Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Hi all!I just wanted to remind you that today is Whyday!  We're all celebrating by doing fun coding or learning. To me, it's all about reconnecting with the playful aspects of programming that originally hooked you in.Not sure what to do to celebrate? See what everyone is doing to celebrate:http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23whydayStill don't know? Learn about Hackety Hack!  Or learn about "light" frameworks that can enable web programming! Who is Why the Lucky Stiff? (aka _why) Well, this is a good place to learn about him  as a start. If nothing else, learn about the contributes that Why made to the community  and the inspiration that he was.I'm coding on a little Android application  before I take off for the dayWe're working some talks from "ART && CODE" in 2008 as a brown bag today at lunch [6, 7]. And a couple of satire shorts by _why . [...]Chunky bacon!!!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I realize now that I've been away from teaching for about 5 years, how I might related to students would be drastically changed if I was back in the classroom. I do think that "Dirty Jobs" and the work of architects, programmers, and hackers building the foundational layers that coders use today is something that every students should come to appreciate. It just sadly will not happen until they have to dig in and try some of the work themselves.
So... you might say that students are as disconnected from what they're doing "standing on the shoulders of giants" when coding as people are who don't think about where food comes from or who fixes their plumbing:
Thirty years later in San Francisco when my toilet blew up again. This time, I didn't participate in the repair process. I just called my landlord, left a check on the kitchen counter, and went to work. When I got home, the mess was cleaned up and the problem was solved. As for the actual plumber who did the work, I never even met him.
It occurred to me that I had become disconnected from a lot of things that used to fascinate me. I no longer thought about where my food came from, or how my electricity worked, or who fixed my pipes, or who made my clothes. There was no reason to. I had become less interested in how things got made, and more interested in how things got bought.(Above quotation from: http://dsc.discovery.
com/fansites/dirtyjobs/mike-) rowe-senate-testimony.htmlThought about our conversation yesterday and decided this is actually a nice way, potentially, to talk about this in a context (Dirty Jobs) that students might recognize or understand... Or are they not among the millions that watch Discovery Channel?
 I taught a number of courses on introductory programming, component-oriented programming, and enterprise web development in the Computer Science Department at the University of Arizona as an adjunct instructor between 2001 and 2006.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Mindfulness Meditation is a simple practice of awareness. The goal? Remain mentally present.
Google's "Jolly Good Fellow" Chade-Meng Tan is an engineer for the company and led the effort to introduce Mindfulness Meditation there: "I want to create a world where meditation is treated like exercise for the mind." [src]
How to meditate: Sit on a chair or cushion. Aim for a posture of dignity. Put your hands where they are comfortable. Close your eyes, or face a blank wall with your eyes opens.
Follow your breathing. Pay attention to the sensations and cadence of your breathing. When you find your mind wandering to the matters of the day, simply return attention to your breath without judgment (try to avoid being critical). You may wish to count breaths (when you reach ten, start over at one). When you find yourself distracted in thought, counting long forgotten, start over at one. If you find a thought or group of thoughts causing you to lose focus, note that. You may wish to think about what you can do about those thoughts to put your mind at rest.
If concentrating on your breath interferes with your breathing, you may "just sit." Just sitting involves being present and becoming mentally aware of reality. You may begin by thinking, "here I am in BIO5, just sitting..." but try to get away from the thoughts and words, just be. When you forget where you are and begin planning your day or your next vacation, stop and remember where you are. Practice staying mentally present in the moment.
You may wish to just start by sitting for 2 to 5 minutes. The effort of being present should help improve your focus during the day.
- John Kabat-Zinn. 1994. Wherever You Go. There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.
- Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Mindfulness Stress Reduction And Healing
- Stress Relief for the Creative and Constantly Connected
- Meditation as Medicine: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
- Divide and Conquer: How the Essence of Mindfulness Parallels the Nuts and Bolts of Science