I was feeling pretty good about my guitar sightreading/playing abilities (despite my obvious lack of knowledge of many basic chords, which I figured I would Patch Later) until I picked up a transcription of Miles Davis pieces arranged for fingerstyle. Now I have new challenges... and a desire for longer and more flexible fingers. Mmm. This is coming with me during my next month o' nonstop travelage.
Decompressing briefly from last night: in short, Candidates' Weekend was fantastic (as they always are). I woke up early and chilled with the family for a bit before driving out to Olin just in time to catch the tail end of Design Build spilling water all over the AC. The exercises are designed for high rates of epic failure - I remember coming up with earlier Design Build exercises and conversations like "oh, we were able to build too many working ones," or "not triumphantly disastrous enough" or "need bigger explosions."
I watched a bit, then ran around catching people I needed to have quick conversations with - questions here, nudging there, meetings set for later... I was reminded of how much of what I'm able to do within open source communities was stuff I learned here, without knowing I was learning it. Scuttling around campus, watching and reading and becoming bold enough to ask the stupid questions, learning how to tie disparate conversation threads together so a something emerged (sometimes), how to quickly drop by someone else's project (not necessarily code, not necessarily even technical) with a patch, how to structure my own so they were quickly patchable, how to run up and down the court passing and shooting. One deeply ingrained part of Olin's culture (and my favorite part of our Honor Code) is the Do Something clause, which, basically stated: it's an obligation. Something bothers you? Fix it. Think it could be better? Do it. Be proactive. Often, the harder part to learn is how to not do things. (And Nikki, if you're reading this, please go back to sleep.)
Matt Burke and Nick Hobbs and I were an interview team. It's hard, interviewing people - even if I've done it for a couple years now - I'm profoundly uncomfortable with judging and knowing that I have someone's future in my hands, but it's something I want to understand, and vital to Olin, so I keep trying to learn how to do it better. (When I feel like I've learned it and passed it on sufficiently, I will happily stop doing it.) Interviewing did mean that we missed all the fun club fair festival type stuff, like unicycling on the O, but Nick made a call down to the Meat Club booth and we were rewarded mid-interview process with a delivery of two of the biggest, tastiest, sloppiest chili-bacon burgers ever.
More conversations (Matt Ritter: how is the interview process like being a venture capitalist?), more watching, more hellos and sync-ups and I-haven't-seen-you-in-so-longs, more hugs and laughing and the wonderfully gratifying feeling of being around friends who were also good-kind-of-tired - exhausted, but for something good. After talking with Rick (and Chris and Susan) I walked over to stand behind Greg and Sebastian for the fire arts performance for a little while, before Matt told me Jeffrey was trying to find me and Colin texted me to ask if we could talk about Fedora for a bit - so I wrapped up the evening talking through Summer Coding SIG stuff with him until loud music started from the frosh-hosted dance party in the lounge next door (Ian Daniher + Large Amp = Oh My God) and I threaded my way out and to the car, walking out to lot C through the soccer field and admiring the scattering of stars.