Yesterday we were given our second batch of projects, with a due date at the end of the week. We all got to work right away. I think we are all still trying to figure out the pace of how this school is going to work. Thank goodness it’s not being run like a traditional school – no classes, no attendance -none of that rigamarole. This just means we have to figure out the ebbs and flows of this new chapter in our lives. We are all coming form very different places – different ages, ethnicities, countries, regions, religions and lifestyles. I guess the fun part is that we get to figure it out all together. So far one of the best things about this school, is that every single person here WANTS to be here. The part that will be interesting to navigate is going to be our different skill levels. There are some skilled programers here, and like me – some beginners. This means that we have a lot of resources to pull from, but it also means there is some pressure to get up to speed. It’s nice to feel the desire to work hard, but it’s also very nerve racking. Late afternoon yesterday, I remembered standing up to take a break and thinking that I was proud of my self for getting so far in the projects (I was almost halfway done). When I was talking with some peers in the break room, I quickly realized I was not ahead of the game, but rather just below par (birdie in golf terms). Maybe I’ll give myself that new title “little birdie”. Most of my peers had already finished all the projects we were given. I think these next month are going to be a humility check for me, I’m used to being ahead of the gang – at the head of the class. Not any more. No- back to my bash projects.
Day 0 was orientation, basic knowledge, and more in-depth exploration about what to expect with Holberton School. It was super long, but things have only ramped up from there. We had two projects due by the end of the weekend. The projects were oriented around understanding our tools, so when we get started on group projects, the tools won’t hold us back. We had a project understanding git, and github. I was the first to finish that project, not because I knew what I was doing, but because I wanted to get the first project out of the way. It was a blessing and a curse. I know I didn’t do the worst on the project, but I also didn’t do great. I was able to learn a lot form the QA of the project, and I was able to help my peers to make sure they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I made. One of the biggest things I missed was not using HTTPS and instead using SSH. SSH being the more secure way to do things, since the work would not be associated with my github username and instead a secure shell that recognized my computer. I learned my lesson.
Our second project was on understanding basic bash commands in linux. I think the lesson learned with playing with basic bash is that its simpler than you think. The basic commands are a single word, and yes, you can complicate them by adding comments and such, but at it’s essence, you just need one word.
Two projects done, I’ve learned a lot, but I still have no idea what I’m doing. I guess that’s the the beauty of this whole ‘going back to school thing’. I have lived my life so far, proficient in my previous jobs, somewhat knowledgeable about the world around me, and yet there is still so much to learn.
I left the house at 5:57am this morning. I still am trying to figure out the best way to commute from to the Embarcadero BART station in downtown SF. I have to navigate the timing of everything, because everybody else in the area is commuting at the same time. The parking lot at the Dublin/Pleasanton station fills up around 7am. Woof! Traffic and parking was fine this morning, but then again it’s a Friday, and Fridays seem to be a lot lighter in terms of commute (must be be nice to be able to work from home). It’s $3 to park, and it only takes cash. I remembered when I did a trial commute yesterday that there was a change machine, so this morning I took out my $50 to make some change. I figured if I am going to need $3 to park 5 days a week (no parking fee on Saturday and Sunday), I might as well get a lot of cash in single dollar bills. But lo and behold, the machine only takes 10s and 20s. UGH. Why am I so bad at this. I rummaged through the entire contents of my backpack, trying to find a bag I had stashed away somewhere down in the depths. The contents of the bag were numerous gift cards to various places such as Target and Starbucks, all gifted to me by my mother before I left on this great big adventure. I think she was worried I wouldn’t have money to eat (and rightfully so). I had remembered putting some dollar bills in there, but I had also remembered using a few of them at a gas station in Reno Nevada for some slots (it is fondly known as Nevada’s “other” gambling and resort town). Actually, I didn’t gamble, I gave a few dollar bills to my friends to try their luck at the slots. But I diverge. So here I am, at the BART station, digging though my bag in hops I will find a few dollar bills left unscathed, just my luck, I had just enough to pay for parking for the day. Phew.
LivermoreI bordered the train, and an hour later I arrived at Holberton School…a whopping hour and a half early. Well, I did stop to get a celebratory d
oughnut across the street before arriving at school. SO here I sit, chomping on some sugar coated fried dough (this is not an irreverent tone, I have a huge respect for sugar coated fried anything), and sipping on some below par dinner coffee, awaiting the begging of the next chapter. I’m really not so sure how this story will end. So keep reading and we can find out together.
Class has not even started yet, and I’m freaking out. When I was first accepted to Holberton School in San Francisco, I knew I was going to be hitting some brick walls. I was not, however, expecting to hit them before class even started.
About a month ago, when a bunch of accepted students were talking on Slack, the communication forum for teams, we started to talk about arrival dates. Most everybody who is attending the school is not from around here, so I suggested that we meet up before school started to break the ice. The first day of school is hard, I thought it would be a bit easier to do the meet and greet ahead of time. A bunch of us meet up at the school, grabbed some picnic lunch at Yerba Buena Gardens, then split up to walk around and see a bit of this city we now all call home. I walked to the pier with a small group then trekked up to Coit Tower. We ended the afternoon with a walk through China Town. It was nice to spend some time getting to know some of the people I am going to be spending the next two years with.
The meet and greet was great. But my freak out happened about 10 minutes after walking in the door. I greeted Rudy, one of our co-founders, and then asked him for the wifi password. He directed me to a framed poster on the wall. It was code. So I took the code and sat down to start to figure it out. Only, I very quickly realized I had no idea where to start. So…I figured I would do some quick searches on my computer to see if I could find some resources or something…but wait, that would require internet. Dang-it. Brick wall #1.
I’ve packed up my apartment – and like the millions that have gone before me, I have more stuff than I ever thought possible. Packing is stressful, we can all agreed on that. I started packing about a month ago to preemptively combat the stress levels. Last week, my friend Kyle was sitting on the couch working on his own project, but present all the same so I wouldn’t have to pack alone. Midway through the morning I see red dots slowly appear on my arm. As the day passed, more and more appeared – first my left arm, then my right, and the cherry on top, my left cheek. At first I thought it was just an allergic reaction, but wait…nope…its stress. I was mad at these little red hives for two reasons. One, if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing hives – they itch and sting like a mother…and two – they are an external sign to the rest of the world that you don’t have everything under control. If you haven’t met me, I put on a face of impossible independence. I take pride in being able to do things on my own, of being able to handle stressful situations with ease and grace. Hives are the opposit of graceful. Hives shine their little red faces to the world, as if to say “hey world, see this person right here, yeh, she might say she has everything under control, but we know better, everything is falling apart inside this stoic shell.” So thank you, hives, for sharing with the world everything I try so hard to hide.