Tag Archives: work

Sabbatical Day 23 – Hard Work

I can’t believe it’s already a week since my last post.  This past week has gone by really quickly.  I’ve been working hard on school, mostly.  My first degree, back in the first half of the 90’s, was something I barely worked at.  I spent most of my time socializing with my friends and trying to teach other people about the Baha’i Faith.  In many ways, it was time well spent.  However, my studies suffered grievously; I failed several classes and barely scraped by with a 3-year degree after 5 years of school.  To say that my study habits were poor is an understatement.  I mostly didn’t go to class, I mostly didn’t read the textbooks, I mostly didn’t do assignments.  What I did was I would get classmate’s notes and read them quickly before the exams.  I’d scan the textbooks sometimes.  I begged for late assignments to be accepted (sometimes).

All of this led me to some anxiety about school this second time around.  So, I decided that in order to not repeat my past experience, I would go to every class (barring illness or other truly unavoidable situations), I would keep up with the reading for my classes, and, most importantly, I would do every single exercise in the textbooks along the way.  This has been working well for me… except that it turns out to be a lot of work!  Part of it is that I believe that I am mentally slower than I was 23 years ago.  I might speed up as I continue… in fact I can feel it happening already.  But part of it is that I still have ¼ time work, and I’m spending a lot of time with my family and helping around the house.  So the work for school is really substantial and it is pushing against my time in a way that I didn’t expect.

Anyway, I finished an assignment for my Math 3020 class today.  The assignment itself had one really hard question, and the rest were easy to moderate. The hard question, I spent over 3 hours on it.  And I’m not sure that I got it “right”.  I know that I got the final answer right, but I’m not sure that I will have met the expectations of the prof in terms of the work that I did to get to the answer.  We’ll see.  Anyway, after I finished, I realized that I have a very high expectation for myself: I expect to get high-90’s in both my classes.  I’m pushing myself as close to perfect as I can.

There have been lots of other developments in the past week.  My daughter Verity has started taking the bus to school alone.  I’m proud of her.  She also had a bit of a nervous breakdown mid-week.  I helped her through it a bit, but it’s related to the stress of changing schools.  Her grade 8 class was only six people including herself… her grade 9 class is about 500 people!  She had one teacher for the previous four years… now she has four teachers simultaneously!  We drove her to school every day… now she travels on her own.  Big changes, to be sure.  Anyway, I was glad to be home to talk with her and hold her as she struggled with the stress.

In general, I’ve been spending more time with all the kids.  Justice by driving him and sometimes seeing him briefly on campus.  Haifa by being home and helping her practice driving.  Verity by sometimes biking part of the way to school with her and helping her with her little projects.  And Ocean by being in the same room with her while she draws and I do homework.  I’ve also been walking our dog Toby almost every night and I’ve been cleaning up the kitchen almost every night before I go to sleep.  Melanie has now given me 7 projects, and I’ve completed 5 of them so I’m helping her out a lot too.  Here is my updated personal kanban board:

20180923 Personal Kanban Board

I’m pretty happy about how things have been going so far on my sabbatical.  I still think about work, but not much.  Earlier this evening was nice: my colleague Iryna had her birthday a couple days ago so a few of us went out with her to dinner at a place called “Mythic Grill Greek Cuisine” – the food was fantastic!  We had a nice relaxed visit and talked about all sorts of things including politics, parenting, lethal injections, Russian weddings, and a bit about work.

I have also had a little time for personal relaxation.  I’ve been making my way slowly through “The Flash” on Netflix.  It’s a bit cheesy, but it’s enjoyable enough.  The acting isn’t great, but it’s not terrible.  The writing is a bit formulaic, but there are some nice little surprises.  I also binge-watched the second season of “The Good Place” which I loved (available on Netflix).  Lots of laugh-out-loud moments for me.  I’ve been eating poorer than I hoped (in other words, less healthy, more quantity).  But, I’ve been doing more exercise than I expected and I feel like my fitness level is going up overall.  In particular, cycling to school has been a real joy even though I end up sweaty and exhausted in my classes.

This week I hope to finish publishing “The Scrum Master Guide to Choosing a Retrospective” by Jerry Doucett.  I have to re-do some diagrams to get it to work well with the ePub format.  Then, next weekend, I start pottery lessons with my family!  I’m excited to do some sculptural pottery, not just cups and bowls and stuff.

Sabbatical Day 12 – I’m Exhausted!

My third work day in a row including five hours of driving for my class in Toronto.  Ug.  Don’t get me wrong… the class was great – full of energy, and my colleague Jerry Doucett was amazing as usual – but my sleep has been erratic and my eating has been poor, and I’ve been getting way more exercise than normal (good), and I had my colleague Forbes Benning with me on the drive in to Toronto (good, but exhausting due to my introversion)… anyway, I don’t want to complain too much… oh… and I’ve had a significant amount of reading and homework from my classes.

Anyway, I’ll keep this short.  I am incredibly thankful to be able to help out my family and spend more time with them and these few days of work-focus with extended hours have made me even more grateful about this time on sabbatical.  (Full days of work will be rare.  I’m not teaching again until October 16th.)

So, without further ado, good night dear readers.

Sabbatical Day 11 – 2 Work Days

Yesterday, Monday the 10th, the Partners of BERTEIG met with our financial advisor Don.  We discussed a number of strategic topics including how to deal with a gig that is not even breaking even due to unexpected costs.  Overall it was a good meeting, but I had forgotten about it so it actually annoyed me quite a bit.  Today, I was at the first day of my CSM.  I decided to commute by rail to and from Toronto same day.  I enjoyed that.  Tomorrow is the second day and I will go in again, but this time I will drive.

Yesterday I also had the second of my MATH 2155 classes.  I’m _really_ worried that it is going to be extremely boring.  The textbook is easy, the classes are super easy, and the pace is slow.  Now, it’s only been two classes so I’m going to give it a bit more time, but I’m also going to talk with an academic counsellor tomorrow morning if I can to ask about other options.  The MATH 3020 class is much more interesting.  So that’s good.

I’ve also started doing a lot more biking and I’m finding it both challenging and enjoyable.  My fitness is okay, but my strength is still low so hills are challenging.  Today on my bike ride I felt serious burn in my quads because I really pushed myself to run up the hills.  I’ll see how they are tomorrow!

A friend of mine on Facebook doxed a public figure.  I found this to be offensive, so I reported it as not meeting the Facebook community standards, and they removed the post (Facebook did). It only took them a few minutes to respond.  I was actually quite impressed with how responsive they were.  The reporting system is anonymous and I haven’t told my friend that I did this (and I won’t identify that person here).  However, I felt that no one should go through a doxing, regardless of what they have done, and in this particular case, it was really a difference of opinions, not even a matter for semi-justifiable vigilante justice.  If that friend figures out I did this, I hope they will ask me for a discussion about it, but I suspect that person will just unfriend/block me.  I hope not, because I appreciate our discussions and seeing their posts.

I listen to the No Agenda podcast and I finished listening to episode 1067 while on the train today.  Excellent episode, but not their normal thing.  They did two interviews including an interesting interview with Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, in which he explains a bit about his perspective on Trump as a master influencer.  I found it fascinating.

Sabbatical Day 5 – Work

Today was one of the few days in my calendar with scheduled work for my company, BERTEIG.  Melanie, Travis and I had a Partner’s meeting (basically board of directors).  Because our fiscal year end is August 31, we spent a bit of time reviewing the financials for the year (thanks Xero for a great accounting platform!) and doing a year-long retrospective.  We also talked about our strategic plans and made some updates to our goals.  Most of the details of that stuff is done with the full BERTEIG leadership team, not just by the Partners.  I can’t really share any details since that stuff is confidential, but suffice it to say that we have some great stuff planned… that I won’t be working on!!! (Sabbatical, remember?)

Aside from that, I spent some time with the family in the late afternoon and early evening.  Walked the dog.  After the kids went to bed, I finished the writing portion of my book titled “I Am Not A Great Leader” and did a v1 cover design.  I’ve sent the full thing to the editor (my mom).  I’ll be releasing it as soon as I get the edits back, get the ISBN number and put it up on Lulu.com.  I’ll be sure to post here when that stuff is finished – actually, I’ll be posting just about everywhere when it is done!  Here’s my super-fast cover design – let me know if you have any feedback.  (I’ll get a professional designer for v2.)

I Am Not A Great Leader - Cover