Tomorrow is my halfway point for my batch at the Recurse Center and I’m super sad half my friends are leaving, but also excited to meet the new batchlings coming in! It’s a good time for me to reflect on my time here, so here are a few things I’ve managed to accomplish:

  1. Reading SICP! I’m all the way at 3.5 and I think that’s a pretty good amount of work. It’s the farthest I’ve gotten and I’ve done most of the exercises.

  2. Practicing for interviews! I am definitely going to try harder to focus a little more on this for my second batch; although I don’t want to completely focus on it for sure.

  3. I also learned about lambda calculus, zip trees and did a little bit of React! Not sure if I will continue with React but I may do a small project still.

  4. I also learned how to play magic the gathering! Okay this isn’t really a CS thing but I really like card games and this is my blog! :)

Hopefully I can accomplish more things in my second half! Here are some things I would really like to work on:

  1. Finishing SICP. I feel like I’m close, and the last two chapters are so interesting! I’ve been watching the old lectures as well (about halfway through), and they don’t follow the book exactly (they jump around a bit sometimes).

  2. I have to do a few job things like fix up my resume, practice interview questions, and spruce up my homepage at least a little (although tbh I do prefer the simple old school text style webpage). Also this blog could use a bit of styling beyond the default theme…

  3. I want to read MORE! There are so many interesting books/areas that I haven’t had time to go through like statistics and computational theory. I went to an interesting P/NP discussion and now I want to read a new book but there’s no time! Seriously considering spending all my money on books and building my own library.

  4. I want to code more! It looks like I’ve written about 4k lines of Racket for SICP and there’s more in other small miscellaneous things, but really I want to try making my own project, not just do homework problems. The real problem is I’m not super sure what to code.

And here are some final thoughts on RC:

  1. Self direction is hard. I didn’t realize this at first, but self direction is actually probably the hardest and most important part of RC. It turns out it’s actually really hard to motivate yourself every day and to not just give up even if you’ve had a bad day, or been unproductive, or just feel kinda poop. I think for me this is definitely the hardest part, since I tend to have a lot of problems with this but I also really enjoy what I’ve been doing/studying so that helps a lot :)

  2. I really enjoy the resources at RC. Not just the space and the library - those are great (especially the library!) - but the people! For example, I was stuck on this paper and realized I knew two math PhDs that would be incredibly helpful. The P/NP discussion would definitely not have been as great without Tigar’s knowledge of computational theory, and there are just so many people with cool knowledge about things I suck at that I haven’t even discussed with. I’m also just happy I have people that I can talk to about things I think are cool :3

Time really does fly by here; I feel like I need to be even more productive! Hopefully my last half will be even better :)