Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8/20 - ADD Girl strikes again (aka As Always, A Work In Progress)

Another quote that doesn't necessarily fit the mood of the day, except it kind of sort of does. I'm far happier after last week's epiphany. I'm more relaxed, I'm doing things I enjoy instead of work work work work work. At the same time, I'm still working hard to get where I need to be skills-wise. It seems I've turned a corner of sorts.

ADD Girl (I totally see myself in purple spandex tights and a rainbow tie dyed cape when I say "ADD Girl.") <Strikes impressive pose> <Hey Look! A chicken!>

I'm currently researching my SaaS paper, trying to fix the Synergy interaction between my work laptop and my desktop, and obviously blogging. This is not the most split my attention has ever been, either.

I don't know who Lord Chesterfield was, but he wrote a note to his son that actually fit the moment (and my life):
“There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.”
Too bad my brain don't work that way. I understand things take longer when you're taking time out to do other things. I also understand those who multitask are actually not as productive as those who focus on a single thing at a time. I am personally less productive when forced to focus on only one thing for long periods, because my mind wanders. I miss information while wool-gathering, and have to drag myself back to the present. I realize I could probably get better at this focus with discipline, but man is it hard!

I'm starting to like my job. Actually getting to do some work yesterday helped. Having my card pass on the first QA today, helped. Not being anxiety ridden helps. Taking pages and pages of notes on how to do things in the program, then being able to recreate those things while I transcribed the notes definitely helped. So did sharing some of the notes with another member of the team. I'm helpful!

I spent part of the morning completing the notes transcription, then dove into my Learn Ruby the Hard Way exercises. The Hard Way, according to the author, is the way programmers used to learn. It consists of:

  1. Going through each exercise.
  2. Typing in each sample exactly.
  3. Making it run.

I've gone through 4 lessons, one of which was how to install the necessary programs on my machine. So far I'm liking this method. It doesn't presuppose I know anything. I've had to do some research on Google, but having to research and find an answer helps me to remember that answer later. I didn't get as far as I'd hoped, but that doesn't matter in the long run. The suggestion is that I spend at least an hour a day practicing. I'm not sure I can commit to that much time, but I can certainly try.

The afternoon was spent revisiting the Ruby Fundamentals class. This time it was taught by the person who put together the curriculum. While it lasted 2 of the 4 scheduled hours, unlike the last time I took this class it did not feel at all rushed. I was able to ask my questions. My understanding is deeper. Still not where I need to be to write comfortably, but I'm getting there. Hopefully I'll be close enough where I need to be before next week, when I understand I'll be taking 4 hours a day of a combination of Ruby and Gherkin. I'm supposed to be able to use the Ruby in those classes. At this point I haven't been invited to those classes, but I expect if they're happening I will be included.

I went to take the Tap Out class after work, but no one else showed up so I just played with weights. I was pleased to be able to increase my dumb bells to 15 lbs., from the 10 lb. weights I used last week. I'm curious to see what my arms feel like in a day or two, after 2 sets of 20 reps each on all the exercises I could think of. There are 3 exercises I did with 5 lb weights, because 10 was too much and there are no 8s at work. There was one exercise I started with 10s and bumped up to 15s. There was one exercise I started the 2nd set with 15s and knocked it down to 10s. I did full push-ups. They were ugly but they were deeper than I've been for a long time.

In case you didn't notice I'm quite thrilled to be feeling stronger. I'm seriously thinking of adding a 3rd day of lifting to my week. I'm thinking about watching P90X videos again, or studying YouTube for new exercises. I don't want to do the full classes, but I do want to move in different ways. I don't want to get into a rut.

I'm still trying to figure out how best to get my running in too. I like running more than I did a year ago. I've changed my gait, which has eliminated most of the issues I used to deal with. I certainly like being able to say I ran. I still have trouble actually getting out the door during the week though. This is not a good thing when it adversely affects my weekend long runs. As always, a work in progress.

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