Python-docx is a great tool for working with docx files in Python. One problem is that it doesn't do graphs. We needed it to print some pretty reports, and had to get creative.
Back at school, our first dive into code was MoscowML (for some unholy reason). Strictly functional language, and not a lot of fuzz. We learned how types mattered, and we learned how to get something working without loops and control flow. An interesting exercise, but not really what I was there for.