April 13, 2004

Bulk view


Went to my first aikido session. Was too late for 5:30 session so
attended 7:30 session instead. Diane was late and she didn’t bring a
uniform, so I was the only new one. They were every bit as
accommodating as she said. I practiced rolling forward and backward
although I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of it. Walking, too. I
also tried some of the throws.

I didn’t have contacts on, so everyone was a vague blur. Fortunately
people kept a close watch on me and those close to me repeated the
movements for my benefit. I still have a hard time keeping track of
all the movements, though.

Tiring! I’ll give it a few more shots—maybe until the end of this
week. Then I decide whether to continue or to drop it. I’m leaning
more toward something that will improve my coordination, though, but I
don’t know where to take ballroom dancing lessons. I suppose I can
take aikido just for fun, but it’s not really my kind of thing. Who
knows? We’ll see.

Thoughts on progress reports

Dean Michael Berris blogged:

I personally despise the need to write progress reports in human
terms — mainly I want to show that progress is being made in terms
of code and functionality. I don’t want to put down into writing
things that I feel about my groupmates, but rather I would like to
commend them just for their accomplishments. I’ve just submitted
one progress report, and I never really liked it. My grade may be
in jeopardy because of that, but anyway that’s how I personally

I find I _like_ making progress reports, if only in terms of e-mail to
the emacs-wiki-discuss mailing list or entries in blog. I like
summarizing my changes in a changelog and telling people about my
future plans. Not everyone can glance at code and understand it. Even
I’d get lost if I had to stare at my diffs to find out what I changed
when. I think progress reports are a Good Thing.

In fact, I think they’re such a good thing that I want my students to
do them, even the first year students. I want them to get into the
habit of reflecting on what they’ve done, what they’ve learned, and
what they still need to learn. I want them to get into the habit of
mapping out what they want to do and marking out what they’ve
accomplished. I want them to explore not only their accomplishments in
terms of code but their growth in so many other areas, like working
with groupmates. I want to hear about problems not just at the end but
throughout the duration of the project.