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    March 12th, 2013adminHackbright

    I’m snuggled up in my bed right  now, ready for an early bedtime. But before I crash, I’m posting two things, found thanks to Brain Pickings (one of my favorite sites!), related to the themes of my last entry (trying new things, feeling confused but excited, and accepting the ambiguity).


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    March 10th, 2013adminAmerica, Hackbright, San Francisco, Technology

    The Hackbright ladies on International Women’s Day


    How do I feel? The short answer is very, very excited.

    Am I nervous? Do I feel intimidated by all there is to learn?

    Of course.

    But I also feel such joy about the learning that is now my life.

    Before I left Istanbul, my friend, Ilkay, gave me an interesting definition of time. He said, “Look, when I was in school, and I was studying law and languages, I was learning so many things. Now, I work all the time. Everything is fast, and everything passes.” He said, “When you’re in San Francisco, and you’re studying, you’ll have a different sense of time. You will live time in the right way.”

    And he’s right. This past week was undoubtedly challenging, and I have only begun to make sense of many of the concepts. Just today, I sat down, pen and paper in hand, and went back to the basics. I asked myself, What do I understand? What do I think I understand (but perhaps need to further clarify?). And I went through my code, line by line, forcing myself to articulate the logical progress.

    But I have felt such pride in my use of time.

    Me, week 2?

    Me, Week 2?

    Right now, I especially want to focus on retraining my brain. As a writer, I’ve rarely looked at my work as something defined by logic, by things like loops or if-else statements. And I know that, even if I weren’t a writer, I would still struggle with the gap between the way our brains vs. our computers register commands. One of my classmates said, “This stuff is is not intuitive.” And, for many of us, that’s probably true. So, now, I’m interested in slowly training myself — going through my work, and the work of others, and understanding the story behind the results, one line at a time.

    Meanwhile, I’ll learn alongside amazing classmates and instructors. I can’t complain about that. Okay, it’s going to be a lot of work — that’s one thing I know for sure. But it will definitely, and without a doubt, be worth it.

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    March 5th, 2013adminHackbright, San Francisco, Technology

    After a very extended vacation from blogging, I am back! But now I am in a new city (or maybe an old one?), San Francisco, for an exciting reason: I’m learning how to code at Hackbright Academy. Yup, after nearly three years in Istanbul, I came to the end of my strange and wonderful journey. I already miss the street cats and the minarets and the Bosphorous. I especially crave the Turkish breakfasts, with the varied cheeses, laced around tomatoes and cucumber, as well as the menemen and infinite cups of piping hot tea. But, most of all, I miss my friends. It can be an incredibly challenging (though rewarding) experience to be a foreigner, and it makes all of one’s personal relationships all the deeper. So, it was admittedly very difficult for me to say goodbye, and it’s brought me to truly appreciate this next step in my life.

    Yesterday was my first day at Hackbright, which I will blog about later. But, in brief: The group of women is a fantastically varied and interesting bunch, and I was happy to learn about some of them over lunch at Shalimar. We spent the second half of the day reviewing the Command Line Crash Course, followed by some fun maze games on Blockly. The mazes challenged us to “think like a programmer” — in other words, to logically determine how to find a solution, based on creating rules/statements that a frustratingly stubborn man would follow across the maze. My partner, Meggie, and I got to the tenth exercise, which left us (and the whole class, it seemed) rather confused. And this was where we left off — knowing that Exercise 10 presented where we would like to be — with the mental and programming tools to look at the problems presented at Number 10 — to ask the right questions and determine the proper steps to taking apart the issue and, ultimately, finding the answer.

    Now, off to my bus for another day at Hackbright!