Thursday, January 8, 2015

Looking over 2014

I tend to measure my life in lessons. That's why, near the beginning of the new year, I like to write things I've learned over the year. So, things I've learned in 2014:

  • Object-oriented programming. I think I've finally got my brain around it. I've been working in Python for a couple of years, but it took writing a book on it with Anthony and George to actually feel somewhat competent in it.
  • A little practice goes a long way. I didn't feel as if I had spent all that much time in Python; I certainly hadn't programmed anything fancier than tic-tac-toe from the ground up. But I was quite surprised when I would Skype with someone reviewing the course, almost every time he was puzzled by an error, I could quickly guess the problem, or see it when he sent the file to me.
  • I do best when I've got things competing for my time. The three years I was substitute teaching while serving as curriculum department head, I had my routine for work, but it would be interrupted at a moment's notice by a call to sub, which would require me shift my whole work plan, and I actually thrived on that. Once I got to be supported full-time for TEN3, I found that it was too easy to take time for granted unless I brought in things to compete for it. Fortunately, I can always bring in things that make me a better missionary, like new Scripture studies, language studies, and relationships I learn from.
  • I can lift 80 lbs! I learned that one when shipping two bins full of laptops to Chicago so they could be subsequently shipped to Nigeria. I ended up having to drive to Levelland because they were over the USPS allowance.
  • I'm still afraid of mistakes. That has long been my biggest fear, one I thought was over. And I'm not so afraid of mistakes that cause embarrassment or little setbacks, but I do still fear mistakes if I think they'll cost me the things I'm really hoping for in life.
You see,I'd struggled since a year ago when I first started dating Kenneth, wondering if I was pursuing mutually exclusive things – a career in Evangelical missions and a marriage to an Eastern Orthodox. What I love is part of me, and to lose either would be devastating. Yet I also need to remember the tagline of this blog, that I drink in life from Christ that I may pour it out in love, not hoard His gifts. Still, I have so much reason to thank the Lord, especially since time after time the Lord has shown me that He knows what He's doing.
  • My brother is so cute when he's in love.
  • So are Kenneth and I. And as many people who claim PDA is gross, even more tell us it's incredibly refreshing to see two people pursuing a godly, loving relationship.
  • Some very silly '20s dances, including "The Bear," "The Squirrel," and "The Duck."
  • Be very careful about picking a grammar fight with someone who knows old and middle English!
  • Superfight is one of the most fun social games ever invented. Thank you Jaclyn!
  • One good character can keep a book worth reading even when he doesn't show up through the entire middle portion. I read Light in August by William Faulkner, but would never have finished it if it weren't for Byron. He was the only character I enjoyed, and while Faulkner does some brilliant commentary on human thought and behavior with that book, it just wouldn't have felt worth reading without one really enjoyable character.

No comments:

Post a Comment