I can't believe we've already completed one month of the gSchool program. While our first projects seem like ages ago, at the same time every week feels like it clips by very quickly.
As we move forward with more complex projects and have new concepts and tools introduced, it can feel like you are never really learning anything. As soon as one thing clicks, a new confusing thing takes its place. In my personal journal, I've started to list the things that have clicked and I feel pretty comfortable with, and those things that I have yet to grasp. While I did this as a way to track my progress to ensure I was staying on pace, I found it also became very motivating for me. The list of things that have clicked is about the same length as the other list, and the exercise of writing it all down helped me uncover just how much I've already learned. On the flip side, having a clear list of those things that need more attention is also extremely helpful.
Although I would describe the curriculum as “tough” and I have moments of self-loathing, I learn best by doing, and am still so grateful for this immersion. If only everyone in the class could see a visual representation of how long it would have taken to learn what we have in the past few weeks if we were only doing self-study in our spare time, I think a few souls would gain a lot more confidence. Monday we have our first skills evaluation, and I very much look forward to it. Although it would be nice to saunter in feeling uber confident and demonstrating how amazing I am to my instructors, the real value is in drawing out which areas need more focus. I hope besides the evaluation that I will indeed get some additional help with my weaker areas. Idesperately want some one-on-one tutoring.
An aspect of this class that has surprised and delighted me is how helpful the other students are. In my projects, I often feel like I'm working with a mentor, not just a peer. Some people have even led little group sessions explaining concepts or how our projects are structured, and this is something I really didn't expect. There is little, if any, “one man for himself” attitude around here. I'm sure this support network will continue when the program ends, as it seems to have for the Hungry Academy grads.
All-in-all, I'm really satisfied with how things are going and know that the program will continue to feel very challenging. I think referring back to my journal and my lists will help keep my head straight when I start feeling weary. Getting away last weekend and skiing my face off really helped too, and I think we all need to be more mindful of taking care of ourselves. I have a yoga punchcard I've yet to start using because 'project guilt' keeps me from making that time. Last night I went to a Girl Geek Dinner and felt really bad about leaving while my partner was planning on staying late, despite him clearly being supportive. This is something I still need to work through a bit to strike the right balance and confidence in my decisions that there are some other priorities in my life that need to be honored. Ultimately I know that if I take better care of myself I will be ore productive, but some things are easier said than done.