Bucket list trip: The Great Barrier Reef in Australia
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to let you in on a little problem I’ve been having.
While I have no squishy fur ball of a cat like Liz’s Pumpkin, I do have an equally adorable puppy called Millie.
She’s a hoot.
I mean, can you even?
So, Millie is a corona dog, adopted a few months ago during the pandemic. She’s a rescue, so we don’t know exactly what breed she is, but we were told Lab and Australian Kelpie. (I know, I had to look that one up, too.)
Now, Millie is an energetic young lady, and her favorite activity (BY FAR) is to play with other dogs at the dog park.
But here’s the thing. Sometimes we get everyone ready to go out the door — Millie, my wife and I, our two kids, along with water, snacks, and sunblock (parents, you know what I mean) — and we drive to the dog park 15 minutes away and it’s a ghost town. No one’s there.
In that case, we play a few listless games of fetch and head home, defeated.
This got my 10-year-old daughter thinking. What if there were a way people could communicate they were at a dog park, how long they’d be there, and what their dog is like?
So, we had a problem and an eager young kiddo looking to do something big. When a problem meets up with a desire to build a solution, great things can happen.
She decided to learn how to build an iOS app that could help bring dogs together. The next day, she started sketching out plans as we brainstormed features.
Imagine if you could use the app to schedule a playdate with another dog!
Imagine if each dog had a profile with a picture!
Imagine if you could drag your dog’s profile to a park icon to "check in"!
Imagine if we also linked to local trail maps!
The beauty of the internet today is that you can really learn anything for free if you’re willing to put in the time. So, she has begun to learn coding in Swift.
She and I picked out a few video tutorials on YouTube, but they one that she found most useful was created by a fellow fourth grader:
I, too, found this to be the most helpful introduction (after all, I’m learning too).
I have a few takeaways from having a 4th grader as my teacher:
We should have no problem learning from people younger than us — even much younger than us. Pearl's insights and perspectives are invaluable to us as we get started.
My daughter pricked up her ears immediately when she heard someone her age explaining these complex concepts. A trailblazer can inspire our own fortitude for the journey ahead.
The internet democratizes knowledge and authority. Pearl, without degrees or prestige, can be a trusted teacher because she’s knowledgeable, forthright, unpretentious, and generous with her time. These are good things to remember when we approach content marketing.
There’snothingwrongwithstartingatstepone. When we try to explain something we already understand well, it’s easy to be hindered by the curse of knowledge. But people often really appreciate starting with the utter basics. In the words of Ann Handley: "Assume your reader knows nothing, but don’t assume your reader is stupid."
As she moves forward in her app development, my daughter is bolstered by knowing someone else her age can do this. If Pearl can learn, why can’t she?