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Every class I attended that quarter made almost no sense to me—just like my old math classes. I had long prided myself in being able to background check anyone, and to be able to find any source information for anything or anyone.

So I stayed after class, or I asked friends or my boyfriend to help and watched as they did something curious—they all Googled. (For journalistic purposes only, clearly.) In the world of Googling to code, the principles were the same.

I started spending a lot of time looking at other people’s code to see where mine was right or wrong. It was just like learning a language for the first time.

There wasn’t a single way to things correctly—every coder was a little bit different, but there were basic principles to follow that made your site function correctly. You had to learn a basic vocabulary and then put it in the right grammatical order so the computer could understand it. Just as being terrible at math made me believe I’d never be good at coding, my talents at reading and writing had come with the social reinforcement that I had a predisposition to learning new languages.

I failed that assignment, but I literally couldn’t understand why.

That was a much easier solution than the one they were proposing.

The yard was a certain number of square feet, and there were only so many tables to set up to put objects on, and the objects were all different sizes.

So here I was in class, feeling that same feeling, with the mounting fear that on top of my math inadequacy, my computer could randomly implode at any time because I was touching it.I carefully learned the vocabulary of HTML so I knew what I was talking about when I asked the Internet for answers.Once I got the answers, it was all matter of sequencing the code I found in the right order to make it work.That night at the bar, I politely changed the subject with my new friend and we continued the night pleasantly.Three months later, I moved to Chicago for my higher education (and by then, the new friend had graduated to boyfriend).