Day of emails and writing

In this morning’s email: email from the London Marathon to tell me I was unsuccessful in the ballot for 2022. Not disappointed about not getting into the race (I don’t really want to do an autumn marathon again for a while as it doesn’t fit into my preferred race season structure – I would have deferred to 2023 if I had got in) but slightly disappointed that they don’t seem to be doing a rejection magazine anymore!

In this afternoon’s email: approximately 30 emails from other autumn marathons saying ‘Didn’t get into London? Come and run OUR marathon instead!’.

Also in this afternoon’s email: my official certificate for graduating from TechUP. Very happy!

I’ve been working on the writing for my current game project today, which is going to take up the bulk of my free time this week. It’s such an enjoyable thing to be doing while I’ve got a bit more spare time, and I hope to be able to do a lot more of it this year.

All done!

Just a quick post tonight as it was presentation night for our group project. It went really well! I am thrilled to have finished TechUP finally, though I will miss it as well. Ready for a bit of a break now.

Endgame 1 of 2 complete

I finished the last of my TechUP coursework today! Just the group project presentation to go now. It’s next Wednesday, and after a first rehearsal with the team last night I’m feeling a lot more confident about it. Going to have my first mini-celebration this weekend though – the coursework is a big thing to get finished.

Now that I’m almost done with the course I’m allowing myself to read all the tech books that Geth got me for Christmas. I didn’t have time to lose myself in them before! First up is Make Your Own Python Text Adventure, which should be a fun little project for the next few days. The first of many post-TechUP Python projects, I hope 🙂

Stepping up and stepping down

I was awake early this morning, which is annoying, as it means the same thing probably won’t happen tomorrow – and I could do with being awake early tomorrow as Thursdays are long run days for me. Ten miles this week. I always feel a little bit anxious when stepping up the distance – which is daft when you step back and look at the big picture, as I ran a marathon in October, but I always have the slight fear that it’ll be a nightmare. Eight miles was absolutely fine last week, so I shouldn’t worry.

I’ve done the last few major TechUP assignments now and just have a few bits and pieces to finish off by Friday – plus the project presentation next Wednesday. After that I really will be done! It’s a step-down ‘rest’ week on the marathon training plan next week with an eight-miler on the Thursday morning, so once I’m back from that I will start an early weekend (work permitting) and celebrate properly.

The course wasn’t meant to last this long – we were meant to finish the first week of February but there have been various extensions and so on – and so I didn’t expect to be getting into the middle stages of marathon training while still studying. It’s fairly manageable though, especially as (whisper it) work has been quiet for the last couple of weeks. Still looking forward to having one less big thing to juggle.

Thinking about new things

It’s looking like I’ll be fully done with TechUP by the middle of next week (we just about have a project presentation date!) and so I’m finally letting myself think about non-course stuff. I’m going for a long walk with Geth on the day of the presentation so that I’m not worrying about it all day (and so that I can show him part of my marathon training route from last year), and I’m excited about doing some hobby stuff that isn’t running or mindless web browsing (the only two things I’ve had the spare brainpower for recently!).

Keen as I am to dive into a few hobby projects using my new skills from the course, I know I do need to give myself a proper break, so I’ll probably be playing videogames for a week or two if I can find the energy…

Not many milestones left!

I’ve still got TechUP stuff on the to-do list most days for this (possibly) final week, but the amount of things still to do is dwindling and I feel like I’ve got this, barring any nasty surprises! I should *crosses fingers* be done by Wednesday, which would give me Thursday and Friday as a final buffer… but we’ll see. Things may change when we know the timing of the project presentation as well.

I’m still working out what I want to do as a treat (or multiple treats) to myself once I’ve finished the course. There are lots of options, and hopefully I’ll have a better idea once my brain is a bit less foggy.

Preparing for the final week… possibly

My deadline (following a two-week extension that pretty much everyone on the course has… it’s been a tough few months) for finishing all my coursework is this coming Friday. However, we don’t know when our final presentation is for our group project, and I need to make sure I’ve watched all the recorded lectures/sessions… so I don’t know 100% whether I will be done with TechUP by the end of the week. I really hope I am. It’s been fun but I’m ready to do other things again.

I’ve managed to schedule in a bit of a break this afternoon before getting back to it tomorrow. It’s been a long week and my concentration is shot. Feels like there’s light at the end of the tunnel though!

Using tech skills for hobbyist stuff

Before I started on the TechUP course, I was already into a lot of hobbyist tech stuff, as I’ve always found it interesting – and given that I spend pretty much my whole life in front of computer screens, I like to be able to solve problems myself when things don’t work as expected. This is part of the reason I jumped at the chance to do a proper software dev course.

Nevertheless, you would think that after five months of studying, I would be ready to run screaming away from tech stuff for a while. However, this is not at all the case. I am desperate to get back to my techy hobbies, as I’ve had absolutely no time to work on them for months! I won’t jump into anything with a deadline such as game comps and jams, as I do need a month or two off from *stress* after the course is finished, but I’m so excited to get back to playing with both hardware and software in a purely fun way – especially as I’m keen to utilise my new skills learnt on the course for some of my hobby projects.

This is also partly inspired by the fact that Dad arrived with some tools to revitalise my old dead laptop this morning (he and Mum are in town for his birthday today). Dad’s laptop-revitalising tools almost always consist of a Linux installation disk and a flash drive, and today was no exception. We were able to access my files as they were left when Windows stopped booting, so I have been able to back them up in their less jumbled state. This will be really helpful when getting everything properly organised on the new laptop.

I don’t need Windows on the old laptop any more, so once I’ve copied all my files, I’ll be installing Linux instead. However, I am developing quite a pile of old laptops upstairs with various builds of Linux put on them by Dad after they died as Windows machines, and I’m never going to need absolutely all of them as spare laptops. As such, I want to have a think about how they can be better repurposed. One of the many possibilities for the magical month of March (something I never thought I’d say about March) that will be here very soon.

The buffer kicks in

I have a total of three short presentations to give in the next week and a half as I finish the TechUP course, and today I wrote out the notes for them all. This took quite a bit longer than expected, so I didn’t get everything on my list done today. I am okay with that due to the scheduled-in buffer (see Sunday’s post). I never usually have buffers as I’m almost always right up against it at work, so I feel strangely un-panicked at the moment, especially considering how much I hate giving presentations.

We’re allowed to pre-record one of them, which is an opportunity I am grabbing with both hands. No point in being more stressed than necessary.

I am quite looking forward to posting about stuff that’s not TechUP in a couple of weeks’ time! Probably get back to my regularly scheduled marathon training posts…