I'm trying to learn Python to get ahead in school but don't know where to start. I already have a shell and SW installed on my machine to write the code, but I can't find a good index of the codes. What would you suggest I do or learn first?

-Thanks, Pat

You can first try to follow the tutorial at http://www.python.org/doc/.
Alternatively, you can search online and you will find some wonderful free resources.
Then come back to here when you have queries regarding the syntax.

I would highly recommend Byte of Python (2nd item listed by snippsat) for beginners. It consists mainly of simple examples with explanation. It is only about 100 pages, so you can finish in 1 or 2 nights and have a good basic understanding of the language.