Recurse Center: week 11, day 1

Here is how I feel about it being week 11: ffffFFFFFFffFFFFF!!!!!!

I’m feeling kind of paralyzed by only having two more weeks. I know that this is a lot of individual days, but it feels like my time here is almost done, and it’s anxiety-inducing in a way I was hoping to avoid until, you know…afterwards. When it would be more convenient to have feelings. Alas, that is not how feelings work. Still.

I’m trying to get the EXIF data out of a photo (that part works), and then get the GPS coordinates (that part also works, albeit in ratios, which I need to turn into decimals), and THEN put that on a map (cue panic). This is my stated goal for the day, per what I said in check-ins.

This was a good idea, and I looked at a lot of things, and I played around with a lot of data structures in bpython (which was, honestly, super super fun), and I didn’t really get anything “done,” per se. And then I realized that maybe going to Rosh Hashanah lunch at Susan’s wasn’t going to be so compatible with daylong crushing of the code, anyway.

However, it was a really lovely afternoon. Great company, both people I knew and people who were new to me, and I got to learn a lot and participate in a lot of things that felt very meaningful. (I think I was the only non-Jewish person there? And no one made me feel weird about it.)

Learned about why we cover the challah (to summarize, perhaps badly, bread is the most important part of the meal, but the wine happens first & there’s some singing/praying, and we don’t want the bread to know about this, because it might get bummed out). Learned that you can put sugar onto and into all kinds of things, because it brings a sweet new year (usually one eats challah with salt? but at Rosh Hashanah, you eat it with sugar. Challah is super not-vegan, so I listened and adapted things, which was fine). Also! You throw the challah to people, because it’s Yay Celebration Happy Times, contrasted with somber times where you’d calmly hand food to someone, e.g. shiva. We talked about what we’d like to cast off, and what we’d like to bring into our lives in the new year, which was a really lovely moment of reflection.

We walked across a pedestrian bridge (all hail pedestrian bridges) to Randall’s Island, so we could be next to the East River (and not a bunch of cars) for tashlich (“to cast off”). Tashlich might be one of my favorite things I’ve learned about recently. It reminded me of the Latvian wedding tradition, where you cast all of your past regrets into the river with your wedding wreaths. Except this one is open to anyone, every year. And it’s bread, not wreaths. And also we saw a crab. (This is not particularly relevant, but it was nice to be tangibly reminded of the life in the East River.)

It ended up being a much longer, much more meaningful time of connection with people and life than I intended. I made it to the Monday night talk, but was late (for the first time!), and I had such a sense of peace I didn’t particularly care.

Tuesday: maps? Maybe!

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