Workshop for Good Thoughts

It’s been just over 4 weeks since Workshop for Good was wrapped up. I started to write a post about it at the time, but I just never got to finishing it. So here, with the added perspective of a month, is what I think and thought about Workshop for Good.

Written the day afterwards:

The only thing I can think right now about Workshop for Good is “OH GOD, it’s over.” This is a positive OH GOD—because boy, was it taxing—but also a sad OH GOD, because I met a lot of awesome people and working with Jeff and Ezra was great. It was exhausting, and stressful, but also wonderful. There haven’t been a whole lot of things in my life that have been so much of both. I’m ready to do it again — in, say, 3 months.

Things I learned, in short:

  • Live coding is pretty tough, but not as scary as most people make it out to be
  • Or maybe I just don’t get embarrassed as much as them
  • I can’t code and talk at the same time for more than about 4 hours before my brain starts failing me, though
  • Never do training without being extremely explicit about the skill level, or you may have to “compromise” and nobody gets exactly what they want
  • But the people attending really want you to succeed — they’re on your side, not waiting to pounce on you if you make a mistake
  • Wow. All those touchy-feely platitudes about the energy of this kind of event… are actually true.
  • I was the only speaker/teacher without a flipped-up hairdo. Seriously, is this a geek trend or what?
  • Oh my god the D.C. area schools are in terrible condition. (Not counting the school we were in, really; it was “lived in” but nice. You should hear Jeff’s fiancée’s tales of horror, however.)

Most of you couldn’t attend, but I’d like to give you a taste of what you might have learned if you’d attended. I can’t cover all the Rails stuff in one post but I can cover one particular aspect. Specifically, since you’re reading my blog, things you might have learned about me:

  • I’m not Asian. This probably comes as a huge surprise to people. Hoy is actually German.
  • The front right of my hair is blue and green. It kinda matches my bright lime green backpack.
  • Nobody ever has to ask _me_ to speak up (translation: I’m a loudmouth).
  • Like with ideas and writing, when it comes to humor I go for the theory of if you do more, you’ll do more stuff that’s worthwhile. Therefore, for the few really good jokes I tell, you must sit through a bunch of really bad ones.
  • Boy, do I get loopy/dull-witted when I’m really pooped.

All in all, it was a great experiment — and best yet, it was for charity. Since we held the workshop in the school, everyone (including Ezra and I) got to really see what we were doing to help out the kids. And the kids we did meet were great, despite the difficulty of their environment.

Having learned what I have learned, and met all the wonderful people I met, I’m hopeful that I’ll get to do more training in the future. And if you’re out there, guys, thank you again for being our gentle, willing guinea pigs, and for helping make an improvement in the lives of the teachers and students of Cesar Chavez.

Hey, why not get a shiny
Freckle Time Tracking