Tag Archives: rc week 3

Recurse Center: week 3, day 4

Didn’t do a lick of my own thing (except make tea) before 12:30. Had sitting group (I’ve been every day, often late, often on time), had morning check-ins, went to Ben‘s “Ask Me Anything” talk, which was actually super useful. (There is such a tricky balance here between “INTERESTING THINGS ARE GOING ON” and “I ONLY HAVE THESE THREE PRECIOUS UNINTERRUPTED MONTHS TO WORK ON MY OWN STUFF.”) I took sorta sketch notes (no pictures, only words):

scribbled notes from an ask-me-anything talk with Ben Orenstein at Recurse Center
AMA notes from Recurse Center talk with Ben Orenstein

Also experimented switching my little Pomodoro counter. It defaults to ticks (or tocks; I can’t remember which is which, because I am not a strict adherent) of 25 minutes (during which you focus), with breaks of five minutes in between. After four ticks of 25 min, you get a break of 15 minutes. I’m experimenting with a 52 on/17 off structure, inspired by this post my coworker sent to me months ago, which I quite liked, even though I only got to try it out one day a week.

Today’s LPTHW quotations include the following:

Now I have to hurt you with another container you can use, because once you learn this container a massive world of ultra-cool will be yours.

Skipped Ben’s “care and feeding of dotfiles” talk, and maybe I shouldn’t’ve, but I’ve also become confident that I could literally just ask him (or any of the other people I know with strong vim opinions, including my partner), and they would probably be happy to share the thing they’re excited about. Also skipped Raquel’s “Life outside of the bubble” talk (i.e. what is some awesome stuff to do outside of tech?), although I did not avoid getting the inspiration-song stuck in my head.

Really liking the longer “tocks” of 52 minutes. It feels long enough to get something done in. Being able to take regular real breaks also feels REALLY conducive to being a happy, productive human being.

Played around with Python’s hash function a bit after encountering it in LPTHW exercise 39.  This is the first thing in here in a while (like, much of this exercise) that’s kinda blown my mind. And lo, there is a walkthrough of the functions (but I got plenty lost before then, which I’m glad about).

Sent off another email (I’m skipping all typos, but emailing about the two code errors I’ve seen so far) regarding exercise 39’s last “you should see” example — the PDF I pulled down earlier this month has an ImportError, and nothing else. The code itself works just fine, and in fact it’s fine on the website as well.

Worked some more on dictionaries and modules (<3 <3 <3), and eventually got cut off by the appearance of presentations (which, fortunately, I love).

Now headed out to an outdoor free movie and takeout with Nathan and Nora, who’s in town for the weekend (we’re heading up to Vermont to visit/meet family; they’re doing the former, I’m doing both). I want to spend more time with my code, so I’m smuggling (read: transporting) my giant Learning Python book home with me for the weekend. Eeeeee.

Recurse Center: week 3, day 3

Did a little light code review of my slug game with Liz, and learned about cases and something else that she was hoping to see — until she learned Python doesn’t have them. Aha! Talked about what makes for good and bad learning from resources.

Also, I accidentally fell into a data science hole, signing up for an in-progress iteration of the first part of Coursera’s Data Science specialization. I’m not sure whether I’ll commit to more of these, but this first one is already going over things I know (I already have a GitHub account! I already know how to use the command line! yay!). So, hey. Did one of the quizzes (late), too late to do the other one, but whatever.

Did a bit more LPTHW, and while I don’t so much remember the afternoon, I know I did some review of operators and escape sequences and and and. I learned about lambda functions and they weren’t as scary as they’ve seemed before! Just a little funny-shaped.

Ended the day feeling not terrifically accomplished, but headed over to a Write/Speak/Code meetup for women in (or aspiring to be in) tech. They had a panel of five women who got into tech without CS degrees (three of whom went to bootcamps, one of whom said she would have had she not gotten into tech decades ago, and one of whom learned as she went). It was kind of encouraging to be around a group of women who found the much-less-talked-about route into this industry.

I also met (by surprise!) Erin, who I recognized by her Twitter handle, and who I’d thought was Jess (who also has pink hair, and is a current Recurser) several blocks back. I attempted to restrain my enthusiasm and only half-succeeded. She is probably one of the people whose voices and opinions I most respect on the web, and — like the rest of the people in that group in my head — she turns out to be a perfectly normal, modest person.

Recurse Center: week 3, day 2

Yesterday still feels like nonsense in retrospect. Some things I have already learned from it:

  • Maybe don’t have two drinks on a blazingly hot and muggy day wherein you didn’t drink enough water, even if it’s awesome to sip Brooklyns and watch Mad Men. (That was Sunday night; we skipped going to the movies after realizing we could have air-conditioning and screen-time at home, and also not wear shoes.)
  • Take a nap if you want to take a nap. Even if almost no one else ever does this. I think a nap would have helped yesterday’s prospects immensely.
  • Going for a walk is not “doing nothing.” I think going for a walk may have helped.

did start sketching out a little Python game I’m going to make, though, and it feels nice to draw something (also, Paper is still probably my favorite app ever). To be shared once it’s done. Or at least working.

Went to Raquel’s short and fun Nodebots workshop. Agh, I want to play with hardware stuff so much. One or two (or maaaaybe three) things at a time, though. I also get overwhelmed by what I could do, even though I know I’d be delighted with blinky lights and robots that draw pictures.

Had lunch from home, thanks to Nathan’s good planning (I’m not so awesome on this, still).

And, whee — I finished my Python game! I’m hoping to maybe do some code review with someone tomorrow (eeeeeeeeeeek; just have to get brave enough to ask), but for now, voilà: it’s a text adventure (and you’re a slug).

Recurse Center: week 3, day 1

Postscript to last week: ended up working more on my Pebble watchface on Friday, which was awesome, and made me never want to leave the coffeeshop.

Now I have a watchface that

  • has a background (!), which I made (!)
  • accurately displays the time (!)
  • displays the weather (temp in C and a tiny text description) from OpenWeatherMap, but I am DEEPLY suspicious of it, because it seems like 80% of the time it says “Clouds,” which is not true, given my observations of the sky.

When a time ends with 40 (or 04, I think), however, it displays the Unicode failsquare instead (so, like, 08:◻︎). This is interesting! It also does this when there are “Thunders◻︎” in the area. I have no idea why this happens, but I want to find out, which makes twoPebble mysteries to solve.

On to this week, though! Man, I have just NOT been able to focus today. I didn’t feel awesome this morning, the weather is super hot, and there is an air quality advisory in effect, so I skipped the biking in favor of the subway.

We do have a couple awesome residents this week, though — Ben Orenstein and Raquel Vélez. Already went to Ben’s beginner-ish vim talk this afternoon, and am all jazzed about vim again.

Trying to figure out how best to balance “ALL THIS AWESOME STUFF IS HAPPENING” with “work on your things, Liene!” This is a challenge I’ve heard a lot of alums talk about — my current plan is just to not throw myself into extraordinarily deep ends (e.g. I did not go to the prototypical inheritance talk this morning), but be okay with rabbit holes.

Read a lot of blog posts, some of them about programming. Kind of thinking that “success” today might just be staying present in this space and being kind to myself about it.

Went to Ben’s Monday night talk about concrete advice for OO programming (in which we learned that he prefers functional programming, but I digress), which was fast-paced but accessible and engaging. I continue to suspect that learning may often involve being exposed to the same information from a few different angles at a few different times.