Focus Week Relief

So we just finished our first of three focus weeks at the JumpstartLab, and it could not have come at a better time -- well, except maybe a little earlier. Seriously - I think I've been desperate for a focus week. A break in the fierce treading of water that is the daily grind of class instruction and looming project deliverables, due dates, and overall feeling of having no idea what the hell I am doing.

Focus week was the invitation to pump the brakes and slow down long enough to ensure we were grounded in the code we were writing. In such that even if it wasn't a lot of code, it was code we understood. So I feel better about a lot of the fundamentals, in terms of understanding how to work with hashes, arrays, strings, methods, and most importantly, a better understanding of the ruby object model. I'm not sure I "mastered" anything, or that I even know what that might look like, but I do feel there was some progression and that I was able to take a moment to just breathe (insert momentary sigh of relief here).

Also, we were divided into groups of similar skill level and the smaller group atmosphere was super RAD. I don't necessarily think it is required for the full 24 weeks of the course, but I think it's needed a LOT more. The small group approach created a dynamic where I actually felt like I was learning with people, as opposed to just trying to hang on for dear life to the coat tails of those who seem light years ahead of me. Whether or not they are in fact light years ahead of me is irrelevant. Perception is reality and as a noob on the Planet of Programming, sometimes this is my reality:

I also found the small groups were more vocal in class, and I believe that is because we all felt safer with one another, in that our contributions and questions were useful for everyone.
Next week we start web applications. I have no expectations, other than I would really like to finish the project on time. I assume it will be hard, but I'm hoping it doesn't feel impossible like some of the last projects.

And lastly, even though I feel a little better right now, I know another big tidal wave is just around the corner, waiting to smash my noob face into the ground.

Bring it. <sigh>