November 26, 2006

Weekly report: 2006.11.20 – 2006.11.26

November 26, 2006 - Categories: weekly

Wrapping up with schoolwork requirements has kept me very busy. We’re
nearly done with the knowledge media, culture and society course: only
two more requirements to go. The statistics course is also wrapping
up. I don’t think I’m quite cut out to be a researcher. Slicing and
dicing numbers looking for relationships isn’t nearly as fun for me as
going out there and making things happen. Still, I’ll get this last
bit of coursework out of the way.

I’ve also made a lot of headway. It amused me to hear from Stephen
Perelgut that on all the different metrics Pranam Kolari used to
measure influence within IBM’s blogosphere, I was consistently in the
top three. That despite really only coming in once a week, and being a
student at that. ;) Who can tell what I’ll do when I focus on this? I
must finish my thesis quickly so that I can find out! I spent Friday
prototyping, and have made much progress.

This week has been *fantastic* in terms of my career. I had dinner on Monday with the chief technology evangelist of Techsmith, Betsy Weber. She confirmed many of the things I love about technology evangelism, and said that she really enjoyed her job. Joey de Villa, developer evangelist at Tucows, said that technology evangelism was the best job for a technical extrovert. And then Dean Michael Berris told me of the newly-launched Global Network of Technology Evangelists, which will be holding its first conference on December 4! I’ll move heaven, earth, and final exams to be there.

The best thing about this week, though, was learning so much about
life. The ripples of last Saturday’s misunderstanding taught me much
about love, and I’m still learning. On a long walk around the chilly
University of Toronto campus, Gabriel Mansour shared one of the really
difficult challenges facing him. I learned so much from that
conversation, and I hope to have helped him by listening. I watched
Wicked with Wayne Young and learned how much fun it was to share
something like that with a friend. I had a wonderful conversation with
Wayne Young and Quinn Fung over dinner on Friday, and then again with
Quinn, Roger Yang, and Naomi on Saturday, and I got to catch up with
Craig Saila as well. And I finally got to talk to my mom again this
morning, although Skype didn’t work… Darn technology!

One of the things that struck me the most about this week was
something Wayne said in our conversation with Quinn last Friday. He
mentioned how the previous generations prioritized work first, then
their relationships, then themselves. This generation puts self first,
then relationships, reasoning that if the first two are sorted out
then work will naturally fall into place. I had told them a little bit
about my distress this past weekend, rationalizing it away by saying I
need to focus on getting my act together first in terms of career and
a place to live. Quinn gave me The Look and told me not to run away
from things like that. I really appreciate having friends like them.
=)

Quinn’s right. Wayne’s right. Many many conversations and drafted
letters and read books later, I’m starting to understand a little bit
more about life. I feel optimistic about things. Between Simon’s trip
to Florida to visit his grandparents and my trip to California (we
hope!) to visit evangelists and my six-week vacation in the
Philippines (yippee!), we won’t get to spend a lot of time with each
other, but I’m sure we’ll work things out.

So that’s been my week so far: a lot of learning about life.

Next week is also going to be a little hectic. I’ll be wrapping up
coursework, for the most part. I need to convince
Mark Chignell to let me take my final exams
early so that I can go to California to meet those technology
evangelists. Something tells me that this is a Good Thing to Do, and
that it will definitely be worth it. =)

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