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Reflecting on the first week of my second batch at RC.
One week has gone by! I'll briefly summarize how my days went below and reflect on the whole but here's the short version.
TLDR; I knew I wouldn't be making any huge strides toward my batch goals. I will probably never pair or socialize enough, because there are always more opportunities to do both! I have few regrets about how I spent my first week, but I feel like I'm missing out a bit not being at the hub.
I'm not sure how much detail to include for each day. There are often other little tasks that I accomplished which I feel like would just add noise, so I think I'll stick to the relatively (as in, relative to myself) noteworthy things I did each day.
Day 1 (Mon, 30th)
I attended the opening talks and meet and greets, taking notes where I could to help me remember details about those in batch and continuing from Fall 2. And I made sure to schedule myself for automatic coffee-chat and pair-programming matches!
I spent some time collecting my thoughts and trying to narrow my focus for the batch. I decided by the end of the day that since I've been playing a lot of solitaire (specifically, the Zachlike Solitaire Collection), I should consider making a solitaire game-engine in Rust. This would enable me to deep-dive on the topic of solitaire and card game design, a sizeable field of study for 12-weeks with clearly defined boundaries.
Day 2 (Tue, 31st)
I attended the Daily Checkin event to share what I had been working on and what my plans were for the rest of that day with others in real-time. I also made it a point to use the "couches" Zoom room to work on some low-stakes tasks (like writing in my Obsidian vault) and made it known that I would be there. This resulted in three others joining and chatting about a range of topics. I didn't participate too much in the conversation (out of not really having anything to contribute) but it was nice to just be around others while idly listening to their conversation.
I made a choice not to attend the start of batch pairing workshop to accomplish a time-sensitive (but avoidable) task, and I regretted it. In my head I thought that since I was somewhat experienced with pair-programming it would be okay to skip. But I realized immediately after that it would have been a great opportunity to work closely with someone from my batch and lend what little knowledge I had to improve their experience.
Day 3 (Wed, 1st)
I attended Daily Checkin again and volunteered to host the next one as the person hosting had been hosting them for a while!
I had a reasonable number of intentions for the day but a lot of them fell flat. I had regrets of the day prior fresh in my mind and was getting a little overwhelmed by how the majority of those in my batch seemed to be really connecting with one-another, where I felt like through poor choices I had barely given myself the chance. This compounded with today being the day those near The Hub in Brooklyn, NY invited to tour the space and settle-in, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling a bit jealous!
This all put me in a bit of a funk and I sat with it for far too long. Later, I knew that I should have just gone for a walk to clear my head. But it was a little too late by then. I at least was able to catch the latter half of Non-programming Talks (a wonderful tradition at RC).
Day 4 (Thu, 2nd)
I really made it a point to leave the funk of the day prior behind by throwing myself into (slightly too many) activities on this day. I hosted Daily Checkin, paired on a project I had started outside of the batch (zulipsis), had a coffee-chat with a batch-mate, attended a recurring event called Tool Talk Time and shared some (cli) tools I've found useful (no, it wasn't
timew), and finally attended Weekly Presentations.
I was too tired to get much else done, but I signed-off feeling satisfied with my day.
Day 5 (Fri, 3rd)
This day was cut short due to some external obligations, but I was able to host Daily Checkin again and tune-in for the Game Engine Interest Group. After sharing what my goals were with more experienced game-developers, I started getting the impression that maybe my goals of designing a game-engine right out of the gate might be a little too ambitious. But we'll see, perhaps I can still work on a game engine, but on a toy-scale.
Overall, it was an okay first week! I think I expected it to go better than it did, but I'm happy I took control and threw myself back into it when I did. I'm a little bummed to not be making it to The Hub, again, it definitely feels different than my last batch (S1'21) as everyone was in the same boat and trying to come up with creative ways to bridge the divide1. But I'm going to make the best of what I've got and try to compensate for not being physically present by attending more social events and perhaps making it a point to bond with the other strictly/mostly virtual attendees. I'm looking forward to the next week as I begin to focus more on writing code to start making tangible progress toward my batch goals.
for what it's worth, RC faculty and/or community members have provided lots of little telepresence nicieties in the space to help with this, but there are of course limitations to these things