From July 5-September 22, I'm spending time at the Recurse Center in NYC. I'm going to do my best to post every day, detailing whatever I got up to. Hopefully I'll be able to sum up series of daily events & work done such that even if they're completely incoherent moment by moment as I live them, they'll seem orderly in hindsight, and I'll feel better. Additional things:
- Going to keep things relatively short, both so I actually write every day and to not get too technical--want to focus here for the most part on what I did broadly so that there's some sense of an arc/narrative to my time at Recurse. It's also entirely possible no such story will reveal itself at all.
- I'll also be using some first names and proper nouns that I may not always explain. In normal blog posts, I try to avoid that kind of inside baseball, but I'm writing these quickly and, frankly, for my own benefit. Maybe at the end I'll go back and fill in some details--or write a glossary/add footnotes--but that's not likely.
Anyway, here we go:
The first day of any new major organizing life event (RC isn't broadly comparable and understood like school, a job, or even my touring days, so don't know what noun to call it by), no matter how positive, is always going to be a little disorienting (at least for me). And so it is at Recurse. The people are incredibly welcoming, the environment is warm and charged with lots of creative energy, and breakfast food and coffee abound. Still, there's the reality of meeting ~75 new people in a short span of time while trying to gauge their interests, see where they overlap with yours, and also, you know, be a friendly human being.
Luckily, the facilitators--James, Lisa, and Rose--advised us not to write any code today. So I didn't. I started to read through a tutorial on web server hosting that Tracy from the Summer 1 Batch sent my way, but didn't even get past the first page. I was so burnt out by all the decidedly non-technical parts of the day--introductory talks, pitas out for lunch with a small group, coffee with Dan & John from my batch, an afternoon meet & great with partner pairings that regenerated every 3 minutes--that when I found myself reading the same sentence over and over, getting nothing, I decided that was it--and so did John. We went to Brooklyn, grabbed a beer, and talked about Vonnegut and shanty choirs. As good an ending as any.
- I'm not much of a dog person, but Ginger, canine Recurse resident, is adorable, hypoallergenic, never barks, and never seems to smell. Need to find a dog like this.
- Amongst my batchmates, two most common interests by far seem to be functional languages and machine learning. Not sure whether I'll dive into either, honestly.
- Coffee is a hell of a drug, but I'm experimenting with not drinking much of it while I'm at Recurse. I already folded and grabbed a cup mid-afternoon, as mentioned above, but that's better than my usual steady stream. Probably not smart to try beating a slight dependency like this right as you move into a completely new daily structure.
- If it wasn't implicit in what I've already said, I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to work on while here, and while I have no problem working hard, I have no idea how to most effectively structure my time. There's a workshop on that later this week that I'll definitely be attending. More on that as I do (or don't) figure it out.