Daily Learning Notes for June 20th, 2017

Today was a blur because I was pretty sleep-deprived, but I reviewed some JavaScript, did more math practice, took a long nap, went hiking at Griffith Park, did a tiny bit of late night work and had a nice evening at home.

Real-time notes

9:06am: Ever since our first math study group meetup last Friday, I’ve been practicing math problems on Khan Academy, picking up where I left off on 5th and 6th grade math. It’s fun! So I’m going to warm up with a bit of math practice this morning. I’m also curious how I’ll do, because I only slept about 5 hours or less last night. My tea has been escalated to two-bag status – English Breakfast and Earl Grey. I still hope to stay awake until after lunch, which is when I plan to give in and take a long nap and resume my biphasic sleep experiment for the rest of this week. Anyway, before I even think about anything else, time for a little math review!

9:22am: Haha, I keep misreading the instructions. I thought a subtraction problem was an addition problem, for example. I’m definitely sleep-deprived! But it seems like I can do mental arithmetic just fine, which is surprising! This is pretty fun and I guess I feel like procrastinating a bit, so I’m going to do more. And refill my tea.

10:22am: Well that was fun. I took a couple breaks too. Definitely in procrastination mode, feeling very indecisive about what I want to do today or what I should be doing next. I’m leaning towards just working on side projects of my own this week, like finally revisiting my mob coding app! I was excited about refactoring it to use async/await and make a version of it that does all the GitHub API calls from the server. That and of course fixing all the bugs if I can. But I also feel like I should be doing other things, like trying to finish up the Firebase app for next Saturday’s class or posting more homework. Then again, maybe I already have more than enough homework assignments posted, based on the pace at which our students completed the previous homework challenges. Hmm. Yeah, I don’t feel like working on those today. And that’s fine! But first I think I’ll make myself start fixing up my previous blog posts so I can finally publish them.

11:10am: Time flies when you’re reviewing code and writing about it! I’m doing more than just cleaning up my notes from yesterday’s blog post; I’m also analyzing the code samples and writing about them in more detail to check my understanding and cement these new lessons into my memory!

12:00pm: Lunch break! Free food! Time to circle around it like the hungry vulture I am.

12:15pm: Now eating at my desk and fixing up a photo of my hand-drawn notes from yesterday illustrating the difference between the two ways you can handle errors with Promises. That’s the next section of my notes. I probably won’t bother trying to document all the other stuff we learned and reviewed, which is a shame because I wish I remembered more of it!

2:10pm: I finally finished yesterday’s blog post! That only took my entire day, haha. Oh well. I have to accept that when I’m sleepy, I work slower. And if I want to thoroughly review my notes and write up example code and test it all, I need to accept that it takes time. Maybe I should take my nap now. I need to be awake for hiking tonight! Or maybe I’ll just go for a quick walk right now. Either way, I know I need a break. When I return, maybe that’s when I’ll dig into my mob coding app again and start fixing or rebuilding it.

4:42pm: Epic nap completed! I feel weird, like I almost don’t remember what day it is or where I am or who I am. It’s slowly coming back to me. I did three sets of pushups in the meditation room before walking out, and that helped me wake up a bit. I woke up with this strange craving for one of those salted caramel coffee drinks from the bakery down the street, even though I’ve yet to actually try one! I’ll resist that urge today. A nice cold glass of water should be refreshing enough for now, since I feel dehydrated. If that doesn’t help, then I’ll try eating a little snack too. (But how could I be hungry?! I thought I had such a big lunch!) In a few minutes I have a phone call for some Girl Develop It planning stuff, so I can’t dive into work completely right now. I’m also feeling very indecisive about whether I should go hiking tonight or just stay in and work, maybe doing an urban hike or trip to the gym later instead. I have about an hour to decide. In the meantime, I figured I could set up that free SSL certificate through Cloudflare for my personal website too. Done! LearningNerd will soon have an SSL certificate and I’ll finally be an upstanding citizen of the internet, serving all my websites over HTTPS!

Hiking at Griffith Park

After my phone call meeting, I decided to walk back home and drive to Griffith Park for my favorite hiking group with the Sierra Club. Nobody was leading a more difficult hike so I went on an easier one this time, but I made it harder for myself by running ahead of the group. We reached the top of Mount Hollywood right as the sun was setting at 8pm, so of course I took a snapshot:

Then I ran down the hill and left the hiking group behind, and I had this wonderful moment where I was the only person on that part of the mountain and it was just me and the beautiful view and the orange glow from the setting sun. I felt a burst of adrenaline in my heart, overwhelmed by the beauty around me, in awe of reality for a moment. This is real. I often have this surreal feeling that nothing around me is real, like I’m watching a movie of my own life. So when I suddenly snap out of it and remember that everything I’m seeing and hearing and experiencing is real, it fills me with a sense of wonder and/or terror! This time it was pure wonder. I wish I could hold onto that feeling longer, but it only lasted for a moment. Then I finished running down the hill, drove home, changed my clothes, and walked back to my usual coworking space.

10:00pm: Yup, it’s 10pm on the dot and I’m ready to start my second chunk of work for the day. I really like this biphasic sleep schedule! It’s just me and my partner-in-crime at the coworking space tonight. But I think we’re going to walk back home soon, and then I suppose I’ll do some work sitting on my livingroom couch until it’s finally time to get some sleep. OK, so what am I working on? Time to jump back into the mob coding app!

Planning for my mob coding app

I had scribbled some notes on a piece of paper which then got lost in my backpack somewhere, but I remember the gist of it this way:

Possible next steps for mob coding app:

  • Rebuild it so that some or all of the API calls are handled from the server
  • Rebuild it using Firebase?
  • Rebuild it with React?
  • Use this project as an excuse to learn Redux?

Definite next steps for fixing it up:

  • Draw a flowchart and/or write out all the events that are happening and which one depends on which!
  • Try rewriting the API calls with async functions!
  • Try writing the API calls to run some in parallel if possible
  • Test the GitHub authentication process and the Gist creation and other key features in isolation (both for debugging and to build up more modular sample code for myself to practice with and build off of later)
  • Look into how Mavo.io handles some of those asynchronous API calls (for example, determining when a repo has finished being forked)
  • Look into how to organize my code better using modules!

I was going to do a quick review of my past notes and documentation (and code!) for the project, but then I ended up walking back and just having a nice evening at home instead. No problem though! I’ll pick up from here in the morning.