Thursday, November 14

twenty-fifth vs second floors

I think it was good for me last weekend to step outside the hallways of higher learning and look at the world through a slightly more corporate lens for a day.
for one thing, this was the view from floor twenty-five of the fancy downtown-Chicago office building we had the privilege of occupying. a pretty thrilling vista if there ever was one. no ivory tower I've seen so far has anything quite like it (though the Business building at USU might come a tiny bit close).
for another thing, the whole experience reminded me that school is not the only framework wherein curiosity and experimentation and learning are valued. my very academic road is not the only or the best to travel. in fact, sometimes I start wondering why it seems I can only travel one road at a time. what happened to the webdesign business I talked about working on with that genius brother of mine? what if formal institutions of education fall apart in the next decade or so, and tenure ends up too far beyond my reach? I should write up a few backup plans.

my excuse for visiting this fancy Chicago office building sprouted from friend Christine in my Digital Studio class mentioning that she signed up for a free Ruby on Rails workshop called RailsGirls--an event series all about exposing girls and women to programming and technology. their main website says it started in Finland. that's cool.
Christine and I did not get to see Finland. we did learn a good bit of Ruby programming though. I met some great new people and, most awesomely, basked in the unique feeling of being completely surrounded by techie girls. that doesn't really happen every day, or even very often. even though it didn't hit me until halfway through the day, that feeling left an impression. a whole office crammed with female programmers, developers, software experts, and computer geniuses? hello role models. hello inspiration.
this is the not-quite-finished-yet-but-sort-of-usable list-making application I built. the internet is welcome to add random new items to the list, if it would like. I want to keep working on it. it'll be tricker without that roomful of inspiration, but I'll do my best to struggle on.
maybe I'll go again next year and keep learning.
in the meantime, I've come back again to the hallways of academia, where it is almost always autumn. the view from our office windows isn't quite so thrilling, but it has its own loveliness.
soon all those brilliant leaves will be blown away and we'll have snow everywhere. soon my first semester here will be all over. the thought that in three weeks finals will be upon us is pretty thrilling, even if this humble scenery isn't.

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