Week 4 of 12 at Recurse Center

Feelings! Feelings! Feelings!

Now that I’m (woefully) 1/3th of my way through this experience, I am trying to reflect on the choices that I make each day and how they contribute (or don’t contribute) to my overall goals as a person. I don’t want to spend all my time thinking “Does this help me?” but I am trying to choose tutorials or projects that will help benefit me long-term. This is useful all the time, and I probably do this all the time, but I am in this unique experience of being able to think about what I choose to learn and why, and getting (this is the most important part) to dedicate my full days to this. The downside of this is that I’m back to beating myself up for “wasting time.”

Trying to come to terms with learning not necessarily being aligned with producing (“shipping”) code, or having a singular creative product, and that it is okay to learn by doing tutorials that don’t amount to anything but throw-away scratch code, as long as I am actually learning from them and not just lazily copy-pasting from one console to another. This week has been more trying than usual in this regard though, because I was trying to work my way through a couple of Rust+WebAssembly tutorials that I think might have been out-of-date, or for some reason weren’t working, but when everything is new it’s hard to tell whether or not it’s just your fault. Today, I basically haven’t gotten anything done, and my brain feels completely full and unable to even recreate the new knowledge it has recently received. Basically, feeling braindead and a bit useless. So I’m glad it’s Friday and I can spend tonight and tomorrow trying to reset myself.

Focus is always a problem for me, and I’m noticing a strong correlation between my diet and my ability to concentrate, and I fell off the eating-well-and-not-drinking wagon this week, which is probably contributing to this kind of hazy brain inability to write simple scripts feeling.

Despite being more exhausted and bummed than usual (for reasons related to fluctuating hormones rather than any actual outside-of-physical-body reasons), I’m also feeling super sad that I am one-third of the way through my batch here! Outside of today, I think I am adjusting to this neverending flow of new interesting things coming at me, and learning how to ride these waves, picking out which things to jump into, which to save for later, and which to push aside, rather than just completely thrown under water. But I’m also trying not to take these new patterns for granted and become accustomed to this.

I’ve also been maybe coming to terms with how I kinda don’t actually like “solving hard problems” (when understood as a euphemism used by engineers to describe difficult purely-technical problems) but much prefer helping making hard problems easier to leverage, understand, and use for others. I don’t know how to explain this – I do like programming, and I especially like putting things together and making a thing, but I think there are other things that I like more. I’m trying to not focus on career concerns right now but I think this does have a lot of implications for what I want to do in the future.

Oh, a super heartwarming thing that happened this week is 1) in general all the people that have politely listened to me ramble on for surprisingly long amounts of time about analog video or Archives Problems but also 2) last week, I explained why color is weird when it comes to video (YCbCr/YUV 2 RGB problems), and so I taught someone this thing, and then this week I heard that person giving a perfect explanation of YUV-RGB to someone else! My heart grew one hundred times.