HS Day 5: Finally Social

Woke up this morning a bit tired – I had caffeine yesterday, which makes me insanely productive but also totally unable to go to bed at night, so I stayed up until about 2am watching StarCraft. As you can probably tell by the timestamp for this post, I had caffeine today as well. Sigh.

Showered with my new shampoo, and all nice and clean I faced the day. Got to hacker school at about 10:32, which was almost perfect. Looks like I can leave the hotel as late as 9:40 and make it in on time. Met with my 6-person group and discussed what we all had spent our first day on. Joy had been working on some WebGL tutorials; Joy refactored a DOM selection library; Paige worked on learning C. I can’t remember what Alex and Carl were working on (and testing my memory was the whole point of writing this down). All very cool projects.

I skipped breakfast this morning, so I drank tea while working on some features for my grandpa’s airline database – the ability to group airports by city (e.g. all of the NYC airports). Turns out the flight data is actually already stored per city, so you couldn’t differentiate between the airports if you wanted to. A bit of wasted time but all in good measure. I put out a call for anyone interested in helping me pair program on Budgeted (working title) a javascript app for keeping track of organization finances with various budget lines.

Grabbed lunch at Getting Hungry, a pretty impressive sandwich/wrap bistro just a few blocks from Hacker School. I tried to go to Chipotle but the line wrapped around the entire store. Actually ended up being excellent – I had a turkey, avocado, and tomato sandwich that was delicious.

Walked back to Hacker School and ended up pairing with Richard for about an hour on learning React, which was awesome – I blazed through the tutorials, but he had a real attention to detail, and it forced me  to slow down and realize just how much nuance and complexity I was missing in my speed-reading furor. I ended up learning about learning as well as learning about React, which might prove to be more useful in the long run. React looks like it’s going to be pretty awesome, though.

I spent a moment fixing the internet here – everything was on Channel 1 and it was causing a lot of interference. I messaged the facilitators and one of them moved the backup router over to channel 6, which was pretty much empty:

Stacked Wifi at Hacker School - Oh No!

Stacked Wifi at Hacker School – Oh No!

Richard mentioned CSS pre-processors like SASS and LESS. I decided now was as good of a time as any to learn one of these, so I started writing in SASS. Turns out SASS uses a Ruby on Rails program to compile to CSS, which I didn’t really want to install. So instead, I wrote a terrible python program, which calls http://sass-lang.com/try.html, and uses their backend compiler to generate and scrape the CSS using a web call. Really though, I broke pretty much every coding convention, used outdated libraries, and even parsed HTML with Regex. Basically, it works, but in a really awful way. Gets my SASS compiled in the end and that’s what matters, I guess.

I committed it to Github anyway, if you want to check it out: https://github.com/ertyseidel/snac

Started in on the main app and worked on that until I got really hungry around 5:30. Stepped out and grabbed a Chipotle burrito – they’re up to $11.25 for a steak/guac, which is kind of ridiculous. I assume that’s because I’m in New York, though, and pretty much everything is expensive here.

Returned to Hacker School and found that someone has tickets to a Postal Service show next Friday that they can’t go to, so I pinged them and said I would take it! If all works out, that will be an awesome experience.

Walked with about a dozen other Hacker Schoolers to get Ice Cream and hang out in the park.  We stopped at Big Gay Ice Cream, which had a hilarious design:

Big Gay Ice Cream

Big Gay Ice Cream

Walked over to Washington  Square Park, and hung out on the grass for a while. I ended up talking with Jay from Iowa, and Nick (one of the Facilitators) about life in NY, graphic novel theory, and west/midwest distinctions. Turns out very few of the Hacker Schoolers, even in summer, are college students, so I’m probably one of the youngest here.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Hanging out with Hacker Schoolers

Hanging out with Hacker Schoolers

Walked with Allison (A facilitator) and another student whose name I can’t remember to West 4th station, and caught the C, which as Allison explained to me is like the A but actually stops everywhere. I asked her a lot of questions about living in NYC and how the subways work, and I think I have a better understanding now, which should help me out in getting around the city.

I was kinda planning on hanging out at Hacker School until late tonight instead of coming home (I’t’d be easier to work on my math homework without distraction at HS) but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back in to the building. Once we have keycards we’ll all have 24-hour access, but that’ll be later this week or early next week.

Watched a lot of SC2 and got a math problem and a half done before realizing that it was 2am and I hadn’t written my blog post yet. Tomorrow I plan on finishing my math programming in the morning, which isn’t really in the spirit of Hacker School but it’s better to bend the rules than not graduate! Then more work on Budgeted, which I’m pretty excited about.

But for now, sleep.

From New York,



Edit: I just want to mention, more for record-keeping than anything, that my left knee started bothering me yesterday, and especially today. I’ll be keeping an eye on it for a while – cursory googling says creaky joints (which I have) accompanied by pain is often a reason to see a doctor. Not freaking out yet but if it doesn’t go away in a few days I’ll do something about it.

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