It is with some sense of glee that I've declared pages 133-158 (on battling decentralization) of The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom to be required reading for the Harvard law school seminar I'm working with. My team is breaking with the past mold of "ask questions to guest speaker talking at the front of the room" by throwing our entire class into a rocket pitch competition workshop and having our esteemed guests wander around as team mentors rather than talking heads sitting at the front. We're also prohibiting laptops in the classroom.
It should be fun. Mm, I love running classes. If there's something I've learned in the last few years, it's how to work the energy levels of a room; I can get people jazzed up or calmed down, though the notion of this as a conscious skill is still a new one. But as I work through course planning this semester, and attend workshops and seminars and classes on my own, I'm learning that I now have a sense for what sorts of effects the different pacing and setup of activities and environments will create, and how an event could be tugged and shaped differently. It's still mostly a spur-of-the-moment reaction; I need to learn how to translate this sense more into being able to pre-plan and set down instructions so I can shape events I'm not physically running around.
I'm still a little woozy and wobbly from being sick; I'm sleeping 8-10 hours a night and eating uncharacteristically tiny portions, and am still dehydrated since I can't drink lots of fluid at once and keep forgetting to sip small amounts constantly. I'm feeling sort of marginally productive again, though. In my waking hours in the last few days I've been studying guitar; the piano in my aunt's house has a weird resonance with the room that makes it sound weird when I play it, but I should extend my disciplined practice outwards to the piano as well. It's nice to be able to read sheet music on the guitar now, and to construct chords from knowing the notes rather than going "and my hands go like this for a G7!" I'm still just playing from the Berklee textbook I got with the guitar, but should record myself playing "Blackbird" or "Diamonds and Rust" sometime. If I'm very brave, I might even sing.
For piano, I'm stepping back to the basics a bit more, going around the circle of fourths with basic chords and then adding inversions and shell voicings on top of that. I'm inherently not comfortable on the keyboard for anything except the simplest of sheet music; it constrains me from being able to play anything that isn't explicitly written down. So I'm getting familiar with a different kind of sightreading now. Again. And being utterly baffled by Monk, even when playing what's probably one of his more straightforward songs, "Well You Needn't." (Even Philip Glass sounds normal compared to Monk, for me.)
I would eventually like to get around to doing classical improvisation; Gabriela Montero is amazing at this. I mean, listen to her improvising at home or on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Classical music and structures are what I'm used to. When Yifan and I went to the Acetarium one night, I ended up playing the left-hand part of a Beethoven with my right hand while accentuating bass notes with the beer bottle in my left. The third movement of the Moonlight might be a good piece to do classical improvisation on top of, but I should probably learn it properly first. (Aah, but there's the Rachmaninoff bit I want to learn, and the Bach-Busoni, and the Schubert Impromptu I'm still dusting off.)
I think it's just constant time I need, time to play with the keys again. I started using the keyboard as my laptop desk in my room before I got sick so that I'd idly pick out tunes while reading, and I'm beginning to do the same with the guitar while lying with a book on the sofa or in bed. And slowly, these things I want to become start creeping into the fabric of my life.
Wow. Fedora's Community Architecture team has... goals. (Heck, they have a Community Architecture team. I should... learn from this.) There's this whole strategy side to the business of open-source that I have to study, along with tons of development methodology stuff from software engineering. But I can't forget that I have to actually do development and testing and engineering work in order to solidify learning the more meta stuff. Which reminds me; I've got an Activity to maintain and some bugs to check out...
Also, I should make a list of software I maintain. That way, during idle moments when I'm looking for something to code, I could pull up enhancement requests and go for it. Intertrac tracbacks might be a good next hack, but it's only really a compelling itch to scratch if I persuade the OLPC and SL Trac admins to use Tracbacks (in which case it then becomes very compelling for me to implement it, since it'll make my life way easier hopping between the two projects).
Eh, I guess I'll just go ahead and make it. There are a lot of projects I'm ignoring here. But I'm just accepting that the Heavenly Overhaul Of My Website isn't going to happen and making incremental improvements as I actually want them right this moment.
Eventually I'll regain the ability to make blog posts on a single topic.