May 3, 2007

Bulk view

Songs within us

W seemed surprised when I readily agreed to go to the summer concert
at J’s elementary school. After all, I had been restless these past
few days, thinking of giving up my krav maga fitness and self defense
classes just so that I can have more time to write. But I had to go,
you know. These are the things that give me things to write about.

It was *wonderful* watching some kids sing with such light inside
them. You could power the city with some of those kids. One little boy
kept dropping his triangle in excitement. How difficult it must be to
hang on to a smooth piece of metal that you’re hitting with such

But you could see the other kids slumped over their glockenspiels.
Perhaps they had been learning how to be teenagers: sullen and
withdrawn. Where was the life in their music? For me, it felt like
just a collection of notes.

I want to learn how to reawaken spirits. I too have been old. I have
gone through the motions before, and there will still be times when I
am not fully present and fully alive. But maybe I can share with
people this vibrant world where even the exquisite pain of too much
tenderness is a beautiful thing, where the gray clouds are only hiding
the clearest blue, and where there are songs in all of us just
bursting to get out.

The end is near!

I did my first two usability tests today. Yay! The end is in sight!
Thanks to Stephen and Pierre for being my two friendly guinea pigs.

Stephen spoke well of my prototype when he passed by Pierre’s
computer. Apparently he thought that I had either built a terrific
tool or a terrific test. Someone once said that any sufficently
advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. My
prototype is neither advanced nor rigged. I kept expecting it to
crash, and every scenario that passed without catastrophic failure was
a minor success already.

I am conscious of the fact that I had chosen the tasks to fit the
tool, and I built the tool to fit the tasks. I’m probably even biasing
the usability test results by my presence. Still, if the study
explores something new, then maybe I’m not an imposter after all. (Oh,
to silence that small voice in my head!)

Recruiting more friendlies for usability tests next week. I will
however have to steel myself and test with new people as well…

Random Emacs symbol: eshell-skip-prompt-function – Variable: *A
function called from beginning of line to skip the prompt.