When I first got into programming, the language of choice for most tutorials was to use Python. Python's syntax is nice and easy to learn and read, whilst it's use of whitespace makes sure that a MIA semi-colon is not going to crash your entire app. It has been called the "easiest language to read" but I'm adamant that Japanese is.
Mostly I have done simple scripts to help me out with repetitive tasks. I have made a ToDo script, a password generator that asks you some simple questions, and a little guessing game for my own amusement. I have dabbled in Django as well, building a simple blog with it. Whilst the experience was certainly interesting, I think I prefer Rails over it.