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3. Tired!

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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.

2. Thoughts on progress reports

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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 feel.

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.


1. Understanding mathematics web talk

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From Joe Corneli:

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