it reversed the next month. The one drawback with self-paced is that I feel it might remove some of the motivation from the system. Without a deadline, we'll all go much much slower.

And the very recent inactivity could be attributed to the downtime. :( Actually, it got me motivated to read some more SICP since I couldn't get my daily GD.net dose, I had to distract myself somehow.

In short, please do not let this tutorial dwindle away. It has, and is, helping me learn something that I doubt I would never have been able to learn otherwise.

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