Things I’m learning
I didn’t publish anything yesterday, and I didn’t play the piano at all yesterday, but man, did I ever makes leaps and bounds of progress coding!
In the first hour I was working, I finally* spent enough time and attention to diagnose exactly what wasn’t working, and it made absolutely no sense. It made so little sense that I spent a lot of time with more and more detailed displays of it to make sure that it really was that, and it really was that, and it made no sense.
So sometimes when it’s got to be something really simple, some fundamental thing that I’m missing, I find that telling it to someone makes me see the problem. So I told it to Miranda. I told it in all its glorious detail, and waited for the magic to happen, that moment when I hear the solution coming out of my own mouth. Didn’t happen.
So sometimes when I’m having trouble seeing something that should be really simple, I find that walking away helps. So I went for a swim, and every few laps, I would take a step further back in the problem. I would look at what I have, and think my way back through how I thought I was getting it. And that’s when I realized that my error wasn’t where I thought it was: it was about two steps back in the process.
As my days sometimes go, it was several hours before I could even get back to looking at the code to see if I was right. I found out I was right, but now I had to decide what to do about it. Change what I was doing before, or change what I was doing after? After some thought, I decided what I was doing two steps earlier was solid, and I just needed to capitalize on it correctly, and everything clicked into place.
And then I immediately ran into my next problem, but now I had momentum. So I spent the rest of the day coding.
*finally: I am spending way too much time reading, and way too little time coding, if I expect to make any progress. I will work on this.
So today I learned a completely new skill. I arrived at a “graduation” of sorts, and found out that there was going to be a massive game of Capture the Flag, and also that every single person that I cared about at the event that was playing had chosen the plaid team. So I wanted to identify with the plaid team, so I got a plaid flag and milled about with other team members.
I found the rules absolutely incomprehensible, but everyone around me understood them just fine, and I was only a token player anyway; I didn’t intend to actually play. When things started, I wanted to root for my team, but I mostly couldn’t even understand what was going on, so after a while I wandered off out of bounds and settled in to spectate.
But a funny thing happened after watching for a while: I started to not only understand what was going on, but I saw an empty spot where I could hang out and actually be useful! And so I did! And I was useful!
I never played on a team like that before today. I mean, I was coerced into playing games in gym class, but I never bothered to learn the game or try to understand — I had no aptitude, no interest, and I was being coerced. I never knew how much fun it would be!