Learning Log, Mar 2021
Experiment of the Month 👩🔬
I decided to try out a 30 day experiment for myself, and for this first month picked “take a mid-workday walk break”. This experiment was…not very successful. I only took a walk break 1–2 workdays out of each week. In ~half the cases my misses were due to having a ridiculous meeting schedule. On other days I was just glad to finally have time to sit down and get some non-meeting work done.
Despite the low output, I think it would be worth trying this again. The first week of the experiment I actually experienced the least amount of work-induced anxiety I’ve had since switching to PM…there were potentially other confounding factors, though certainly no change in my work environment. I think that my brain was just so excited that I was doing something to take care of myself that those optimism levels got cranked to 11.
Bedtime is another one I struggle with, especially with pandemic-flavored WFH. In April, my experiment will be to turn my devices on airplane mode at 10pm.
As it turns out, I could not resist learning a new technology: late in the month started learning Python. I was curious; it seemed like a versatile language you can do a lot with (automate stuff! Play with data!); and so here we are.
To start, I:
- Finished setting up my Python environment on WSL2 and played a bit with the interpreter on the command line.
- Started reading/following along with exercises in Python for Everybody. Thus far I’ve read through the intro to programming; variables, expressions, and statements. Charles Severance’s teaching style feels like this would be pretty approachable if you were new to programming—though I suppose I’m not the appropriate judge of that, being familiar with the concepts laid out thus far via other languages.
Interesting thus far:
- The difference in types between integers and floating numbers.
I’m just now starting Level 3 vocabulary on WaniKani, so I’m a little behind where I’d like to be, if I’m to complete one level per month. However, there is absolutely no time pressure here, so I’m enjoying the lackadaisical pace. My favorite kanji from this level are 元 (origin), 北 (north), and 用 (task). Yes, I am picking these on aesthetics. I like how the “task” kanji sorta looks like a simplified task management UI or spreadsheet. 😁
Also cool is that I’m starting to recognize a few kanji in the wild, i.e. on stationery supplies…
Added highlights to the mini-site for:
On the Internet
- Nice Japanese floors: geometric patterned tiling in muted colors
- The art of Wu Guanzhong, via Jinjin Sun
- Bird meeting!!! It’s so cute I want to cry. (Alt text: pixel art of a video conference call with various species of birds shown in a grid. The “currently speaking” focus rectangle highlights an ibis, a bluebird, and finally an owl)
- A DRY Approach to Color Themes in CSS
- The Tools Don’t Matter
- The Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity
- 25 Things You Might Not Know About the Birds in Your Backyard
- Some quick ideas on improving the readability of long sentences
- Big Mood, particularly the bit on corroboration