It is the final countdown at college (Dec 4, 2021).
Next semester, the final semester of the 2-year diploma, is supposed to be easier than the previous. It is just a lot of more work and I think more analytical? No hard new concepts I was told.
I am just doing 3 courses this semester that I missed in the first semester (DCOM, MATH and some Elective).
DCOM, data communications, is alright. I learned some of this before when I did my IT certifications many years ago.
MATH surprised me. I thought it would be only binary systems but there are many concepts we looked over and we are still not done.
I am thinking the final semester will be enough for me. I am not planning to do a 3rd year or bridge to university.
But after doing some MATH, I am surprised how much there is.
Computer Science in university sounds like uncharted territory for me. Do you really learn all that much from a 2-year Computer Programming diploma in college?
I am thinking you can just go online and Google the other concepts when given a problem working in the real world. And with your problem solving skills create a solution.
But what is the ‘given problem’? Is that your personal problem or a problem working for a company?
I am thinking more and more about MATH and how much work it was for me to understand the concepts. This made me think about PHYSICS.
I thought I could go without doing much MATH but experiencing the hardships when doing it surprised me. ‘MATH for IT’ is different from Calculus I took in university. It opened my mind to think in logic gates and sets.
It is getting physical it seems. I am hitting boundaries.
I currently program OK I guess. I am using functions and classes. My code could be more efficient.
I should limit things to be more lean to get more speed and less redundant code.
I have not worked in a company creating a team solution. Am I missing that experience? Are their new concepts not found online Googleable stored away with the company library? Are there any ‘secrets’ working in a company that is worthwhile to know?
Currently, I am creating personal things. I Google for things and find most things I need. I am building what I enjoy and taking my sweet time.
The concept of MATH and PHYSICS is compelling.
Engineers like Elon Musk studied Physics in university and can build everything.
So studying Physics seems to be the way to build just about everything including better software.
Currently, I just code college level. I am not heavily thinking about more. I have not reached that far yet???
Anyways, I am just enjoying life doing what I want. I can not just study MATH, PHYSICS and COMP SCI for the sake of it right unless I have a personal goal at the end. It will take time until I need of those subjects.
MATH – I need it!
I was not able to pursue computers when I was younger.
My dad stopped me from doing more computing at age 14. He wanted me to do Life Science and become a doctor.
Only in 2017, I was able to come back to computers and learned the following things.
- Everyone needs MATH because it helps you mature and see things logically
- Eventually you arrive thinking MATH is important after completing your passions\interests
- MATH is needed to grow into an adult
In 2017, I started working in the computer repair store, doing graphic design, doing web design, and finally doing computer programming. Only in Fall 2021, I did the required MATH course for my diploma.
The more I do MATH I feel at peace and feel like I am learning and growing.
Programming knowledge is found online I feel. You can Google for help without much difficulty. But MATH requires practice and actual hard work to understand it all.
I just need MATH, any form of it. I must study more MATH. I need it. I don’t need anything else.
MATH gives you emotional intelligence. I suffer from anxiety and studying MATH helped relieve that.
MATH 2 – The Dilemma
Like I am pretty happy programming away.
Previously, before this semester and maybe at the beginning of this semester, my days were very good.
I had time to do the things I liked. About 40% of my time was programming while 60% of my time was doing things I enjoyed.
I enjoyed things like getting coffee at Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s, getting some exercise by walking at parks, eating Domino’s pizza, making my own pita pizzas and socializing about things on Discord.
Doing any more work, I lose my routine.
What are my next steps in life?
- If I do MATH it is grueling. The gains are massive. Math is everything.
- If I do Teaching in high school it is a complete lifestyle change to nurture others. When will I have time to do the things I want to grow personally?
I have some good news. I was recently published in a Vietnamese Tech website and Facebook post.
I am programming away and got recognized by my ancestral home country.
All that is here in this world is … Education
I used to think in terms of fun activities.
As I get older, I realize all I can think about is learning about more.
Learning about different things and different perspectives.
I relaxed and reflected enough …
Time to get to learn things myself … No waiting around expecting others to teach me everything.
Don’t expect to get help.
Everyone will learn in time.
I learned that I must learn things for myself to broaden my mind and give enough room and time to learn everything to fill my headspace so I don’t feel lost or empty or at a loss. I must lead my life.
It may get to the point where you need to get something out of every situation really or at least equal division.
There is no room for hierarchy or class structure when you get to my age.
Just living to learn.
Everything else seems to have controls and limits and boundaries where you can not trespass. This is especially true when you are young and are so sensitive.
Can not live superficially either.
I have a Consul (ESFJ) personality type naturally but now it is getting to a point where this personality is a problem for me and I must live for myself. I must do things for myself without being so sensitive and worried about things around me. You can not control anyone really. You can only control yourself (your response and actions).
Live for yourself to learn so you stay healthy and grow. Everyone needs growth.
You can look at life simply to just learn, learn and learn. It can be sooooo… one-dimensional like that. By choosing it to be one-dimensional maybe all you need to live in all this chaos. Just look at everything like something to learn.
It is so easy to be caught up in the emotions outside everyday. But those outside emotions can be harmful if not controlled or set aside or ignored. Most emotions are immature and take time to learn from.
Continuing Education as an Older Adult
I knew deep down inside I needed to keep learning.
I did not realize how important it was until I did the last course at Durham College “WEBD 4201 – Web Development Enterprise”.
It taught me 2 important things:
- Integrate Front End, Back End, and Database technologies
- Art and Personability. I am learning to become social now and express it now through web development/design.
That is the missing piece in my life. Being able to socialize and express oneself through a medium like modern dynamic web development.
My problem all these years was to self-express myself. Self-expression was the key.
Everyone needs to express themselves or they get sick and bottled up.
If you are in a bad environment where you can not feel free to grow and develop and express yourself then that is the wrong environment and you must find a way either through finding a better environment or finding a medium to do it.
I found it online in web development it seems.
Even after finishing 2 post-secondary “papers”, things will always be the same it seems. I thought things will change but nothing really changed I found out almost a week after basically finishing school. Today is April 10, 2023. I had my final test April 5, 2023.
I just became more broader, more skillful and can handle more stress now in work mainly. Also I got older now with a handful of white hairs.
I learned the same type of people will like you while others criticize you. So just treat everyone equally while maintaining your health.
Only my close friends understand what I am doing.
I do what I do to maintain my health.David Phong Tan Nguyen
I knew what to do since I was in kindergarten to maintain my health and be happy living here in Canada. My homeland country Vietnam is not like Canada yet.
Some people can not see what I am doing is good for me because they can not look at the world big picture from my perspective.
Isn’t “your health” top priority? What should you do to maintain “your optimum health”?
My health to me is most important. To maintain my health is to continue doing what I want in my perspective trying my best to disregard the superficial/artificial things in life because god damn I am 39 years old now. It was about time to finish school to find work now. I am getting old.
Routine and Growth
My close friend network is good but I think I need a wider friend group for further growth.
School for the last 5 years (since 2019) was good.
It gave me routine.
Without routine I would be a mess I think.
Therefore I need school.
The niche I am in is small and maybe limited.
Only through professional work and school can I grow I think in different ways other than just personal individual growth.
School is needed I guess if you can not figure out things on your own yet.
Reflect on Schooling
Schooling helped a lot.
I learned more about my field. I learned about the people in school. I learned about the teachers. I learned what to do.
It also have me health and confidence.
It was very difficult to finally come back to school in person after the COVID pandemic.
I felt very uncomfortable being in class.
But after finishing the last test on April 5, 2023, I realized it is good to go in person to get the basic social interaction.
I am not sure if the school environment is the best place to learn after finishing school.
You could go to work now and try to do something in the workforce or try to do something on your own.
There are positives and negatives for both.
Regardless I realized how much EDUCATION is worthwhile as an middle-aged man.
I got lots of confidence and health. I feel good and look better.
I suppose it is worthwhile to continue education as it has those positives while I am still “youngish”?
Basically I hear that education never stops. Everyone is in the same situation as you. I just have 2 post-secondary ‘papers’ now to show I can do something. That is some confidence.
Also I heard the top medical professionals finally finish school in their late 30s or early 40s. So what am I really missing? Educate yourself and experience everything you want till you feel comfortable to do something …
Again you have to realize everyone is on the same boat. I did not realize what everyone else was doing until I finished what I wanted this year. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone is on the same wavelength really. Nothing is certain. We are all trying to figure life out one day at a time.
Also I figured out you must still find people as hungry as you and open minded as you and stick with them.
I am not sure if this is appropriate to say but after almost finishing school with 90% of my marks back, I realize my parents were right, you should be educated to a point where you can almost do anything you want without much stress.
It is an uphill battle doing school for me to gain enough knowledge. I wanted to quit so many times.
I studied enough computer programming now to do most software development activities I think.
If you can and live in Canada, I think you should try to study what you want and how much you want till you feel comfortable as you can get loans from the government to take things easy to learn. I feel 80-90% comfortable now.
I feel now with the skills I have, I should continue to use my skills to do work in this field. Everything else seems not worthwhile or not exciting no more to do. Everything else seems not thrilling and cumbersome to do.
No one really taught me this. My parents kept pushing me to keep studying until I became locked in to use my brain.
It is a scary world out there where people don’t tell you this. Once you learned enough ‘engineering skills’ you just keep on developing things. This was the case for me.
I had the opportunity to do this here in Canada. I am very lucky.
Now I can help my family to realize this and help them if they need to have these skills here or back home.
Meaning of School
What is being taught now these days in the modern world is to do what you like and enjoy life.
I realized the meaning of life now at the age of 39 years old that the meaning of life is school “maybe”.
I don’t have a wife. I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t have kids. I don’t have a pet really.
My friend Ben Cybulski told me 6 months ago (like around Nov 2022) that life is to enjoy and do things yourself.
I did not fully grasp that until now.
What are we born to do here in the world? What are you supposed to do here in Canada? What are you supposed to do when you are alone? What are you supposed to do when you get really old?
Learn about this and that I guess. Seems like the only thing to do after all this is to be preoccupied in your thoughts learning about things around you and what you find interesting and learning about things to help you live a good life.
Almost everyone has a brain. Humans were born to think, right?
School was made teach you enough to mainly work. I can work finally now.
Getting it Right
Life can go 3 routes I feel:
- Being so comfortable in yourself that you obtain what you want
- Do something for money
- Finally do something you want and need to see the world from your perspective
Life can go these ways for me.
I realized that after doing what I want and need I can see the world through my eyes and be content alone.
I can focus on doing what makes me.
Education in what I was doing was the way through the lens of computer programming.
My mother thought about computers when she was pregnant with me. So following in her ideas are the only pathway. She wanted me to just follow my wants and needs. And now I am doing what I love and using these skills to apply to other areas from my viewpoint.
Everything is math at the end. Being logical and in control will build a future that isn’t too emotional.
After being done school, reflecting and venturing out in the world, the only thing you have left is to keep learning. That is all.
I ventured out in the world and saw horrible things when I was treated dumb and hostility when I was educated.
At the end you retreat to your “home” learning because the outside world has this duality.
It is better being educated than not.
Took me a while to understand this. I only understood when I gave myself the chance to do what I want and learn here in Canada.
“Home” is where you are safe and can learn on your own however long it takes comfortably without any interference. It is too hostile outside if you are not educated.
When people get older they see that and allow people to learn and grow.
It is the young and people sometimes in the school system that has this competition and rivalry. And sometimes outside as adults as well.
There are 3 things I reached in my life.
- Finished school. I studied enough school to get 3 areas: 1. Biology, 2. Chemistry and 3. Computers
- Reached an old age just around middle age now. Getting old and cranky … Maybe somewhat wise?
- I developed an unique design pattern: Develop software with a teaching element. Windows 11 Debloater is a Microsoft Windows customizer that also teaches scripting if you want. Learning scripting is optional. I found out what makes me unique in creation.
I have been stagnant for the last month or so.
Have I reached some kind of maturity?
Is 2-years of computer programming school enough in college? Will I have difficulty doing more?
Something neat I found while networking with Overseas Vietnamese and general socializing on LinkedIn and browsing the web …
I see that people doing academic papers (thesis) in school who are trying to understand the market and predict the market 10-50 years down the road.
In the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), people are trying to understand what AI/ML will do to everybody and everything.
It is an exciting time and a scary time trying to see who will benefit from this new technology. At least trying to predict/guess the outcomes is interesting enough.
By adding more and more parameters, billions upon billions, we are letting the machine do everything more and more.
I am from the generation that got Internet after I was 12 years old. I grew up not using technology. I learned to enjoy a quiet life playing outside.
But with assistive technologies will life get better or worse for me? How about the new generation?
Allowing computers to do all the work for us? Will that be good? Will that be normal? Will life be normal enough to live normal and feel good? Will there be anything special about us? …
I guess more schooling about using these technologies will help me understand the impacts.
At my old middle age, I am tired dealing with people and things and sometimes want a simple life. It is exciting trying to get in the forefront of technology. For example, AI predictive coding assistance in Microsoft Visual Studio for software development has been helpful and useful for the most part. Most of the time I want to do the coding myself but feel the sense of relief allowing it to help me.
I guess it is the young feverish engaged people who will take this opportunity to incorporate things with new technologies.
There is an element where I think old school ways must be learned first. Socializing and working with your hands.
Anyways, I think I should do more blogging right now since I feel pretty saturated now.
I reached a point of old man stage 1 now LOL. I think I finally changed to the next level now …
Time to teach. Time to reflect. Time to think. Time to do.
Does this never stop? Does it always run? Can you be concrete in your decisions about anything?
I finally understood that life is always running and changing after fulfilling my concrete passions.
Now I avoid people who place you into boxes. No more dealing with immature people.
Avoid people who are so set in their ways. Time to work outside and try to develop something outside. That is just ongoing life.
People change. It is all about gaining the most maturity in life and keep doing stuff.
Stagnating and just accepting how things are is just rot.
If I studied what you studied and came to the same conclusion as you, then now what? Change or live in my head?
You have to design new design patterns.
Enough to ‘Play’
Once you learned enough about all subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Math/Computer Science/Programming) and dealt enough about people (Psychology/Sociology) then you feel great all the time and want to build cool unique things that tickle your mind.
You probably have 90% of the skills necessary to do most tasks if you study enough of everything like above.
Getting enough school is hard because of the competition and rivalry especially when you are young teenagers/young adults. But once you got the schooling done, now is the time to go it solo and do things that make you feel alive and good and avoid all problems.
Doing Something Else
Back in Fall 2019 to March 2020, I was in Practical Nursing school at Centennial College.
I was looking to get to ‘work’. It seemed like a good natural pathway into doing good things and more.
Everyday I was learning about people and problems people would be facing.
All I was doing was looking at possible problems at the superficial level and it was cultural mainly.
It was horrible at my age.
Stereotypes was all that there was basically. People’s sickness looked to be attributed to race, culture, lookism and ageism in the Western medical domain.
How could I live like this working as a nurse? The stereotypes that targeted me, a Vietnamese-Canadian, was just horrible LOL.
The medical job was diagnosing people at a physical ‘face’ level.
After getting my shot of this treatment at nursing school and in the healthcare setting (hospital and LTC home), I went back to finish school doing my computer programming at Durham College because that is what I liked naturally alone without people affecting me.
But in-person school was horrible again even as an older man.
It was all stereotypes and culture LOL. It looks like generally each new generation is less tolerant of others.
People stereotype and place each other in boxes based on where they originally came from from their perspective.
I guess you can not escape that treatment in schools and in institutions.
Good thing that I finished mostly unscathed.
I wonder if I need more?
People naturally stereotype people consciously or unconsciously (a lot or just a bit or maybe none???) at first. It is from their perspective …
But it is just their power-trip perspective that they hold and that is unchanging to make themselves be in control for power and ego in world society as a whole. I guess that is what I get for being ‘me’ in society LOL. I guess I got to take that and not let it affect me and continue doing what I like alone with my friends.
Even when I am doing what I like which is computers (in school), I still get this ‘treatment’ LOL … I guess that is society and I will just let it slide.
School is important to show you how you might get treated in society in one of the most worst possible ways.
Growing old and maturing helps as once you are older, you get less bothered by people as you look like an old man. Not many young people bother with older people.
But the greatest discovery I have found is networking with Overseas Vietnamese. I get to see and interact with Vietnamese and see how they live.
They are actually living to their full potential doing what they love.
I guess I need to stop blanketing (generalizing) everything and start doing more what I love. I need time alone to develop me.
Doing this, I avoid the problems of having to deal with people who seem too nosy around me.
I think in medicine in the Western viewpoint, people fall into the cracks of Western stereotypes. Looks like they did not have the means to grow and become better and look past these issues.
By me focusing on my passions and connecting with Vietnamese and Vietnamese culture, I can avoid focusing on the bad Western stereotypes that target me.
I get healthier and look and feel better if I focus on myself and connect with other Vietnamese-North Americans. I have lost weight now by socializing with Vietnamese-North Americans as issues and concerns and connections are met.
When can I stand alone as just a ‘person’ and not use this identifications as a ‘Vietnamese-Canadian’?
No one really knows how individual culture plays a role unless they are from the same culture.
I guess I have to accept this treatment I get in society for now until things get better.
I took the time to reflect and do things.
After finishing school, I am in a state where more school can come or go.
With computer programming knowledge background, most things become accounted for. I see things can be counted and in my control.
Emotions and feely stuff become second place.
When I walk out in public, going shopping at Walmart or take public transit, I feel and see the world different.
People see me different too.
I hold myself in control. I control my situation.
I could not do this if I was misfit like I was before and just conforming.
It is like I am at a distant controlling myself and my emotions and leading/controlling all interactions I face in society mostly.
Kind of like I have the final say.
I look at things so objectively with a subjective basis: It is like “I know how you are feeling and I let you and I know what is going on and how it should be understood and handled and dealt with.”
It is like a mature state of mind of control and understanding of all things mostly.
I did not have this control when I was doing other things.
I have all this control from studying computer programming. I guess it changed me after finishing school and then taking in the big picture.
The picture is now you can computerize everything almost to build and manipulate things.
The need for control over life. The need for some power in life situations is a want and need. I got it from doing computer programming.
When I walk in society meeting people, I feel and see the structure of the interactions now. It is not just emotional, cultural or racial no more. It is a power, respect and control structure deep within.
When I was studying previously, I would be throwing myself and my energy onto problems and just estimate/guess what could possibly happen after. It would be almost complete guesswork at times.
I am growing and learning. It is continuous and forever ongoing.
It is satisfying when you learned enough and have most control. I guess more learning in computers enables you to have more control.
Now I need to find people who have this train of thought like myself.
Is life just a passage of time of getting more and more control? Via more learning?
It get frustrating and wasteful not to get a hold on of life.
You have to learn everything to live.
After awhile of doing nothing, you realize learning is ongoing.
You must keep learning.
At my age there is nothing. You get old and there is nothing to do but to learn.
You mind has to be constantly occupied to feel well.
It is definitely an age and mature thing.
Doing more schooling will help?
I learned that I have to settle down now.
Learning about development and taking a look at life from a distance has made me realize that I have been doing.
It is good to try to become a teacher now in the Western education framework.
I am trying to be myself and learn to work here in Canada.
I think it is acceptable to work and behave Vietnamese-Canadian: 50:50
There is no need to think otherwise.
Thinking like a Vietnamese-Canadian will make things work out OK with other Westerners.
Online school for a degree in education
Getting a “Western” degree.
I just need to act like myself for the most part to get involved and thinking like a Vietnamese-Canadian.
If I get a degree in education then I can finally relax.
I can teach the new generation how I got to where I got.
It is all about focusing on your childhood goals really.
I went ahead and focused on developing utility software and am done now.
Now teach the next generation of students to do the same.
Make your goals early while young and just go for it and then teach it when you are a teacher.
What else is there? Adult stuff is so headachy and boring and troublesome.
Chase after your goals and when you reached them, teach the next generation to do the same.
Only this left
After finishing school and reflecting …
I did not go to work because of differences … difference in work, views, age and maturity.
There is only school left.
Now there is thinking with my peers who are accommodating and who think more universal.
I guess I hit that point in my life now.
Being more philosophical and “old”.
Again I have to remind myself. I am 39 years old Vietnamese-Canadian who is venturing things on his own. I don’t think there is anyone before me in this space who is Vietnamese out here in the West.
Being old and being in school
One day while going shopping in Toronto while in practical nursing school in 2020, I ventured into a new shopping center in an Asian part of town. It was around Don Mill Rd. I was travelling on Ellesmere which changed to York Mills Rd. It was near the Ontario Science Center going west. I was taking the TTC bus.
I went to buy Asian school supplies at Oomomo, buy something small at C&C Supermarket and eat out a bit.
I was 35 at the time.
People older than me and around the same age shopping together looked at me. We connected …
I realized there was no point in just getting by here in Canada …
Just walking around and going about your daily life when old is OK … but really, what are you doing with your life? Just shopping around for “exotic snacks”? How much down time do I have?
Shouldn’t you be doing “cool” things?
You are given a silver spoon here in Canada.
What do other people have to say about this?
Should you get excited everyday doing something you like and do cool things with your friends?
How much does age and maturity matter?
Is it cultured?
Do I really have to act like the “lazy me”?
Do I have to act like me?
Can I change?
Can I change in school?
Can I change at home doing my own thing?
Education is a right
Depending who I talk to, it seems education is seen differently.
But isn’t education a right? In the West it seems it is.
You don’t stop learning right after college/uni.
Work/jobs expect you to know everything.
Education is a basic human right
Education is a basic human right, and it is central to unlocking human capabilities. It also has tremendous instrumental value. Education raises human capital, productivity, incomes, employability, and economic growth. But its benefits go far beyond these monetary gains: education also makes people healthier and gives them more control over their lives. And it generates trust, boosts social capital, and creates institutions that promote inclusion and shared prosperity.World Bank eLibrary
In Canada, you need to learn philosophy. Life is really hard to bear the many hours of work and school if you don’t have alternative viewpoints.
But you need to have accomplished something first to feel the need for philosophy …
I was rushing to finish school and learn all my passions until the age of 39 years old. I had to finish school twice and had to do all my childhood dreams to feel complete. I had to feel complete for me first.
Life got to a point where I was 99% satisfied. I had to finish things outside the world. It was an extrinsic need mainly. For a man you have to prove yourself.
Now can I just work? Can I do more studying and harder work?
I am learning about education and philosophy now. It has helped me see life differently now and more realistically.
Life could be this or that. But you need less stress.
You need to expand your mind to handle what you want and look at things like your friends to get a good handle on life.
For me I have to accept I could be rich or poor.
I have to accept that I am Vietnamese and must work in a way to improve myself to break away from the social inequalities I face.
I can do this in the comfort of my culture and with Vietnamese-Canadian friends.
This is the only way to change things
School is the only way to change your life and change perspectives.
You got to change the stereotype for yourself first really.
Don’t be the stereotype. Well don’t be the bad stereotype.
Why do and why not do this?
My goals in life are not tuned to this right now.
What does it offer? What can I change? What can I add?
Expand your mind
It is good to expand your mind lengthwise.
Learning about philosophies, ideologies and theories is good to relax and see what others may see.
At my age here in Canada, it seems my parents are right …
At 39 years old, there seems to be just education and school in Canada.
I have interacted quite a bit and going out in the world may seem unhealthy for me in my age group.
If I don’t study and work maturely given my age, it feels sickly.
But I must do it in the “real world” and not just theoretical … got to learn in the real world and with mature people.
You don’t actually need a degree after realizing this
Just growing up and getting old and letting time pass you reach a point that schools and other institutions don’t define everything. Schools and other institutions are too polar and stereotyping when you meet teachers and other students who are immature.
But again I needed school to realize too.
Max out now
As an old 39 years man, it is great and uplifting to be really educated out in public. My social interactions are great now. I am not just a stereotypical Southeast Asian looking guy who people will judge poorly if I had low education and poor social skills. I am 9000+% sure no one in the universe would like to be judge poorly. So education it is!!!