Learning HTML and CSS

A New Language

One year in middle school — I had to be in the sixth or seventh grade — I took a computer class as my elective. I didn’t know anyone in the class, but I loved the teacher (whom I still remember; she had pet llamas) so I was excited.

When she, let’s call her Mrs. C., taught us HTML, I felt like a whole new world had opened up before me. At this point in time, I was writing blog posts on sites like Weebly; I had no idea that I could create everything myself from scratch.

The assignment I most remember from this class was my “Choose Your Own Adventure” website. I worked endlessly to craft an interesting and exciting story, and then worked even harder to translate it to HTML. I remember feeling like my brain was in overdrive as I organized the story in hyperlinks and web pages and, of course, in dead ends. I also remember forcing my best friend to test out the website approximately a million times (I’m sorry Libby).

I wasn’t concerned with how coding could be used outside of creative purposes, but at the time, what I did know was enough. Now, in graduate school, a world has opened up yet again as I learn and experiment with how to use and craft HTML for assignments projects with stakes a little bit higher than my exciting (sometimes gruesome) “Choose Your Own Adventure” site.


Learning about the X-Ray HTML hack perhaps placed too much power in my greedy (and sometimes childish) hands. My first instinct was to tarnish the Ohio State University’s website, which although a proud alumna of the University of Michigan, probably does not bode well for my coding future. Nevertheless, this was a fun experiment — and a little scary when I started to think about people with a vengeance stronger than my aversion to OSU, and the efforts they might make to manipulate online media.

< tags >

I don’t understand the purpose of all the tags. To be honest, I think tags are unnecessary and do not do anything to add interest or dimension to a website. Why must I learn the tags? It’s not like they help to convey emotions or communicate hidden meanings. Sigh.


Much like Dr. Frankenstein, I have created a monster. And much like Dr. Frankenstein, I am not exactly 100% apologetic.

See my creation for yourself.