Mary Dickson Diaz

Code, Life, Learning

no matter how long the winter


People of the internet! I have rejoined your ranks! One of the joys of buying an old/remodeled home is discovering that, after a month of ISP escapades and multiple visits from CenturyLink, the house is not wired for DSL/phone. So, we now have a cord running from the DSL box, across the porch, under the front door and into the living room, where it is attached to a phone jack that is not (yet) attached to a wall.

The point is, it works.

Remarkably, I spent my first day with internet at home NOT watching all the Netflix (TV, I’ve missed you so so much), or scrambling to finish pre- and home-work for tonight’s python class, but rather I gave my partner a ride to work, I made soup, I cleaned my closet and started narrowing down a capsule wardrobe for spring (see Nicole’s take on this here). It’s been A Very Nice Day. I’m feeling Good.

At least three things are contributing to this Good Feeling:

1. This song:

2. Yesterday, I went to my first “Blast-Off” session at the crossfit gym around the corner. I don’t know much about crossfit, but I do like group exercise and I’ve been really impressed with this gym so far. The orientation & the brief but exhausting workout we did has me feeling GOOD. The work of exercising my body is definitely not easy, but the stuff they want me to do, like run 200 meters or do a sit up or jump on a box — all that stuff is TOTALLY DOABLE and that is a very empowering feeling. I realized, among other things, that it was the *best class* I’ve been to in a month, which leads me to Good Feeling #3:

3. Tonight is the last night of Foundations 2: Python. The whole class has felt like an uphill battle without a map (in heels?) and I’m feeling a great sense of relief and lightness that it is almost over. What’s more: I’m reaching the realization that I won’t be following the Python accelerator path with Code Fellows. The same person who designed this class teaches that Accelerator, and while I respect both the guy and the teaching (and have been very grateful to make some connections with other students in the class, several of whom are pursuing the accelerator), I don’t think it’s an ideal learning environment for me. And, what’s more, I think I have *options*, and I don’t have to settle for something sub-optimal. The learning should be HARD but it should not make me feel BAD, and that’s the realization that has me feeling good today, even though it leaves a big question mark for what’s next.

So, what’s next?

Well, first of all, I’m feeling renewed gratitude to my partner for supporting me (emotionally and financially) during this transition, and I’m going to marry that dude in May. It’s gonna be a whole Thing, with a school bus and a sound system and flowers and cake and worlds colliding and all that. After that, we’re taking time for a honeymoon in Greece and Turkey, which is amazing and is coming up SO SOON and I feel like I haven’t prepared at all.

So my immediate “what’s next” is: work on house (gotta get that cord through the wall somehow, plus like a zillion other things), work on wedding, work on honeymoon, work on designing a plan B (back to JavaScript? Ruby? look at other orgs/bootcamps? something else entirely?). It’s important to me that I get up and go to work every day for Mary, whatever that entails.

I’ll still blog here about code & life & learning — I’m working through Python the Hard Way and have 2 new bots in the works, and I’m volunteering as a mentor for the awesome Community Data Science Workshop I took as a student last fall. & just this week I heard from someone who used my tutorial to launch a Twitter digital humanities bot! (Stay tuned… that’s worth a separate post.)

Here’s a sneak peek — words I found especially motivating:

Go forth and get good stuff done, friends! (But, start by just doing something.)


  1. I wanna know how crossfit is, I think I wanna try it!!!

  2. Nicole, here’s an article by the gym’s founder: I love her! They’ve done great work with gender inclusivity & gym culture too. It might be a little far for you & Dave, but maybe not? We lived next door to a xfit gym in SLU and it was *not* as welcoming by a mile. I tried to join like three times, showed up for “beginners night” as directed, no one was there… couldn’t get a call back… Rocket has a very clear onboarding process. Will keep you posted!

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