Week 2 was focused on working with objects in Ruby. I thought my effort/output was mediocre mid-week, but I was proud of my work and the way I focused on Friday. Slacking means I have to make up for things on the weekends and I don’t want to keep operating that way because the more make-up time I have, the more I need to be away from the kids or subtract from my “personal renewal” time on the weekends.
On Tuesdays we do an hour called Engineering Empathy, focused on diving into the soft skills that will make us better people and employees. This particular session asked us to give voice to our “inner critic”, and I left that hour feeling rather terrible about myself. I don’t do well dwelling in this area, particularly because my inner critic has been largely shaped by the vacuous rumblings of internet trolls. I left early (at 6pm), talked/cried it out with TH, cried on the train the next morning, cried in my counseling session, took a mini nap on the couch while listening to sad songs, and woke up finally feeling ready to stop letting my inner critic dictate my productivity for the day. I didn’t learn much about coding over that 12 hours, but I feel like I worked through learning some important things about myself.
Speaking of crying, the Engineering Empathy session mentioned above was led by a woman (a woman in position of power in the DBC ecosystem) who cried a few times during the presentation. She warned us beforehand that this might happen, explaining that this is a way she expresses herself and that we should not feel uncomfortable. It was revelatory for me, to see a powerful woman manifesting her emotions without shame in a formal setting. I’ve found that trying to hold in my tears not only diminishes my ability to be productive/focus, it generally builds up into an explosion that can be distracting or disconcerting for the people around me. Once I dug myself out of the hole of sadness I started thinking about how I’d like to avoid those emotional buildups in the future. Teaser: I’m going to give in to The Cry more often.
We had a mock assessment on Wednesday, aimed at helping us understand what assessments are like and how we can prepare for the one in week 3 that will determine whether we can/should move forward in the program. It’s been important for me to keep refocusing on the idea that DBC *wants* me to move forward. It costs them money if I repeat. They’re not out to trick me – everyone here wants me to learn as much as possible and get a kick-ass job afterward. I found it very hard to focus after the three hour mock assessment was over. Based on my performance I was given a “pass with recommendation to repeat”. I felt pretty good about this because I know that my output on the assessment was affected by poor understanding of the questions. Next time around, on the real thing, I’ll be reading all of the challenges through immediately and raising my hand over and over to make sure that I’m moving in the right direction.
More in the coding/DBC series….