starting recurse center (w2'24)

I just finished my first week at Recurse Center, a self-directed community-focused programmer's retreat, which started on January 3rd. I'd found out about RC sometime in 2022[1], and thought it was Very Cool, both in its values and goals, and in the idea of being able to spend a whole 12 weeks with other people learning and hacking on various things. But I didn't think I would have 6 to 12 weeks of vacation or free time any time soon, so I put it on my mental bucket list.

Then I quit my job last year[2] to take a break and figure out where I wanted my career to go next, and found myself staring down at a lot of free time. After some traveling, I applied to Recurse Center in December. Fortunately, I was just able to squeak by into the Winter 2 batch.

The first week (which was more like half a week) was very hectic and jam packed with events, chatting with people, and reading way too much Zulip. I RSVP'd for far too many study groups[3] than I had time for and spent some time this weekend figuring out which ones I could actually feasibly attend.

In any case, now that things have calmed down a bit, let's talk about goals.

Coming into Recurse Center I had a couple of vague goals, but didn't have a big project I wanted to focus on specifically. The goals that I put down in my intro were as follows:

I don't expect to work on all of these, of course. In fact, after this first week and thinking about how I'm going to manage my time, I think my actual goals for the first few weeks should be:

Tomorrow, there's going to be a workshop on "building your volitional muscles" which might also help with goal-setting. I'm excited for week 2!

  1. Where? I have no idea! I tried looking at my browser history but couldn't figure it out. I'm pretty sure it was an alumni blog. Possibly Julia Evans? ↩︎

  2. I first wrote "earlier this year" before remembering it's now 2024. Happy new year! ↩︎

  3. ML Foundations, Crafting Interpreters, Rust, Eloquent JS... ↩︎

  4. As you can see, I now have a rather barebones blog, generated via 11ty! I haven't added webmentions yet though. Later, I might make this fancier. ↩︎