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On the Difficulty of Finding Time to Record First Impressions of a Project

2013 June 23
by Richard Harrington

From time to time in my life, I’ve found myself immersed in a new project in a new place with a new group of people with whom I knew I’d be spending a great deal of time. And I’m not talking about jobs; I’m talking about those times when a bunch of people come together and start something at the same time, not having known each other beforehand, eager to engage with each other in some new endeavor. High school, college, my junior year abroad, various plays and theater workshops over the years — all of these things were wildly different but in some ways followed a similar trajectory:

I have certain expectations before I arrive. Then I get there, and I am completely consumed — new people to meet, new plans to make (and old plans to drop), a whole new world to take in. Things change a lot in those early days, from week to week. Then somewhere in the middle or after the end of the experience, I’d look back with amusement at some of the things I had thought when I’d first gotten there about the people, the physical space, and what I’d get out of it.

I haven’t been through anything like this in years, until three weeks ago, when I started Hacker School. I was very much looking forward to it, and having made the above observation about first impressions, I resolved to keep a journal of them, so that I could look back on them later.

Of course I did not do this. And I’ve realized now that such a thing would be impossible, at least for me. I get too wrapped up in that initial rush of the new to stop to write anything down. I’ve been spending long days at Hacker School, and sometimes long nights at home coding, or studying, or otherwise following various thought trails that I started down during the day, in some intense conversation with a fellow Hacker Schooler in that crazy office space over on Varick Street. I haven’t even blogged about anything I’ve actually done there, until now — only managed to describe the process leading up to it, in my previous post.

And though assiduous readers of this blog will have noted that I have more than once gone several months without making a post, I’d like to have a solid record of what I did in Hacker School, and so I’m going to jot down quickly what I did for each of the first three weeks, and then keep a more detailed day-to-day record, if only for my own sake when I look back on this all and wonder, what exactly did I do in the summer of 2013?

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