Week 19 Retrospective
What went well:
GIR debrief sessions were really fun! Even though both Tuesday and Wednesday were four hours each, the time passed by quickly because it was breakout-rooms based. I had a good time discussing and reminiscing, and I really like all of the GIRs. During the second day, the joke of starting our own university came up a few times, and afterward, I thought…well, why not? So I posted that into our group chat and then proceeded to think about it beyond the five minutes I thought about it before posting it. I wrote up a dock because two GIRs asked how it’d be different / better than existing bootcamps, online courses, and non-profits. If we have enough interest, maybe we can actually do it; if not, that’s fine too and I’ll just have thought about and written up a doc about a potential future non-profit idea.
For GIR debrief, I led the Debugger game that we played during SPS training. That was really fun, and some others have played it before too. It was pretty great, and I’m happy to feel comfortable presenting and leading to bigger teams now. I’m also happy that everyone had a good time!
I also realized during debrief that I didn’t have a lot of the problems that other people did, one of them being a big gap between the top and bottom students. A lot of my students dropped out of the class, but out of the ones who stayed, there wasn’t a big divide, as shown by my bell curve grade distribution at the end of the class without curving anything. I wonder whether having a smaller class had to do with this, or my students on average understood material better, or I gave enough help to students who were falling behind, or something else.
I wrote some internal references, and most of those students asked me for a a mock interview! I’m fairly confident that they’ll get an offer actually, and I did one mock interview this week. That’s the first mock interview I’ve ever done, and it was pretty fun! I like the question I picked out too; the brute force way has some difficulties, and there are some tricky corner cases to think of. The most efficient way is a bit difficult to come up with, so I’m happy I picked a good question!
I reread my first post on this blog about my journey to GIR, and I forgot how terribly excited I was to do this program. I don’t feel that way anymore, probably because the novelty has worn off and I’m actually done now. I’m grateful that I captured that feeling and that moment though, just so I remember what I felt. In fact, if I reread all the posts I’ve made on this blog, I’d probably be really grateful that I can relive parts of the journey again. This just further reminds me though that the real end is coming, which makes me a bit bittersweet.
What could be improved:
One of my students is somewhat taking a mental toll on me. She puts a lot of blame on me and doesn’t take responsibility for her actions, and she also doesn’t trust that my starter code is right. How can my starter code be wrong at this point, after the entire class has done the project? Just a very annoying situation to deal with, and it’s really unfair to me. She has been a problem for a while now, and I’m pretty unhappy that I have to deal with it. I acted fairly and offered her to do incomplete, which I didn’t have to do especially after her long email about how I don’t care, and she constantly causes emotional stress on my and is my biggest problem right now. I just don’t want to turn away people who really want to do computer science out of selfishness, but it’s just not a great time for me. I really don’t want to deal with this ongoing situation. Good news is, there’s only two weeks left.
I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but the suggestion of co-teaching came up a lot in our debrief. I’m not really a fan of this, because it seems like more overhead and coordination; I have the mentality that I can finish tasks faster if I do it myself and I have full control over it, but I probably should just trust people more, especially if they’re in this program. Anyway, that’s not super relevant to me as I’m done teaching, but just wanted to note that down as a realization.