I had tons of fun at the Toronto Rails pub night. Met some really cool people. =) Pictures to follow. Finally got to listen to Joey de Villa (The Accordion Guy) play, and his stories about the perks of accordion-playing were absolutely hilarious. Also greatly enjoyed chatting with the other Rails geeks there... =) Totally, totally cool.
I love going to events like these because I not only get to meet interesting people, but I also understand more about the social and technological space we work in.
From the experiences of others, I also learn a little bit more about what _I_ want to do. I'm starting to realize that my ideal life isn't one of teaching within the four walls of the classroom or the four/five months of a term. I want to be out there, teaching really diverse groups of people: schoolkids, seniors, entrepreneurs, volunteers. I want to help people discover how to make the most of technology. It isn't just about teaching, either. In the process of helping people discover something, I learn more about their needs and opportunities for technologies to adapt to people (instead of just the other way around!). That's what I love about the stuff I'm doing at IBM. It's not just data crunching and visualization. I'm there because I'm excited about trying new things _and_ bridging the gap for other people. That requires speaking and writing skills, yes, but that also requires deep listening skills, and I hope to learn all of those really well. =)
If I'm going to go down this path, then - training, teaching, mentoring, coaching, what-have-you - I'll need more experience in order to have more things in common with the people I want to teach. For example, I care deeply about encouraging people in developing countries to make their own opportunities, start their own business, build interesting and useful things. If I'm going to help people create opportunities, then I should immerse myself in the culture and experience here so that I can share those things with them.
That sounds like a plan...
Random Japanese sentence: Ã£ÂÂ™Ã£Â‚Â‹Ã£ÂÂ¨Ã£Â€ÂÃ£ÂÂÃ£ÂÂ“Ã£ÂÂŒÃ¤Â¸Â€Ã¥ÂŒÂ¹Ã£Â‚Â‚Ã£ÂÂ„Ã£ÂÂªÃ£ÂÂÃ£ÂÂªÃ£ÂÂ£Ã£ÂÂ¦Ã£ÂÂ„Ã£ÂÂ¾Ã£ÂÂ—Ã£ÂÂŸÃ£Â€Â‚ They could not see a single cat! Suru to, neko ga ippiki mo inaku natte imashita.