4 minute read

One of the most challenging things about learning to work with compound data structures has been reading the nested hashes and arrays and extracting the right set of brackets to use to identify a particular value in your code. For example: movie = { title: ‘The Nutty Professor’, cast: [ { name: ‘Eddie Murphy’, characters: [ ‘Sherman Klump’, ‘Buddy Love’, ‘Lance Perkins’, ‘Papa Klump’, ‘Mama Klump’, ‘Grandma Klump’, ‘Ernie Klump’ ] }, { name: ‘Jada Pinkett Smith’, characters: [ ‘Carla Purty’ ] } ] } If I want to find a character, I have to reference an array inside a hash inside an array inside a hash…I think.

2 minute read

It happened again. At 5:00am this morning I woke myself up….talking through a solution to a coding problem I had at the end of the day yesterday. I was literally coding in my sleep. Remember the Tetris Effect? It’s in full effect. But I’ve seen this before and once I got over the shock of writing code in my sleep, I got pretty excited. It means some serious learning is going on.

2 minute read

So, all this week, I’ve been experiencing the Tetris effect and I’ve come to appreciate the beauty, and the painlessness, of learning how to break down a problem. Let me explain…. The Tetris Effect According to the study from Harvard Medical School, games like Tetris can reveal the way our brain integrates new information. In fact, the game Tetris has proved to be just that. Robert Stickgold and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School recently conducted a clever set of experiments in which they used the game to guide the content of people┬┐s dreams: among 17 subjects they trained to play Tetris, more than 60 percent reported dreaming of images associated with the game.

3 minute read

Preparing for Launch Academy while finishing up work as the director Brookline Tai Chi has been a massive exercise in balancing “theory and practice.” This explanation from Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi Metz perfectly captures the difference: What is the difference between theory and practice? In theory, there is none. If theory were practice you could learn the rules of OOD, apply them consistently, and create perfect code from this day forward; your work here would be done.

4 minute read

I recently received this breathing question and I thought it was worth sharing with everyone here as a post. (Don’t forget, you can send me your practice questions!) I’m really confused! I took a Yang Style Tai Chi course and at the end of the class we would do Qigong. He said “We will do diaphragmatic breathing. As you breath in draw the navel into the spine, as you exhale release and let the belly relax but don’t collapse.

3 minute read

It’s easy to get caught in a linear, progress-oriented way of thinking about your practice. What’s new? What can I learn next? Am I improving…all the time. You get so caught up in doing it right and refining every little detail that you can lose sight of the what’s really great about practice in the first place…the restoration, integration, and feeling of wholeness you can walk away with each time.

1 minute read

Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been working on during Immersion Week 2014.

I’m very impressed (and I say so in the video about 15 times!) with the way this group has patiently explored many different facets of the Swings and Spine Stretch without rushing ahead to try to fit seemingly contradictory pieces together conceptually. Instead, they’re doing a great job experiencing/exploring each different component on its own.

4 minute read

Last night I taught my last two weekly classes at Brookline Tai Chi. Next month, I’ll be diving into a new intensive learning experience, building software applications and learning about the web from a depth I’ve only poked at up until now. (I have some really cool stuff planned for Immersion Week too, so I’m not quite done yet!) It’s going to be a big change for me. I don’t quite know what to make of shedding a professional identity that I’ve held for almost 10 years.