Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here. This is how I’ve started most of my “recent” entries in my personal journal too (yes, a paper-based journal that requires actual writing). Typing’s undeniably more efficient, but there’s a purity around my physical paper journals (I call them “volumes”) that keeps me from converting my personal journal entries to digital. It’s perhaps the only aspect of my life that I’m not trying to convert into digital form. Anyways, that’s not the purpose of this post.
A lot has happened since my last sorry excuse for a blog post. Here’s a summary in bullet-list form, in no particular order:
- Completion of the LDT program! Acquisition of some background and framework of thinking about education, how people learn, and how to apply it to teaching and design
- Acquisition of new technical chops: iOS programming, Kinect+Unity3D development (not fun though), and new web stuff, mostly frontend (but I did finally start to learn some rails! And yes, I like django better).
- Met some awesome people, namely my LDT cohort. What a fun, interesting, and diverse bunch.
- Worked at start ups! Definitely more exciting than a large corporation, and it forced me to be more productive. There’s always something to do, and I’m generally amazed at the work that some people can pull off (not always though).
- Secured a full-time position at an awesome start up! Goalbook. I start September 17th.
- Became the Religious Education coordinator at East Bay Church! This has been a bit difficult for me to adjust to; I’m too used to having things coordinated for me. But thankfully the teachers are super cooperative, dedicated, and patient with my lack of experience and surplus of procrastination (which, I really need to do something about…)
- Became an uncle! I mean, I’ve been an uncle since I was a kid as a result of having many older cousins, but my sister’s got a baby daughter! So far all I’ve managed to do was make the baby cry by accidentally clanking a spoon while she was on the verge of falling asleep. Go me.
- Got a new longboard. Stanford is pretty longboard friendly and I would longboard to class everyday. Thought it was worth it to upgrade to a better board since I was actually regularly doing it. Even though I’ve moved from Stanford now, I’ve already put my longboard to good use by making quick trips to Costco to eat lunch (and dinner, and lunch the day after). How many people can say they’ve been to Costco five times in five days? AND spent less than $20?
Thank God, I’ve accomplished a lot in the past year. The LDT program was a really good experience, Stanford provided tons of opportunities and a great environment to just build stuff, and I can say I have this thing called a Master’s degree.
However, one key aspect of my life that has suffered is my spiritual cultivation and servitude in church. I was never very good at balancing multiple major commitments simultaneously (which is why I would never do something crazy like doing both work and studies part time). As an undergrad I didn’t have to balance school and church work much because there wasn’t a local TJC around – all I needed to do was maintain my own faith. That changed for me 3 years ago when I started working full time and moved to the bay area. Because East Bay was so small, I started serving pretty quickly, in smaller capacities at first. The responsibilities ramped up quite a bit after completing RETS and becoming an RE teacher for J1 class. I was working full time but one of the pros of working at a large company like Oracle is that at least for me, I almost never had to touch work after coming home. I could focus most of my evenings on my church duties. But once grad school started, that balance became drastically one-sided. I became “busy” around the clock and slacked in prayer and Bible reading, but my duties in church continued to increase. Servitude without cultivation becomes a heavy burden. I’m sure my RE teaching suffered not just from less preparation, but from hypocrisy and less-authentic living. I became burned out from school work, which left little energy and mental focus for much else.
With that in mind, I hope now that the LDT program is finished, I can refocus on my spiritual life. Today after service I held an RE parent/teacher meeting. I was very moved by the concern the parents had for their childrens’ spiritual growth. There were a lot of worries and concerns from me about the students, but the meeting helped me realize that I can’t have lofty expectations (especially when my own spiritual life is a mess), and that the students receive SO much pressure outside of church, mainly from school. I also had a better sense of just how busy some of the families really are and it made me feel kind of sheepish for telling everyone that I’m so busy and tired when the main reason why I feel tired is because I don’t manage my time well. But the meeting made me realize how important it is for me to improve myself spiritually, not just for myself, but for the students’ growth too.
This post is all over the place. I should stop here. Writing takes a long time!
Oh, today was review on the Pauline letters for J2 class. And because I’m such a geek, I made this for class: Quiz+Group Jeopardy Thingy. Built using the foundation framework, less.js, and angular.js.